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Letter to the City Council about G St Re-Opening

The City Council will address the G Street Closure / Re-Opening tonight. It’s item 8 on the agenda if anyone is interested to chime in.  https://www.cityofdavis.org/city-hall/city-council/city-council-meetings/agendas

G st closure

Dear Mayor Partida, Davis City Council members, Liaisons and Managers,

Thank you for your attention and consideration to re-open G Street to traffic.

The city staff has published their recommendation for only a partial re-opening of G St, only one lane of traffic but the data from the DDBA’s survey contradicts their recommendation.  To their point of rescuing restaurants from failing during the Pandemic, they succeeded. It is a fact that a handful of restaurants are profiting with increased seating capacities that exceed the their TUP proposed usage. While still, retail and locally owned businesses are still teetering on closing. We’re wondering why the deadline for the street closure over shot the August 5th deadline without a word from the City. We were never asked about the street closure in the first place. I hope the City will try to help all businesses downtown from the economic effects of the pandemic to keep a diversified culture and serve the entire community. This should align with your goals for a vibrant downtown and thriving neighborhoods.

I would kindly ask the City Council review this statistical information on the advantages, disadvantages and effectiveness of full and partial street closures adapted from www.trafficcalming.org

Full closure:  Full  closures  are  barriers  placed  across  a  street  to  completed  close  the  street  to through-traffic, usually leaving only sidewalks open.

  • Advantages 
    • Are  able  to  maintain  pedestrian and bicycle access.
    • Are   very   effective   in   reducing traffic volume.
    • Might require legal procedures.
  • Disadvantages
    • Cause   circuitous   routes  for   local residents and emergency services.
    • May be expensive.
    • May limit access to businesses.

Half closure: Half  closures  are  barriers  that  block  travel  in  one  direction  for  a  short  distance  on otherwise  two-way  streets.

  • Advantages:
    • Are   able   to   maintain   two-way bicycle access.
    • Are  effective  in  reducing  traffic volumes.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Causes  circuitous  routes  for  local residents and emergency services.
    • May limit access to businesses
    • Depending  on  the  design,  drivers may   be   able   to   circumvent   the barrier.

In this data, “may limit access to businesses” is listed in the top three disadvantages for both full or partial street closure.

Opening G St to only one lane of traffic may further product another state of confusion for drivers. If downtown Davis was a systematic grid of one-way streets alternating on the alpha/numeric system this maybe a good fit - but I fear continued mayhem will ensue. We have already seen drivers miss the one way signs on the 100 block of G St and proceed the wrong way.

I endorse the DDBA’s recommendation to the City Council to reopen G Street to two way traffic. They have submitted a recommendation for two-way traffic to resume in tandem with TUP outdoor restaurant seating in the parking areas that front their business. They have made this recommendation as a collection of experienced opinions who are part of the downtown business district. This recommendation was also based on a survey of their constituents.

I would further there be a focused re-opening before the holiday shopping season which begins in only a few weeks. It is during the holiday season that retail stores like The Artery earn approximately 50% of their income for the year.

I would add that opening G St to two-way traffic and allowing restaurants outdoor dining spaces adjacent to their business will satisfy all businesses on G St in an equitable and fair way considering the present challenges as we move into 2022. We have always been supportive of other businesses on the street and can only hope we would receive the same support.

Public comments are overwhelmingly in favor of reopening to two-way traffic. Public response to a letter published in the Davisite on September 24th indicate 73% of the people think G St should be reopened to two-way traffic. 18.9% think it should be cleaned up and 8% think it’s okay as-is. It’s clear the majority of people in Davis are not happy with the street closure, either.

All downtown businesses deserve to be treated fairly and equitably. If there’s a long range plan to change the architecture and functionality of G St then please present the plan in a fair and logical way so businesses can prepare and adapt. Hastily planned, poorly implemented street closures of any kind is the certain death of retail on G St.

I sincerely hope that Davis’ city council will be clear and decisive in this matter and uphold representation of all businesses and people they represent. The demographics on the street is 2:1 retail, consulting and other business compared to restaurants and most of retail, consulting and other businesses are not in favor of a street closure of any kind.

We want to get back to business as usual.

Adele Shaw
Davis citizen and one of 65 local artist/owners of The Artery Gallery

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