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Hiroshima_aftermath - Metaphor for DISC II
Hiroshima_aftermath - Metaphor for DISC II By U.S. Navy Public Affairs Resources Website - http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/images/historical/hiroshima.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=91928

Today at the monthly meeting of the Bicycle Transportation and Street Safe...


Yes, the Staff of the City of Davis again botched the name of the "bicycling commission", formally the "Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission" in L'il Bastard Son of DISC I, also known as DISC II.

Just a simple typo? Yes, the name makes no grammatical sense. When I was on the Commission I tried to change it. No success. Anyway, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Staff didn't notice the repeated error in the Staff Report for DISC II.

Whatever? OK, here's the summary of DISC II in regards to transportation:

They promise:

  • To contribute to a grade-separated crossing of Mace.
  • To hire a Transportation Demand Manager, who will solve transportation stuff in the future
  • To contribute money for stuff, in the future, like "carpool lanes" (sic*) on I-80 as part of the Multi-Million Dollar Unknown Lanes Project of Caltrans District 3.

The project is placed directly on I-80: When there's no congestion, which is still much of the time, it will take 15-20 minutes door-to-door from DISC II to much of UC Davis campus, West Sacramento, and so on. Downtown. It simply has no competition.

Certainly not from cycling! The planned residential area of DISC II is simply so far cycling-wise from everything that it should have been rejected by staff. There is no connectivity promised to South Davis, including Nugget and some nice restaurants etc around it. (Seriously, does anyone from Nugget HQ ride to South Davis Nugget by bike? Ha!!) Modifications to the Mace over-crossing of the Union Pacific ROW and I-80 to make it cycling-friendly (or better) and pedestrian-tolerant are absolutely necessary even without DISC II, and very expensive, and DISC II's leaders and Staff are planning nothing about it.

Is anyone even going to walk to Target? Perhaps kids will ride bikes to schools in East Davis, because they have no other choice aside from the parental automobile ferry.

Sure, some shuttles and so forth are promised, there's that Park & Ride, people without fare-free parking or cheap parking at their destination might take transit.

DISC II is planned to impact Roads 32A and B as a way to avoid Mace, even as right now the City and County are trying to create a safe route on 32A to the Bypass for people riding bikes.

DISC can't promise anything concrete, e.g. only a study on Mace. But then it will generate enough tax revenue many years from now? For now - and we need improvements now - the City couldn't even get the developers of the project to pay for removal and replacement of the slip lanes on Mace and Alhambra. Similar for the extended stay hotel on Mace and 2nd. And in South Davis, only the part of Chiles directly fronting the new hotel has been fully re-paved. The differential in illumination is so great that after passing the hotel one can barely see the road.

For over four years the City's  had a very greasy grip on the handlebars of our collective bicycle: There's been no senior civil engineer for transportation for all of that time. During the summer the City Council finally re-authorized a new budget for this position, and finally an executive search firm will be tasked to find someone. It's unlikely they will start before spring, too late to weigh in on DISC II, five years since the last one left.

Last time DISC I came to the BTSSC I dissented on support of a list of recommendations; I was on the sub-committee that developed what turned into that. In the end I knew that e.g. "lipstick on a pig" was too weak a metaphor for the nonsense of DISC I. It's the same for DISC II.

* Caltrans doesn't know what kind of extra lane it will be.




Ron O

Todd: You are becoming (sort-of) the "resident contributor" to Davisite articles.

I like it, as you also have a sense of humor.

Roberta L. Millstein

Thanks for this, Todd. Just to elaborate on one point you make, for those who aren't steeped in the details: The promise "contribute to a grade-separated crossing of Mace" does not contain a promise or a commitment to actually build a grade-separated crossing of Mace. So, cyclists and pedestrians will have to compete with the thousands more cars that DiSC would add to Mace Blvd in order to cross the road.

As for hiring a senior civil engineer of transportation, I have as much hope for that being filled as I do for the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist position being filled (see story here: https://www.davisite.org/2018/05/martin-guerenas-statement-city-of-davis-environmental-recognition-award-2018.html). You have to wonder if certain types of expertise are simply "inconvenient" for the views of some City staff.

Todd Edelman

Ron O, thanks... but all Davisites are inherently residents, if not necessarily residential. I take pride in being mixed-use.

Alan Miller

What's with the picture of Hiroshima as a metaphor for DISC II ?

Isn't that like but way beyond when Lara Logan compared Dr. Fauci to Joseph Mengele? I mean I get your point, Lara, but sheesh.

But I'm not even sure I get your point, unless being as outrageous as possible is your shtick . . . like that scene on Family Guy where someone projectile vomits and it causes everyone else to projectile vomit.

Todd Edelman

Thanks, Alan. My point is that it's awful urban planning. It's sterile. It doesn't help the Climate. The traffic increase on Mace is only one issue.

It will be extremely automobile-dependent despite what everyone says about "bikeable" and possible shuttles and possible grade-separated crossings. I know this because I live just as far from Downtown and the university.

OK, perhaps someone who lives in Mace Ranch may ride a bike to work there; it's not so far. But then there's no safe way to get to south Davis to shop, on the way home from work. And there's no guarantee that anyone who works here will even live so close by, or want to, when West Sacramento and parts of Sac are so close by motor vehicle.

Last time around for DISC I, the mayor literally babbled a bunch of nonsense of how transportation will work here in the larger, former plan. The BTSSC may make some recommendations that will be ignored.

The planned residential area is about as far you can get this way without being in the flood zone. It's simply too far... unless there's no interest in anything but lip service to cycling and smart growth.

Zones devastated by nuclear bombs are only marginally-worse than suburbs.

Todd Edelman

The areas of Davis not close to the Pelz Bridge and all the way east to Mace - and far beyond, south of I-80 - are cut off from each other by foot and by bike. This doesn't mean that people at El Macero don't go to Target and people in the eastern part of Mace Ranch don't go to Nugget, because of course they go by car. There's one pharmacy this far east in Davis, the CVS at Target. In our cycling capital blah blah etc, people have to use a car to get their medicine -- there's also two urgent care clinics near Target.... again, on the north side of the motorized wall of I-80.

From what I have seen for the past few years with large sustainable transportation projects in Davis, the most likely way there'd be a grade-separated bike-ped facility across 80 would be through an external grant, but it took years to get one for the Olive-Pole Line connection, and that's way less complicated than what's need across 80 at Mace, and more complicated that Pelz because of the proximity of big arteries and freeway egress points on both sides. Would SACOG etc fund another crossing so soon?

The second best option would be for major financing for such a connection to come as a condition of any new nearby development, but the DISC II people have not yet promised a crossing of Mace. The City couldn't get the developers of the project with the Nugget HQ or the extended stay hotel to even remove the slip lanes adjacent to these properties.

Staff couldn't even get the name right of the BTSSC for the last meeting.... the same mistakes used in their reports for DISC I.

It's crap.

Alan Miller

"Zones devastated by nuclear bombs are only marginally-worse than suburbs."

Got it.

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