While I was searching for links to the University Village project, I came across some information on the city’s 65th Street/University Transit Village plan. This was started a few years ago, and parts of the plan are already being implemented e.g. the F-65 development on the southwest corner of Folsom & 65th. Although the city’s plan and the university’s project aren’t directly related, they are more-or-less adjacent and they share some design features and constraints (e.g. light rail, proximity to CSUS, Folsom Blvd). Hopefully the appropriate folks from the city and university are coordinating these projects.
A Nov. 2003 Sacramento Business Journal article covers the city’s plans to transform the area around the 65th Street light rail station into a transit-oriented village:
In the current plan, the two-lane, quarter-mile stretch of Folsom Boulevard that dips under the Union Pacific railroad trestle just south of the university campus is planned to be widened to four lanes. And its rolling curbs will be changed to elevated ones, so bike lanes and planting strips bordering sidewalks can go in.
I work at Modoc Hall, very close to the Folsom Blvd underpass, on the other side of which are several decent places to eat as well as other services I would use. I’d prefer to walk from my office to F/65, but this area is downright creepy even in broad daylight! I look forward to the widening of this underpass, and I hope it will encourage more pedestrian and bicycle travel along this stretch of Folsom Boulevard.
Another plan is to make Redding Avenue an alternate route into and out of the campus via 69th Street, linking the student housing going in on 65th, south of Highway 50. That’s no easy task, however, because the route has to separately cross over light-rail and freight-rail tracks, and some roadway construction is also necessary.
It seems to me that this almost has to be part of Folsom underpass widening. A direct connection to the campus at this location would a huge benefit!
Cox noted that transit-oriented development around light-rail stations in San Diego, San Jose, Portland and Denver have proved successful in their meldings of offices, high-density housing built above retail stores and light rail.
Hopefully the planners of University Village will keep the above point firmly in mind. Build high-density housing above vibrant retail space, with easy access to light rail, and you’ll have a winning project!