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Deceptive map for the West Davis Active Adult Community (WDAAC) Project

CourtesymapAny complex project will have its pros and cons, so voters need accurate information in order to be able to properly assess them.  The “courtesy map” included in an article about the project in today’s Davis Enterprise, presumably provided by WDAAC project proponents, works against this purpose.  It is extremely misleading.

Looking at the map provided, you’d think it would be just a short hop from the WDAAC to the Marketplace shopping center, where there is a supermarket, a drug store, restaurants, and other useful businesses.  Of course, this would be desirable if it were true.  But it isn’t true.

The Google satellite map shows the real story.  Highway 113, just a thin line on the courtesy map, is a wide freeway, together with on-ramps and off-ramps (not shown on the courtesy map at all) on either side.  Pedestrians will have to cross the distance of the highway and the on- and off- ramps. 

Googlemap Also, Sutter Davis hospital, depicted as a thin rectangle on the courtesy map, is actually quite wide.  The Marketplace is likewise shown with a much smaller footprint than it actually has.  (In small print, the courtesy map does admit "map not to scale").

Just to travel along Covell Blvd from the WDAAC to the Marketplace – not counting traveling through the project or through the Marketplace – is about a half a mile. 

Now, maybe that would be fine for some future residents.  Maybe they will think of that as close.  But many would not see carrying groceries for over a half a mile (perhaps well over half a mile, depending on location within the community) as being close or convenient.  Yet the courtesy map would make you think that the Marketplace was close and convenient, as would project proponents' technically correct but misleading description on their website, "three blocks away."

None of this is by itself an argument against the WDAAC.  Again, the project has pros and cons.  But in weighing the pros and cons, voters deserve to have an accurate picture of how convenient (or inconvenient) the location is.

Not a deceptive one.


Roberta L. Millstein

Note: I am posting the following comments at the request of Dave Taormino:


In response to your comment regarding the Davis Enterprise article in Sunday's paper, here are the facts.

1. We didn't directly give the map to the Enterprise.

2. The map is a copy from our brochure cover (see attached).

3. Our map says, "MAP NOT TO SCALE". The faded printing in the Enterprise did not show those words.

4. Our map is solely to show where our project is located and the nearby available services. It's a miniaturization of a portion of West Davis, so that those who live elsewhere in Davis know where the proposed neighborhood is located.

5. You will notice the West Davis Active Adult Community parcel is shown bigger than Sutter-Davis, which is accurate.

6. Also, notice our detailed explanation next to the map. For the Record, Davis typical City blocks range from 600-800 lineal ft. We used the word "block" because it is an easier way to imagine distance and it's correct.

I hope that you will correct your comments publicly.


Dave T.

Roberta L. Millstein

Dave, thank you for your response to my article.

Thank you for the clarification that you did not provide the map to the Enterprise. I thought that is what "courtesy map" (or the more common "courtesy photo") meant. But perhaps I am wrong, or perhaps the Enteprise was supposed to ask you for permission and neglected to do so.

I notice that the map isn't just on your brochure; it's also on the from page of the website for the project, here: . That webpage states that the WDAAC would be three blocks away from the Marketplace. The implication from the map plus that "three block" claim is that the Marketplace would be close to the WDAAC. As I note in my article, I disagree that this is close, at least for walking purposes, and I think it's important to note the on- and off-ramps that the pedestrian would have to cross (not shown on the map).

Perhaps it was not your intention to be misleading, but then, I didn't say it was your intention. The map is misleading regardless of whether you intended it to be misleading. I had noted in my article above that the map says "not to scale," but even on the website, those words are smaller and lighter in color than everything else on the map. They are easy to miss.

I also still think that your "three block" claim is misleading. For example, using downtown blocks (the blocks that we are all most familiar with) from C Street to F Street is about 0.2 of a mile. From 1st Street to 4th Street is about 0.3 of a mile. When one is carrying groceries, the difference between those distances and the distance that one would have to travel between WDAAC and the Marketplace (which will be more, perhaps a lot more than 0.5 mile).

Thank you again for the reply. I do think it is important to discuss these issues and for people to hear from all sides.

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