Online Resource for all who live and work in Midtown Sacramento
P.O. Box 162555
Sacramento, CA 95816
The Not so Bright Side of Life in Central Sacramento
In recent years our neighborhoods have been thrown out of balance, losing rapidly the very things that draw people here and make them want to stay, put down roots, raise their families and invest for the future.
Loss of Parking for Residents: The inability to park close to your home is a huge quality of life issue. Midtowners are continally expected to sacrifce their ability to park on the street so that visitors and commuters can park. The Residential Permit Parking Program works well during office hours. As Midtown has evolved into an evening destination, like all other large cities (we are a big city if we admit it or not) we must have evening enforcement of residential parking rules in highly impacted residential areas.
Overconcentration of Bars and Nightclubs While Losing Neighborhood Serving Business: Bars, nightclubs and other businesses planned and operated according to industry best practices and the laws of the city and state, who employ good security and crowd control and noise mitigation measures are generally not an issue. A few bad actors have made it difficult for responsible operators. Negative experiences with a few bad actors make residents concerned about how a new or even an existing business will operate. Dialogue and cooperation are essential as are streamlining city permitting processes so that all the relevant city departments are communicating on these issues.
Effective management of evening activities including parking resources is desperately needed. In addition to evening uses, we also need parks with playgrounds, schools, and reasonably priced housing designed for families, students and seniors. Neighborhood serving services are needed yet are being lost at an alarming pace. Where is our hardware store? Good auto mechanic or pet store? And streetlights and security? Many find themselves driving off the grid more and more for essential services.
We also seek a balance to arts & cultural events. Ideally there are arts & cultural events every weekend not just once a month - to more evenly balance the activity rather than overwhelm the system every Second Saturday.
Enhanced and consistent enforcement of existing rules is essential. For fun reading, check out the city codes (rules) online. We have urban design guidelines, parking rules, noise rules, code enforcement guidlines that cover health and safety issues and trash issues, entertainment permit rules, and on and on. These laws must be consistently and agressively enforced and all violators fined. Residents must continue to advocate for enforcement to ensure quality of life in Midtown.
Second Saturday - The After Party: The Second Saturday Art Walk is generally a positive and peaceful event because it draws a wide range of ages and the presence of public safety officers encourages self-regulation.
The issue remains what happens after 11 PM to about 3:00 AM on Second Saturday weekends especially during the warm months. Events that are less mixed, like nightclubs, are a more volatile mixture, and that is the issue - not Second Saturday - the Art Walk. The "event after the event" draws a meaner crowd, not unlike what plagued Thursday Night Market. It is not the crowd that comes for the event, but the people who arrive in its wake. Some are predators, hoping to take advantage of easily-rolled drunks. Some are just high-spirited who assume that downtown Sacramento is a consequence-free Disneyland where they can behave however they like. In either case, they are present on the grid and in all cases, it appears our police do not have the manpower to control this situation, and the businesses causing the problems are not held accountable.
If we as a community of residents and business want to continue these events, we must take seriously the consequences and find ways to manage these consequences more effectively. No one is saying shut down every entertainment venue, but do manage them well and discourage (and in the extreme, shut down) those who are unwilling or unable to exercise control over their patrons.
P.O. Box 162555
Sacramento, CA 95816