Monday, February 13, 2006

Reclaiming Our Rivers

It is very pleasant to be able to share this story from Friday’s Bee about public leadership revealing visionary plans to embrace what is so central to our community, our rivers.

This plan, to reclaim the Sacramento River from Old Sacramento to Miller’s Park is just wonderful, and we deeply applaud the city of Sacramento for pursuing it.

Here is an excerpt.

Sacramento aims to reclaim part of its riverfront
In their bid to transform the 'docks,' officials choose a team of developers affiliated with San Francisco's Treasure Island and Ferry Building projects
By Mary Lynne Vellinga -- Bee Staff Writer Published 2:15 am PST Friday, February 10, 2006

The riverfront south of Old Sacramento's tourist district is quiet and largely forgotten, except for the bikers and joggers who brave a soaring freeway overpass, oil storage tanks and a city sewage reservoir en route to Discovery Park.

Now the city of Sacramento is seeking to reclaim this 43-acre stretch of the Sacramento River - called the "docks" - as a new neighborhood that could have more than 1,000 units of tightly packed high-rise and midrise housing.

The city recently picked the same group that is redeveloping San Francisco's Treasure Island to carry out this transformation.

As part of the project, the city is planning a broad pedestrian promenade that would hug the riverfront all the way from Old Sacramento to Miller Park, an underused park and marina at the end of Broadway.

"We're really trying to gain access to our riverfront and enhance public enjoyment of it," said Sacramento economic development director Wendy Saunders.

If the effort succeeds, it would give new identity to a section of the riverfront that has languished since its heyday in the Gold Rush, when ships moored at docks along the shoreline and unloaded goods that were then sent by rail up the R Street industrial corridor.

Highways eventually superseded the river as a mover of industrial goods, and the construction of Interstate 5 cut the Sacramento River off from downtown. The rail bridge that once carried goods to R Street is being converted into a pedestrian and bike crossway."