My View: Nishi Ruling Opens Door for Lincoln40 by Allowing Traffic Study and EIR

Richards TunnelThe biggest piece of news this week might have been an article that drew little attention, at least in terms of comments, but detailed a judge denying the Nishi lawsuit.  A lot of people are probably thinking this is a non-issue – after all, Nishi was defeated last June at the polls.

But Michael Harrington understood the importance of pushing the lawsuit forward and, because there was no current project, the defendants in this case – the city of Davis – had the luxury of fighting this through rather than being forced by a developer to settle.

Judge Samuel McAdam issued forth a meticulous 30-page ruling in the matter.  Basically the suit challenges the adequacy of the EIR in terms of the traffic analysis, mitigation of VMT (vehicle miles traveled), and trip generation assumptions – and got shot down on every count.

Why does this matter at this point in time?  First of all, at some point, perhaps soon, there will be a new proposed Nishi project.  But, more immediately, the Lincoln40 traffic study and the Richards-Olive Drive corridor study were both based on similar traffic analyses, which up until now were subject to skepticism.

The question turns to whether Mr. Harrington intends to challenge the ruling with an appeal that will drag this process out further.  It doesn’t seem like he has much to stand on at this point.  The ruling, at least for now, would seem to inoculate Lincoln40’s traffic analysis and the corridor study from legal challenge.

This week, in running our four-part series on Lincoln40, our efforts were based on the idea that we needed to have a factual basis for ongoing discussion.  Part of the problem that many, including the Planning Commission, have with the traffic analysis is that it is not intuitive.

As a city staff explained to the Vanguard, “[T]here is sort of a reluctance to believe or trust the traffic analysis because it doesn’t comport with our own personal observations and experiences.”

However, the traffic study took traffic and vehicular counts from the properties on Olive Drive which are similar to the proposed Lincoln40 – specifically, the Lexington Apartments and The Arbors.  That means that the baseline data driving this traffic analysis for impacts on Richards Blvd. and Olive Drive are based on how people are actually traveling from those apartment complexes.

Fehr & Peers Transportation Consultants found that the impact of the existing condition plus the project’s effect on peak hour intersections is “less than significant.”  They write, “While the LOS grade does not change, additional delay occurs at Richards Boulevard/Olive Drive during the PM peak hour, which operates at LOS D, generally due to the increase in westbound vehicle and bicycle traffic.”

As explained in the report, the traffic analysis results from examining existing conditions only.

The city, as we explained, believes that even without improvements to the corridor they can mitigate the impact of new development, simply through signal modifications.  With the proposed improvements, they actually expect circulation to improve along the corridor.

Critics have pointed to the figure “708 beds” as suggestive that there will be major impacts as those people move in and out of the corridor during the day – but, again, that suggests the entirety of the new population is entering the street during close proximity in time to each other, when the reality is that the data from existing apartment complexes suggests a much lower traffic volume at any given time – which peaks at 45 peak hour trips in the morning and 63 peak hour trips in the afternoon.

The biggest projected impact, based on analysis of existing conditions plus the project, is at the Richards/Olive intersection and, interestingly, only in the afternoon.  In the morning, the delay only goes from 33 seconds for the existing conditions to 36 seconds with the project.

But in the afternoon the delay goes from 36 second to 54 seconds.

That is with the project and with no improvements to the corridor.  However, the city is extremely confident that they will get the grant funding from SACOG (Sacramento Area Council of Governments) to improve both the highway interchange and the intersection.  SACOG considers this “a regionally significant project” and is actively encouraging the city to go forward with the application.

Sources tell the Vanguard that the city fully expects this interchange improvement to be built within the next five years.  The city fully believes that the future conditions will be vastly different, from a circulation standpoint.

There is also a second piece to this puzzle and that is getting the people on bike or on foot through the intersection.

There was a lot of discussion on this, but the city believes that the way to go is a pedestrian and bike overcrossing.  In a follow up conversation, I was told that the undercrossing, in addition to being cost prohibitive, has space limitations and design limitations that make it less than desirable.

In November the pedestrian/bike overcrossing to the train depot was rated by consultants as feasible with an estimated cost of $6.3 to $6.7 million.

In conversations with the city, it was noted that the Olive Drive-train depot connection was rising to the top of the list of priorities. The city is planning to apply for funding for that connection in the next cycle that starts in January 2018.

However, getting funding through that program, a very competitive statewide program, is less certain than the city believes the funding is for the Richards Boulevard-I80 interchange project. “It’s speculative whether or not we’ll receive funding (for the overcrossing),” the Vanguard was told.

Some are suggesting that the city should wait for both the freeway corridor exchange and the funding for the overpass before proceeding with Lincoln40.  In the end, that is going to be the call of the city council for sure.

In my view, if you look at the EIR’s traffic analysis, the impacts on the corridor are less than significant.  It does move some of the intersections from LOS (Level of Service) C to LOS D.  That’s of course less than ideal, but we are talking on average about an additional 18-second delay there if the conditions do not change.

Lincoln40 figures to supply another 700 beds for students in a market that has only a 0.2 percent vacancy rate. That means 700 additional students will have bed-security, they will have a place to stay, they will not have to commute and they will not have to couch surf.

To me, every land use decision represents a trade off.  You are trading off existing conditions and producing impacts in order to solve another problem.

For me, providing students with good living conditions has to outweigh the inconvenience to those who travel through the corridor, especially if it represents only a small additional delay.

As someone who travels through that corridor to get to work each day, I am impacted by this – but there are both ways to avoid that corridor and, in the scheme of things, a recognition that additional delays are a minor inconvenience compared to the problems faced by students who struggle to find housing, are forced to live on couches or in cars, or are forced to commute for 10 to 20 additional minutes.

A final point is this – one thing EIRs do not analyze well is the impact of the opportunity costs for not having sufficient housing in town.  Every person who cannot find housing in Davis is having to drive into town, and the most common access point is through Richards Blvd.

That means you are actually adding cars to the corridor by not building housing just as you are by building housing.  Unfortunately, we do not have direct evidence of this, but we know that most people who live within a mile of campus either bike or walk, and most people who live outside of town drive.

That’s a huge and unmeasured impact on traffic right there.  That is something that we need to take into account, even if the EIR and traffic study doesn’t.

—David M. Greenwald reporting



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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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50 thoughts on “My View: Nishi Ruling Opens Door for Lincoln40 by Allowing Traffic Study and EIR”

  1. Ron

    From article:  “Every person who cannot find housing in Davis is having to drive into town, and the most common access point is through Richards Blvd.”

    That’s not true.  Some take Yolobus, for example. I believe there’s already a (limited) line dedicated to it, from Woodland. (And, there’s the 42 line, which runs all day between Davis, Woodland, Sacramento, and the airport.)

    Those driving or taking the bus from Woodland generally would not use Richards Blvd.

    1. Ron

      Forgot to mention West Sacramento, which is also served by the 42 line.  It’s an inter-city line, connecting all of the cities mentioned above. (And, it provides service to/from UCD itself.)

      1. David Greenwald

        According to the travel survey, anyone who lives over 5 miles from campus has an 80% chance of driving along to campus.  That’s about 6000 cars driving to town.

        And yes, about 5% take the bus and for those who live 20 miles away, 10 percent of them take the train.

        Those who live closer than three miles, only 12 percent drive alone.

        1. Ron

          David:  You’re apparently describing an existing survey, and extrapolating it to apply to future conditions (which may not be accurate, as other factors change – such as improved/more frequent public transit, more restrictive parking options, etc.).

          I won’t address the survey itself, here.

          Regardless, the statement in your article was inaccurate. (That was my primary point.) (That, and the fact that Richard Boulevard is not the primary entrance point, for many traveling to town and UCD.)

        2. Eileen Samitz

          David,

          Just to clarify, the Nishi traffic study does not validate the Lincoln40 traffic study, however your article title seems to imply that.  A major difference from Nishi with the Lincoln40 project is that Lincoln40 proposes adding 708 more students to the already impacted East Olive Drive, all of whom need to cross Richards Blvd. (both ways at least once daily) to get to UCD.  This is a significant difference between the traffic impacts and studies between Nishi and Lincoln40.

          Lincoln40’s traffic conclusions certainly appear significantly over-optimistic with their assumption that over 708 bicycles, pedestrians, or cars needing to get back and forth to the UCD campus from the east end of Olive Drive (with some of them making more than one trip back and forth a day) would result with only a 18 second delay for the cars going through the Richards and Olive Drive intersection.

          1. Don Shor

            Lincoln40’s traffic conclusions certainly appear significantly over-optimistic with their assumption that over 708 bicycles, pedestrians, or cars needing to get back and forth to the UCD campus from the east end of Olive Drive (with some of them making more than one trip back and forth a day) would result with only a 18 second delay for the cars going through the Richards and Olive Drive intersection.

            Generally speaking, if one is going to flatly deny the work of professionals, it’s best to provide your own professional experts in response or explain your credentials.

    2. Howard P

      You’re absolutely right that some use Yolobus… “some” means more than one… so, if 99.5% ‘have’ to/choose to drive, you’re right and David is ‘wrong’, correct? Same for 95%? Same for 90%?

      Do you have any ridership info to dispute the “essence”, or are you focused on the single word “every”?

      Had David used the phrase “vast majority”, instead of “every”, would you have posted the same?

      Shall we use the same standard to judge what you say/post?   Including the precision of words/terms used?  I can assure you, that would be ‘too easy’.  Several recent examples come to mind… in seconds…

      1. Ron

        Howard:  You’re generally a “stickler” for accuracy.  Regardless, my post above addresses your questions.

        Anytime that you believe my statements are inaccurate, you’re free to point them out. I welcome that. (Probably a better approach than generally alluding to whatever you’re talking about, at this point.)

        1. Howard P

          (which may not be accurate, as other factors change – such as improved/more frequent public transit, more restrictive parking options, etc.).

          But, you raise a new one… “accuracy” when it comes to future events… ‘clairvoyance engineering’ is something I’m not familiar with… the standard is reasonably anticipated, based on known and/or reasonably foreseeable conditions.

          improved/more frequent public transit, more restrictive parking options, etc.

          is what most would call ‘speculative’, not ‘reasonably foreseeable’…

          Look at the ‘time stamps’… was composing mine while you posted yours…

           

        2. Ron

          Howard:  Your argument assumes that public transit service (and parking regulations) remain static, over time.  Evidence shows otherwise.

          Here’s some examples, which may not be complete. Did all of these lines exist, years ago? Did parking regulations in Davis (and at UCD) remain static, over the years? (Is the city currently considering changing regulations, and possibly installing paid parking downtown, right now?)

          Did line 42 always run as frequently, as it does now? Was there always Amtrak service? Do service levels change?

          242 – Route 242 Woodland / Davis Commute
          243 – Route 243 Woodland / UC Davis Commute
          43R – Route 43R Sacramento / UC Davis Express

          1. Don Shor

            Ridership on Yolobus for commute from Woodland to Davis is barely 50 people a day. Transit ridership is not significant compared to the number of people who will commute in by private vehicle. Commuting options from Dixon are even more limited. Total transit ridership from nearby communities is a very low percentage of the commute.

        3. Ron

          Don:  Not sure where you’re getting those numbers.  Would that include the 42 line?

          In any case, I suspect this will change, due to the reasons already discussed (more restrictive/costly parking, improved/more frequent public transit).   In particular, as parking is further “clamped down”, at some point “commuters” have no other realistic choice. According to the survey that David posted, 20% of commuters already don’t drive alone to campus.

          Note that I’m not suggesting this as a permanent “solution”, in place of adequate student housing on campus.  (It might work well on a more permanent basis for some faculty/staff, though.)

          Who knows – maybe Unitrans (or a “Google-bus” type bus service) will step in at some point, as well.

        4. David Greenwald

          Look Ron, the point is very clear and accurate – not having housing available in town increases traffic on Richards by a huge amount.  People who live close to the campus are 6 to 7 times LESS likely to drive alone to campus as those who live outside of town.  That accounts for both buses and trains.

        5. Ron

          I took public transit to work for years, between my home in Davis and work in Sacramento.  It worked well, for me.

          And David – just saw your latest post. Again, many commuters do NOT use Richards to access the town and campus. (Very few from Woodland, I imagine.)

          Ultimately, the root cause of the situation (UCD) must be resolved.

        6. David Greenwald

          That’s fine Ron, but the travel numbers are the travel numbers and most people who live in woodland and travel to the UCD campus are not taking the bus.  In fact, very few are based on the data we have.

        7. Howard P

          You fail (yet again) to understand… your post

          Your argument assumes that public transit service (and parking regulations) remain static, over time. 

          You have no knowledge of what I assume.

          I probably know a lot more about transit, parking regulations and their trends than you do.  Within my experience/practice for 40 years now.

          I made no ‘argument’…I pretty much quoted the law and CEQA guidelines.

          Given that, your questions are not worthy of my time nor effort to respond to.

           

      2. David Greenwald

        Yes I probably shouldn’t have overstated the comment, the main point is that people who are concerned about traffic should encourage more student housing in town as the surveys demonstrate the majority of people (80 percent) who live more than 5 miles from campus drive alone while only 12 percent who live within 3 miles do.

        And the other point is that this is not really captured in the EIR – the fact that traffic may well be offset.  This is a point that would have gotten lost in Ron’s quest for purity in my statement.

        1. Ron

          David:  Overlooked in your article is that the best place for student housing is on campus.  (No need for costly overpasses, underpasses, phased signals, impacts on traffic resulting from commuting through town via car or bicycle, etc.)  Not to mention the other costs, and lost opportunities caused by failing to directly deal with the cause of the problem at some point.

          The underlying cause has not been settled. Since planning decisions are long-lasting and impactful, it’s not something to take lightly, or rush into. (Even if there’s some temporary impacts, such as short commutes from areas that are much less costly.)

          If the underlying cause is not dealt with, this issue will continue indefinitely, every time UCD decides to change its plans. And, each time, there will be costs and impacts to the city.

        2. Ron

          Your “85-15” analysis simply continues to accommodate UCD’s current plans. It’s your answer to “how high” the city needs to jump, this time at least.

          I’ve got to sign off for awhile, soon.

        3. David Greenwald

          UCD’s current plan is to accommodate 62 percent of the current housing needs.  By building Sterling and Lincoln40, the city is providing only 1500 of the remaining 3800 beds.  The advantage is that the city can provide those beds prior to the 2020 date that UCD has slated.  The other advantage is that UCD has not committed to going above 6200 beds in the next ten years.

        4. Ron

          David:  Lincoln 40 has some legitimate, unresolved concerns/impacts.  Despite what some might think, that’s my motivation for commenting about it.  (And, that’s what will continue to occur, by continually attempting to accommodate UCD’s plans.)  It’s the wrong approach (for the city’s interests), from the get-go.  The unresolved concerns/impacts are the inevitable result.

        5. Ron

          The “other” result (from failing to deal with the root cause) will be a never-ending shortage of housing, for students. (That is, if the student “market demand” for UCD’s services continues to grow.)

           

        6. David Greenwald

          “Legitimate” “Unresolved concerns” are subjective.  I don’t agree with some of your concerns, for instance.  But there is a public process that could address a lot of them.  The process has not come before either the council or planning commission (other than a brief draft EIR discussion), and we’ll see what occurs.

        7. Eileen Samitz

          Ron’s comment: “David:  Overlooked in your article is that the best place for student housing is on campus.  (No need for costly overpasses, underpasses, phased signals, impacts on traffic resulting from commuting through town via car or bicycle, etc.)  Not to mention the other costs, and lost opportunities caused by failing to directly deal with the cause of the problem at some point.”

          Well said Ron. The bottom line is the best solution that addresses multiple problems is for far more UCD on-campus housing, which has the added multitude of benefits of:

          a) providing lower cost housing for the students

          b) locating UCD student’s closer to their classrooms

          c) reduces the commuting needs of the students

          d) reduced student commuting in turn reduces traffic, circulation, and parking impacts

          e) reduced commuting reducing fuel usage and reducing our carbon footprint, would result with UCD building far more on-campus housing which would create more availability of rental housing in Davis.

          So, again, the long-term solutions of far more on-campus housing with higher densities than what UCD is proposing, is the ultimate solution to this situation, rather than enabling UCD to continue deflecting their housing needs on Davis and surrounding communities and perpetuating the problem.  

          These mega-dorms like Lincoln40 do not solve the problem since the rental costs cannot be controlled in the City, as they can on campus, and they bring significant problems (like the plume migrating towards Lincoln40), infrastructure costs, and impacts on the City.  Plus, mega-dorms like Lincoln40 do not even offer traditional rental housing for our families and local workers.

        8. Eileen Samitz

          David’s comment:

          “UCD’s current plan is to accommodate 62 percent of the current housing needs.”

          David, I am not understanding this statement where you say that UCD is accommodating 62% of its housing needs.

          UCD is only trying for a “cap” of 40% of its total student population.

          Where are you getting this 62% percentage from?

        9. David Greenwald

          As explained in several articles:

          90/ 40 = 6200 beds

          100/ 50 = another 4000 or so beds

          so that means we need about 10,000 beds, UCD is committing to 6200 or 62 percent.  COD with both Lincoln and Sterling 1500 or 15 percent.  That leaves 23 percent or 2300 beds.

        10. Ron

          David:

          What you’re stating is that the city should accommodate UCD’s 90/40 plan, by taking 37.5% of the 4,000 additional students that you referred to, which UCD is not planning to house.

          1,500/4,000 = 37.5%.  (And then, there are 2,300 other additional students that you referenced, which are not addressed.)

        11. Ron

          David:  “UCD’s current plan is to accommodate 62 percent of the current housing needs.”

          That’s not correct.  Under the 90/40 plan, UCD is only planning to house 40% of students.  (They are currently only housing 29% of students.)

          David:  “The other advantage is that UCD has not committed to going above 6200 beds in the next ten years.”

          That is a “problem”, not an “advantage”.

           

           

        12. David Greenwald

          Ron:  You’re misreading my post.

          Once again:

          UCD committing to 6200 beds (90/40)

          To get to 100/50 is another between 3800 and 4000 beds

          Therefore we need about 10,000 and UCD is pleading 6200 of them or 62%

          got it?

        1. Eileen Samitz

          David,
           Ok, thanks for that. But here lies the problem. The reality is, the 40/90 plan does not solve the student housing problem, and the 50/100 plan is necessary to even start solving the problem.  You are proposing to simply have the City continue to compensate for UCD’s negligence, and would creating major impacts for the City, and just create more expensive off-campus housing in the City.  Those net difference 4,000 beds are UCD’s responsibility, not the City. The only real solution to have long-term affordable student housing is on campus like all the other UC’s are providing.

          But let’s looks at why the 50/100 plan is the only effective solution to student housing and to explain the current disparity and disproportionate student housing situation in the City by going through the numbers:

          39,000 = the UCD LRDP “target student population capacity” by 2028 (although UCD is low-balling that total population).

          50% of 39,000 = 19,500 beds to be provided by UCD and 19,500 beds to be provided by the City.

          Current amount of student housing provided by Davis
          Davis is currently housing 63% of at least 32,663 UCD students (Note: 32,663 is the 2015-2016 three-quarter-average number used in the LRDP, which is higher now) So,
          0.63 X 32,663 = 20,577 UCD students currently housed in the City of Davis
           
          Current amount of student housing provided by UCD
          UCD is housing only 29% of these 32,662 UCD students on-campus
          0.29 X 32,663 = 9,472 students currently housed on-campus by UCD.

          Summary:

          So, the City of Davis is currently providing housing for 20,577 students (or beds).
          So, Davis is currently providing (20,577 – 19,500 =) 1,077 beds in excess of its 50% share.  Plus, the 540 additional beds approved at Sterling Apts. mega-dorm adds up to 1,617 beds over the 19,500 beds of the City’s 50% portion.

          However, UCD currently only has 9,472 beds on-campus (mostly one-year freshman dorms)
          So, 19,500 – 9,472 = 10,028 beds are needed to be provided by UCD on-campus for its share for the 50/100 plan, not the inadequate number of only 6,200 student beds proposed by the 40/90 plan which does not provide enough student housing.

          Far more affordable student beds are needed on the UCD campus like are being provided on other UC campuses. The more student beds provided on-campus, the more it helps prevent the escalation of rental housing. The 50/100 plan is the only effective solution to the UCD student housing needs.

          1. Don Shor

            If UCD sticks with 40% and nothing gets built in town, our current dire rental situation gets much worse.
            If UCD sticks with 40% and some housing is built in town, our current dire rental situation gets somewhat worse.
            If UCD goes to 50% and nothing gets built in town, our current dire situation stays dire.
            If UCD goes to 50% and some housing gets built in town, our apartment vacancy rate could improve.
            I suspect you would agree that UCD is not going to go to anything above 50%, if they’ll even go to that.
            So if every private housing proposal geared to young adult renters gets blocked, the current dire rental situation will not improve.

          2. Don Shor

            If the university will not commit to housing 50% of their total enrollment, then they should be pressed to
            — phase out the master leases as quickly as possible, as those do real harm to non-student renters in town;
            — expedite the pace of construction of new housing so that there is not any further lag with respect to enrollment increases, as that puts an undue burden on the rental market in Davis and surrounding communities;
            — seek creative solutions to the short-term housing crisis facing some students, including allowing alternative forms of housing on campus. There is no excuse for any UCD student to be homeless.
            The urgency of the present situation needs to be impressed on the new chancellor. There seems to be a great deal of complacency in the higher levels of the UC administration, as well as in some quarters in our community, about the housing market in Davis. This has been a problem for as long as I can remember in our rental market. I am very much aware of the problems young adults face finding and affording housing here. It’s always been difficult, but it’s never been this bad. In the course of introducing himself to our community, I hope that Chancellor May will talk to some of the young folks, students and otherwise, who are affected by the university’s and city’s policy impasse on rental housing.

          3. David Greenwald Post author

            “The reality is, the 40/90 plan does not solve the student housing problem, and the 50/100 plan is necessary to even start solving the problem. You are proposing to simply have the City continue to compensate for UCD’s negligence”

            I agree with your first sentence. I don’t agree with your second sentence.

            First, the city has not built any market rate student housing for over a decade, so the city has not compensated for UCD’s negligence
            Second, by building for 1500 beds (which they will do), the city is taking on some of the responsibility for additional needed lodging for students. You argue that’s compensating for the university’s negligence, I would argue the city is helping the situation slightly but UCD is still having to take on the bulk of the responsibility.

            In effect, you are arguing that UCD needs to take on all the additional need for housing, I’m arguing that 85-15 is not unreasonable for either the city or the university.

            Moreover, we still don’t know where those additional 2300 beds are going to come from.

            Finally, while I have been steadfast in support of the 100/50 plan, I am concerned about what housing 10,000 additional students on the UCD campus actually looks like and whether that will create a de facto city outside our borders taxing our services without compensation. I’m not concerned enough to oppose 100/50, but I don’t think either you or the city has really thought that part through. Again, just raising it as an issue.

        2. Eileen Samitz

          Don,

          What I am saying is that if UCD goes to 50% than yes, I do believe the rental situation in town will improve.

          I also believe that if the City continues to approve expensive mega-dorms which are specifically designed just for students, while UCD does not do its share, the current rental housing situation will only get worse and force more of our families and workers out of our City’s rental housing.

           

        3. Mark West

          “You are proposing to simply have the City continue to compensate for UCD’s negligence”

          You have it completely backward, Eileen. The University needs to build housing on campus in order to compensate for the City’s (and community’s) negligence to provide housing for its residents. The City is the housing authority, not the University.

        4. Eileen Samitz

           “First, the city has not built any market rate student housing for over a decade, so the city has not compensated for UCD’s negligence.”

          David, the problem is that there was an 8-year recession where the housing construction industry took a huge hit nation-wide, not just in Davis. So, don’t make this sound like this was a deficiency of Davis. Plus, there is a surge of housing that has been approved in Davis including multi-family housing. However, again my concern is that multi-family housing should be not be “mega-dorms” with single-room-occupancy and rented by the bed. That is an exclusive design for students, but instead new multi-family housing needs to be designed for non-student like families and local workers to be able to rent as well – to allow housing for all.

          “Second, by building for 1500 beds (which they will do), the city is taking on some of the responsibility for additional needed lodging for students. You argue that’s compensating for the university’s negligence, I would argue the city is helping the situation slightly but UCD is still having to take on the bulk of the responsibility.

          In effect, you are arguing that UCD needs to take on all the additional need for housing, I’m arguing that 85-15 is not unreasonable for either the city or the university.”

          First, what you are proposing David, starts with accepting the inadequate UCD 40/90 LRDP proposal while the issue is not even settled yet. As a result, in your “85:15” plan, the 15% portion that you are recommending that the City take on additionally, is actually 38% of the 4,000 beds that UCD is responsible for but are reluctant to provide. So your reference to “85” does not seem to have any meaning. If it does, please explain what the 85% means. 

          So, to clarify your proposal it should be called the “38% “plan (not “15%”) of Davis continuing to compensate for UCD deficient on-campus housing where you want the City to take on 1,500 more beds of the net (unplanned) 4,000 beds that UCD is responsible for but not committing to providing so far.

          The bottom line of your proposal is for the City compensate for UCD’s negligence by providing 1,500 additional beds to help UCD catch up with the 10,000 beds that UCD is behind in providing on campus.

          UCD’s share of the 50/100 plan means that UCD needs to build around 10,000 on campus to bring them up to 19,500 beds, 19,500 is half of the 39,000 UCD target.  

          Just to review the overview ofthe disparity of the student housing situation is that:

          20,577 UCD students are currently housed in the City which is 63% of the UCD total student population.

          Only 9,472 UCD students are currently housed on-campus by UCD, which is 29% of the UCD total student population.  Furthermore, most of UCD’s on-campus housing is just one-year freshman dorms, which does not allow the students to remain on campus after their first year (for a UCD student campus population of around 35,000 now). (Note: this information was covered in more detail in my Aug 12, 9:20 pm post above).

          An added factor, is that giving UCD “credit” for 9,472 beds is not even reflective of the situation, since most of those beds are for one year only, not four or more years as in apartments in the City. So, if anything, any dorm bed should legitimately be counted a “quarter of a bed” since it only provides housing for one year of the four years a UCD student attends UCD. So, the vast majority of whatever UCD does build, if not all, needs to be apartments or some version of beds that provide on-campus housing for the four or more years that students attend UCD, not just for freshmen for only their first year in a dorm.

          On-campus housing is the only way to control student housing costs into the future. That is why all the other UC’s are doing it. So, since other UC’s are stepping up to provide the 50% of on-campus housing, there is no excuse why UCD can’t, particularly since it is the largest UC in the system with 5,300 acres.

          Finally, in regard to your last comment, I would say that I don’t think that you have thought through what you are proposing, which is to have the City compensate for UCD’s negligence. That course of action is not only detrimental to the City but also to the students since it perpetuates the problem and allows it just get worse. The cost of student housing can only be controlled on-campus, not off campus and that is exactly why all the other UC’s are building as much on-campus housing now, as possible, except UCD so far.

          The City surging forward with compensating for UCD’s irresponsibility and negligence with mega-dorms is not good planning, short-term or long-term and does not provide a solution. The only long-term solution that will work starts with the 50/100 plan, otherwise the rental housing situation will not get resolved and in fact will get worse.

           

  2. Todd Edelman

    Doesn’t

    Sources tell the Vanguard that the city fully expects this interchange improvement to be built within the next five years.  The city fully believes that the future conditions will be vastly different, from a circulation standpoint.
    There is also a second piece to this puzzle and that is getting the people on bike or on foot through the intersection.
    There was a lot of discussion on this, but the city believes that the way to go is a pedestrian and bike overcrossing.  In a follow up conversation, I was told that the undercrossing, in addition to being cost prohibitive, has space limitations and design limitations that make it less than desirable.
    In November the pedestrian/bike overcrossing to the train depot was rated by consultants as feasible with an estimated cost of $6.3 to $6.7 million.

    refer to two different projects? The intersection’s  “second piece” question is answered by a description of the UPRR over- or under-crossing, yes? (They only have partial functional overlap: While going from a large part of South Davis via Pole Line to Olive is an obvious route, it can also be a good solution for people at Sterling, points further east on 5th and obviously the whole length of 2nd St…)The proposed intersection-solution, the “Gateway” design – seen here at real page 45 / display page 48  – does not solve the Russell crossing for Olive in a straightforward way involving a long ramp that crosses over Russell; instead it has a horseshoe shape that also reaches the south side of the tracks over the tunnel. So it’s relatively level, which is good, but it’s also indirect, which is very, very bad. The problem here is that cyclists can also cross like motor vehicles here, and that’s the route they’ll take if they especially if they think they’ll get the green. It’s more risky, but it might be faster. Think: Cyclist rushing to campus in the morning. This is pure design clusterf*ckery, and typical of two-tier and thus anti-egalitarian bicycling infrastructure design here in the “Cycling Capital” that allows more confident cyclists to travel considerably faster than less confident ones.

    Further, a big part of the cycling education program in town is based on the predictability, i.e. drivers should have a reasonable expectation of what a cyclist is going to do. But in this case – and at this difficult intersection, which will be a lot more important if not only Lincoln40 is built but the Pole Line to Olive connection and a 2nd St to Olive connection that’s part of the UPRR crossing – this strategy is contradicted. If there’s no signal phase for cyclists here it’s worse, but it’s difficult to argue for one if there’s the Gateway thing.

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