Monday Morning Thoughts: Transportation Picture Summed Up in One Chart

Richards Tunnel

This is the single most powerful chart on travel in Davis.  It comes from the UC Davis Travel Survey and what it finds is rather profound while, at the same time, almost obvious.

If you are concerned about traffic impacts in the city, then there is a simple answer – build more housing close to campus.

The dividing line in how people get to campus is rather clear.  If you live within 4.9 miles of campus, the vast majority of people either use the bus or bike or walk.  If you live outside of that 4.9 mile radius, the vast majority of people drive alone.

You may say, duh.  Naturally the closer you live to campus, the less likely you are to actually drive to get there.  But the striking feature is just how profound those numbers actually are and their implications for land use decisions.

At the first level, within a mile of campus, 76 percent bike to campus while another 17.4  percent walk or skate.  That means that within that first mile of campus, nearly 94 percent of residents use modes of transportation other than motor vehicles.  And if you add in that 4.3 percent take the bus, nearly 98 percent of all people within a mile of campus do not drive.

So for those looking toward Lincoln40 this week or Nishi in June, if you want to reduce VMT (vehicle miles traveled) to campus, if you want to reduce traffic congestion during peak hours and on Richards Boulevard, if you want to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, building projects close to campus that allow students to walk or bike is a game changer.

That might seem obvious and perhaps it is.  What is always striking to me is that the next two levels are robust as well.

Modes of transportation shift when you get within 2.9 miles of campus, but not by as much as you think.

It is probably important to understand distances.  From Sterling to the MU (Memorial Union) is 1.7 miles.  From South Davis Nugget to the MU is 4.2 miles.  In the other direction, Sycamore Lane Apartments to the MU is 0.7 miles.  To the Arlington Farm Apartments it’s 2.4 miles.   To the Silverstone Apartments north of Covell, it’s 2.7 miles.

The vast majority of the city of Davis is within 2.9 miles of campus.  They project in the survey a population of 34,500 within that distance.  At that distance, just 15 percent drive while 52 percent bike and another 31 percent take the bus.

If you go out one more level, there are another 2000 or so people within five miles of campus, and even there 57 percent bike or take the bus, versus around 43 percent who drive.

Get outside the city of Davis, and over 75 percent drive alone, and really the number is over 90 percent for those who use some sort of vehicle.  Busing falls to less than 10 percent across the board outside of Davis.  Only when you get to 20 or more miles out, still about 3000 projected population, do you get a significant number, 10 percent, who use the train.

The lesson here is obvious.  One of the complaints about Nishi 1.0 was that it would supposedly add traffic impacts to Richards Blvd.  One of the current complaints about Lincoln40 is the same.  The traffic analysis does a poor job – in my opinion – of modeling the decline of traffic that has to use I-80 to get to campus via Richards Blvd.

But what this chart demonstrates and demonstrates very clearly is that the more housing you put close to campus, the less people will drive and the more people will walk or bike.  People complained
that Sterling was too far from campus.  Well it’s 1.7 miles from the MU.  As we pointed out at the time, at that distance, you are looking at a 15 percent drive rate to campus.

Some believe that the additional biking through the Richards-Olive Drive intersection will cause traffic delays.  The city is hoping to fix that intersection through the creation of an overpass.  The developers at Lincoln40 are going to contribute to that.  The city has also applied for a grant.

Staff believes that the EIR has adequately addressed the issue with expert analysis and potential mitigation measures down the road.  The overpass will not be required as a condition of approval, rather it is a down-the-line solution.  Some believe that is not sufficient, but I think the immediate problem is vastly overstated.

Yes, there are going to be 708 additional residents but it is not like they are all coming out of the apartment project at once.

That is not the case, and the intersection can handle pretty easily the additional volume of traffic and bikes expected to be generated per hour by Lincoln40.

Fehr & Peers did the Traffic Study for the Richards-Olive Drive Corridor.  Keep in mind that not only will there likely be an overpass at some time, within five years, the Richards-I80 interchange and the configuration of the Richards-Olive Drive intersection will be reconstructed.

The corridor study concluded that, even with the planned development at Mace Ranch Innovation Center (MRIC, currently on hold), the Hotel Conference Center (which has since been downsized) and Nishi (defeated at the polls), there is sufficient capacity to handle the vehicular volumes at the Olive-Richards intersection.  And that is under an existing conditions analysis.

The corridor study further notes, “The final memorandum on the Lincoln40 trip generation and distribution shows lower traffic volumes of 45 AM and 63 PM peak hour trips based on further trip generation studies.”   (The original estimates were 62 in the AM and 85 in the PM during peak hours)

There will be more bicycles coming through that intersection, but at the rate of perhaps 1.3 per minute additional at the peak.  That’s not going to cause problems for the intersection.

The bigger picture is building more housing within that one mile distance from campus will fix more problems than will be caused by additional residents.  That is what we want.

—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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86 thoughts on “Monday Morning Thoughts: Transportation Picture Summed Up in One Chart”

  1. darelldd

    Here is the part that I wish were more obvious:

    We give lip service to reducing motor-vehicle trips, while we continue to do everything we can to make car use easy and convenient at the expense of our money, land, the environment, and all other forms of transportation.

    Of course it is best to live near our daily destinations. Next step is to create the balanced transportation infrastructure that is needed to support the live/work/school dream. It is time to stop being “friendly” to active transportation, and time to start prioritizing it. Let’s make a town to live in, not to drive to and through.

    >>Some believe that the additional bike(s) through the Richards-Olive Drive intersection will cause traffic delays.<<

    This sort of thinking is destructive to proper planning. Read that again; the bit about traffic delays. Traffic is the transportation of people and things. People on bikes do not delay the traffic. They ARE the traffic. And incrementally more riders will not increase the riders’ delay. The people who chose to drive might be delayed if there are more people on bikes. Isn’t the stated goal to reduce driving? Yet the plan is to dump a bunch more money into motor vehicle infrastructure to reduce the delay of driving (note that I do not say “traffic”). And yes, I understand that there will be a bit of bike/ped infrastructure installed around the edges because, Davis. The active transportation part will cost pennies on the dollar compared to what we will provide for the people who choose to drive.

    If we continue to prioritize motor vehicle transportation, why bother to build more things in town to avoid car trips?

    1. Jeff M

      Stop with the stupid scarcity mindset and build smart developments and robust public transportation infrastructure.   We prioritize nothing because of the stupid scarcity mindset.

      1. Tia Will

        Hi Jeff

        You really didn’t think that you were going to bring up scarcity mindset unchallenged did you? You are completely ignoring the fact that not all items or processes are created equal. Let’s look at a few things that we would be better off with less of. Cigarette consumption – if we cut back ( scarcity mindset) the population would be healthier.  Same for alcohol and recreational drugs. I would take this a step further and say that we would have a healthier population overall as Ken alludes to in his 9:35 post.

        I am all for abundance of those items and activities that contribute positively to our environment and our lives. While the gas burning automobile allowed for advances in our lives, we took the “abundance mindset” with regard to cars and infrastructure designed for cars, but detrimental to people to an extreme. That extreme led to abundance of things that are not good for us such as smog, miles of strip malls, parking lots, freeways, a sedentary lifestyle  causing health problems and premature deaths. I know you like to think in terms of black and white, since you have said so, but with transportation, the situation is far more nuanced and it is rarely a simple matter of abundance vs scarcity.

        1. Jeff M

          Force scarcity Tia.

          For you to argue that forced scarcity is good for all of us free people means that you have to first assume that there is a qualified ruling class of people that make these decisions for the rest of the ignorant masses too stupid to make their own good choices in life.  And second, you ignore negative consequences of forced-scarcity as just an inconvenient means to your desired end.

          From the larger perspective this is the trend toward totalitarianism and then the end to collectivism (because it eventually requires a larger police state to enforce all those forced-scarcity rules you can concoct).

          Interesting that you bring up cigarettes since the forced-scarcity rules caused a larger police state that killed Eric Gardner.

          If you want more people to ride bikes or take public transportation, then advocate for abundant bike and public transportation infrastructure.  How about advocating for ending our practice of million dollar retirement benefits for 50-something year old government employees and instead use the money for abundance in city services that encourage people to make these good life choices?

          The problem with forced-scarcity is that it can also be forced on you and cause you to lose freedoms and values you cherish.  It is a much better path to advocated for abundance of things that offer the better life choice.  For example, I see development in motorized bikes as an abundance solution.  The cities that have installed the ebike infrastructure have all noted a big increase in bike ridership.  These are abundance solutions.  Not only do they work better, but they do so in a way that promotes freedom of abundant choice… which makes for a much more enjoyable way to live.

        2. Richard McCann

          Jeff,

          Unlimited abundance isn’t possible–it’s a myth that we don’t need to make tradeoffs. We also do things that impact other people, e.g., pollute the air with our cars. Unfettered markets can’t address all of these interplaying factors, in part because it’s not possible to define individual property rights in many things, such as air quality. But as a society we can exercise our collective property right by limiting use of these types of resources by individuals. (I’ll leave the methods of limitation to the unstated details.) These situations are why we have governments. It’s not a trend towards totalitarianism (unless you consider the rise of the corporate state as the real threat)–it’s an awareness that our interactions impact others, and that becomes more evident as our planet grows more crowded. Freedom and liberty is valuable but so is responsibility. Too many people ignore their responsibilities to others.

      2. darelldd

        Are you not championing forced scarcity of active transportation infrastructure?

        Has the “ruling class” decided that billions for car infrastructure is better for us than millions for cycling infrastructure?

        >> The cities that have installed the ebike infrastructure have all noted a big increase in bike ridership. These are abundance solutions. Not only do they work better, but they do so in a way that promotes freedom of abundant choice… which makes for a much more enjoyable way to live. <<

        And this is why I advocate for infrastructure that allows the freedom of choosing the the most appropriate transportation for a given trip. We don't have that when we continue to prioritize for the automobile. In this last paragraph you pretty much sum up my advocacy life. Yet you see the result of what I want as "forced scarcity." So I'm confused. I'm simply arguing against motor vehicle abundance that we have now.

    2. Ken A

      I ride a bike most days in Davis so I am not “anti-bike” but just like a couple old people with walkers will “slow” the flow of people on a sidewalk or in a hall people on bikes will tend to “slow” the flow of traffic on any road that does not have a big bike lane.

      I’m not happy that so many Americans are big and fat and don’t want to ever ride a bike or walk over a 1/4 mile, but the reality is that most Americans are out of shape and don’t ride bikes or like to walk very far so if (as a city) we don’t make “car use easy and convenient” most retailers in the city will close and and office buildings in the city will be mostly empty.

      When Darrel says “why bother to build more things in town to avoid car trips?” I’m wondering if he knows people in Davis who are driving to work and shopping every day and saying “I would be riding my bike every day if David built _____ so I could cut back on car use”.

      Every now and then I’ll here parents shocked that we let our kids ride bikes to school on the street say “I would let my kids ride to school if they did not have to go on the street, but even at the Davis schools with direct bike path access where a huge number of kids can ride to school without ever going on a street not many more kids ride to school (and a scary number of young kids are out of shape).

       

      1. Tia Will

        I’m wondering if he knows people in Davis who are driving to work and shopping every day and saying “I would be riding my bike every day if David built _____ so I could cut back on car use”.

        We exist. When I was raising my family, I would have said exactly this when I lived in Northstar not by my choice but because my ex was adamant and I was still trying to preserve family unity. As soon as I had a reasonable opportunity, I moved to OED specifically to wean myself off car use. I am being reasonable successful. Same with my partner who for several years was able to trade in driving solo into Sacramento for walking to the train station.

        1. Ron

          Tia:  “Same with my partner who for several years was able to trade in driving solo into Sacramento for walking to the train station.”

          As a side note, one does not have to depend upon proximity to Amtrak for public transportation to Sacramento.  Yolobus commuter lines also do so, quite well.  Did it for years, myself.  Completely subsidized, by my employer.  (I wonder if UCD has a similar arrangement, for Yolobus commuters to campus?)

      2. Jeff M

        I would like to see a survey of the adult bike riders in this town to understand the cohort of life-styles they live.

        – UCD employee?

        – Works from a home office?

        – Retired or partially retired?

        – Perpetual student?

        – Otherwise does not have a regular job?

        – Lots of free/leisure time in their schedules… or has a lot of flextime in their schedules?

        – Works in town in a job that requires no meetings or travels outside of town?

        – Lives in the core area and not the periphery?

        – No kids?

        – Kids but none of with hauling needs (lots of activities and/or large equipment to move around)?

        – No senior relatives that need to be transported?

        – No physical impairments?

        – No shopping needs outside of Davis… because Davis has everything a person needs to shop for.

        My sense is that most that advocate for forced scarcity of auto travel support are fortunate in lifestyle and simply intolerant of those not like them.

        1. darelldd

          Why do you wish to survey only adults? The thousands and thousands of kids who cycle in this town don’t have a lifestyle that we should serve? Because they don’t have “regular jobs” and such? Is our town to be built around only working adults?
           And why is the implication made that those who advocate for better infrastructure for active transportation want forced scarcity of auto travel? I thought the article was on naturally reducing auto travel by building more stuff near where people want to go. And with less auto travel would come with it less need for the car infrastructure, yes? Does our current transportation infrastructure equate to forced scarcity of bike and ped travel? I argue that it does. But that scarcity doesn’t seem to matter?
          Those who transport themselves by bike and foot when it makes sense, also generally drive when driving makes sense, assuming that they *can* drive. So the either/or implication of your questions is not relevant. Can you imagine someone who rides into town to work, has their kids ride themselves to school, and then hops into a car when a huge load needs to be hauled out of town, or for a family vacation? That’s my life. Transportation is not black and white.
          For fun, I thought I’d take your survey:

          – UCD employee?

          No, but I do have meetings on campus.

          – Works from a home office?
          Mostly. But also visit clients.
          – Retired or partially retired?

          A qualified yes, but I’ve never worked more in my life, so maybe not relevant.

          – Perpetual student?

          Ha. No.

          – Otherwise does not have a regular job?

          I’m not sure what a “regular job” is these days. Still defined as 9-5? I have more work now than at any other time in my life. None of it is “regular.”

          – Lots of free/leisure time in their schedules… or has a lot of flextime in their schedules?

          I created my life around flexible time. And because I don’t need to carve out time to work out at the gym, nor do I watch much TV, I have some “free” time that others might schedule different.

          – Works in town in a job that requires no meetings or travels outside of town?

          Nope. I work were the job is. In town or out of town.

          – Lives in the core area and not the periphery?

          Periphery. Or at least the other side of the freeway from downtown.

          – No kids?

          Wife, kid, dog.

          – Kids but none of with hauling needs (lots of activities and/or large equipment to move around)?

          Lots of hauling needs. Tandem bicycle. Panniers. Cargo bike. Trailer. And if the need is big enough… car!

          – No senior relatives that need to be transported?

          Three who can no longer really transport themselves.

          – No physical impairments?

          More than I can count, and this is why I’ve begun using a pedal-assist bike. And why I sometimes drive.

          – No shopping needs outside of Davis… because Davis has everything a person needs to shop for.

          I have plenty of shopping needs outside of davis. Just yesterday I brought home a heavy tool from Woodland. I used my car.

        2. Jeff M

          Fair enough.  Good to understand that you also need a car at times and thus must value the ability to drive on the roads.

          I think with a working life that allows for schedule flexibility you are much more able to ride and can shed the car more often.

          Personally I have two jobs and often need to travel to both location and otherwise have meetings to attend in Sacramento and other surrounding places.  There are morning where I wake up thinking I am going to peddle to work, and then check my calendar and realize that I need to take the car.  I am thinking about getting a plug-in or hybrid vehicle and leave it at the office to use.

          I have seven employees that live in Sacramento and commute to and from Davis every day.  At least four of them would prefer to live in Davis but cannot afford it due to the forced-scarcity of Davis housing.

        3. darelldd

          There are some people who can’t drive, and that can be for many, many reasons. Old and young age, vision, health and other impairments, cost, licensing, etc. And if we optimize our society for private motor vehicles, we sideline these people.

          For those of us who make the choice to not drive for short/easy trips into town, we mostly also drive when that’s the most practical and convenient choice. And that is usually OUT of town. On the freeway. Indeed, most of us who choose bicycle transportation also own cars, drive cars, and are licensed. And each time we ride instead of drive, we create a better experience for those who DO need to drive. Why cyclists aren’t thanked (instead of ridiculed) is beyond me. Every cyclist in town is one more open parking space for a driver who needs his car. Every cyclist represents that much less congestion, air pollution and road wear. And cycling significantly decreases the danger to other road users.

          It is not uncommon for me to ride for an in-town errand and then a meeting, then ride home, get in the car, and drive to Sacramento. There is no black-and-white here. There is no one-size-fits all here. Using the right tool for the job–if you are fortunate enough to have the choice of tools–is the answer. If folks who didn’t need to drive, did NOT drive, we’d have 10x more parking than we could use, and our roads would be so much more useful. Instead, many people would like to assert their “right” to drive because that’s what they prefer. This means that the people who *need* to drive, have a tough time of it. And for some reason, angry motorists often point at cyclists and the related infrastructure as the problem, instead of the solution. Why drivers don’t point at other “convenience” drivers is beyond me.

        4. darelldd

          >>I think with a working life that allows for schedule flexibility you are much more able to ride and can shed the car more often.<

          Quite true. And purposefully so, as I’ve mentioned before. But I should mention here that I often ride for work so that I’m not late, by being stuck in traffic in my car. Many people think that driving places in town is much faster. It isn’t.

          Daily I see thousands of able-bodied people driving to lunch, dinner, movies, hair-styling, coffee, beer, window-shopping. These activities don’t strike me as being “inflexible” errands that somehow require a car. So how my working life is scheduled really isn’t all that important here. There are many, many people who drive in Davis who aren’t restricted from riding due to job scheduling. And why so many of our downtown employees feel the need to drive a mile or two or three is also mystifying (sideways glance at David).

          1. Don Shor

            There are many, many people who drive in Davis who aren’t restricted from riding due to job scheduling. And why so many of our downtown employees feel the need to drive a mile or two or three is also mystifying (sideways glance at David).

            They prefer to drive. You seem to be having a lot of trouble with this concept.

        5. Ken A

          If we make it easier for cars to get around we actually make it easier for those “who can’t drive, and that can be for many, many reasons”  since they almost always travel by car (with parents driving for the young and with kids or Uber or cabs for the old).  We are not going to have any more kids riding to concerts in Sacramento or old people riding to doctors appointments in Sacramento if we had better bike lanes…

      3. darelldd

        >> I’m wondering if he knows people in Davis who are driving to work and shopping every day and saying “I would be riding my bike every day if  <<

        Wonder no more. The answer is yes. They’re all around us. Every member of my family fits this to some extent. We would ALL ride more in town if the transportation system was not so amazingly skewed toward the mighty motor vehicle. And parents of school kids? Consistently we hear that the kids are not allowed to ride because of all the dangerous car traffic.

        Parents are polled somewhat regularly. And we consistently hear is that their kids would ride to school if the parents felt that they would be safe. To make kids on bikes safe, Davis needs to build ____ so they could cut back on car use.

        The supposition that many (most?) kids who can ride on “direct bike path access” and choose not to has no supporting evidence. And just because there is a bike path, does not mean that it is good/safe/comfortable to use. H-Street tunnel, anybody? Making cycling possible is not the same as making it practical. Printing “Bike Lane” in the door zone of our streets, and allowing giant root heaves in our paths is not what we’re after. If you look at any other place in the world that truly prioritizes active transportation, you will see that the case of “build it and they will come” is usually accurate.

        The 5th Street redesign is an outstanding bit of evidence.

  2. Ron

    Repetitive articles from David, again.  Again, the chart shows that approximately 37% of Davis residents drive to campus.

    As darelldd notes, bicyclists are part of traffic.  However, adding more residents who travel through city streets and intersections increases congestion for all traffic, regardless of mode of travel.  That’s simply common sense, and seems to be a point that is (sometimes) ignored by my bicycling friends.  And, it doesn’t make much sense (other than $ concerns) to add new developments that require new bicyclists, pedestrians, and new auto drivers to negotiate impacted, dangerous intersections prior to constructing “promised” dedicated overpasses.

    Sure, those who live closest to campus are generally less likely to drive to campus, then those who live farther away.  Of course, driving is not limited to trips to campus. (As a side note, it does seem that public transportation options are improving, since new commuter lines were added in recent years.  However, these might be better-suited for faculty/staff, than students.) In any case, those who live in the city often drive through it, vs. those who might exit from Highway 113, for example.

    In any case, David is ignoring the obvious solution for students, which is on-campus housing (which doesn’t require expensive, taxpayer-funded infrastructure, to access campus).

    If you expect both overpasses for Lincoln40 to be built anytime soon, perhaps one should refer to the effort at the Cannery.

     

     

     

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “In any case, David is ignoring the obvious solution for students, which is on-campus housing”

      I’m not ignoring it, I have addressed the issue many times. The university is planning to build 8500 beds in the next ten years. Adding additional off-campus help will help alleviate the housing crunch as well as reduce traffic impacts.

      At the same time, I’ll continue to point out, on-campus housing is 60 percent more expensive than off-campus housing.

      1. Ron

        Not sure that your percentage is correct.  However, if so, perhaps that’s another reason to pursue an agreement with UCD. How much will it actually help, if the 8,500 beds are more expensive than what can be obtained in the city (or in surrounding communities)? Also, do you think a developer and UCD are willing to actually build units that are not priced competitively? Seems like they’d have trouble filling them, if not competitively priced.

        Note the agreement between Santa Cruz and UC Santa Cruz, which requires the university to help pay for off-campus transportation improvements, and includes requirements regarding student housing, number of enrollments, and the number of motor vehicle trips, to campus.

        http://lrdp.ucsc.edu/settlement-summary.shtml

         

        1. Ron

          Seems to me that you were comparing on-campus housing that included meals.  And, may not have been accounting for the fact that on-campus housing might not require a full year commitment.

          I’ve seen advertisements for off-campus housing, in which a student is “stuck” with a year-long lease, and therefore wishes to sublet the unit for a short period (e.g., after a quarter ends).

          In any case, you may be pointing out a bigger problem.  If so, then the “8,500 plan” that you keep referring to may not even be viable. (Perhaps about as viable as building bicycle/pedestrian overpasses, without sufficient funds!)

          I recall that Don posted a link for another university (a UC, I believe) in which a particular on-campus housing development was required to be less-expensive than off-campus housing.  Perhaps he could repost that.

        2. Jeff M

          Ron, I really don’t understand what your point is.   It seems that you just get irritated with data that does not support your views and start typing.

          Are you really taking the position that there are not a significant number of UCD employees and students driving to and from the campus?

        3. Ron

          Jeff:  Not seeing a connection between what I actually said, and your interpretation of it.

          I’ve noticed that neither David nor you have actually responded to the points I made.

        4. Jeff M

          Ron: I am seriously not sure what your argument is against the chart posted by David in this article.  Is it that you don’t believe that we have about 6,600 UCD employees and/or students driving to and from the campus every day?

        5. Ron

          Jeff:  I’ll just repeat some comments I’ve already made, since it hasn’t been responded to (and addresses your point):

          On-campus housing is really the only alternative that doesn’t “add more” to city streets/intersections, regarding the commute to campus. (And, doesn’t require taxpayer-funded bicycle/pedestrian overpasses, to reach campus.)

          To David:  In any case, you may be pointing out a bigger problem.  If so, then the “8,500 plan” that you keep referring to may not even be viable. (Perhaps about as viable as building bicycle/pedestrian overpasses, without sufficient funds!)

          Note the agreement between Santa Cruz and UC Santa Cruz, which requires the university to help pay for off-campus transportation improvements, and includes requirements regarding student housing, number of enrollments, and the number of motor vehicle trips, to campus.
           
          http://lrdp.ucsc.edu/settlement-summary.shtml

           

           

        6. Jeff M

          On-campus housing is really the only alternative that doesn’t “add more” to city streets/intersections, regarding the commute to campus.

          Not necessarily, but I will certainly agree that it should mitigate the increase in traffic outside of campus.

          (And, doesn’t require taxpayer-funded bicycle/pedestrian overpasses, to reach campus.)

          You have to assume that students only travel to and from campus, and will not need to travel to services outside of the campus.  Adding campus housing will add traffic and use of city infrastructure without any increase in tax revenue to deal with it.

          Note the agreement between Santa Cruz and UC Santa Cruz, which requires the university to help pay for off-campus transportation improvements, and includes requirements regarding student housing, number of enrollments, and the number of motor vehicle trips, to campus.

          I think it is reasonable for UCD to help pay for the city infrastructure costs resulting from student growth.  Are you working on that?

    2. darelldd

      >> However, adding more residents who travel through city streets and intersections increases congestion for all traffic, regardless of mode of travel.  That’s simply common sense <<

      It may be common to think this, but that does not make it true. A street that can handle 100 cars per unit of time, would be able to handle thousands of bikes. As a thought study, imagine if every one of the cyclists that you see bunched up in the tiny space allotted to them at the intersections near campus was instead each driving his own car. If we put all cyclists into cars, our city would be in gridlock. If instead we put all drivers onto bikes, we would have gobs of extra pavement and money and safety and clean air.

      I am a driver, a cyclist and a pedestrian. I don’t want “what’s best for cyclists.” I want what is best for my city, and the people who live and visit here.

       

      1. Ron

        darelldd:  You’re referring to replacing current car drivers with bicyclists, vs. adding more bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians to an already-existing situation.

        As a side note, things get “messy” (and likely more complicated) when mixing different types of traffic.

        On-campus housing is really the only alternative that doesn’t “add more” to city streets/intersections, regarding the commute to campus. (And, doesn’t require taxpayer-funded bicycle/pedestrian overpasses, to reach campus.)

        1. David Greenwald

          “You’re referring to replacing current car drivers with bicyclists, vs. adding more bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians to an already-existing situation.”

          I believe you are incorrect.

        2. darelldd

          Again, this is not black and white. And in that post, I was merely refuting the “fact” that adding more people on the road created the same amount of congestion regardless of if those extra people were in cars or on bikes (or even on foot).

          It simply is not true, and is being used as a reason to continue building car infrastructure…. so all those cyclists and pedestrians don’t slow down the cars.

          If we wish to add more people who are on bikes, the extra congestion that may be created should be dealt with my optimizing for that mode of transportation. Instead, we will “relieve the congestion” by making car travel more convenient.

          >> I believe you are incorrect. <<

          I'm happy to stipulate "correct yet irrelevant."

        3. Ron

          darelldd:  “It simply is not true, and is being used as a reason to continue building car infrastructure…. so all those cyclists and pedestrians don’t slow down the cars.”

          Not necessarily a comment regarding Davis in particular, but it seems to me that we aren’t building a whole lot more infrastructure for cars.  For example, – other than roads specifically intended to serve new developments, I can’t think of a single road that’s been built in recent years, throughout Northern California. (And, very few that have been widened or significantly improved.)

          And yet, we keep adding more development and residents, and “hoping” that they won’t drive. And, we keep witnessing the results.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            “yet, we keep adding more residents”

            I would argue we really need to re-think how we define this. Are we adding residents? Some. I think the population of Davis has gone from 62,000 to 68,000 in the last 18 years. But most of these apartments are taking existing people who drive to the university and instead put them in town. So what we are really doing here through building apartments is reducing cars and replacing them with bikes, peds, and bus riders.

        4. Ron

          darrelldd:  “Are we adding residents?”

          Yes.  Well-beyond the one percent growth cap and SACOG requirements.

          Again, no one is “making” UCD pursue thousands of non-resident students (who pay them $42,000 per year in tuition).

        5. darelldd

          >> As a side note, things get “messy” (and likely more complicated) when mixing different types of traffic. <

          Correct. This is why it is prudent to prioritize the traffic that makes us healthier, and doesn’t kill us as easily. Mix implies dumping everybody into the same bowl and stirring. Let’s not do that.

        6. darelldd

          >> I can’t think of a single road that’s been built in recent years, throughout Northern California. (And, very few that have been widened or significantly improved.) <<

          And one huge reason? They’re super expensive to build. And guess what? We can’t afford to maintain the millions of miles of road that we’ve already built! So how in heck can we build more, and then maintain more? We can’t. And we need to stop pretending that we can pave our way out of every transportation problem we face.

          Yeah, so where does it end, right? We continue to prioritize private automobiles running on those roads we cannot afford. And we keep putting more and more cars on them every year, destroying the roads faster….and… THIS is why we need to stop spending all of our money to accommodate the private automobile. If we can’t keep up, we’ll certainly never get ahead.

          And yet. We really like to drive. And it’s cheap because the costs are externalized. First step is to start charging what driving costs us. Then, maybe we’ll have a few more people interested in trying something different. What percentage of Davis residents would modify their ways if it cost them $15 every time they drove into down town. Not as a “stick” but as a reasonable cost of their action… the same way that being asked to pay $2 for a cup of coffee is not a stick.

      2. Howard P

        I am a driver, a cyclist and a pedestrian. I don’t want “what’s best for cyclists.” I want what is best for my city, and the people who live and visit here.

        Amen.

        Moi, aussi.  Called mobility.  Also includes those who need to use wheelchairs, walkers, etc., which I believe you intended, which appeared to be everyone.

         

         

        1. darelldd

          Thanks, Howard. Yes, brevity often gets in the way of being fully inclusive. Recently I was a member of the wheelchair and crutches group. And wow, how much did that suck?

          A lot.

        2. Howard P

          Been there, did that, it indeed sucked.  Only good that came out out of that experience… gave me an even greater appreciation for what some have to deal with all the time.  A greater empathy.

    3. David Greenwald

      “Repetitive articles from David, again.”

      I don’t understand the need for you state that

      “Again, the chart shows that approximately 37% of Davis residents drive to campus.”

      Doesn’t actually.  It should that 37 percent of those traveling to campus who live between 3 and 4.9 miles from campus, drive to campus.  (And as I demonstrated in the article, that’s a small portion of people).  The majority of people are within 3 miles of campus and do not drive.

      1. Ron

        Actually, it appears to show a “cumulative” total, showing that 37% of those who live within 5 miles (essentially within city limits) drive to campus.  As a side note, how was this study conducted (e.g., self-reporting, by those who chose to respond)?

        Again, I’m not arguing that those who live closest to campus are less likely to drive to campus. (It seems like a rather obvious premise to base an entire article on. Let alone post it, day-after-day.)

        In any case, those who actually live on campus have no “commute” to campus, at all. And, don’t require unfunded bicycle/pedestrian overpasses, to do so.

        1. Ron

          I missed that.  So, more than 50% of those who live within 5 miles drive (alone) to campus? And again, is this based upon self-reporting, by those who chose to respond?

        2. Howard P

          those who actually live on campus have no “commute” to campus,

          Define “commute”… the campus is big.  Students/faculty do not live in the buildings the study/teach in… then there is ‘staff’… clarify your point, if you will… think I see where you are heading, but but until every student, faculty, staff, contractors live exactly where they study/teach/work, there will be a ‘commute’… only variables are distance, origins/destinations, and modes.

      2. Tia Will

        “Repetitive articles from David, again.”

        I agree with David on the spurious nature of this comment. Does anyone who posts on the Vanguard truly believe that everyone who visits this site reads exactly the same articles and commentary that they do. I personally know people who read the Vanguard daily, and others who may check in once weekly or once monthly.

        I myself, a usual daily reader have missed many articles and had to ask David or catch up on comments that I did not understand because I had skipped a previous article.

  3. Tia Will

    Jeff

    Interesting that you bring up cigarettes since the forced-scarcity rules caused a larger police state that killed Eric Gardner.”

    Please. Absolutely no one was forced to kill Eric Gardner. Actually, I am surprised that you as a supposed believer in individual responsibility would claim that anyone other than the involved officers were responsible for his death.  Certainly you in the past have posited that no one but the criminal involved is responsible for theft, even when that theft is for food.

    Forced-scarcity has zero to do with not removing pressure from the throat or upper body of a person who is informing you that they cannot breathe, no matter how much you might want to claim that.

  4. Ron

    Ironically, I started using public transportation only after I changed my work location (from Davis, to Sacramento).  Before that, I regularly commuted to work (by driving alone) entirely within Davis.  (Rather disgraceful, I know.)  🙂

    1. darelldd

      >> I regularly commuted to work (by driving alone) entirely within Davis. <<

      All humor aside, I think that says a lot about what we encourage in Davis. If the first thought after “I need to go somewhere in town” is *always* “where are my car keys?” we have a problem.

      When it becomes obvious that I want to encourage active transportation (by making it safe, practical, comfortable) by using a carrot, it is amazing to find how many assume that I wish instead to use a stick.

      I am not waging any “war on cars” as some seem to infer. I own cars. Too many of them, in fact. They’re great tools for foul weather, long-distance, heavy cargo, multi-person, high-speed door-to-door transportation. They simply SUCK for solo, intracity transportation in a small town. Oddly enough, I’m about to go hop in my car right now. Yes, I *must* drive, because it is to have the car itself worked on.  :sigh:

      1. Ron

        darelldd:  “All humor aside, I think that says a lot about what we encourage in Davis.”

        It’s the “nature of the beast”.  Driving will always be a lot more easy/convenient, unless one uses the “stick” approach that you referred to.

        1. darelldd

          I actually don’t believe that driving will always be, nor has always been more easy/convenient.

          There is a lot of momentum there. And habit. To many, transportation=drive, for no other reason beyond “that’s all I’ve known.”

          One item to ponder: Is taking away a carrot the same as using a stick? Because right now, car owners are getting almost all the carrots. And because the box only contains a set amount of carrots, we can’t offer carrots to anybody else, unless we take some away from one mode if we wish to equalize with another mode. And when I say things like this, I’m accused of this “forced scarcity” thing. Of using a stick. The thing is, using all the carrots on one mode does indeed look like using a stick on the other modes.

          What would our cities look like if we magically had spent equal money, time and land on non-motorized transport, as we do on motorized transport? What if the carrots were all equally distributed? I’m only talking about intracity here. Not the freeways and such.

          I’m not sure what happened here, but this might have turned into a high-quality conversation! (If only I could keep up, and find all the relevant responses).

    2. Howard P

      You are correct.  ‘Rather disgraceful’…

      Until I had physical limitations, I always bike/walked between home and work… always chose to live within 1-3 miles from work. Except in inclement weather, then sometimes got ‘lazy’… am talking about heavy rain, severe cold…

      1. Ron

        Well, I was slightly farther (and parking was free for me, at the time).  Had to dress appropriately at work, as well.

        Actually, I guess I’m not “appropriately embarrassed” (e.g., by Davis standards) regarding the choice I made at that time. Might do it differently these days, but not sure.

        1. Todd Edelman

          re: <<dress appropriately>>

          Lots of people – in flatter places where perhaps people are a bit more tolerant to natural b.o. than in the USA- rides bikes dressed in business attire … a great way to help with that is by using an electric-assist bicycle. You can go reasonably fast without exerting much at all.

  5. Todd Edelman

    At this point it’s quite obvious that Lincoln40 will be approved, probably unanimously. All we can do at this point is make a more sustainable and equitable solution.

    Look around Davis outside of the typical commute hours near campus:

    You’ll see a very clear dominance of automobiles, far above people walking, cycling or buses. You’ll see a tiny number of bicycles at large shopping centers. Unitrans doesn’t prioritize travel to shopping* (try taking a bus from near Anderson and West Covell to Nugget on East Covell… )

    It’s very easy for students with cars to travel to the supermarket or really anywhere else in Davis aside from campus, and it’s only somewhat complicated to drive to Downtown, if you’re willing to walk a bit. It’s much easier (and superficially cheaper) for one to five students to get in a car and travel to Sacramento (there’s a group ticket for Capitol Corridor, but only for weekends, and it has to be purchased a day in advance.)

    The reason for all of this is what I’ve seen referred to here as “storage” for automobiles that are generally not used for travel to campus**.

    Following are ideas for solutions!

    Good:
    + Don’t allow residents of Lincoln40 to obtain parking permits for campus. This is of course the rule for on-campus housing, and will likely be one of UC Davis’s conditions for Nishi 2.0. The chart from the student travel survey supports it.
    + Charge enough to park at Lincoln40 so that there’s always a couple of spaces available, or at least a very short waiting list.
    + Charge at least $5 for every exit by car. If residents want to drive their stored car home or to go skiing  a couple times a month, that should be fine.***
    + Through permitting make it impossible for Lincoln40 residents to park on Olive Dr. and if possible on any private property along Olive.
    + Distribute fully electric carshare vehicles throughout the development, so that only ADA-related spaces are closer.
    + Provide electric-assist cargo bicycles – the kind with the large box in front – to residents. This is also planned for Nishi 2.0. It will make it super easy to take those weight-intensive journeys to the shopping center (even as far west as Trader Joe’s, or via the already-funded connection from the Old 40 path up to Pole Line (and then north to Grocery Outlet or Nugget, or south to Safeway.)
    + Establish a standard, reduced price for classic car rental for residents — it’s a short walk to lots of rented cars at the businesses down the street.

    Better:
    The above and…
    ++ Reduce parking significantly and use the space for a thicker green buffer between the building and the train tracks. This “urban forest” tactic is supposed to be effective at Nishi, after all, to reduce air and noise pollution impacts for residents. (Lincoln40 is supposed to block noise from the railroad, which is not really comforting to residents facing the train tracks with their closed windows.)
    ++ Use any funding made available – surface parking lot spaces can cost from $5,000 to 10,000 each – to increase the number of subsidized beds.

    Even Better still:
    +++ Deepen the “Better” category (and remove what’s irrelevant) by eliminating private car parking completely after the overpasses to West Olive and Davis Depot are constructed (making regional trips by train way easier), with the exception of what’s necessary for ADA-compliance, plus a few cars for exceptions, such as non-student first responders or single-person business independent contractors. Deepen also by increasing carshare and cargo bike provision so that there’s always a vehicle available.

    BEST:
    ++++ Eliminate private car parking with the same exceptions as above BUT from the beginning. This is the most effective way to increase housing choice in Davis, as soon as possible. The cost of hundreds of parking spaces is at least several million dollars. Housing for people is always more important than housing for cars. Implementing an “urban forest” here is obviously more effective if done as early as possible. With the space available it may also be easier to adjust the space needed for a non-circuitous crossing over the railway that optimizes travel to Downtown as well, and ideally construct a connection from an upper floor of Lincoln40 – and bike parking up here, too! – so that residents don’t have to go down before going back up over the tracks 🙂

    The pre-subsidy cost of $1,600 or so for a two-person bedroom is well more than it’s equivalent in a normal, apartment in our pricey little town, even if other things are taken into account (There’s so much free and cheap good-quality used furniture available in Davis: I got a lightly-used Stearns & Foster queen mattress and boxspring for $75, a small IKEA sofa for $50, other furniture for free…).

    Just as there is nothing on the level of the student travel survey – by the way does everyone know that City Council candidate Eric Gudz was a big part of that? – to look at trips to shopping etc. (but just use your eyes), the oft-talked VMT reduction may not be as significant as imagined when closer housing is well more expensive than what’s a 15-drive away, expensive enough so that it’s not really compensated for by time and gas savings for anyone who doesn’t get rid of their car.

    *The goal for 2020 is meant to be 30% of trips by bike for shopping (dining, entertainment, etc.). Even if central areas miraculously triple their cycling rate, making it 50% of trips for shopping, etc., to arrive at a 30% rate the outlying large shopping centers will have to do their fair share, which might be 10%, which is at least a 500% increase from today. In three years.

    **It was a big, red, sweaty shame – and triumph of misinformation – when housing for cars was prioritized over housing for students at Sterling. The fear there was that too many people would cause intolerable car traffic impacts, but that was assuming that people = cars. But at least 200 more people could have lived here in the same footprint, using the space that’s now going to be parking. More housing, less cars, less car traffic was for some sad, alienating reason, not the operational wisdom here.

    *** At the very last moment before Sterling was approved, the pay-to-exit condition was suggested. The final agreement was that residents could have a few free exits per month. The problem with this is that several friends and/or roommates here with cars could do a couple trips each per month and always be able to drive with no added cost to the supermarket, to non-campus parts of town or outside of town.

    1. Don Shor

      Don’t allow
      make it impossible
      Eliminate

      I suggest you get these words and phrases out of your lexicon.

      The goal for 2020 is meant to be 30% of trips by bike for shopping (dining, entertainment, etc.). Even if central areas miraculously triple their cycling rate, making it 50% of trips for shopping, etc., to arrive at a 30% rate the outlying large shopping centers will have to do their fair share, which might be 10%, which is at least a 500% increase from today. In three years.

      So obviously that isn’t going to happen, and any suggestions of coercive measures against private property owners would be properly resisted. As you know, we don’t live in a command economy.
      30% is an aspirational goal, not a policy goal. It was an arbitrary number and obviously will not be met. I suggest a review of the Davis Bike Plan, published around 2014 or so, to see what voluntary action items have not been implemented.
      The problem with your many attempts at changing (coercing) transportation behavior is that people prefer to drive cars. I suggest we be realistic about how likely we are to change that behavior. But putting housing closer to jobs and school is an obvious way to make it easier for people to choose to use bikes or walk.

      1. Todd Edelman

        Well, first of all I appreciate that you read my comment from head to toe!
        re:

        Don’t allow

        and

        make it impossible

        These are about permits. Either you can get one or you can’t.

        re:

        Eliminate

        As above, and I am sure you noticed “exceptions”: I might be mistaken, but in all the aspirating about car-decluttering in Davis, I’m the only who has consistently mentioned this exception based on certain jobs dependent on need for an individual motor vehicle.

        How is 30% an aspiration goal and not a policy goal? What does that even mean in the context of goals? This figure is mentioned 11 times in the Bicycle Plan, either in the same context or same paragraph as “policy”, “goal”, “target”. A policy goal does not become aspirational because it was unrealistic, arbitrary, etc.

        Changing is coercing? People prefer to drive cars because the costs of driving are ridiculously un-internalized, parking is fare-free generally eliminated at both ends, we allow priority access many places for cars, it’s possible to drive fast around young, soft bags of flesh and bone…. responsible planning, prices and pacing tend to encourage people to choose a different form of mobility. The only entitlements should be sustainability, health and joy.

        Until the City rescinds the 30% goal we should fight for it, or justify why we don’t want to.

        1. Don Shor

          How is 30% an aspiration goal and not a policy goal? What does that even mean in the context of goals?

          It means that it was an arbitrary and thus meaningless number, chosen because it was nice and round (why not 27.6%? 31%?). I am unaware of any analysis that it was achievable or meaningfully vetted in any way. So if we aren’t getting there, it simply proves that it was unrealistic or some voluntary measures haven’t been implemented or some assumptions weren’t met. There’s no need to “justify why we don’t want to.” We can’t and won’t. So revisit the goal if necessary, or just keep trying. But don’t use an arbitrary goal as a reason for implementing coercive measures on people who don’t want them. You talk about how “large shopping centers will have to do their fair share.” Well, they’re privately owned. So I don’t know of any measures you plan to propose for them that aren’t coercive.

        2. darelldd

          Don,

          >>coercive measures on people who don’t want them<<

          How do people know what they want if they are not given the full picture of how it affects them?

          Or to put it another way, who wants to be charged for something that used to be an externalized expense? Making decisions of “want” based on getting something damaging and expensive for “free” does not bode well for humanity.

          1. Don Shor

            getting something damaging and expensive for “free”

            It is not free, nor perceived to be free, to drive a car. Drivers pay all kinds of direct and indirect costs, including gas taxes which were recently increased to pay for transportation projects. http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-california-gas-tax-vote-20170406-story.html

            Over the next 10 years, the tax increase, along with increases in other fuel-related taxes and fees, will generate $54 billion for transportation improvements statewide–mainly road repairs but also $100 million more a year exclusively for biking and walking projects.

            https://sacbike.org/gas-tax-hike-to-fund-road-repairs/
            On behalf of drivers everywhere: you’re welcome.

        3. darelldd

          It is wildly frustrating to not be able to reply to posts that have moved too far right…

          >>It is not free, nor perceived to be free, to drive a car. Drivers pay all kinds of direct and indirect costs<<

          Many parts are not internalized. It isn’t perceived to be free, because gosh, we have to buy the car, insure it, put gas in it, maintain it. That’s a lot of money! But parking in town… does a driver pay for what he uses? Of course not. Military protection of our oil… do drivers pay for what we use? Of course not. How about usage of the road? Not even close. Pollution… when did a driver pay for dumping crap into our air? Sure, drivers pay a lot of money. But we don’t–and never have–paid what it costs to drive or park or pollute.

          >>On behalf of drivers everywhere: you’re welcome.<<

          I didn’t expect that you’d be the one to bring up the “gas tax” to point out that drivers really do own the roads (I assume that’s the point?) Do I even really need to go there? Who do I thank? Myself? That’s awkward.

          When I ride instead of drive, should I be thanked for the pollution and congestion I’m not creating? For the car parking that I’m leaving open? I guess that would be worth money only if drivers are actually paying for what they use. Now I’m just confused.

          So if this gas tax that drivers are paying for our roads is… paying for our roads… why do our roads suck? And if the roads are woefully underfunded, why did this post start with the idea that drivers aren’t getting something for nothing?

          I pay taxes that fund the bulk of our local automotive infrastructure, regardless of how much I use it, and regardless of how much gas I burn. I trust you’ve seen the proposed local tax increase to fix the roads? I’m going to pay for our roads based on my income and resources, not on my usage.

          You’re welcome?

          1. Don Shor

            I didn’t expect that you’d be the one to bring up the “gas tax” to point out that drivers really do own the roads

            I didn’t say that drivers “really do own the roads”. I was responding to your notion that driving is free. “getting something damaging and expensive for ‘free'” to use your phrase. It isn’t free or perceived as free. Now you’re going off on ever-wilder tangents about military costs and pollution. Well, we all pay for those things, too, don’t we? So do you actually want to have a discussion, or do you want to just engage in tangential hyperbole?
            People like to drive. They perceive it as safer. You think that’s irrational. They find it convenient. You want to make it less convenient.
            I suggest that bike enthusiasts dust off the Davis Bike Plan, review what hasn’t been acted on, set some priorities for upcoming budget cycles, and stop acting holier than the rest of us.

        4. Keith O

          I suggest that bike enthusiasts dust off the Davis Bike Plan, review what hasn’t been acted on, set some priorities for upcoming budget cycles, and stop acting holier than the rest of us.

          Standing ovation.

          Ride your bikes, I’m all for it and ride mine from time to time, but we don’t need any bike advocates dictating to the rest of us about our transportation choices.

           

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            The whole point of my piece today was to demonstrate that proximity to work/ school leads to different transportation choices. You don’t need dictation at all.

        5. darelldd

          >> and stop acting holier than the rest of us. <<

          Ah. Damn.

          Here I was, happy to see a reasonably good discussion, and no ad hominem attacks.

           

          I’m done.

      2. darelldd

        Don,

        Clearly “people prefer to drive cars” is true. But as with most things, this issue is nowhere near as simple as that. What is cause, and what is effect? WHY do people prefer to drive cars? Perhaps it is because cars are simply the best way to get anywhere we wish to go. Perhaps it is because we externalize most of the operational, storage and damaging effects of cars, so that car owners can’t get a clear picture of what this choice really costs them?

        When the 5th Street redesign was being discussed, I remember several folks wondering why we should add bike lanes, because…. nobody rides bikes there. We’d be supplying infrastructure to nobody because the mode of transportation in the corridor was obviously monolithic.

        So yeah. Now with bike lanes and slower, more orderly car traffic on 5th Street, we find suddenly that far more people prefer to ride their bikes on 5th Street. Like hundreds of times more people. Nothing about cars or bikes changed. Only the fact that it became practical and safer to ride a bike there.

        We live in a world where the car is obviously king. And we cater to the car at every opportunity, with an enormous amount of public money. Of course people would like to use stuff that’s so amazingly comfortable and subsidized with public money. You’d be a fool not to!

        1. Don Shor

          It has been shown that people will choose to drive rather than take transit, just for example, even when it is clearly economically irrational to do so.
          https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2013/02/why-people-chose-cars-even-when-metro-would-be-faster/4566/
          It isn’t the low cost of driving, or that they are unaware of the options. Our preference for driving is very strong. People prefer to drive for a variety of reasons such as speed, safety, and convenience, and it’s a strongly held preference for a majority of people.

        2. darelldd

          Don,

          If people are driving for “safety” then we have a long, long way to go. It means that rational decisions are not being made.

          And it’s the point I make again and again – In general, people are not making their decisions based on a full deck of cards. And until we actually charge people what it costs to drive, how will we really know what choices they’d make? I find almost no relevance in a game with tokens. And mass transit compared to the convenience and freedom of riding a bike is also challenging for me. Charge a Davis resident $15 to drive into downtown, and then we’ll see if behavior can change. How about if we convince the population of the fact that driving is likely the most dangerous activity that they do each day?

          I drive to protect myself, by putting everybody else in mortal danger. Meanwhile, everybody else is making the same decision. Duh. I just need to make sure that my car is always bigger than everybody else’s.

          I need a gun to protect me from all the people with guns. (Gah. Sorry. I shouldn’t go there). OK, I’ll stop with the fallacy driving for safety…

          At some point we have to do what’s best for… everybody. Why can’t I drive 150 mph? I feel safe. Why can’t I burn my garbage in my back yard? Costs me less. Why can’t I save time and money by just punching my neighbor instead of taking him to court over our disagreement? (sorry, north neighbor, I obviously mean the one to the south). It turns out that we can and we do force people to do what’s best for society, even though it impinges on their freedom to do what endangers others. Hey… smoking! And most amusing to me is that sometimes the “law and order” folks are also those who don’t want any restrictions on their rights. I’m not sure how that works.

          One big reason we drive is what I said before: The car is king. Everybody who’s anybody drives.

          1. Don Shor

            If people are driving for “safety” then we have a long, long way to go. It means that rational decisions are not being made.

            It is much safer for me to be in a car than it is for me to be on a bike.

            And until we actually charge people what it costs to drive, how will we really know what choices they’d make? …. Charge a Davis resident $15 to drive into downtown

            What is the basis for your $15? It sounds arbitrary and intentionally punitive. As noted, drivers pay fees and taxes.
            The rest of your post appears to be a private discussion between you and several strawmen.

        3. Todd Edelman

          Don:

          re: <speed>>

          Definition one: If we invest more $$ in reliable and reasonably fast rail, it’s incredibly popular: Google the Expo Line in L.A. which starts in wealthy Santa Monica. It’s not very fast, but very reliable. You know well that UP stands in the way of faster and more frequent Capitol Corridor trains.

          Definition two: In 25 mph-signed roads, many cars are going 30 mph or a bit faster without penalty. “That kid you hit could be your own”.  The growing European design speed of about 18.5 mph is four times less likely to cause a death than the normal, un-congested speed we have here…

          Definition three: It’s fast because we’re not really paying for it.

          re: <<safety>>

          Safety for whom? Convenience for whom? Speed, safety and convenience are all related. Let me know if you want to help design a class for e.g. junior high kids that instills in them permanent creative idea-engines for societal structures that reduce hubris and narcissism.

  6. Ron

    In general, one concern with the “stick” approach for cars is that the stick (“punishment”) has to be “complete enough”, to actually work.  (For example, if parking is eliminated/restricted on-site, then parking also has to be sufficiently restricted in surrounding areas, as well.)

    Car drivers are a determined bunch.

    1. Todd Edelman

      re:

      Car drivers are a determined bunch.

      Yeah, I considered e.g. “… and areas beyond Olive Dr, as part of a general expansion of parking permits all over town.”

      But also I suggested “carrots” which as far as I know have not yet been considered for Lincoln40 (and elsewhere).

      A stick so no car? Don’t be so blue.
      Carrots carry carrots, too.

    2. Howard P

      Agreed… as a start, no new homes should have driveways nor garages (on-site) for cars.  Then we should phase the existing ones out, which could give us more spaces where folk could rent out space for students/others, to live.

      Good “stick”, it.

      1. Ron

        It’s headed in that general direction!

        On a broader level, I just find it kind of amusing that we (throughout California) are jamming more-and-more residents in, and are experiencing an overall diminishing quality of life (and environment degradation), as a result. While convincing ourselves that it’s the “green thing” to do.

        On a somewhat related note, are we back in a drought again, yet?

        1. darelldd

          Ron, it isn’t just the “green thing to do,” it is also part of the grand pyramid scheme that we like to call “healthy economy.” In order to pay for all the things we’d like to have now, we need to generate more tax revenue from building new places to live and work. When that’s done, we need more things, so we need to keep building new places to live and work to make more money to pay for what we can’t find the money for now.

          I don’t know where it stops. Folks decry the “no-growthers.” But is the plan to forever grow? That doesn’t work in the end, does it? Not for anything that we know that “grows.”

          But I digress.

  7. Ken A

    When I wrote: “I’m wondering if Darell  knows people in Davis who are driving to work and shopping every day and saying “I would be riding my bike every day if David built _____ so I could cut back on car use”.

    I meant to write “Davis” since I don’t expect “David” to build another way to get over I80 or under the UPRR.

    I also didn’t get any real answers about what the city should build since Tia said she started walking and riding more when she moved not due to anything the city built (I’m wondering if I should read this as meaning she thinks the city should OK more housing near downtown)…

    When Darell writes “We would ALL ride more in town if the transportation system was not so amazingly skewed toward the mighty motor vehicle.” I didn’t get any specifics.  Since I can ride my bike on (almost) every road designed primarily for motor vehicles I don’t see that as a negative.  If I am riding with my son from the little league fields to a pizza place downtown we will almost always beat the people in cars.

    I have seen the same polls as Darell where “Parents say kids would ride to school if the parents felt that they would be safe.” but sadly I read even more polls where parents say they want to lose weight and exercise more, but just like the bike poll I’m certain that almost all the people are lying and just telling the person what they think they “want to hear”.

    This past weekend I was at a laser tag place with a bunch of 12 year old boys and “better than average shape” Davis dads and after a couple games most of the dads were breathing hard and many said they “needed to sit out” the last game.  When the Dad’s asked why I was not breathing hard I mentioned that just a little bit of cardio work per week will make a big difference.

    People always tell me that they “don’t have time” to run but when I point out that when I don’t have a lot of time I can still run the short 1.5 mile loop from my house in under 10 minutes before I take a shower (I was doing it in under 9 minutes until my late 40’s) .  Since even most out of shape guys can slow jog a mile and half in under 15 minutes the reason that most people are not running is not “lack of time” it is because they “don’t want to”.

    P.S. I don’t know why but even here in super safe  “bike city USA” with a ton of bike trails and nice bike lanes a smaller percentage of grammar school kids walk and bike to school than back in the 70’s in most of the Bay Area (sadly I don’t think that making the bike trails smoother or even adding more bike trails will get the parents “afraid” that some guy is going to jump out of the bushes and grab their kid to let them walk or ride to school)…

     

  8. darelldd

    >> When Darell writes “We would ALL ride more in town if the transportation system was not so amazingly skewed toward the mighty motor vehicle.” I didn’t get any specifics <<

    I can provide you with any specifics you want. But because there are so many, I’m not really sure what you are looking for.

    To get started: Please don’t conflate with “can ride your bike” with “comfortable, practical and safe to do so.” Or even “designed appropriately for.”

    Our public roads – the width, striping, signaling, signing, intersections – all of it, is designed for the speed, size, weight and visibility/hearing limitations, and expected law-breaking of drivers and their cars. We fit other infrastructure around this car-specific stuff as a secondary process. We even prioritize the parking of our cars on the streets over bicycle transportation (ride in the door-zone bike lane on east-bound East 8th approaching Pole Line for your specific example. Or recall that B Street used to allow parking in the bike lane until recently.) The roads we build for cars have to support tens of thousands of pounds. Roads for bikes do not. And while the tax-payers in Davis all pay roughly equally for these roads, the people who cycle more than they drive are paying way the heck more than they need or use. Don’t even get me started on all the “free” car parking everywhere. None of this even take into account the surface area required for a car compared to a bike on the road. (please, nobody bring up “gas tax” for our local roads… please).

    To the car infrastructure, we sometimes add a crosswalk. Or we add bike lanes. But these things don’t exist if they aren’t convenient to car travel or storage. Or if the volume or speed of cars is too high to be safe for people outside of cars. Or if it is too expensive. We can’t paint white lines to demarcate our bike lanes in town because there is no money… for paint. To see car priority, think of 5th street before the redesign. Or ride your bike over the Mace over-crossing, in either direction.

    Maybe the most simple way to view this is in money alone. How much public money do we put into car infrastructure compared to any other mode? Or, all other modes combined, for that matter. That answer clearly shows what we prioritize. And again – just because cyclists and pedestrians can use this made-for-cars infrastructure (sometimes), this is almost irrelevant to the discussion of what mode of transportation it is designed to optimize, what it costs, and who pays for it.

    If I haven’t provided enough specifics, I can go for days. Those who know me, or have seen me post before will warn you to not test me on this.  🙂

    1. Ken A

      As I have mentioned I ride my bike to work almost every day (when it is not raining or over 100 degrees) and I ride my bike to almost every activity I go to with the kids.

      I ride because as things are now (when it is not raining or over 100 degrees) it is “comfortable, practical and safe to do so” and for “most” trips I take in town riding a bike is also “faster” door to door (way faster if we go downtown where the people in cars need to look for parking and when we go to stuff like football games on the UCD campus where parking is a long walk from the event).

      People that just walk and ride bikes who don’t own cars don’t pay hundreds of dollars every year in car taxes or hundreds or even thousands (depending on how much they drive) in gas taxes to the state to maintain roads and pay for public transit.  The reason that so little gas tax money comes to “cities” for road maintenance is because the state takes billions (with a B) to pay for public transit (that few people who own cars ever use).

      The reason the city puts more money in to the “car” mode is because most people use that mode to get around, back in the early days of Davisville people used the “horse” mode to get around and they city had corrals rather than parking lots and also places to tie up and water horses that are mostly gone now.

      I ride on 5th street now more than I did in the past, but I suspect that 99.9% of the people on 5th street today are people that were already riding bikes when it was two lanes in each direction.  Again I like bikes (we have more than a dozen of them in our garage) and I want to see more people ride in town, but I don’t think we will get even a dozen more people on bikes if we spent a million dollars painting more bike lanes.

      P.S. I noticed that UCD has some skateboard racks on campus and I’m wondering if Darell wants to spend  more money on that “mode” of transportation in town…

  9. David Greenwald Post author

    I don’t want to stop this conversation necessarily, but I do want to point out is that the data here in the survey show that you can change behavior by design.  By that I mean, by building housing close to campus, more people will bike.  Forcing people to live further away from campus, fewer people bike.  You don’t appear to have to do more than that.  Ok, carry on as you were.

  10. David Greenwald Post author

    ” So, more than 50% of those who live within 5 miles drive (alone) to campus? And again, is this based upon self-reporting, by those who chose to respond?”

    Ron: The interesting thing is that yes, these are self-repored by those who chose to respond, it looks like a solid percentage did in most cases.  Regardless, the other interesting thing is that the numbers seem to hold pretty constant over time.  That gives the survey an added element of robustness.

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