No arena parking?
On a recent Monday evening, cars, buses and taxis fill I Street as traffic clogs downtown. The roads are chock-full of pedestrians and parked cars line busy streets. In a few years, these particular blocks near the downtown Amtrak station might become home to a new Sacramento Kings arena; proposals aim to ready the 10-acre complex by 2015 at a preliminary estimated cost of $387 million.
Current plans, however, don’t take into account parking.
Specifically, the proposal says that more than 8,000 parking spaces are available within a half-mile radius of the proposed site. No need to build a parking structure for an arena, or so goes the thinking.
SN&R visited the neighborhood on a Monday evening to ask downtowners if it’s reasonable to expect concert and NBA-game attendees to park in the surrounding district instead of a structure married to the arena.
“They’ve got to have parking,” said bail bondsman Greg Padilla, whose business is located near the proposed site on I Street. “There isn’t adequate parking for the courthouse! There’s a lot near the jail, but it’s just a two-story.
“I can’t see how they’ll have enough parking.”
“I think this is not right,” argued Ahmad Jerab, owner and operator of Best Cab Co. He says he spends a lot of time working downtown near the proposed site and knows the parking situation well.
“They should have a parking lot,” he stated plainly. “Otherwise it will be crowded. It’s going to be miserable, a lot of traffic.”
Some say a solution will be Regional Transit: The gold light-rail line ends at the Amtrak station and would be within blocks of the proposed arena. Public transportation, however, seems risky to some. And downright dangerous to others.
“I don’t feel safe on it. I don’t know too many people that do, to be honest,” said Dasha Walrath, a security guard with Professional Security Consultants, the provider of security in the Downtown Plaza parking lots. “I don’t see it as a safe option.”
Some business owners, including Padilla and Belan Abukhdair, owner of Billy’s Market & Deli on I Street, hope that a shuttle service might be considered, one that might make use of the existing former-Arco Arena parking facilities.
Either way, parking your car is just another unknown when it comes to the future of a Kings arena in Sacramento. (Maxwell McKee)
Facing budget cuts and court-case backlogs, the Sacramento County district attorney’s office is relying on its version of a “fix-it ticket,” with more misdemeanors to be written up as infractions.
“We are trying very hard to be more efficient with the resources we have,” explained Karen Maxwell, SCDA’s assistant chief deputy district attorney. “We want to make sure that those cases that go to jury trial really need to be misdemeanor vs. infraction convictions.”
Those cited for misdemeanors face a jury trial and sometimes need court-appointed attorneys. Trials can also be lengthy. With this in mind, and due to budget shortfalls and layoffs this spring, the district attorney’s office is now trying to streamline its operations. (Hugh Biggar)