Re-Envision West Arden Arcade

Project Logo
The Sacramento County Office of Planning and Environmental Review (PER) was awarded a Caltrans Sustainable Communities Grant to prepare a Sustainable Communities and Complete Streets Plan for West Arden Arcade. During the 16-month planning process the County and its consultant, Toole Design Group will work with the community to generate ideas and concepts to create safer and more appealing walking, rolling, bicycling, and driving conditions in West Arden Arcade. ​

What's New 

​​ Project Timeline Timeline - Spring Project Starts; Summer Discovery Charrette (8/3-8/6); Fall/Winter Design Charrette (TBD); Spring 2021 Adopt

What is the Project Goal? 

The goal is to create implementable design concepts and a West Arden Arcade area plan that addresses transportation and land use considerations with a lens for economic development, equity, and environmental sustainability at a community scale.

Where is West Arden Arcade? 

The project area is bounded by Cottage Way on the north, Northrop Avenue on the south, Howe Avenue on the west, and Watt Avenue on the East. Anyone who lives, works, plays, travels through, or visit​s the West Arden Arcade is encourage to participate. Nearby neighborhoods, businesses, community organizations, or anyone else with an interest in the area is also welcome to join us!​

Map of Project Area - South of Cottage Way, North of Northrop, West of Watt Avenue and East of Howe Avenue

Discovery ​Workshop ​

On August 3-6, 2020, the project team led a virtual discovery workshop (charrette) to engage with the community and develop initial design concepts focused on street design and development opportunities. During the discovery workshop, planners and designers immersed themselves in the West Arden Arcade community, hosted four public meetings, conducted numerous stakeholder interviews (also known as listening sessions), and developed initial complete street design concepts and recommendations based on community feedback. 

The project team engaged with residents from the study area and vicinity, business owners, advocacy groups, and school groups. Over 50 participants were part of the August 3, 2020 public session and attendance remained strong throughout the three subsequent public sessions. During the four-day process, participants shared their experiences, their likes and dislikes, and what they hoped to see improved in the study area. Common themes emerged and were utilized in developing the initial design concepts discussed during the fourth public session on August 6, 2020. 

What we heard: 

  • ​​The study area is diverse and we want to not only celebrate this diversity, but also continue to encourage it​. 
  • The streets in the study area are not comfortable or safe for those who walk, roll, or ride.
  • The local famil​y-owned business are an important asset to be retained.
  • Streets could provide an opportunity to create a sense of place and identity for the community.
  • Connections to and through the community are important; the study area is one part of a greater Arden Arcade area and we need to keep that in mind.
  • Current development feels like it could be anywhere; future development could better reflect the community and create opportunities for housing and retail variety.

With this feedback, the design team kept the following “design directives" in mind as they developed streetscape concepts and development opportunities:

  • Create a greater sense of community identity.
  • Consider safety for all modes.
  • Celebrate all of our community.
  • Consider the history of the Arden Arcade, and look toward the needs of the future.​

The design team developed street concepts for ten major streets in the area as well as community and neighborhood “nodes” at key locations. The draft concepts are available in the August 6th presentation available here.​

Recordings from the public meetings: 

  • Opening Presentation and Discussion // August 3rd 5:00-7:00 PM

On Monday (August 3, 2020), the project team kicked off the first night presentation of the Re-Envision West Arden Arcade Charrette (also known as a design workshop) and small group activity. It was a fantastic start to the week with over 50 participants attending. As part of the meeting, participants engaged in a virtual small group activity where everyone reviewed maps together, discussed likes and dislikes, and recorded participant feedback on virtual boards. 

Click to watch the presentation and learn more about the project, basic design principles of complete streets, and to hear what participants shared. ​

  • Mid-Charrette Update & Public Input // August 4th 4:00-5:00 PM  
On Tuesday (August 4, 2020), the project team provided a shortened version of the first night's presentation and provided additional opportunities for participant discussion. 

Click to watch the meeting and hear the items discussed. 
  • Virtual Open Studio // August 5th 3:00-5:00

On Wednesday (August 5, 2020), the project team welcomed the community to join the virtual studio, to learn more about what participants had said, and to get a sneak peak of preliminary design ideas for corridors and destinations throughout the study area. 

Click to watch the meeting and hear the items discussed.

  • Closing Presentation and Discussion // August 6th 5:00-6:30​ 

​On Thursday (August 6, 2020), the project team closed the charrette with a presentation on some initial “starter ideas” to advance multimodal conditions along key corridors and opportunities to enhance the neighborhood character at key nodes throughout the study area. At the conclusion of the presentation, there was small group discussions where participants encouraged the design team to continue to refine the ideas and ways to address community concerns. 

Click to watch​ the meeting and hear the items discussed. 


Design Workshop

On October 5-8, the project team led a virtual design workshop to engage further with community members and refine the “starter ideas" created during the Discovery Workshop (August 3-6). Streetscape and redevelopment ideas were further refined during this time. The project team hosted two public sessions as well as a Community Advisory Committee meeting to refine recommendations based on public input. Roughly 20 community members and community organization representatives participated in the workshops and shared their feedback on street cross-sections, redevelopment concepts, and proposed spot treatments.

Flyers were made available for this event in EnglishArabicFarsi (Persian), PashtoRussian and Spanish

What we heard:  

  • West Arden Arcade is diverse, family-friendly community and those values should be clear in streetscape and development improvements;
  • Greenery, landscaping and comfortable street furniture are critical for a vibrant and inviting walking and biking environment;
  • Community space with opportunities for youth and families to gather and recreate are needed;
  • Mixed-use development could provide much-needed housing as well as opportunities for local businesses;
  • Street improvements throughout the project area must make it safe and easy to travel within and through West Arden Arcade, no matter what mode you choose; and
  • Neighborhood streets need crossing improvements, traffic calming, and safe connections to busier arterials and important destinations.

During the design workshop, the design team developed the following materials, which are available in the October 8th Closing Presentation

  • Refinements to a starter idea for Alta Arden Expressway to better accommodate people with vision disabilities;
  • A suite of spot treatments for neighborhood streets that include high-visibility crosswalks, curb extensions, pedestrian refuge islands, traffic circles and more; and
  • Redevelopment ideas for a Town Center node at Arden Way (between Morse Avenue and Watt Avenue) and a Neighborhood Node at Fulton Avenue and Hurley Street.
​Frequently Asked Questions

​Who has been engaged to date? 

To date, we've heard from residents, business owners, property owners, and representatives of a variety of community-based organizations. We have hosted four public sessions, twelve stakeholder interviews (listening sessions), and two Community Advisory Committee meetings. The following provides an overview of the organizations who have participated in meetings. Organizations with an asterisk (*) indicate representation on the Community Advisory Committee.​ 

  • Arden Community Council
  • Arden Manor Park District
  • Breathe California Sacramento Region*
  • California Council of the Blind
  • Country Club Alliance of Neighborhoods*
  • Encina Preparatory High School
  • Fulton Avenue Association
  • Fulton El Camino Park District
  • Gateway Community Charter School
  • Greater Arden Chamber of Commerce*
  • La Familia Counseling Center*
  • Mission Oaks Park District
  • Mutual Assistance Network
  • Sacramento Area Congregations Together*
  • Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates
  • Sacramento County Bicycle Advisory Committee
  • Sacramento County Department of Transportation*`
  • Sacramento County Disability Advisory Commission*
  • Sacramento County Office of Economic Development
  • Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
  • San Juan Unified School District
  • WALKSacramento*
  • United Cerebral Palsy Sacramento 

Why this study area?

The Sacramento County Office of Planning and Environmental Review (PER) applied for and received a Caltrans Sustainable Communities Grant, which is funding this project. In order to apply for the grant, a study area needed to be defined. While the focus is on the streets within the study area, the design ideas generated during this project potentially have broad application to the greater Arden Arcade community. ​

​What is the relationship to other planning efforts in the area?

This project will set up a vision for future improvements within the project area. It has been created by reviewing and documenting previous planning efforts in the past, and looks to create one cohesive visioning document to guide future efforts.  ​​

​What does Complete Streets mean​? 

Complete Streets is a transportation policy and design approach for streets to be planned, designed, operated, and maintained to enable safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their mode of transportation. There is no singular design prescription for Complete Streets; each one is unique and responds to its community context. A complete street may include: sidewalks, bike lanes, special bus lanes, comfortable and accessible public transportation stops, frequent and safe crossing opportunities, median islands, accessible pedestrian signals, curb extensions, narrower travel lanes, roundabouts, landscaping and more.

Read more about complete streets here​.

What about gentrification? 

When communities invest in their public realm, concerns about gentification are raised. Gentrification is simply defined as the process of neighborhood change that results in the displacement of lower income residents with higher income ones. Not all design and redevelopment efforts lead to gentrification, and in fact, gentrification is often the result of numerous factors such the housing market, rapid job growth, and proximity to cultural amenities.​ We understand the concerns about gentrification are real, but we also believe all areas within the County deserve to have enjoyable, equitable streets and community destinations. Complete streets and creating destinations within the West Arden Arcade area will not lead directly to gentrification. In fact, our goal with this project is to create more equity and local opportunity by providing more people within the community ways to access the goods and services they desire and to do so by the mode they choose (e.g., by walking, rolling, bicycling, transit, or automobile). 

​​Read more about gentrification, causes, and strategies to address here and here​. ​ 

Who is the Consultant Team? 

Toole Design Group is the prime consultant for this project. They are a mission-driven, interdisciplinary consulting firm of urban designers, engineers, and planners. Their focus is on creating livable, walkable communities. Opticos Design is an architectural and land use firm. The team is led by Livable Transportation Engineer Ian Lockwood PE, and Senior Urban Designer Cindy Zerger, AICP, ASLA who is based out of the Oakland, CA office. Together Toole Design and Opticos have partnered on a number of similar efforts to address community design issues such as complete streets, strategic planning, and redevelopment.  

You can read more about Toole Design and Opticos Design​

There's More to Come! 

​Watch this space for more information about the project and additional opportunities to get involved. Your input is essential to create a plan that is representative of the community's needs.


Receive an email update when new information is available​


Contact Information​

Kristi Grabow, Associate Planner 

GrabowK@SacCounty.net​​​​






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