Proposed Whitelock Parkway Interchange to Affect Elk Grove Park; Strauss Island in Peril?

December 8, 2013 | On the consent calender of this Wednesday's Elk Grove City Council meeting is an item that could affect the Elk ...

December 8, 2013 |

On the consent calender of this Wednesday's Elk Grove City Council meeting is an item that could affect the Elk Grove Regional Park and possibility the city's sole annual cultural events that attracts regional visitors.

According to item 8.16 the city will enter into a cooperative agreement with the Caltrans to begin planning on a proposed interchange located at Highway 99 and Whitelock Parkway. The report says the interchange is needed to help relieve traffic congestion on Elk Grove Blvd. and to accommodate planned development.

Along with new housing and the Southeast Policy Area, the new interchange has been frequently cited in discussions regarding the city's proposed aquatics center and waterpark. City Council members have expressed confidence that an aquatics center and waterpark will help transform Elk Grove into a tourist destination drawing tens-of-thousands annual out-of-town visitors.

A review of the map included in the report for item 8.16 shows the proposed interchange would affect the northwest corner of the Elk Grove Regional Park. It appears the proposed interchange area would encroach on a portion of the park used to stage the city's sole annual cultural event, the Strauss Festival.

Wednesday's meeting starts at 6 p.m.

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Anonymous said...

The use by our city of the Consent Calendar for items that should be up for community discussion has become all too common lately. IMO it should only be used for items that implements an earlier Council action or requires only routine review by the Council. This hardly falls under that definition and should be removed and placed on a FUTURE agenda for public REVIEW AND comment.

Sarah Johnson said...

I agree, this should NOT be a Consent item. The impact on the Regional Park has always been a big concern. This should be figured out BEFORE going forward. WHEN WILL THIS CITY LEARN???????????

35th Safest City in the U.S. said...

Wonder what this will cost us, since the County owns the park? Wonder how the residents and visitors to our "destination city" will enjoy the park once the interchange and noise are taken into account. Probably the same as the Madeira residents will enjoy the waterpark (oops, aquatic complex) noise they are helping to pay for with their annual tax assessments.

Anonymous said...

This is absurd that this City Council wants to put an item like this on a consent item. Shame on them for not bringing this topic to the community for input and to openly discuss the potential impacts on this regional and community treasure. The residents before us fought to protect this park and preserve it for our future generations to enjoy. Elk Grove Park is currently the only big attraction that draws in people from the region. I find it silly that they would plan a freeway that negatively impacts this beautiful park to make it easier for people to drive to the imaginary water park that the community never asked for.

Anonymous said...

Just another reason this city is sliding down the tubes and will be like an extension of South Sac.

Jill said...

It would be very sad if the city plows over Strauss Island for an interchange. Disappointing that the city is not getting community input on this proposal. But then again, when they do, it goes in one ear and out the other.

Anonymous said...

This will be major traffic relief for Elk Grove. I quit going to the 4th of July show years ago. You have to wait two hours to get out of there. The Boulevard is a cluster. Forward thinking Elk Grove; way to go!

BAInc said...

Strauss Island is not in peril. You all need a better map. West Stockton may need to be moved slightly to the East but they won't be filling in the lake nor will it have much of an impact on Strauss Island.

I would hope the proposed interchanged would allow for traffic to access Hwy 99 from the East only. This would also mean no vehicle traffic to East Stockton or Elk Grove Park. Perhaps a ped/bike bridge could continue to the park.

There's already a huge amount of housing developments, office parks, and retail that's been built, approved, or planned in Madeira and the SEPA and only having access to Hwy 99 at Grantline and EG Blvd is not enough. It's nearly 3 miles between the two existing interchanges. All those looking to go north of put on EG Blvd and it already can't handle the traffic.

Build and interchange at Whitelock properly (not a full interchange) and this will benefit Elk Grove as a whole including Elk Grove Park and Strauss Island.

Jill said...

BAInc, I certainly hope you are correct. I agree traffic is quite problematic in that area and needs relief.

Having said that, if you zoom in on the map, in its current configuration, Whitelock would run right into the Strauss Island area of the park. Unless Whitelock takes a big curve to the north or the south, it will affect the northwest corner of the park or the neighborhood. Unless you are privy to some insider information BA, (or are a Caltrans engineer) I am not sure how the interchange WOULD not affect the park regardless of what direction it takes.

Lynn said...


Thank you for your above post. I think BAInc must be someone who has the insider information and is allowed access to the transparency the rest of us are unaware of. BAInc is absolutely correct about the huge amt of housing developments that are approved and will be approved. The SEPA in its "hybrid form is more than 50% housing; way to go in correcting the job:housing imbalance. Maderia is no longer a diamond(gem) but a cheap imitation whose value is plummeting. Can you imagine owning one of the future homes that will be right up against the "Roseville type water park"? Why should our leaders think of those living here when they are trying to make it a destination city for tax revenue. They have to increase the revenue with the way they give our money away. As we need more police officers to protect the "destination city" where will the money come from when the police budget as it stands is 65% of our general fund, what happens when our police officer grants dry up(which I hope they never do)? So now the last area to be ruined; what currently exists. If our general plan did not include traffic as an "overriding consideration" our city would not be in this state. But, leaders will blame the county and the economy...why not? It is much easier to pass the blame then accept responsibility on the way to the empire building.

Award Winning Overpass said...

Found this excerpt in the General Plan: "CI-11 Action 2 A new Whitelock Parkway
interchange, as shown on Figure CI-2, may
be considered by the City Council in the
future. Any interchange in this general
location shall be designed to minimize
impacts to the Elk Grove Regional Park as
well as other assets to the fullest extent
possible. Consultation with CalTrans, the
Cosumnes Community Services District, and
other stakeholder groups shall be
conducted prior to approval of any
interchange design.

My friends, the playbook was scripted back in 2003 when the General Plan was adopted. Minimizing impacts to park to the fullest extent possible when you are dealing with Caltrans is like saying engineers are flexible creative people! If we believe this, they have a strucuturally sound Bay Bridge to sell us!

BAInc said...

Please, I'm no insider nor Cal Trans engineer. I am however an involved citizen that loves researching maps, traffic, developments, and history of road development. Just ask my wife when we're driving somewhere and I talk about where this road was before, etc. :-)

It's only reasonable to have access to/from Whitelock to Hwy 99 but not to EG Park or even East Stockton. There's no need to go that direction. Make this interchange N/B onramp and S/B exit only and there would be little impact to EG Park. Yes, there would be "some" impact but not "in peril" as the headline of this article would suggest.

Anonymous said...

I think a clearer map would help to see if there would be any impact on the park. What does Sacramento County who owns the property think of this? How about the Historical Society and the CSD. I have a hard time believing that all these agencies agreed it would be a good idea to build a freeway interchange that goes into Elk Grove Park.

Will Elk Grove residents and parks supporters take a stand against this project?

Anonymous said...

Can we get some freeway signs at this offramp too? Say Mickey D and Grace Coffee Roasters!

Anonymous said...

OK..back to the original concern. Why is this item on the consent calendar? Seems that public input/concern does exist and the consent calendar is supposed to be for non-controversial items. This item does not seem to qualify. Please take this off the agenda and bring in the light of day, fellas.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anon. 9:00. This should definitely be removed from the consent calendar.

Anonymous said...

Folks, I believe you've worked yourselves into a lather for no reason.

Please consider:
1) As stated by a previous comment, this overpass is contained within the General Plan.

2) Stripping back all the jargon, the purpose of 8.16 is to pay for CALTRANS to prepare a Project Study Report / Project Development Support (PDR/PDS).

3) According to the CALTRANS Development Procedures Manual (see Ref A below), the PDR/PDS does the following:

-Defines the purpose and need for the project,
-Gets input from stakeholders,
-Systematically collects and analyzes existing information,
-Identifies alternatives,
-Develops a plan of action to deliver the project, and
-Estimates the project cost and schedule.

Conclusion: What is there to discuss? It is consistent with the General Plan and authorizes the type of research and discussion you want to have. You're getting spun up for no reason.

Ref A: (Page 9-5,

Connie said...

I question why this is happening more often of late. There was an uprising years back with the original council constantly putting matter that were “not ordinary and routine< on the consent calendar. When changes were made, putting important matters on the consent calendar ceased. Now this behavior is back. I question why that is.

Many of us who supported the current council would often tell them that their job is not only to deliberate, but to educate. “You don’t question what you understand.”

I am of the opinion that if one citizen of this city asks that the item be pulled for discussion, it should be and questions answered.

I am sure I am not alone here in asking that this consent item be pulled and that we citizens get more substantial information and reasoning straight from the dais.

Anonymous said...

Connie, I would suggest that the council's responsibility is to deliberate and the staff's responsibility is to educate.
In accordance with the law, these proceedings have been announced and detailed in advance of the meeting.
The council meetings aren't the place to educate, they are the place to deliberate.
Particularly with this item, it is consistent with the general plan and simply initiates a study for further discussion / deliberation... Something the staff should be able to explain.
Now, if staff is unwilling or unable to explain ahead of the meeting - well, then we have a DIFFERENT problem! :)

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