Entries categorized "Bicycling"

15 mph DESIGN SPEED in Davis!

SD15
 
My strong feeling is that all local streets - including Downtown - should have a 15 mph design speed. This is already a number most are familiar with, as it's used alongside e.g. speed tables on school routes and even the sharp turn from 2nd St to L St.

The design speed is a speed that most people feel comfortable moving at in motor vehicles. People on bikes can also feel a design speed, but they are nearly infinitely more inherently safe than motor vehicles to others in the public ROW. 15 is also a bit faster than most cycling speeds.Traveling by bike on most greenbelt paths in Davis at 15 mph feels too fast - the paths are under-built - and perhaps the biggest design flaw in post 1970's Davis, sadly and ironically complemented by the clinically-insane wideness of many streets in West Davis, Mace Ranch and South Davis... but also much older streets in Old North, etc.
 
Does it seem slow? Perhaps. However, consider that for most journeys by motor vehicle a relatively short distance is on local streets. So any journey lengthening will be minimal.
 
Or can it even be shorter? Yes! 15 mph speed design is best complemented by elimination of existing mandatory stops; to be replaced by yields. It's these often unnecessary stops that lengthen journey time the most. Getting rid of them also decreases pollution (gas, particles and noise) and makes people less likely to feel the need to speed to the next stop sign.
 
So it can be both safer and faster!

Continue reading "15 mph DESIGN SPEED in Davis!" »


Big problems at BTSSC meeting tonight!

2nd StRailway modification project along 2nd St. leads to subverted process and disrespected City policy.

The item "CCJPA 2nd Street Improvements 30% Design" is on the Consent Calendar for the Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission (BTSSC) today.

The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA), which runs the eponymous rail service with partner Amtrak, is planning to make modifications to the railway parallel with 2nd St, roughly between L St and the Pole Line. A significant part of the project will also raise, repave and re-stripe 2nd St - there's long been a problem with railway ballast making its way to the street - and include installation of an ADA-compliant sidewalk on the north side of the street, where no sidewalk currently exists up to the west end of Toad Hollow.

So far, so good? Unfortunately not. The item involving a significant infrastructure modification is only on the Consent Calendar and the changes to the street itself - aside from the new sidewalk, which is clearly a good thing - are not following the 2016 Street Standards, and the whole length of 2nd St is not compliant with the 2013 General Plan Transportation Element.

Continue reading "Big problems at BTSSC meeting tonight!" »


Debrief on Debris in the Bike Lane?

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South-bound Pole Line just south of East Covell. Convenient to pick-up, not so convenient for people who want to use the lane
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An hour earlier - most bikes are not equipped with headlights and the person on a bike might not see it.

UPDATE: The piles I've described in this post which were on or near the East Covell corridor have been removed. There are some others in the bike lane on Loyola between the entrance to Korematsu Elementary and Alhambra, and still nothing either here or in general to communicate to people driving motor vehicles that people on bikes may deviate from the bike lanes....

*****

Last week's storm was the worst in ten years by many accounts, with serious damage to trees and property, a significant loss of perishable food and other problems caused by lack of power.

Obviously city staff, private contractors and others had their work cut out for them and certainly we applaud their efforts, though many cheered PG&E field staff and they pooped on their bosses (and shareholders).

From what I saw, arterial streets in Davis were cleared for the most part by January 28th, the day after the storms mostly ended. When out then to photograph the weird non-standard lane design on Lake at Russell I passed the dangerousafety radar speed sign on East Covell Blvd. that I blogged about last week.

I noticed that street sweepers had made at least two passes on the traffic lanes of East Covell, because there was a consistent line of debris that started a  foot or two into the bike lane from the number two lane. I noticed the same, um, edging on other arteries.

Continue reading "Debrief on Debris in the Bike Lane?" »


Better main shot cropped_REDCity is blocking bike lanes?

The City of Davis' only response to recent crashes in the vicinity of Pole Line Road and East Covell Blvd has thus far been Enforcement1. Actively, the Davis Police Department has been monitoring some locations in the area.  Passively, the City has placed a
radar speed sign on WB East Covell between Manzanita and Baywood Streets, right about here.

Why is the radar speed sign in the bike lane? The City places similar signs - and they and private contractors place various construction signs - off to the side on streets when there's space to do so, so they clearly understand the advantage of doing so. But when there's no space, they place the signs on the side of the street, and on most collectors and arterial streets in Davis this means it's in a bike lane.

"Putting a radar feedback sign on Covell to invite drivers to slow down: good. Putting a sign in bike lane: not good," says Nicolas Fauchier-Magnan, the President of Bike Davis, who usually goes by Nico.

"Obstructing the bike lane, on a street where drivers routinely go 50 mph or more is simply irresponsible. 

"Come on, City of Davis," continues Nico. "You should know better, and you can do better. Please fix this terrible blunder before someone gets hurt. There is plenty of space on the grass, outside of the bike lane, to safely place this sign."

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Council sub-committee rejects re-appointment of all three No on B Commissioners

1 - City_of_Davis_logoinverted

Sub-committee members Carson and Partida were DISC's most strident supporters on Council

(From press release) On Tuesday, November 24, City of Davis Staff released the Agenda for the December 1 City Council meeting. Item Four concerns recommendations for appointment and re-appointment for City Commissions, with terms starting from January.

2 - DiscoveryThe recommendations are made by a Council sub-committee, newly composed of Mayor Gloria Partida and City Councilmember Dan Carson. (For a few years the sub-committee was now Former Mayor Brett Lee and now Vice-Mayor Lucas Frerichs.)

The appointments and re-appointments apply to 12 of the City’s Commissions, composed of sworn-in volunteers who normally complete two full terms of four years each before being termed-out. Earlier in the fall, current Commissioners - whether they termed out or not - were asked if they wanted to continue to serve. 

Three current Commissioners - Todd Edelman from the Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission (BTSSC), Alan Pryor from the Natural Resources Commission (NRC), and Matt Williams from the Utilities Commission all expressed a desire to stay. None are recommended for re-appointment by the sub-committee.

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Council Candidates Share Their Vision For Our Streets

Bike-davisWhat do City Council candidates think about our streets? To learn more about their visions, Bike Davis sent all candidates a questionnaire focused on three themes: making Davis more livable, reducing injuries and fatalities on our streets, and transportation infrastructure and zoning.

Some common themes emerged from the candidates’ thoughtful answers. All candidates are in favor of creating a locally-owned and operated bike share system as other cities have done (eg Biketown in Portland, or PeaceHealth Rides in Eugene). Almost all candidates walk or bike regularly. Some ride a bike for daily errands, others walk or ride for exercise. All candidates support preventing traffic deaths and severe injuries in Davis by implementing a Vision Zero approach.

On the other hand, Bike Davis was surprised to find that only four of the nine candidates mentioned bicycling as a way to reduce transportation-related GHG emissions and contribute to Davis’ climate neutrality goal.

Bike Davis is presenting each candidate below with a “favorite quote” and a link to their full answers. These materials are also available on our website at bikedavis.us/vote

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Hop on your bike for fun, exercise and exploration – even now

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May is a great time to use your bike for essential errands like grocery shopping. (Adobe Stock photo)

May is (still) Bike Month

By Wendy Weitzel

Social distancing might keep us from hosting in-person events, but it doesn’t stop us from getting out for solo bike rides or trips with other members of our household.

Hopping on a bike is a great way to enjoy the spring weather, get some exercise, and feel mentally refreshed. The practice not only relieves stress, it may start a healthy habit worth keeping down the road. And it’s absolutely allowed during the shelter-in-place order, as long as you maintain at least 6 feet physical distance.

Wearing a face covering is not required while engaging in outdoor recreation such as walking, hiking, bicycling or running. However, anyone engaged in such activity must comply with distancing requirements. Everyone should carry a face covering with them, to use if needed.

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Commissioner receives poor treatment from City Council

City Council needs to stop shooting from the hip

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The Council in deliberation. Note that the caption is incorrect; "bicycle" should be "bicycling"

By Roberta Millstein

The City Council has a disturbing pattern of making shoot-from-the-hip decisions on the dais without proper deliberation and analysis.  This past Tuesday one commissioner, and commissions more generally, were caught in the crossfire.  (There was also a poor decision on pesticides on the same night).

To understand what happened, you’ll need a bit of the backstory, starting with the November meeting of the Bicycling, Transportation, and Street Safety Commission (BTSSC) – whose members also behaved improperly, as will become clear.

Continue reading "Commissioner receives poor treatment from City Council" »


Commissions and Quorum-Buffers

By Todd Edelman

The high wheeler bike share bikes are rusting, the tomatoes are hibernating, the persimmons are throbbing, the Creek’s not so full, I-80 is roaring and stinky, the sun’s shining perhaps a bit more than it should… it’s mid-winter in Davis and I was just temporarily suspended from the Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission (BTSSC).

Any situation like this is Davis is subjectively-analytical, and dynamically-objective, but there’s several factors at play dealing more with facts (with spin, if only because none of us have infinite context.).

For now I am going to give what I hope to be an accurate accounting of the quorum piece of the matter at hand, and some suggestions… and then later on (today, tomorrow etc.) will provide some details on activity of the current membership of the BTSSC, including myself:

Quorum: My position is that this didn’t have to be an issue at all, or at the very least less of one.

Continue reading "Commissions and Quorum-Buffers" »


Freedom to Park Downtown: Questions Answered

FreeparkingFrom The Freedom to Park committee, FreedomToPark.org

While tabling for free parking at the Farmers Market, we have encountered very few advocates of “paid parking.” We find that many casual paid parking supporters, upon consideration of all facts, will reconsider or at least support putting the issue to public vote. There are some extremists who assert there should be no vehicles or vehicle parking in the downtown, not even for frail, elderly or handicapped individuals. But most people accept the existence of automobiles and realize that even electric cars must park.

This space is too brief to answer every question or assertion that we have heard, but we will address the most common.  For additional examples, we refer you to our website:  freedomtopark.org

First, the initiative prohibits the charging of a fee for the public parking that is already provided by our tax dollars. It does not change standard parking regulations; it does not change the parking time limits; it does not change the city parking permit program.  Second, the initiative requires the replacement of the 120 parking spaces that the City has already removed from the downtown.  These spaces can easily be replaced by turning parallel spaces into perpendicular or slant parking spaces, for example.

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Mace Mess: 11 Broken Promises

Mace mess2Squandered Trust

Comments given to the Davis City Council by Mimi McMahon

Trust is an important element when citizens elect officials to act on their behalf.  There is no room for special interests or personal gain.  A promise is a contract. The City has squandered the trust of Davis citizens and those affected by the Mace Mess you and your staff have created.  You have wasted millions of dollars of our hard-earned taxes. 

Broken and Unfulfilled Promises

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Thursday's Caltrans Workshop Key to Davis Growth and Climate Future

IMG_6919By Alan Hirsch

On Thursday Caltrans will hold a workshop on the future of the I-80 corridor, Davis’s Connection to the rest of the World.  It will be in the Blanchard room of the Library at 6:30pm.

Caltrans will be considering different options to deal with transportation demand in this corridor.

Will they just address only thru traffic, i.e. Tahoe Snowbirds...or real needs of people who live in the corridor, for example transit needs that can’t be met by slow, limited stop and expensive Capitol Corridor Train service or the anemic and unreliable Yolobus service?

If you care about traffic on Mace Blvd...or how we can have accommodate economic growth in Davis -- like the proposed 12,000 (!!!)  trip a day Aggie business park on Mace curve  -- this is the meeting to go to.

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Homeless "Respite Center" Proposed by School Bike Route Receives Pushback

Picture3By Colin Walsh

An ad hoc group of Davis residents have started a Change.org petition opposing the location of the Homeless Respite Center. The new Homeless center is proposed for adjacent to the Dave Pelz Overpass near second street. Those opposing the location seem to clearly state that they support services for the homeless like this project, but not next to a thoroughfare for school children on bikes.

This Item was moved forward by the Davis City Council on July 30, 2019. The project would contain “tough shed” type buildings and likely a designated camping area. It is unclear if there will be water or sewer services or what staffing might be provided by the City.

In the staff report, "staff estimates that the day shelter could accommodate up to 40 individuals at one time and the overnight shelter could sleep up to 15 individuals" but with the addition of a camping area as suggested by council member Frerichs the site may be able to accommodate more.

When the Council addressed this issue on July 30th 2019, the staff omitted from their report and presentation to council that the Dave Pelz overcrossing was a safe route to school. There is no part of the staff report that addresses the impact of a homeless encampment on the bike and pedestrian through-way.

This is the table of advantages and disadvantages from the July 30, 2019 Davis City staff report:
Respite-Center-FTable 4.pdf
This very expensive overcrossing was built to better connect South Davis and East Davis, especially to provide a bikeable route to school for South Davis Junior High Kids.

The petition can be signed at  https://www.change.org/p/davis-city-council-no-homeless-shelter-for-schoolchildren-s-safety

The petition reads as follows:

Continue reading "Homeless "Respite Center" Proposed by School Bike Route Receives Pushback" »


Pay to Détour(nement)

Can Davis Pioneer a Toll for Waze?

Map2By Todd Edelman

At the most recent public meeting about the “Mace Mess” - on a summer evening at Pioneer Elementary - we were told that City attorneys were going to look into a legal way to keep traffic guided by apps like Waze from diverting from I-80 between just west of town and the Yolo Bypass, not only via Tremont and Mace but also via 113 and Covell, etc.

I’ve not heard anything about this since then, which might mean nothing. 

OK.

So, imagine a system that records the license plates and FasTrak transponders of vehicles that exit and enter I-80 and CA-113 at various points in the City and nearby to the west (see the map). How to determine if the driver is “just passing through”?:  If the transit time is e.g. + or - 20% of what's predicted by Waze and similar for the same journey, the driver is charged a reasonable fee. (Using Waze, etc. against itself is the détournement mentioned, and a great pun if I might say so!). 

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Open Letter to City Council on Jump's Age Discrimination

Jumpvote
Uber photo modified by T. Edelman

Todd Edelman sent the following email to the City Council today for tonight's Council meeting. For reference, please see yesterday’s article by the same author.

Dear City Council,

1 -  I feel it is important to note that when modifications to the bike share ordinance related to bike share were initially adopted, the BTSSC was bypassed, and that one element which Staff pushed hard for - locking bikes TO racks - resulted in a lot of the problems we had with bikes parked where they were not supposed to. Though Sacramento's unofficial policy permitted flexible parking in 2018, the Staff resisted a change until the spring of this year. Thankfully, the current Staff Report recommends e.g. "parking in the street like a motorcycle".

Continue reading "Open Letter to City Council on Jump's Age Discrimination" »


Tell City Council it’s time to lower the age limit for Jump bike share

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Credit: SWNS

By Todd Edelman

If Greta Thunberg had visited Davis last month for the Climate Strike, she wouldn’t have been able to use Jump bike share. Perhaps before arriving, she would have learnt that kids of all ages in Davis are the national champions of cycling for transportation: To school, to the park, to the homes of their friends, to the library, to the movies, to places they’re not supposed to go…. In the USA, they use bikes more than anyone else in their age group.

Greta is only 16. Perhaps she would have forcefully asked why Jump bike in Davis (and the region) has a minimum age limit of 18.

 

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Making Biking Convenient

Is making driving worse our Bike-rack-1 only alternative?

By Roberta Millstein

When I read the Davis Enterprise op-ed on roads, driving, and biking last month (“Infrastructure, what is it good for?”), I was sympathetic.  After all, it does seem to make sense to call out the “operative principle” that “if only we make driving (or parking) inconvenient enough, then people will drive less, or slower, or somewhere else.”  Indeed, as the op-ed says, we surely don’t want to rejigger our roads and our parking spaces only to increase car traffic and cars idling if the goal is to reduce carbon emissions.

But now I am not so sure.

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Surprise! It's a Bike Party!

Tunnel swirlBy Carey Ann Hunt

As I biked through a wooded area on a path headed downtown from South Davis around sunset, I began hearing party music. The music and bright flashing party lights came quickly toward me and then zoomed right past. The speaker and lights were mounted to a bike and the rider was the leader of a long string of cyclists, many with brightly decorated and lit up bicycles. There were perhaps thirty of them that whizzed by me going in the opposite direction.

One of the bikers caught my eye and said as he past, “Psst, you’re going the wrong direction! Turn around, it’s a bike party”! 

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‘Davis Needle’ points the way between UC Davis and downtown

NeedleInstall
 Mike Hollibaugh of Holly Solar watches as artist Mark Grieve, in hardhat, guides forklift driver Dave Pedroli during Tuesday's installation of "The Davis Needle" at Third Street and University Avenue in Davis. Courtesy photo.

By Wendy Weitzel

A 25-foot-tall obelisk created from reclaimed bicycle parts is a sparkling new addition to Davis’ public artworks.

On Tuesday, artists installed “The Davis Needle,” which rises from the center of the Third Street and University Avenue intersection. The city of Davis commissioned it in 2011 as part of the Third Street Improvement project.

“I feel like I’ve been working on it my whole life,” artist Mark Grieve joked on Tuesday morning, as he adjusted the base before a forklift hoisted the sculpture into place. Crowds gathered to watch the installation, some of them enjoying lunch or beverages at two adjacent restaurants: Third and U Café and Pho King 4.

Artists Grieve and Ilana Spector designed and built the sculpture, and Mike Hollibaugh of Holly Solar devised and installed the internal LED lighting system. At night, an animated sequence of random, fluid lights will surge through the sculpture.

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Paid Parking Resolution

ABCCEBC4-CBA7-4001-BC8A-562EAE12AB69The Davis City Council passed a resolution on Monday 3/25/2019 with detailed instructions to staff regarding parking downtown. The Davisite received the specifics of the resolution from the City Clerk on 3/29/2019. The specifics exactly as delivered to the Davisite are as follows: 

 

 

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Petition to Restore Mace

PetitionThe below petition is being circulated at change.org. It was started within the last 2 days - after the recent neighborhood meetings. At the time of this posting it already has 270+ signatures.

The petition can be signed here: **sign**

CITY OF DAVIS TO RESTORE MACE BOULEVARD TO TWO LANES (BOTH WAYS)

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