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February 2022

The Yes on DiSC Campaign is Using a National Telemarketing Firm to do "Push Poll" Telephone Solicitations Disguised as Surveys

The campaign has retained Dynata, a Texas marketing firm, to repeatedly call thousands of Davis voters over and over until the phone is answered.

PushpollwordcloudBy Alan Pryor

Who is Dynata?

Numerous Davis citizens have reported receiving a "push poll" survey telephone call concerning the proposed "DiSC 2022" project from a firm headquartered in Plano, Texas whose caller ID otherwise identifies the company as "Dynata" from either Hayward or Oakland in the Bay Area. Dynata (https://www.dynata.com/) is a privately-owned online data collection company owned by two private equity firms, Court Square Capital Management and HGGC. ("DiSC 2022" is a 102-acre proposed mixed use business park that would be constructed on prime farmland outside the current City limits, just north of I-80, the Ikeda fruit stand, and the City water tank, and just east of Mace Blvd.  It will be Measure H on the June ballot).

According to their website, "Dynata, LLC... and their parents, affiliates and subsidiaries world-wide (collectively referred to hereinafter as “Dynata”) provide sampling solutions and technology for survey research, providing clients with access to consumer and business-to-business respondents via internet, telephone (both fixed/landline and wireless/mobile), postal and multi-mode methodologies."

But the firm is poorly thought of by both consumers and peers in the survey research industry.

Continue reading "The Yes on DiSC Campaign is Using a National Telemarketing Firm to do "Push Poll" Telephone Solicitations Disguised as Surveys" »


Davis Pride Festival set for June

RobinFadtkeFest2021
Festival goers enjoy the Davis Pride Festival on June 13, 2021. (Robin Fadtke/Courtesy photo)

(From press release) The rainbows return to Davis’ Central Park in June for the Davis Pride Festival. Events include skating, a fun run, live music, drag queens, vendors and more – June 11 and 12.

The weekend of events, produced by the Davis Phoenix Coalition, begins with the Diva Disco Skate Night, starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 11 under the Davis Farmers Market Pavilion. The night will include music, lights and food trucks.

Sunday, June 12 begins at 8 a.m. with the Run for Equality, a 5K run or walk from Central Park, and a 1K Rainbow Run for children. At 11 a.m., the Davis Pride Festival begins at the park and pavilion, with local and international bands, a drag queen revue, educational booths, food, drink, and vendors in partnership with the Davis Craft and Vintage Market.

Other events include the rainbow painting of the crosswalks around Central Park early on May 29; a Drink with Pride Night at Sudwerk Brewing Company (date to be determined); and possibly a Bike Party Davis Ride with Pride.

June is International LGBTQ+ Month. Davis Pride is produced by Davis Phoenix Coalition, a nonprofit that works to foster diversity, eliminate intolerance, prevent hate-motivated violence and support LGBTQ+ youths. The coalition was founded in the aftermath of a 2013 anti-gay attack on Davis resident “Mikey” Partida. Proceeds from Davis Pride support the coalition’s anti-racism and anti-bullying campaigns, support to LGBTQ+ youths and their families, and outreach with area police departments, churches and schools. To donate, go to https://davisphoenixco.org/donate.

To support the event, be a vendor, volunteer, visit https://www.davispride.org/. To learn more details as they unfold, follow Davis Pride on Facebook and Instagram.


Unitrans Turns 54

Campus and City Bus System Celebrating 54 Years in the Community

54thAnniversaryFlyer00001 54thAnniversaryFlyer00002(From press release) ASUCD Unitrans, the City of Davis and UC Davis local bus service, is turning 54 on Friday, March 4! To celebrate, Unitrans is running one of our vintage London double decker buses on a special, free campus to downtown lunch shuttle from 11 AM to 1 PM. In addition, Unitrans will host refreshments and giveaway items outside at the Memorial Union Bus Terminal from 11 AM to 1 PM. At noon, to celebrate our community's transit legacy, all three functioning vintage London double decker buses and two new modern double deckers will "parade" through downtown on 2nd and 3rd Streets from the Memorial Union Bus Terminal. The vintage buses have not been in service since March 2020 and Unitrans has used the last two years to refurbish and repaint the buses. Unitrans hopes to reintroduce the vintage buses into limited service in spring 2022.

https://unitrans.ucdavis.edu/news/2022-02-22/unitrans-turns-54-celebrate-with-us-on-friday-marc/


Four Car Washes Near 80 & Mace?

Car wash center sign
Poorly-Photoshop'd modification of "Davis Auto Center" sign on Chiles next to I-80

I have been engaged for a couple of weeks on the subject of the proposed car wash at 480 Mace (at Cowell Blvd.), and have written about it.

I am not sure when the following items appeared on the City's website, but I see now that there's also a plan for a "new service station, a convenience store and carwash, a separate retail building, and related site improvements" at 4810 Chiles AND to "maintain the existing carwash [and] construct a new 2,832 square-foot convenience store" and implement related features at 4480 Chiles, which already has a car wash.

My concerns are:

1) The public notification and project documents for the 480 Mace proposal make no mention of the simultaneous process for 4810 Chiles, for which Mr Njoku says he's aiming a hearing on March 23, 2022, though I believe Sherri Metzger said at the PC meeting tonight that this was not guaranteed - nor for 4480 Chiles, which Mr Lee says will have a hearing "soon". This is two weeks after the re-scheduled Planning Commission hearing for 480 Mace. What's the CEQA comments deadline for 4810 Chiles? The sum of this seems to be that perhaps a week before the re-rescheduled Planning Commission hearing on 480 Mace, the residents of 4735 Cowell Blvd who received the 500 ft notice that proposed car wash will receive another for the second car wash at 4810 Chiles, as will other commercial addresses within the 500 ft radius BUT significantly also the Ellington Apartments, which have their main entrance on El Cemonte, and a small shared border with 4810 Chiles. Is the 4810 Chiles applicant going to be making the same mistake as 480's in regards to a lack of outreach. (The letter about the requested continuance from the 480 Mace applicant which was shown at the PC meeting tonight thanked Staff for circulating the announcement and mentioned they were doing similar on NextDoor. Nothing else.

Car wash plan mapOn the left the two existing car washes; on the right two proposed.
Note that proposed ones are directly adjacent.

2) The Traffic Studies for 480 Mace and 4810 Chiles make no mention of each other. I had already written about my concerns for the overlap for design and signalling changes for 480 Mace proposed mitigations and the Mace Re-Design non-approved plans, and this makes me even more curious.

3) The Traffic Study for 4810 Chiles seems to show egress from NB Mace, but it's not clear if it's open, one-way etc. The Study mentions no mitigations for it.

4) The available documents for 4810 Chiles include maps which marginally at best show El Macero Village and Ellington as "Apartments", not e.g. perhaps 500 people or more within 500 ft.

5) The documentation for 480 refers to the proposed buildings having visual elements similar to those nearby, but this is not inclusive of what's proposed for 4810 Chiles, which looks objectively remarkably different (and subjectively incredibly generic and ugly.)

Circle K
Proposal for 4810 Chiles... yeah, ugh...

6) I understand the current zoning, the district plan already referred to by Staff as "out of date", but don't see how it makes sense to have a total of four car washes in close proximity to each other (three mentioned and the one behind the Chevron station at Mace and 2nd St.) and why it's been encourage or allowed to be pursued. Given the very close timing of 480 Mace and 4810 Chiles including the lack of time and effort for community input for 480 Mace, it also seems like a race. Perhaps the Planning Commission won't approve them but what if it does, because...

7) Two of the proposed car washes are so close that their vacuums - or loud stereos played by customers - may be able to be heard by visitors to the other location, and more critically by the apartment complex that lies partially directly in between them, El Macero Village Apartments, where I live, except during the times that the sound of I-80 is louder, but then this all has at least a subjective cumulative effect.

8) Fehr & Peers has done the Traffic Studies for both 480 Mace and 4810 Chiles, and also the design plans for the Mace Re-Design. For the former two they are working for the applicants and for the latter for the City (and County?). It's not clear if their work for the City for the Re-Design of Mace has been used for 480 - or also 4810 Chiles - but it seems so as in the Study for 480 they suggest mitigations for areas - namely, the intersection of Mace and Cowell - for which they've also proposed concrete design modifications at the direction of the City. Is this all perfectly normal?


Not the Road to Not Waste Water

Poor Outreach, Questionable Process, Certain Traffic Risk, Likely Noise, Unlikely to Meet Shading Goals, Possible Toxic Micro-particulates... Do Plans to Recycle Water Make this Car Wash Acceptable?

 

Wide view of proposed car wash
Curious visualization provided by the applicant: Less than 50% shading of non-planted areas, with some trees not appropriate for Davis, no dirty or clean cars... and one person riding a bike on the sidewalk.

 

The Planning Commission is holding a hearing scheduled for March 9, 2022 on the proposed Express Car wash at 480 Mace (at Cowell Blvd), and on this date it will presumably vote on recommendations for the project, which will be brought to the Council at an unspecified later date. See the above link for information about a community meeting on February 24 -- The public comment period ends today.

In my view there have been mistakes in outreach and process, and there are likely multiple negative impacts - mostly due to traffic and noise - of the proposed business at THIS location, only some which have been addressed - or mentioned at all - in the available documentation.

A significant amount of the documentation is on the subject of how the facility will re-cycle water. It's not clear why the self-identified eco-friendly City of Davis doesn't already require this of all similar facilities, nor why the project applicant was not encouraged to - or on their own - partner with one of the existing facilities less than a few minutes away - to allow an update for water-saving and the newer-style hybrid full- and self-serve car wash proposed for this site.

I've made a list of issues below to make this easier to digest, and for me to focus upon! Perhaps only some of these things bother you, perhaps some you've not considered....

I live at the other side of the apartment complex next door and have no financial interest whatsoever in this location nor this type of business.

 

Communication, Outreach, Process

+ Their documents from December promised "community outreach", yet they didn't organize it until after people complained following an article in the Davis Enterprise and a public notice sent out in early February to addresses within 500 ft of the proposed project site.

+ They did no outreach to the Pioneer Elementary School community until one was scheduled due to community pressure. It's not clear how this community has been notified about the sole meeting.

+ They've done no specific outreach to residents especially on the west side of El Macero Village next door, where at least six units are in line of sight to and close to 14 industrial vacuums that will start to be used seven days a week, and from 7AM to 7PM in the summer.

 

NooutreachMOD
A promise but nothing except under pressure - From the City of Davis website, and on there from last year (if you knew where to look) and in advance of the setting of the date hearing in the Planning Commission.

+ This was not brought to the Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission, which actually looked at the Mace Re-Design a week after the public notice about this was sent out.

+ It was not brought to the Natural Resources Commission, which would make sense to me due to its noise and even potentially positive water impacts, assuming people stop using another facility or don't wash their vehicle at home.

+ It was not brought before the Tree Commission. Though there's little being done to remove existing trees, developers do obligations for a certain amt of tree cover within a certain number of years.

 

NotconnectedwithMaceMessMOD
On February 7, 2022 Planning Staff told me " Mace Corridor Project is a separate process. This project is not directly related and will not conflict with Mace Boulevard modifications. I assume you are familiar with what is happening and know about the Feb 10 BTSSC meeting when they are scheduled to discuss the corridor.

 

Traffic Risks

+ The Traffic Study suggests mitigations within the geographical scope of the Mace Re-Design project, with a final design the Council will vote on in March, before they've had a hearing on the proposed car wash.The proposed mitigations affect the same built features and signalization equipment. Is the intention that Planning Commission will recommend changes that the Council will decide in the scope of the Mace Project, before they decide again on the same elements at the car wash hearing?

+ The Traffic Study makes no mention of the driveway of El Macero Village, which is perhaps less than 50 feet from the proposed Cowell Blvd driveway for the car wash.

+ The Study proposes multiple mitigations for traffic impacts including a left turn pocket into the car wash from EB Cowell, which is in the footprint of the current EB driving path into the El Macero Village driveway.

 

TrafficMOD1
Paths used related to the project if there are no physical modifications that prevent movements. RED is motor vehicle movements, Blue is people riding bicycles, Green is people walking. Note that movements to and from the area at the right (east), El Macero Village, were not part of the Traffic Study.

 

 

+ The Study proposes mitigations solved by staff guiding customers, signage and some hard features (which physically-restrict turn movements, etc), u-turn allowances and so, all at an already busy intersection along a Safe Route to School for children from west of Mace who attend Pioneer ES, and including a bus stop for two NB Unitrans lines. Though there seems to be significant storage space inside for vehicles to queue waiting for a wash, an overflow will go into Mace, just north of the bus stop, and along a Class II bicycle facility.

+ A local tree expert has already spoken in Council that he doubts the tree coverage plans, e.g. the visuals show shading on areas besides concrete, when only the concrete, asphalt etc counts.

NoSetBackNoTreeCover
Heat Island? Facing South towards Cowell Blvd.

 

+ My research has shown that the industrial vacuums typically used for self-service at car washes don't have HEPA filters. It's not clear if micro-particulates from vehicle cleaning will affect nearby areas, e.g. the apartments nearby. This issue is not mentioned in the project documentation.

+ Planning Department Staff told me that the South Davis Specific Plan is "out of date" yet "not formally rescinded". The links he sent me were from 1987 and earlier. Though a car wash is allowed, lots of other things are also allowed. See here,

NoSetBackDetail
Out of Code? The Davis Municipal Code requires a 25 ft set back, but in the plan - the dotted area is the eastern limit of the property - the residential district is about 15 ft from the structure. See http://qcode.us/codes/davis/view.php?topic=40-40_16-40_16_050&frames=on

+ El Macero Village, next door, is very close to I-80. Units have modernized windows, but it's very noisy it they're open. People living nearby already have this burden to deal with. There's no car wash in Davis which has multiple self-service vacuum cleaner stations located so close to so many residences, and open so early AND late. (The only roughly comparable site is Cable Car, but it opens an hour or two later and closes an hour or two earlier, depending on the season. It doesn't have 14 vacuum units, let alone 21 in total like the proposed car wash.)

+ In many places in California it's not legal to wash a vehicle in front of one's house, and in Davis only  due to the drought do we have the minimal required mitigation of a nozzle on every hose. I recall using a car wash in San Francisco in the 1990's, and pretty sure that at the time all car washes had to recycle water. Why is "Eco-Davis" so far behind in this aspect?

+ Presumably the applicant has a business case, and this "pencils out" for them and any investors. But is this accessing an untapped market (people that never wash their cars or do it at home) or will it serve people who currently use facilities elsewhere in town or nearby? If the latter, is it helping reduce lines and waits at these places, or just taking business away? Has there been a detailed study on this? It's great to have a car wash that recycles water - and I have a car, too, which I like to keep clean - but this location simply presents too many challenges and risks in noise and traffic safety and environmental degradation.

IMG_20220214_141807(1)
This is a view from the entrance area at the second story apartments to the east of the project. The applicant produced no visualizations from this point of view. The proposed wall of seven feet in height will be just a little taller than the bushes next to the fence. It's likely that some of the vacuum bays will be in view of the apartment windows, which are closer and have a different angle than this view.



I always prefer a locally-owned business when I have the choice. It's not relevant to me if they're
successful immigrants and new to the region or country or have been in town for a long time, and that's not something that the Planning Commission should find particularly relevant.

 

Zoning (and more about process...)

The area has changed a lot since 1987, it's way more built up, and Mace is now seen by many tens of thousands of people as a legit bypass of I-80, and it's not clear what the Re-Re-design will change. The proposed site is immediately next to a residential site - and from what I see the proposed set back is too short, it's about 15 ft from a structure on the east side of the lot to the residential property line - and we know a lot more about negatives of sound then we did decades ago, though the applicant says it will be just at legal limits at peaks (stereos of customers mentioned in a discussion on NextDoor were not taken into account). So just the fact that this is an industrial site right next to a residential one makes it somewhat unique, and of course wealthy people in town and City Council members don't live next door, and on top of that, the aforementioned specific conditions tell me that a lot more communication from the City and from the applicant should have been done, rather a single meeting scheduled only after people wrote the City with comments.

Perhaps it needs to be re-zoned. The world has changed since the early 1980's when zoning was sorted out for this location. Possibly for housing. New housing could have considerable mitigation for noise, with special windows, building materials and dense greenery Without any parking, which would just be a waste of space, and expensive to build underground, and to make up for not building it higher than 35 ft. The lot is roughly half the size of the lot next door, which has over 100 two and three-bedroom apartments, but also considerable space used for parking, green space and recreation areas. So perhaps up to 50 one to three bdrm apartments with a central atrium.

 

In Conclusion...

Formal problems such as an improperly limited traffic study, the over-lapping approval situation with the Mace Re-design, an apparently not enthusiastic position on community outreach, especially to most relevant elementary school, the unclear outcome of the Mace project (besides the formal overlap) and sensitivity of the area, perhaps newly realized, due to the shooting incident and collision in the past couple of weeks, tells me that we should all thank the applicant for trying to make a better car wash and create a few well-paying jobs with good insurance benefits, but to do it in another location -- perhaps working with one of the current car washes not so far away to convert it to this more modern type.

 


The Sierra Club Sues Yolo County to Demand Sensible Environmental Safeguards in Open Pit Aggregate Mining

The Sierra Club joins a lawsuit with a local citizens' group, Yolo Land and Water Defense, calling for changes in flawed Yolo County aggregate mining regulations and for appropriate further protection of lands and waters adversely affected by existing mining practices.

Sierra-club-yolano

(From press release) The Sierra Club has partnered with local residents in a lawsuit filed today to hold Yolo County accountable for environmental protection and restoration of farmland while continuing to develop sound open pit aggregate mining policy.

The lawsuit does not seek to stop aggregate mining in Yolo County. Rather, it will simply require the County to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") before allowing Teichert Inc. to develop a new 320-acre mine on prime farmland adjacent to Cache Creek and several miles west of Woodland.

This would require the County to fully disclose and evaluate the real adverse environmental impacts of open pit aggregate mining as currently allowed by the County and to commit to mitigation strategies to reduce those impacts. Adhering to this process is what the law requires, and indeed, these same requirements apply to every other regulated land use in the County and State.

Continue reading "The Sierra Club Sues Yolo County to Demand Sensible Environmental Safeguards in Open Pit Aggregate Mining " »


Local Mom and Climate Activist Juliette Beck Considers Run for Yolo County Supervisor

BeckJuliette Beck, a lifelong social and environmental justice advocate, mother and caregiver, filed over 200 signatures on Wednesday with the Yolo County Elections office to stand as a candidate for District 2 County Supervisor.

“I am testing the waters to see if there is community support for a strong progressive, woman candidate and climate champion in Davis and Winters,” said Beck.

Beck moved to Davis with her husband Nick Buxton in 2008 when she was pregnant with their first daughter to be close to her sister and brother-in-law who had moved to Davis a few years earlier. She loves Davis and is grateful to the community for nurturing their young family over the last thirteen years.

Beck has been an active parent volunteer at Cesar Chavez Elementary and a strong advocate of outdoor learning during the COVID pandemic. Over the years, she has enjoyed coaching soccer, biking as a way of life, working in the school gardens, supporting the local youth climate strike movement, and raising her family including her two daughters and energetic dog, an “Aussiedor,”  Luna.

“I want to thank the dozen volunteers that pitched in to collect over 200 petition signatures in less than a week. Juggling family, work and personal well-being is not easy during the ongoing pandemic, but clearly people are concerned about climate change and want to help do all we can to make a difference to our children’s future,” said Beck.

Continue reading "Local Mom and Climate Activist Juliette Beck Considers Run for Yolo County Supervisor" »


Odd Fellows Continue Natalie Corona Scholarship

Nat-cor-gradThe Davis Odd Fellows will continue to award the 'Officer Natalie Corona Odd Fellows Memorial Scholarship' this year.

This scholarship was created after the murder of Officer Natalie Corona on January 10, 2019, to honor her service and commitment to our community.  Our goal is to help remove barriers for like-minded individuals who wish to pursue careers in related fields.

High School Seniors from Davis Senior High, King High School, Da Vinci Charter School, and Pierce High School in Arbuckle who plan to major in Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice, or in a First Responder field, and are going on to either a 2-year or a 4-year institution, are eligible to apply.  Students in standard or independent study programs are welcome to apply.  Scholarships from $1,000-$1,500 will be awarded.  The application deadline is April 1, 2022.

Applications should be completed on the Odd Fellows Lodge website at davislodge.org.  Go to the 'Lodge Programs' tab and click on 'Officer Natalie Corona Odd Fellows Memorial Scholarship.'  A separate letter of recommendation from an un-related adult, teacher, or coach, should be sent no later than April 1, 2022, directly to Rick Gonzales at etgonzales@sbcglobal.net


Bike Parking is Complicated?

YoloBypassDRAFT
 
Using a battery-powered common angle grinder, Darell Dickey works with the Davis Police Department to cut locks from abandoned bikes found in the city. He knows first hand that the soft metal of the Lightning Bolt racks is often easier to cut than the locks themselves. ROAM's creators claim that the lock takes 2500% more time to cut than a - presumably typical - U-lock. If ROAM eventually provides full coverage in Davis and UC Davis - note that there is no plan to equip racks on private property - and people really want a bike, won't they simply take a predictably short amount of time to cut the city racks?  (Inset photo from ROAM brochure attacked to Staff Report. Right hand photo taken in Davis in Fall 2017.)

 

Tomorrow on UC Davis campus and at the monthly meeting of the Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission (BTSSC) a new shared public bicycle lock will be introduced, followed by pilots and local research...

I'VE not seen the lock in use and the presentation doesn't contains imagery that's clearly actual photography - and not the much more helpful video - but for now have comments and questions for the lock developers, City and UCD partners....

  • The BTSSC and other complementary bodies have not created a new strategy for bicycle security, have not asked to do so, and have not been asked to do so.
  • City of Davis Staff are implementing new programs using City property without Council approval.
  • The locking system seems over-complicated, dependent on smart phones, Cloud-connectivity and electrical power supply (both on the locks and system servers) to function properly, or at all.
  • It’s not clear that the City and UC Davis c
    Roam1
    From ROAM's brochure, attached to the Staff Report
    ampus will end up having the same program, or if one body might accept it and the other not. (Despite the reality of the City-Campus Mobility District, transportation engineering and planning, organization and promotional activities and infrastructure standards of the City and Campus are mostly formally separate aside from cooperation on, for example, Unitrans and the Reimagine Russell visioning project. There's a plan to allow shared e-scooters on campus but not in the city -- a big mistake in user-friendly transportation policy.)
  • The promises of resistance to defeat and plans for distribution seem exaggerated, and it’s possible that the City would have to pay for it despite being instrumental in development of a commercial product. If the project goes forward, its users in Davis should not have to pay for the system though user fees, or indirectly. The City is looking into this, but it's not clear if the ROAM creators will take responsibility for it, or other sources will be sought.
  • The system does not work with non-Lightning Bolt (LB) racks (unless there’s a variant for other modern types).
  • Aside from the system used on UCD campus, it’s only for racks on City property, this leaves out a tremendous number of LB-equipped parking spaces, many of which present significant opportunity for theft due to lack of supervision or supplemental security (e.g. bicycle rooms). It’s important to note all of these properties are in fact semi-public and still required to observe local regulations for bicycle storage.
  • It’s not clear if the system will actually be available on semi-public property. In some cases this will mean that ROAM-equipped and non-equipped racks will be in close proximity. This seems to be a direct contradiction of the “everyone” claims of the concept’s authors.
  • If the system IS available for use on semi-public property but only via opt-in, i.e. by choice of the property’s managers or owners, it may further widen the gulf between the haves and have nots in bicycle parking in Davis, as there are a significant number of (improvised) parking spaces at commercial properties and residences which have no racks, LB or otherwise. This is in direct contradiction of the authors' claimed benefits and violates equity principles for Davis as lower quality bicycle-parking is likely over-represented at more modest rental properties (This would be solved starting with a truly-equitable policy of the City, initiated by the Council and discussed and prepared for actualization by recommendation of relevant Commissions, e.g. the BTSSC and Social Services.) There's also no explicit mention of DJUSD properties - i.e. users such as students at primary and secondary schools, even as a future goal (yes, inclusive of the magic "everyone"). Bicycle theft on these campuses is a huge problem that the administration is not solving. The theft of  a bicycle can be traumatic for people in this age group, especially if their family has difficulty replacing it. Why isn't this community involved at the first stage? Isn't there considerable value in the user experience of a younger person who might have difficulty with some over-complicated systems?
  • City Staff promised new bicycle parking regulations as long as two years ago, but nothing has come of it (only the registration program which is mostly the work of an outside entity, and ROAM). Five years ago, the City initiated a plan to improve bicycle parking at Davis Depot, and eventually added longer lockers, which fit the long-tail type of cargo bicycle. Five years ago the City declined to pursue acquiring facilities that would accommodate larger cargo bikes or bikes with  trailers for Davis Depot. Prior to the pandemic there were some ideas about adding over-sized bicycle parking in the one of the under-utilized buildings at the Depot, but nothing's come of it.

 

273615950_1541649452881847_7777620194860680555_n
There's secure parking for this vehicle at the train station... (Image: Urban Cycling Institute on Facebook)
Bike-Europe-Pon-Takesover-Urban-Arrow-1024x695
... but not this one (Image: Urban Arrow)

The Bike Lock design:

What makes it take “25 times” more time to breach than…. what? A cable lock, a top-of-the-line U lock? My chain and lock combo takes at least 3 to 4 minutes to cut in the field with an angle grinder  – ROAM takes 90 minutes?

It’s “Cloud Connected”: What happens when it can’t connect for any number of reasons, as other systems can’t sometimes? Does it become unusable?

Right now the “Lightning Bolt” locks take less time to cut than the more expensive hardened locks. The main reason it’s not happened a lot is likely due to the psychological disincentive of damaging city or university property, as opposed to personal property. Will existing racks be modified to be more resistant to quick cutting?

Presumably the alarm sound comes from a small hole etc that’s also protected from water intrusion – have their been tests to seal this without setting off the alarm?

If the QR code on the lock is damaged how can the user disable the lock?

If the user loses their phone or its battery is dead, how the can the user disable the lock?

How many regular bicycle users don’t have mobile phones?

Is there a way for people who don’t have mobile phones to use the system?

What supplies the power to the locks? A separate battery on each holding piece that requires a swap for a recharged battery? How often does it need to be recharged?

Have there been tests where a unit’s alarm and lights were activated in the present of people not connected with the project? If so, what was their reaction?

All the visuals in the attached promotional brochure are visualizations - no photos. Presumably some exist as they are being introduced BEFORE the BTSSC meeting and before its members formally-reviewed it. 

*****

I went through the entire staff report and interleaved comments and questions. It's long and it's here.

 


Toward a Fossil Free UCD

Fossil free UCD

UC Davis, long recognized as a leader in environmental sustainability, is taking a bold first step to confront the sizable carbon emissions that result from its own daily operations and contribute to the climate crisis. The campus has officially announced that it is drawing up concrete plans to electrify both of its campuses with the goal to eliminate the use of fossil fuels.

In October 2020, an informal group of UCD students, faculty, staff, and alumni met with Chancellor Gary May and other campus officials to press for a commitment to go fossil-fuel free, eventually resulting in the creation of a new Campus Advisory Committee on Sustainability. Branding itself Fossil Free UCD, the group met with Chancellor May again in December 2021 and presented a petition signed by over 1300 UCD affiliates, including more than 260 faculty, 795 students, and 135 alumni. The petition called for the Chancellor and other UC Davis leaders to commit to ending the use of fossil fuels as a source of energy for UCD’s campuses by 2030, and to develop a plan for doing so in 2022. 

 As members of this group, we are motivated by three ideas: 1) the urgency of acting now to try to avert the worst local and global consequences of global heating, including wildfires, extreme rainfall, extreme heat, hurricanes, drought, flooding, sea level rise, damaged ecosystems, species extinction, and changed disease vectors, 2) UCD’s core missions of education, research, and service to local and global communities and its longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability, and 3) UCD’s power and obligation to lead and inspire others to decarbonize rapidly.  Other universities are also taking steps to eliminate fossil fuels in this way, including Stanford, Oberlin, and Ball State.

Continue reading "Toward a Fossil Free UCD" »


Nonprofits: Apply for a Soroptimist grant

(From press release) Soroptimist International of Davis is accepting applications from local nonprofit organizations for Community Grant funding for 2022.

In 2022, the club has $5,000 budgeted for Community Grants of up to $2,500 each. Nonprofit organizations that align with the Soroptimist mission are encouraged to apply. The deadline is March 8. Awards will be distributed in late spring. 

Grant applications are evaluated for their alignment with the Soroptimist mission, vision, core values, community impact and feasibility. Any organization, including previous recipients, is encouraged to apply. Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. Applicants are asked how the requested funds would address the needs of women and girls in Yolo County, and support Soroptimist core values of gender equality, empowerment, education and diversity.

SI Davis has several fundraisers a year, and reinvests all of its profits in its programs and projects. These include Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women, and Dream It, Be It: Career Support for high school girls. It also funds high school scholarships, anti-trafficking efforts, and these Community Grants to nonprofits.

Applicants will receive notice by May 1 of their application’s status. To apply, visit https://www.sidavis.org/grants. Questions may be directed to Lisa Adda, Community Grants chair, at lm_adda@yahoo.com.

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Developers deploy paid operatives

SpaffordandLincolnNote: The following comments made at the City Council's Feb 1, 2022 meeting.  The City Council, as expected, decided to proceed with putting the project on the ballot for voters to decide. 

By Rik Keller

I have provided a graphic illustrative of the corrupt local political environment. [Mr. Keller requested that this graphic be displayed during his comments, but unlike a pro-DiSC comment, his graphic was not displayed].  It shows self-promotional information from the local lobbying firm Spafford & Lincoln. In the bottom right corner you can see that they claim credit for deploying and managing 1,000+ operatives. As some of you may be aware, most of their business is done for the biggest special interest in town: real estate developers.

Developers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on campaigns to try to push their projects down our throats. This money flows through Spafford & Lincoln and then who knows where? There’s no regulation. It’s a dirty money slush fund.

One of their strategies is to pay operatives to call, and to organize other callers who often know nothing about the project, some of whom probably don't even live in Davis. It’s a classic “astroturf” maneuver. Ask yourself: how many times have you experienced these meetings being spammed and being played by these operatives reading from their scripts?

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Why is DiSC back?

Note: The following comments made at the City Council's Feb 1, 2022 meeting.  The City Council, as expected, decided to proceed with putting the project on the ballot for voters to decide.

DISC overview shot

By Roberta Millstein

DiSC is back. But why is it back? Is it any better than the project that voters rejected just a little over a year ago?

It has no new features. Indeed, the developer initially deleted a bunch of features from the proposal and, after pushback from the Planning Commission and others, has now added some of them back in. But at best that only restores the status quo to the previously rejected project.

It is a reduced project, but half of huge is still huge. It’s the size of one Cannery instead of the size of two Canneries.

It’s still a freeway-oriented and car-oriented project that will massively impact traffic on Mace Blvd, I-80, and adjacent Mace Ranch surface streets. As a consequence, the greenhouse gases from the project will shred the City’s already weak carbon neutrality commitment. Nothing the developers can do on site can change that, since most of the climate change impact would be from commuters to and from the site. Vague promises of possible transportation improvements don’t change this climate killer either.

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