City Releases Golden 1 Center Traffic Plan

SACRAMENTO -- The building itself is almost up, but the build-up of anxiety over traffic around the Golden 1 Center is rolling along.

"Adding another lane would probably be what we really need, but I don't think there's going to be space for it," said Valerie Green, a commuter.

Thursday the city released its final plan for traffic going into this fall's event season but admits it likely won't be the same plan coming out.

"The great thing is that it's a living document. It's going to be nimble. We know it's going to be better on October 5 than it was on October 4, and it's going to be better than at the beginning of October," said Ken Bernard with the city of Sacramento.

The city's hope is that commuters like Green won't be impacted by closures and congestion because events at the new arena will be scheduled to start later, at 7:30 p.m., after downtown workers have had a chance to get out.

There will be road closures for events of 10,000 people or more. The closures will go into effect 60 minutes before an event, and there will be different closures in effect 30 to 45 minutes after.

While you might expect streets immediately around the area to be closed, in both phases Third Street is affected too.

"Third Street we know from a lot of events we hold in Old Sac, it's a shorter street, and we typically close off Third Street for large events because we know allowing people to turn down Third towards Old Sac can cause issues onto J Street," said Captain Justin Eklund of the Sacramento Police Department.

What nobody knows, right now, is how it's all going to work.

"I'm trying to decide if I'm going to go back to mass transit, because right now, as they are still working on the arena, it's taking me longer to get downtown that just a month ago," Green said.

City planners may be counting on exactly that -- the robust mass transit presence in downtown offers one of the best options to lessen the congestion during big events.