SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For more than a decade, the city of Sacramento has been working on how to revitalize Broadway. Their solution? Limiting the number of cars, and creating more space for people.
"We'll be adding bike lanes, we'll be adding wider sidewalks. And we'll be taking Broadway itself down from four lanes down to one lane in each direction," said Joan Borucki, executive director of the Greater Broadway District. "And that's just going to be a tremendous change in the walkability and bike-ability."
The organization is a group that oversees businesses and development in the area.
"We need to slow down the traffic and we need to increase the number of people who are out and about. the more people that are out and about more people visiting our businesses, and that are comfortable," said Borucki.
According to the city of Sacramento, about 1 in 4 people who live along the Broadway corridor walk, bike, or use public transit to get to work. That’s about double the average for the rest of Sacramento. The city says that the new road layout would lower the number of cars on Broadway each day from 16,000 down to 12,000.
It’s something Broadway business owners seem to generally agree with — like Jim Seyman is the owner of the iconic Tower Cafe.
"Hopefully cleaning up just the general look of the Broadway Street itself corridor," said Seyman. "And hopefully it's a really positive thing for all the business owners that are on this strip that especially during times like this, could use a boost in sales."
Plus, traffic safety is a large reason why the project has chosen to focus on the roadway.
"We've had the building struck by actual vehicles I've witnessed since I've been in the position myself — multiple car accidents locally that are usually just because there's a lot of cars on the road," said Kyle Adams, general manager of Tower Cafe.
Another reason is affordable housing.
Borucki says there’s already a housing project in the works for the corner of Broadway and 19th street.
"On the northeast corner is a project by EH housing, that's going to provide affordable housing units," said Borucki. "And they've secured a record amount of funding through state grants to produce that project, 51 apartments in there and with some supportive services, as well as some ground floor retail.
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And another on 16th, built on the former site of Tower Records.
"The developer is looking to pay a little bit of a homage to the history of the site, as well as what we're trying to do with the district," said Borucki. "That project will be market-rate apartments, but it'll have ground-floor retail space."
The project is called "The Broadway Complete Streets Project," and will cost around $10 million to complete, and construction for the street project itself is expected to start next spring.