Statement from the Sierra Club concerning tree cutting at Sutter
New Petition to fix Mace Mess reaches 700 Signatures


67417B2B-838E-48ED-8289-0539B771DC52An online petition is being circulated regarding traffic safety in the Cannery development. As of this post it has garnered 133 signatures in just a few days.

You can view or sign the petition here.

The petition reads as follows:

The current traffic conditions in the Cannery are dangerous, and we need increased traffic safety measures implemented as soon as possible. We have many children and elderly residents who do not currently feel safe in their own neighborhood, and there have been recent accidents and near-misses due to the lack of adequate traffic safety measures currently in place. 

Areas of special concern we would like to see:

  • Stop signs at Blanchard & Vine (currently a four-way intersection with no stop signs)
  • Stop signs at Spring & Kaneko (currently a four-way intersection with no stop signs)
  • Cannery Loop: Speed limit signs, stop signs, and/or speed bumps (currently no safety measures in place)
  • Pedestrian crosswalks: increased safety measures (e.g., flashing lights)
  • Engineering and traffic survey throughout the Cannery, as there are numerous other safety concerns throughout the neighborhood that the City needs to evaluate

Thank you for your consideration and prompt attention to this matter.


Todd Edelman

Clearly the transportation infrastructure at and for the Cannery is a mess - from the formally- and technically-botched grade-separated crossing of Covell, the lack of connection with North Davis even by bicycle, the mentioned internal street issues and related to all of that but mostly the latter point - the close proximity of parking to most residences; You can't have your cake and it, too -- the most valuable unheeded lesson in Davis transportation. There's always going to an issue when cars are designed for such convenience.

There are positives, of course: No one can drive straight through the Cannery to other areas, and some of the streets are quite narrow. Narrow is one of the best safety designs.

Of course none of the negatives should be blamed on the residents of this tomato of a development. But they could demand some internal bus stops!

Stop signs seem like a good solution to many, but they're expressly not for controlling speed, only intersections. They are a lose-lose-lose in most situations; They create stopping for no reason much of the time, creating frustration, unnecessary emissions... and a tendency to speed to the next stop sign. Intersections need controls, yes. But I suggest people take a look - using Google Streetview - around many of the cities in Germany or the Netherlands. No stop signs will be found, for the most part. Intersections are controlled by priority only, with yields. It's what we do here in Davis on a lot of local streets as well, but without markings and yield signs... not always the best ideas as people opt for stop signs when problems start to happen. Oh, and not just yields, but tight curves and narrowness and things make it impossible to travel quickly

The Cannery is small enough that design speeds of 5 mph on alleys, 10 mph on small streets and 15 mph on the largest streets will not prevent anyone from enjoying ice cream driven home from Nugget. That brings up another point: What's the bicycle modal share from the Cannery to close and distant points in Davis? I don't blame the residents if it's not that high, as connections in absolutely zero directions are good. The way by bike to North Davis Elementary , Davis High School and so on is an absurd joke.... so close and yet so far.

It's great that you've got well over 100 signatures supporting safety in the Cannery! But my advice to not only start with a traffic survey, but to wait until the City of Davis hires a new senior civil engineer with expertise in transportation. It doesn't have one now, hasn't for four years, but recently budgeted for it again. The person who does most of the work now is a junior engineer, supported by a other staff. Nothing against them, except they're not the Dr Fauci we need to truly be a leading and equitable city in the area of transportation.

Alan C. Miller

Old East has been asking for traffic calming since before the 5th Street road changes (which I and others, not all, supported). We are now getting a stop sign after nearly a decade, which is a shitty, cheap solution. It's not traffic calming so much as a patch and a thrown bone focusing on an intersection with accidents. When we've inquired with the City, we are in line with 80 projects, and not really a line, more like a grab bag. So pardon, new subdivision people. Get in the back of the line. When there's no money for real solutions, it's neighborhood vs. neighborhood and pant like a good puppy when a red octagon on a stick is OK'd by 'the man'.

Darell Dickey

Todd and Alan make great points. And it goes to show how we keep making the same mistakes over and over.

I agree that the transportation infrastructure in the Cannery was implemented in a clumsy, generous-to-drivers way that compromised on quality of life for the sake of convenient motor vehicle use. Because that’s just how we do things in Davis. If the answer is more stop signs and speed bumps, then the wrong question is being asked.

The Cannery is a new development in Davis. How did we so recently accept yet another bad designs in our town? Many of us suggested significant improvements to the transportation design of this new community. And nothing came of it but anger, conflict and ill-will. Even the few thoughtful aspects of the original plan managed to fall through the cracks and not be implemented. This was billed as a farm-to-fork community with world-class connectivity for active transportation. Every brochure included people on bikes with their baskets full of fresh produce. Blissfully carefree and car-free. And now the complaint is: People drive too fast on the mostly too-wide roads that lead to tons of parking at each individual dwelling.

There is no way to escape the cars in the Cannery. And while putting a bandaid on it today by stuffing in more signs and bumps might make us feel better, we need to figure out how to prevent this from happening in the future….again and again. Apathy in transportation design is not acceptable. Reacting AFTER construction no longer cuts it. Let’s put more effort into getting the next one right as we slowly repair the mistakes we’ve made in the past.

Stops signs and speed bumps are not the answer.

Ron O

Other than a place like San Francisco, it is naive to believe that the use of vehicles is going to be "engineered out" of developments. Especially in regard to a development that is designed for families. Families rely upon vehicles - more so than any other cohort.

The Cannery is exactly what one would expect, in a (primarily) single-family dwelling development. But it was also constrained by the size/shape of the property.

Spring Lake is another example of the type of housing that appeals to local families. So is Mace Ranch, Wildhorse, and Lake Alhambra (albeit the latter for those with more resources).

In regard to Darrell's comment (regarding folks on bicycles with baskets of fresh produce), another word for that is "marketing b.s." Here's some more for you, if you're interested:

But let's not "pretend" that there's going to be a development that appeals to families (in particular), which doesn't result in more vehicles and traffic.

As a side note, when the city eliminated the northbound "right-turn" lane onto Covell from J Street, it created problems, not solutions. It is far more difficult (and feels more dangerous) to make a right turn on a red light, as a result.

"Punishing drivers" is not a solution, nor does it actually work to discourage vehicle use. It just makes life worse.

All of the bicycle advocates in Davis rely upon vehicles, as well. Even those who don't drive at all - in the form of deliveries, deliveries to homes/businesses, etc.

Ron O

Perhaps it should be noted that the link included in the comment above does not show any direct connection between that business, and The Cannery. However, I do "like" the reference regarding what "Progressive Homeowners Can Learn" from The Cannery. Makes me laugh, at least.

I'm more uncomfortable about any partnership/relationship between "The Center for Land-Based Learning" and developers. So, I decided to search for information regarding that. Turns out that they're no longer associated with The Cannery:

"The Center for Land-Based Learning relinquished its lease on the Cannery Urban Farm in August of 2020."

So, what is it now? A weed patch? (Haven't looked at it, recently.)

As a side note, I almost think it should be "illegal" to name a development for what it replaced, whether it's a cannery, a ranch, farm, etc. :-)

Darell Dickey

In reply to Ron:

Proper transportation design and planning makes our public streets better for ALL uses. Driving, busing, delivery, bicycling, walking (catch-all for all human-transportation), playing, eating, living.

This is not an either-or proposition. Nor has any of the commenters implied that cars should somehow be banned from the Cannery. The Dutch incorporate all sorts of driving, and their bicycle infrastructure is one of the best in the world (as long as "best" means most practical, most comfortable and safest). The Netherlands is the best place to ride a bike AND to drive a car. So there's no need to make this an us-or-them argument. It is NOT a zero-sum game. And trying to make it so just holds us back.

The single best way to make streets better for drivers is to give everybody excellent options to not use a car. And we simply don't do that.

Ron O

I understand, Darrell.

But I don't think Davis can do so in isolation to all that's around it. And even within Davis - what do people actually use, for the most part? Even with the availability of bike paths? (I'm also referring to students - when they're not traveling to campus, at least.)

Who (exactly) is willing to brave the weather, the inability to carry items, the need to travel to one's employment (e.g., in Sacramento) etc.? A minority at best - and one that is probably decreasing overall. Not to mention visitors to those residences.

I've heard that about The Netherlands (in general), but don't know enough about the entire situation to comment on it.

I can tell you that (most) people in general are pretty determined, when it comes to having/using cars. Or to paraphrase Charlton Heston, you'll have to remove the steering wheel from their "cold, dead hands".

In general, I would also disagree regarding a "zero-sum" game, since bicycles, cars, and pedestrians generally HAVE TO share the same (limited) space. And lately, it's been the car drivers who have been forced to "give" - even when there's nobody actually using bicycles. Essentially, a "build it and they (won't) come" approach, to paraphrase "Field of Dreams".

See the SACOG-funded "Mace Mess" for an example of that.

And speaking of "Field of Dreams", it seems that this applies to The Cannery's "urban farm".

It's well-past time to acknowledge that development = cars. If you don't believe that, I can point to a (5,000-plus?) parking-spot peripheral development that was recently proposed, adjacent to a freeway.

In regard to my online friend (Alan Miller's) comment, now we'll know who to "blame" if a stop sign or some other "traffic calming" device suddenly appears on an arterial street in old East Davis. (Just kidding, sort of.) :-)

But the only people who would care about "traffic calming" within The Cannery itself are those who live there. Hell, they can put stop signs in the middle of each block, for all anyone else cares about that. They're the ones who would need a half-hour to get out of there each day - especially those in the more-expensive houses, near the back-end of that development. Well, let's just hope that they're "progressive-enough" to tolerate that. :-)

Too bad this wasn't all considered and paid for when it was designed, and are now asking the city or some other entity to pay for it, I assume. I guess that cars and traffic weren't "understood" 10 years ago? (Sarcasm intended.)

Todd Edelman

Ron O, about "The Netherlands"... I recommend you spend some time in the weeds at the following website:

Ron O

Thanks, Todd.

I've suddenly realized that I'm going to have to tone-down my "Vanguard" style of commenting, on this blog. I'm so accustomed to put forth comments in the manner which "fits" that blog that I've probably lost track of how to be constructive.

Roberta L. Millstein

Thanks, all. This was a really high level discussion and I got a lot out of it.

Colin Walsh

One other thing to consider about the Cannery infrastructure dilemma is that the Cannery home owners pay Mello Roos Community Facilities District Taxes that were approved on a 3-2 vote of the City Council in 2015. These amount to a $21 million dollar boost to the Cannery infrastructure. It's my understanding that the Cannery has the highest taxes in Davis. So were did the money go?

It is also interesting to consider that a Mello-Roos tax can only be implemented with a 2/3 vote of voters in the assessment district, but the Cannery CFD was able to be approved by the council because at the time, there were no residents in the Cannery yet. One has to wonder how the current Cannery residents would vote if the CFD was on the ballot today.

My guess is they would at least want a couple of stop signs out of the deal.

Todd Edelman

Colin: Wow thanks about the Mello Roos thing. I had no idea...

As far as stop signs go... they can help acquire some for the Museum of Old School Infrastructure...

Alan C. Miller

At $21 million, Mello-Roos isn't mellow, Ruth.

And that's our Davis tax joke of the day (not counting the taxes themselves)

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