Trapped in Downtown Sacramento

Image result for golden 1 center

Final touches are being added to the New Golden 1 Center at 5th and J Streets in Downtown Sacramento. After more than a decade of ultimatums and threats ,the new home of the Sacramento Kings will open October 4th with a Paul McCartney Concert.

The half billion dollar venue can accommodate 17,500 for basketball and 19,200 for concerts.  The arena was constructed in an existing shopping center and located across from Macy’s. This fall, a 10 screen movie theater will open in the center in addition to new shops and restaurants.  No parking structures were built for the new arena.

180 acre Sleep Train Arena ,the former home of the Sacramento Kings offered thousands of parking spaces.  Access to Sleep Train was easy due to a  loop road and proximity to I-5 and I-80.

Access to the new arena will be challenging .Most people access Downtown ,via J Street and exit via I Street.  There will be severe delays on I-5 during events.

The Arena Vs Everything Else West of 10th Street

The city currently owns 5000 parking spaces near the arena.

When there are events at the arena, it will impact everything west of 10th street.  Parking in Old Sacramento, Amtrak, Crocker Art Gallery, and the shopping center itself which lost hundreds of parking spaces to accommodate the arena.

The difficulty of parking may have a negative impact on business when there are events at the arena.The city is asking for those attending events at Golden 1 to reserve parking spaces in advance.

Next month the city will be launching an app to use with a mobile device, and each time you use it you’ll receive a 25 percent discount. Meaning, the $15 reserved spots at public lots now will only cost you $11.25.

There are several office buildings near the arena with parking garages that are  usually empty at night and weekends, the question, is how many of those will open for events at Golden 1?

Regional Transit will be overwhelmed due to the absence of staging areas.   It is also unclear if the cash strapped system will extend its operating hours to accommodate riders.


Amtrak  has extended hours along the Capitol Corridor, the station is two blocks from the Arena.  City leaders have high hopes for the center.




Trapped in San Jose (2010)

Saturday night May 1.  I’m in downtown San Jose on Santa Clara Street looking for an freeway on ramp.    As I neared the freeway, the traffic stopped, impatient drivers began making u-turns as we inched forward, I thought to myself, there must be a traffic accident ahead, its was 10:42pm.

I have heard about grid lock, but never experienced it……  For some strange reason, cars in the right lane was inching forward.   Changing lanes was futile, there where cars in the middle of Santa Clara unable to move, and drivers in the right lane unwilling to allow other vehicles in.     As the cars inched forward,  I saw flashing lights, it was the San Jose Police, directing traffic away from HP Pavilion.  Allowing taxis and limos to turn on to a small street but forcing other cars to turn around, after 5 or so minutes it was gridlock on Santa Clara.

Suddenly there were thousands of people on both sides of Santa Clara, walking to the surrounding parking lots…  Many walking between cars.   Unable to move, I turned my engine and lights out and watched smiling Eagles concert fans walk pass me.   It was now 11.25pm.

The clouds grew smaller and the officer  started picking up the orange cones in the street.  We continued to sit,waiting for instructions, as he loaded the cones on to the hood of his car, the car to my immediate right, pulled forward and drove around the police cruiser.  the officer oblivious to the waiting cars, focused his attention to the cones.  When I pulled in front of the arena(one block away) it was 11.46pm.

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