In a unique collaboration, the cities of West Sacramento and Sacramento, in partnership with the Crocker Art Museum, is currently developing a master plan for public art and cultural gathering, entitled “River Crossing”, that will connect the two cities along a portion of the Sacramento River. Funding for the plan comes from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) through the Our Town grant program, which “supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places – achieving these community goals through strategies that incorporate arts, culture, and/or design.”
The two cities will develop a comprehensive plan for public art and arts experiences that will connect downtown Sacramento and the Washington District of West Sacramento by creating pedestrian-friendly pathways linking art, entertainment, employment and recreation with new residential development along the Sacramento riverfront.
Washington is the City’s oldest established residential neighborhood (subdivided in 1865) with roots in the California gold rush. The District is ripe with potential for sustainable, mixed-use development due to its waterfront location, historic mixed-use character, heritage trees, charming historic bungalows, and proximity to state and corporate jobs centers.
In 2015, the City of West Sacramento completed a layered Sustainable Community Strategy for developing the 194-acre urban mixed use Riverfront neighborhood, with extensive participation and input from residents and stakeholders in the District. The Plan (Washington Realized) links land use, transportation, parks, quality housing and other needs of current and future residents, and identifies future improvements to the neighborhood.
The mobility, circulation and parks policies provided in Washington Realized address the role of art in facilitating and promoting non-vehicular travel modes. Art improvements are incorporated as essential features within streetscape, bicycle, pedestrian improvements to increase traffic in underutilized corridors, activate the public realm, serve as way finding and create identity. In addition, strategically placed art installations are intended to create destinations, encouraging residents and visitors to walk and bicycle.
In addition, Sacramento and West Sacramento are partnering on several transportation improvements that will enhance connectivity across the River between the Washington District and downtown Sacramento including construction of a street car, a new bridge connecting Sacramento’s Railyard District with C Street in Washington and the conversion of the historic I Street Bridge deck to a bicycle pedestrian facility.