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Fellowship Final

Fellowship Final

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Published by The Natomas Buzz
"Streetwise: Walking & Biking In Natomas" is a special series on street safety undertaken as part of an Anneburg Online Health Journalism fellowship in 2011.
"Streetwise: Walking & Biking In Natomas" is a special series on street safety undertaken as part of an Anneburg Online Health Journalism fellowship in 2011.

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Published by: The Natomas Buzz on Dec 06, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Part One:Building A BetterNatomas
THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz
Just across the AmericanRiver from downtownSacramento live thousandsof the city's residents.They make their homes inNatomas which occupiesmerely one-fourth of thegreater Natomas Basin – amassive 55,000 acres in all,surrounded by two riversand a network of drainagecanals.
South Natomas wasspecifically built to be abedroom community todowntown Sacramento,”
said former city councilman Ray Tretheway, a Natomas residentfor three decades. “There were to be no shops to buy clothes, nomovie theater, no big restaurants.”Area residents, he said, were expected to work, shop and play indowntown Sacramento.A lot has changed since then.The area is now comprised of several distinctneighborhoods – defined in part by twointerstate freeways – and sprawls across 22square miles from Garden Highway, whereTretheway lives, north to the city limits near the SacramentoInternational Airport.In the past 10 years, the Natomas population has more thandoubled.Area amenities include a multi-screen movie theater, numerousrestaurants and clothing stores, a sports and entertainmentarena, miles of bike and walking trails, and the promise of moreto come.Today, Sacramento cityofficials will celebrate anew bike and pedestrianbridge which, for thefirst time, connects theNatomas community'strails, located north ofInterstate 80 to trailssouth of the freeway.The grand opening eventscheduled for 9:30 a.m. at Peregrine Park is just short of historic
in a community where connectivity has long been a focus.The $6.1 million project includes a nearly two-block-long bridgeover the freeway and a smaller bridge across the West DrainageCanal along with new connections to existing bike trails.
People are so excited about the bridge opening,” said BeckyHeieck, executive director of the North Natomas TransportationManagement Association. “There will be a lot of pedestrians andcyclists who will use it – they will just go out of their way to useit.”Over the years, between 1950 and 1980, south Natomas grewpredominately as residential subdivisions.The South Natomas Community Plan approved by city officials in1978 envisioned the area as a high-density, transit-oriented,residential community.But changes in the community and its expectations for the areapaved the way for a revised South Natomas Community Plan in1988 which included new parks, riverfront access, a proposedlight rail line and connections to new and existing parkwaysfrequented by cyclists.When work on the 1994 North Natomas Community Plan rolledforward, significant efforts were made to accommodate bikesand pedestrians, said city traffic engineer Hector Barron.
In north Natomas, there was an emphasis on walking,” Barronsaid. “For the first time the city of Sacramento introducedstandard, separated sidewalks where there is a planter area.”The community plan for north Natomas envisioned a mixture ofresidential, employment, commercial and civic uses in the new-growth area interdependent on transit service and a network of

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