Policy Update | August 2017
Transportation on the move in the Central City
With the approval of the Streetcar community facilities district by downtown property owners in late June, the Downtown Riverfront Streetcar is on track to begin construction in 2018. The Sacramento City Council authenticated and approved the election results in July and the Streetcar Joint Powers Authority, with representation from Sacramento and West Sacramento, can now formally begin to meet. Once this governing board has met, the next step is expected to be the creation of Streetcar Inc., a nonprofit which will oversee the project and included representatives from our downtown businesses and properties.
Hot on the heels of the streetcar vote, the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority announced its intention to provide a Morning Express service running from Fresno to Sacramento in mid-2018. This service will add four potential stations within Sacramento including one in Midtown. The new service is designed to appeal to business travelers and will offer enhanced connectivity with existing Regional Transit offerings. For more information, visit https://www.sjjpa.com/.
Convention Center Expansion Discussion
Progress on the planned expansion of the Sacramento Convention Center continues to move forward following City Council direction in July to explore the option of privatizing the facility, along with the Community Center Theater and Memorial Auditorium. The City Manager is expected to return to Council with an update on the negotiations in 90 days.
Public Space Management in the Downtown Core
In early July, Sacramento Steps Forward released their 2017 Homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) Count Report. This bi-annual, HUD mandated report is compiled to survey the number of homeless individuals within Sacramento County. According to the count, approximately 3,665 people in Sacramento County experience homelessness on any given night in 2017. In downtown, 76 individuals were counted, a nearly 40 percent increasefrom the last PIT count in 2015.
Addressing homelessness is a priority for Downtown Partnership and our partners. Our teams are on a first-name basis with many of the homeless in our community In the first half of 2017, we have worked directly with 546 homeless individuals to connect to housing and services. As a result, we have housed 43 and sheltered 16 to date.
To help manage the public space, we will continue to advocate for long term solutions to help our most vulnerable population. Recently, Downtown Partnership joined the city’s property and business improvement districts to submit this letter to City Council to voice concerns about proposed changes to temporary shelter code. Read recent coverage in the Sacramento Bee here.
Just as important, we support efforts to update City Code to help ensure a clean, safe and vibrant environment for businesses, visitors, and residents. Over the next month, we expect updated language to be presented to City Council, including handling aggressive and intrusive solicitation, prohibiting certain activities in parks, and updating vacant building and structure ordinances to secure building alcoves that attract trash, debris, and become fire hazards. See a comprehensive list of proposed ordinance amendments here.