SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The City of Sacramento is looking to make some big changes to Capitol Mall. This week, city leaders hope to secure $500,000 to move forward with renovation plans for the iconic Sacramento corridor.
“It’s only six blocks, but it’s literally the backbone of downtown,” said Steve Hansen, Sacramento Vice Mayor.
It’s roughly a half mile long and just over 3,000 feet. Hansen says Capitol Mall could use one huge makeover.
“What we’re hoping to do is make it so you don’t have to close the street to use it for things,” he said. “You can host more people, you can do it easier. And really, it’s like a front porch for the city.”
“I think it’s a good idea,” said Jake Kirn, who works in the area. “I think Capitol Mall is kind of underutilized.”
Picture this: you’re driving toward the Capitol building and instead of 4 lanes of traffic you see one lane in each direction, two rows of trees, wider bike lanes and the center median is gone.
“Well, it is the Capitol of California,” said Mitchell Bloom. “But I mean, I like the grass!”
City Engineer Megan Johnson says the project won’t be lacking in greenery or function.
“We’re very, very early in the design,” Johnson said. “”It’ll take only a couple seconds to cross the street, if you’re trying to go from something one side to the other, as opposed to long light cycles that you have to wait through.”
With two lanes gone, the existing sidewalk could grow from 16 feet to a whopping 50 feet wide.
She told CBS13 the reconfigured space is just what Sacramento needs to host large festivals and small farmers markets without shutting down the street.
“Obviously having more retail would help. It’s a part of the problem,” Johnson said.
As for the price tag, first, the city needs a half million dollars from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) just to move forward. And once the plans are made, the whole project is expected to cost roughly $16 million dollars.
“16 million could go into housing!” Bloom said.
But Hansen says it’s the right investment to keep the Golden State’s Capitol shining.
“It’s the face of our region and people want it to look great,” he said.
If the city secures the $500,000, the council will move forward with a design plan. And engineers hope to break ground by 2022.