A Tale of Three Neighborhoods – How I Became Aware of Community Safety

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Cannery-bike-1By Tia Will

My story begins almost three years ago after I decided to downsize and bought a house in Old East Davis within direct line of sight of the east-west railroad line. I gave a lot of thought to cost, location, walkability, general neighborhood mix, and how I would adjust to the noise from the trains.

What I did not give any thought to was the safely, or ability to get out of my essentially cul-de-sac street should I need to evacuate rapidly. From what I have heard, it does not seem that many of us look into this issue prior to moving in. It seems that we just make the assumption that someone will have looked into the safety issues prior to approving or building the project. Or we simply don’t consider it at all.

Shortly after I moved into my cozy little bungalow, I discovered that there was a controversy brewing in my new neighborhood. The issue was the proposed fence along the railroad track purportedly with the intent of improving safety along the tracks in the aftermath of several train related deaths.

As with all well intentioned proposals, there are likely some unintended consequences. In an attempt to further understand what implications this fence might have for the residents of both my neighborhood and the “across the tracks” neighborhood of Olive Drive, I walked the Olive Drive side of the proposed route of the fence with a local expert on the railroads, my partner, and two city council members, Rochelle Swanson and Joe Krovoza.

What we found was sobering to me. Olive Dr., for those not familiar, has two potential automobile entrances, one off the west- bound freeway, and one heading east along Olive Dr. from the Richards Boulevard intersection.

There is however, only one automobile route out. That is to head west on Olive Dr. to this intersection from which it is possible to exit in three directions,  north through the Richards underpass into downtown, straight ahead, or south on  Richards. This intersection is frequently backed up in both directions.

So the impact of the “safety” fence is actually to block any reasonable hope of exiting the community on foot to the north should there be a need for community evacuation, leaving only exit on foot to the south without encountering cars trying to exit, or to the west with the potential danger to those on foot from those trying to exit by car.

The second neighborhood which makes up the title of this piece is San Bruno, California.  San Bruno is a suburban community in northern California. In 2010, a there was an explosion of a major gas pipe owned by PG&E. This blast killed eight, injured many others, destroyed between 40 and 55 homes entirely and caused extensive damage to many more. I, like many others, saw the aerial photos of the aftermath of this disaster.

I was particularly struck by one view which showed the gas line explosion as centering in the intersection of two major streets in the neighborhood. In the aftermath of this event along with the destruction of many lives is the ongoing financial cost. As reported in the San Jose Mercury News in September of this year, PG&E has just settled with 449 victims of this explosion for a total of $565 million dollars.  Now I tend to be someone who tends to focus on lives and rarely think about the potential economic implications up front.

However, I could not help but note by what order of magnitude this number dwarfed some of the other numbers in the 2-3 million range that have been debated back and forth when thinking about the potential liabilities or benefits of various aspects of this project. True, it is numerically low risk that such an event would repeat, however, the risk is not zero, and it has an extremely high potential cost should such an event occur.

The third neighborhood in my triad is, of course, The Cannery. For a long time, I didn’t make a direct connection. But when I did, I became increasingly concerned about the safety of this community as presently configured.

The potential problem as I see it is that the community is designed as a giant cul de sac with an intended population of 1,500.  This community is specifically being designed and advertised as friendly to the elderly, young families, and those with limited mobility.

There are two entrance/exits amenable to automobile passage located within a few yards of each other leading onto Covell Boulevard. There is one narrow entrance for emergency vehicles, only, on the east side of the project and per the ever sharp eyed Don Shor, a space for a service road running the length of the western side parallel to the north south railroad line.

So my mind connected the two, San Bruno, and the Cannery. I imagined the outcome of a similar explosion occurring near the southeast corner of this project with fire rapidly spreading and the potential for the only automobile accessible exit routes, located side by side having been blocked by the blast.

So here is my dilemma. I do not know whether or not this location or design have been thoroughly vetted for safety. I do know that answers to issues that I had raised before were either not to be found in the EIR nor known to the CC members who will be making the final decision.

One concern was addressed by a local expert in the railroads. It may well be that there is no concern here and that an adequate evacuation plan is in place and I am just unaware of it.  It may be that there are no foreseeable potential man made risks of this magnitude  associated with this project. However, until this morning I was uncertain that this concern was even being taken seriously. Enter my own personal Sydney Carton in the form of Brett Lee.

Councilmember Lee to his credit, reached out to me, took the time to listen to the background and my specific concerns, was willing to admit that he did not know the answers to several questions I asked, and said that he would address them and get back to me.

This is all I could ask for with regard to the Cannery project which is very far along in its development.  However, I do not think that this is all that we can or should ask for as members of the community going forward with future projects. If disaster planning including need for potential evacuation is not part of the initial planning for all future projects, it certainly should be.

As members of the existing community, we have a responsibility to those for whom we are providing new homes to ensure that their neighborhoods will be as safe as can reasonably be designed before we even start considering amenities.

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47 thoughts on “A Tale of Three Neighborhoods – How I Became Aware of Community Safety”

  1. David M. Greenwald

    Tia: Good piece. I remember walking the neighborhood with Rochelle and Alan Miller and coming away with a similar reaction with regards to Olive Drive. I don’t think people realize how cut off that area is from the rest of the city due to the fence. I never thought to connect it to Cannery before, but it’s worth thinking about more.

  2. SouthofDavis

    Medwoman wrote:

    > The potential problem as I see it is that the community
    > is designed as a giant cul de sac with an intended population
    > of 1,500. This community is specifically being designed
    > and advertised as friendly to the elderly, young families,
    > and those with limited mobility.

    How long are you going to beat this dead horse?

    Almost all new communities are designed like the Cannery and are either gated (with one gate in and out) or have the option to be gated down the road (I heard Mr. Lyon wanted the option to gate El Macero when he designed it for Mr. Mace 50+ years ago).

    > So my mind connected the two, San Bruno, and the Cannery.
    > I imagined the outcome of a similar explosion occurring
    > near the southeast corner of this project with fire rapidly
    > spreading and the potential for the only automobile accessible
    > exit routes.

    The Cannery does NOT have a big gas main UNDER it like San Bruno so a SIMILAR explosion can NOT happen.

    Why don’t you just admit that you don’t want the Cannery and forget the BS about “evacuation safety” since you 1. Raised your family in a home with only two ways out by car and 2. just admitted that you bought a home in an area with only ONE way out by car (closer to a rail line than most of the Cannery)…

  3. medwoman

    SouthofDavis

    [quote]How long are you going to beat this dead horse?
    [/quote]

    As long as it takes to get answers to the basic questions.
    And it is quite ironic that it was your post ( among others) that caused me to examine my own motives and write about them further. So if you do not want to hear more, perhaps you should be more careful in what you ask for.

    [quote]Almost all new communities are designed like the Cannery and are either gated (with one gate in and out) or have the option to be gated down the road[/quote]

    Because something is common place does not make it either safe, or desirable.

    [quote]The Cannery does NOT have a big gas main UNDER it like San Bruno so a SIMILAR explosion can NOT happen.[/quote]

    Unless you were directly involved in the design of gas supply to this and/or surrounding communities and would be gracious enough to inform me of the logistical details, much as Alan Miller did for my concerns about the railroad ( which has led me to stop posting with regard to that issue once he clarified the actual risk for me), I will consider that neither you nor I know the answer and that you simply do not want to hear about it.

    [quote]Why don’t you just admit that you don’t want the Cannery and forget the BS about “evacuation safety” since you 1. Raised your family in a home with only two ways out by car and 2. just admitted that you bought a home in an area with only ONE way out by car (closer to a rail line than most of the Cannery)… [/quote]

    That was worth a smile, since that is exactly what I have stated openly at CC and on these threads. You seem to think it is something that I should “admit” as though it were some guilty secret. I have spontaneously declared and clarified several times exactly the points you are making. And even if you were to be correct and these situations were identical, just because I made poor choices in which I now see the dangers, does that mean that we should make the same poor choices over and over when we have time to make better choices ?

  4. Jim Frame

    [quote]The Cannery does NOT have a big gas main UNDER it like San Bruno so a SIMILAR explosion can NOT happen. [/quote]

    PG&E has a gas transmission line immediately adjacent to the project on the east. I don’t know the pipe size, but it’s big.

  5. medwoman

    Thanks for the information Jim. It is the southeast portion of the project that I would see as the most vulnerable. I believe that this gas line has been mentioned a couple of times on previous threads. However, I was using the “gas line explosion” as an example only. There are many types of man made or natural disasters than can occur. Some are survivable, some are not. I am not looking to solve all potential problems, only those that could be mitigated and damage minimized if foreseen and acted upon.

  6. medwoman

    To anyone interested, I am off to work. I will address comment or questions this evening. I try to address them in order posted, so if I haven’t addressed yours, hang on, I’ll get there.

  7. Stephen Souza

    I have watched the new gas line being installed next to Con Agra property. Did not measure it but it appeared to be 18 inches. I will ask some of the workers today. The Cannery project is a nice island project that has gone thru a whole lot of review and revisions. The high priced homes are needed. Not the biggest housing need, but something is better than nothing. The biggest problem that no other development has had since I came here in 1979 is that it is an island designed with 1 1/2 exits out of it which are within 1 block of each other. Northstar, Stonegate, Mace, Aspen, Evergreen, Wildhorse are all large developments that have at least 2 and in most cases several exits out of the developments which are at opposite ends of the developments. Cannery will be a land locked island with very poor connectivity to our community. Unfortunately unfounded fear stops the developers, Council and the community from solving this problem.

  8. SouthofDavis

    Jim wrote:

    > PG&E has a gas transmission line immediately adjacent
    > to the project on the east. I don’t know the pipe size,
    > but it’s big.

    It is also brand new (I was talking with the PG&E guys working on it a couple months back while eating lunch at the Subway across the street from the site since they dug such a big hole I asked if the Covell Village guys were starting on a bike tunnel).

    Then medwoman wrote:

    > Thanks for the information Jim. It is the southeast
    > portion of the project that I would see as the most
    > vulnerable.

    If the “new” pipeline does blow and catches on fire we will have a hole in a field on fire (basically a big “bunsen burner” until PG&E can turn off the gas)in the field next to the Cannery.

    > However, I was using the “gas line explosion” as an example
    > only. There are many types of man made or natural disasters
    > than can occur. Some are survivable, some are not.

    Like…

    In the last 150 years has Davis ever needed to “evacuate” 300+ homes at the same time? Has any suburban neighborhood the like the Cannery (that is not in a flood or wildfire area) in the US EVER needed to quickly “evacuate”??

    > I am not looking to solve all potential problems,

    You are just trying to kill the Cannery development by making up “problems” (that if you really thought were “problems” you would move from the home you live in that is far more “dangerous” than the Cannery with only half as many ways out by car)…

  9. SouthofDavis

    Stephen wrote:

    > Cannery will be a land locked island with very poor
    > connectivity to our community.

    Easy solution to this is a dead end to the east that can be used to connect the Cannery to Wildhorse when Covell Village is developed down the road…

  10. Frankly

    I think people generally like living in a residential neighborhood with limited road entry and exit. I used to live off of Antelope Ave where it headed to a cul-de-sac back on a private drive. It was great for safety because only the neighbors had a reason to drive on that street and private drive. Kids could play and bike with limited worry.

    The problem with neighborhoods like Stonegate where I live now, is that Lake and Arlington are used for alternative routes for people driving in and out of Davis from the West. You take your life into your own hands attempting to cross Lake or Arlington where car speeds often well exceed 40 mph. With Covell and Russel speeds hitting 50 mph, with all the access points to the neighborhood there are cars coming from every direction and it is dangerous to walk, run or bike.

    I have also heard from reliable sources that West Davis is a favorite target for thieves coming from out of the area due to the multiple escape routes.

    This point about limited access points causing some difficulty in some event requiring an evacuation is a big stretch and misses the larger perspective on safety.

    With all due respect medwoman, I think you should drop this argument. I am more likely to want to live in a residential neighborhood with cul-de-sacs and no pass-through roads. I would take my chances that some catastrophic event would occur and I might have some extra difficulty evacuating.

    And if you insist on making this point, I would have to call out your position demanding higher population density in Davis. Higher population density results in greater evacuation difficulty. Just ask the people of the Philippines how that high-density lifestyle served them recently.

  11. Mr.Toad

    Unfounded fear of development. The best solution is as it always has been, master plan Cannery and Covell, but, political reality creates a limited environment for what is possible. Remember politics is the art of the possible. If Medwoman was truly concerned about emergency planning she would want the Cannery planned to link up to a Covell plan, with the acceptance that Covell should put forward a plan as well. Then she would argue that both should be built in the interest of public safety, lower housing prices, better connectivity and more senior housing. I, of course, won’t hold my breath waiting for her conversion to advocate for conversion from tomatoes to habitat for humanity.

  12. Jim Frame

    [quote]It is also brand new[/quote]

    It’s new because of the San Bruno explosion. But because it’s new it’s likely to be run at higher pressure that the old one.

    [quote]If the “new” pipeline does blow and catches on fire we will have a hole in a field on fire (basically a big “bunsen burner” until PG&E can turn off the gas)in the field next to the Cannery. [/quote]

    The effect of a gas line explosion depends on a number of factors, but the results can be quite a bit more serious than a bunsen burner:

    [img]http://members.dcn.org/jhframe/gasline.jpg[/img]

    Note that I don’t think the road access issue is a big one for The Cannery, though provision for a future exit onto F Street might be a good idea.

  13. J.R.

    This article suffers from two basic flaws:

    1. There is no risk analysis. Saying that the risk of an event is greater than zero is meaningless. One needs to estimate probabilities to determine reasonable actions.

    2. The San Bruno story, San Bruno has nothing to do with access. It was not lack of access that killed people in San Bruno.

    I hope that in her medical diagnosis TIa makes better use of risk estimation and reasons more clearly. Personally, I will avoid her medical services.

  14. hpierce

    [quote]Unless you were directly involved in the design of gas supply to this and/or surrounding communities and would be gracious enough to inform me of the logistical details, much as Alan Miller did for my concerns about the railroad ( which has led me to stop posting with regard to that issue once he clarified the actual risk for me), I will consider that neither you nor I know the answer and that you simply do not want to hear about it.
    [/quote]Ok… I’m too young to have been involved with the design of the natural gas line, but I can toll you that it is hundreds of feet east of the Cannery site. It runs diagonally across the Covell village site, and has a pressure regulating station @ the SW corner of Covell & L (recent work is being done there, and along L Street where it heads to the PG&E Corp Yard along L between Second and Fifth. It is not as large as Mr. Frame says, but it is high-pressure. That actually means it is MORE “safe” from cataclysm, as a significant rupture would ‘blow itself out’.

    I know this won’t convince anyone, but then the ignorant won’t listen to anything that upsets their world view unless it’s vetted by scores of “experts”, three legislative bodies, and a vote of the people. I’m just a stupid engineer.

  15. B. Nice

    [quote]I think people generally like living in a residential neighborhood with limited road entry and exit.[/quote]

    In a non-evacuation scenario I think this point has merit. But having an exit for emergency’s only would not effect this dynamic.

    It it is creepy that the only 2 exits are so close together. If an evacuation was required whats to keep people from just using the maintenance road Don pointed out wether it’s an “official” exit or not.

  16. B. Nice

    It’s hard to tell from that picture, does the access road run parallel (North/South) along the outside of the development? Or our you suggestion that people could cross the tracks right there?

  17. Robb Davis

    Don (and others) UP, the owner of the rail line running north along F Street has refused to grant an emergency at-grade crossing. Why? Because they don’t want to grant any at-grade crossings, period. What seems like a simple solution is blocked.

    hpierce – could you say more about the recent PG&E work on the east side of Cannery and through town (all the way to the freeway behind Davis Commons). I run in the fields to the north and I thought they were laying new pipe all along the north/south axis to the PG&E yard and beyond. Can you tell me what exactly they are doing?

    Thanks

    Robb

  18. JimmysDaughter

    Re: cul de sacs & other “safe” neighborhoods:
    “Kids could play and bike with limited worry.”

    Please, keep a vigilant eye on your kids. Some of my neighbors let very young kids play on our street, simply because it was a cul de sac. Watch your kids. Look how fast Jaycee Dugard was swept away. Cul de sacs provide a false sense of security, the way pool noodles and inflated water wings provide a false sense of security to pool owners. It only takes a second for a tragedy to occur. “Limited worry” is still a very real worry.

  19. SouthofDavis

    Frankly wrote:

    > With all due respect medwoman, I think you should drop
    > this argument. I am more likely to want to live in a
    > residential neighborhood with cul-de-sacs and no pass-
    > through roads.

    I did a Google search that quoted a DOT report that said on average 9 people die (and 45 are hurt)a year from gas explosions every year.

    A couple other searches found that 300-500 kids (not counting any adult deaths) die on average every year when hit by cars (and 20,000 to 50,000 are injured).

    I don’t know where to find the info on Davis, but I’m betting that more kids have died on 5th Street and Covell than on the cul-de-sacs in town (I’m also betting that Davis has never had a cul-de-sac death due to someone getting “trapped” with only one way out by car).

    A busy street through the Cannery to F Street will not only allow an escape route for an evacuation (that will probably never come) but will keep medwoman’s fellow MDs busy treating kids (and adults like Rich Rifkin who we have not heard from lately) that are hit by fast moving by cars…

  20. Frankly

    [i] Look how fast Jaycee Dugard was swept away. Cul de sacs provide a false sense of security,[/i]

    Here is proof that media can and does change human perceptions not in synch with actual facts.

    The risks have not changed. What has changed is the level and intensity of media reporting on those few events, and the development of hand-wringing, negative-nervous-Nellies absolutely sure they will be harmed by some miniscule probability event.

    It is always better that our opinions be based on true facts. And as SOD points out, injury or death by car is much more probable than any other fear/risk being drummed up to block the Cannery development.

    Besides, with fewer roads going in and out of the development, won’t that encourage more people to ride a bike?

  21. Don Shor

    [quote]Don (and others) UP, the owner of the rail line running north along F Street has refused to grant an emergency at-grade crossing.[/quote]
    I understand. It appears that a frontage road, possibly just dirt, goes along the railroad tracks to the north. In the event of an emergency people could leave and head north to the nearest at-grade crossing which looks like Road 29. It would be better, obviously, if this was all planned and accounted for in the development. I don’t know if that’s an actual frontage road, or just the edge of farm fields. In any case, exiting the Cannery property should be possible in an emergency and people could evacuate to the north.
    The specific risks associated with this site seem minimal. Flood? Monticello Dam took care of that. Earthquake? Modern houses will sustain what we’re likely to get here, and in any event you all know the drill in an earthquake. You aren’t going to be driving out of a neighborhood in that situation.

  22. Jim Frame

    [quote] It is not as large as Mr. Frame says, but it is high-pressure. That actually means it is MORE “safe” from cataclysm, as a significant rupture would ‘blow itself out’.[/quote]

    I didn’t say how large it is, since I don’t know. I used the word “big” because it’s a transmission line, as opposed to a local line.

    I initially thought it was right next to The Cannery parcel, because I’d seen construction vehicles using the road along the parcel line. A little nosing around indicates that it’s about 500′ east.

    The photo I posted was a 30″ line (same size as San Bruno?) that blew out in 2008 due to corrosion. It was running at 800 psig — a high-pressure line. It didn’t burn itself out until the gas was turned off; the burned area was about 1100′ in diameter.

    Safety is a relative thing. The PG&E replacement program is prudent; too bad it took the San Bruno incident to compel the company to act.

  23. B. Nice

    [quote]A busy street through the Cannery to F Street will not only allow an escape route for an evacuation (that will probably never come) but will keep medwoman’s fellow MDs busy treating kids (and adults like Rich Rifkin who we have not heard from lately) that are hit by fast moving by cars…[/quote]

    In the unlikely event an emergency the requires evacuation it would be nice to have an additional exit option like this one described by Don. (This would not be a main exit or entrance, just one for emergencies.)

    [quote]It appears that a frontage road, possibly just dirt, goes along the railroad tracks to the north. In the event of an emergency people could leave and head north to the nearest at-grade crossing which looks like Road 29.[/quote].

    Not sure why taking this precaution is meeting so much resistance from people. It seems like standard operating procedure to plan for emergencies, even rare ones.

  24. Jim Frame

    Since there are plans afoot to relocate the RR, it seems logical to provide for eventual F Street access, emergency or otherwise. Given the amount of traffic that regularly goes north (to Woodland, to SMF, to Sac via I-5, etc.), I would think that taking that traffic off of Covell would be a plus.

  25. B. Nice

    [quote]The risks have not changed. What has changed is the level and intensity of media reporting on those few events, and the development of hand-wringing, negative-nervous-Nellies absolutely sure they will be harmed by some miniscule probability event. [/quote]

    Frankly, I hope you are sitting down for this, I’m in absolute 100% agreement with you. I believe we are doing more harm to our children by trying to protect them from statistically improbable events then good. They are not developing the skills necessary to navigate the world independently. They are getting less exercise and they are spending more time in front of screens, because that’s “safer” then playing outside, which has real and significant impacts on their health.

    That being said, in the unlikely event that someone would try and kidnap them off the street my children and I have come up with a plan on how to handle the situation, just like I think the Cannery should have a plan for evacuation in the unlikely event one needs to occur.

  26. Frankly

    [i]Frankly, I hope you are sitting down for this, I’m in absolute 100% agreement with you.[/i]

    I’m glad I WAS sitting down. I am feeling a bit light-headed at the moment, and am at a loss for words…

    … ok, that loss of words thing passed quickly…

    [i]They are getting less exercise and they are spending more time in front of screens, because that’s “safer” then playing outside, which has real and significant impacts on their health. [/i]

    Agree with you there.

    [i]in the unlikely event that someone would try and kidnap them off the street my children and I have come up with a plan on how to handle the situation[/i]

    Awesome! That is very commendable. More parents need to do the same.

    [i] I think the Cannery should have a plan for evacuation in the unlikely event one needs to occur. [/i]

    Ok, this part I don’t get. When has it become the requirement of any residential developer to come up with an evacuation plan.

    I used to be responsible for disaster recovery and business resumption planning for a big bank. Every year I asked for funding of a data center hot site, and the executive budget would turn me down. Until one of our sister banks caught first and then I got showered with money. I traveled to Chicago 3 times a year with a team to test that we could recover our mainframe computer and switch over operations.

    But that was all justified by profit motive.

    My family has a plan that we put together after 9-11. It needs to be reviewed and updated (thanks for reminding me!).

    But that is all justified by personal survival motive.

    So, what motive exists for a developer to plan evacuation strategy into his project? Would he be held liable for harm if some catastrophic event occurred and someone could not get out? Or more specifically, if developers started to take on this responsibility and an event occurred and someone was harmed, could that developer be sued for their failure to consider any and all disaster scenarios?

    The bottom line for me is that this is a personal or entity responsibility. The same that you demonstrate by ensuring your children are well-equipped to keep themselves safe. The same that my employer demonstrated to protect their business interests protected.

    We need to stop with this mindset that so many are so incompetent or incapable of caring for themselves, because doing so enables that very behavior.

  27. B. Nice

    [quote]There are two entrance/exits amenable to automobile passage located within a few yards of each other leading onto Covell Boulevard. [/quote]

    What if this section of Covell needed to be closed temporarily. (traffic accident, power line down, etc.) There was a time in the past couple of years that this did occur, I think a tree hit a power line….Access to and from the neighborhood could be cut off. Something else to consider.

  28. B. Nice

    [quote]What if this section of Covell needed to be closed temporarily. (traffic accident, power line down, etc.) There was a time in the past couple of years that this did occur, I think a tree hit a power line….Access to and from the neighborhood could be cut off. Something else to consider.[/quote]

    Blustery winds hit Davis with a vengeance Monday, toppling trees, knocking out electricity and shutting down a major intersection for hours while utility crews repaired a broken power pole.

    [url]http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/winds-wreak-havoc-on-davis-trees-power-lines/[/url]

  29. Jim Frame

    [quote]The bottom line for me is that this is a personal or entity responsibility.[/quote]

    It’s both, the entity in this case being the city. They have evacuation and disaster recovery plans in place for most/all plausible scenarios. Evaluation of the suitability of a development project’s traffic circulation is (or certainly should be) part of the city’s review.

  30. B. Nice

    [quote]Ok, this part I don’t get. When has it become the requirement of any residential developer to come up with an evacuation plan. [/quote]

    Lets talk in general for a second, since we may not agree on the specifics of what we consider “safe” in this particular scenario. I think it’s the city’s responsibility to make sure a development is safe for future inhabitants before they approve a project. Would you agree with this?

  31. SouthofDavis

    B. Nice wrote:

    > What if this section of Covell needed to
    > be closed temporarily. (traffic accident,
    > power line down, etc.)

    People will wait (like the THOUSANDS of people that live on the at lease a HUNDRED of cul-de-sacs and dead end streets here in Davis and MILLIONS nationwide). It is not often (ever?) that we hear about “another death from someone who could not evacuate when a power line or traffic accident blocked their street…

  32. wesley506

    In the early 90’s while working at a large hospital in LA the coordinator of the disaster preparedness training told us that in a major earthquake, bridges and utility poles will be down in the streets and will more than likely prevent you and everybody else from driving anywhere. His advice was that the best way to prepare was to have the following items in the trunk of your car. A very good pair of walking shoes as you might end up walking a long way to get home or to someplace safe, water, any essential medications you take, a flashlight, and a handgun with sufficient ammo as there will likely be looting, robbery, assaults, and no law enforcement able to respond for possibly several days.

  33. medwoman

    Greetings all. I appreciate your participation regardless of your position.
    Council member Lee was as good as his word and has consulted with an expert who has not specifically given permission for me to give his name. I am satisfied with his opinion that the project is satisfactory from the safety point of view and I will now stand down as promised.

  34. Jim Frame

    The science may have changed in recent decades, but my recollection from the 1970s is that Davis is sitting on so much soil — 1500′ or so — that it’s like being on top of a big bowl of Jello, so earthquakes aren’t likely to cause any major damage here. As you move west toward the foothills the soil cover thins out, and by the time you get to Winters you’re close enough to the rock that the shaking gets transmitted largely undamped. Thus the 1892(?) Winters quake that caused so much damage there.

    I think the likeliest earthquake impact we would experience would result from the identification of Davis as a refugee site for Bay Area quake victims. That’s the kind of thing that CERT has trained for.

  35. B. Nice

    [quote] People will wait (like the THOUSANDS of people that live on the at lease a HUNDRED of cul-de-sacs and dead end streets here in Davis and MILLIONS nationwide). It is not often (ever?) that we hear about “another death from someone who could not evacuate when a power line or traffic accident blocked their street…[/quote]

    I wasn’t claiming imminent death, but it would be a drag and from a mom’s perspective the idea is nerve racking and it’s clearly not ideal from a planning perspective. (But chill I’m not suggesting, nor was I ever suggesting it should kill the project).

    I agree with sentiment of this post, in that it is unfortunate that political factors, perceived or real, are what got in the way of better connectivity.

    [quote]Cannery will be a land locked island with very poor connectivity to our community. Unfortunately unfounded fear stops the developers, Council and the community from solving this problem. [/quote]

  36. medwoman

    JR

    [quote]1. There is no risk analysis. Saying that the risk of an event is greater than zero is meaningless. One needs to estimate probabilities to determine reasonable actions. [/quote]

    There was no risk analysis because I was posing a question, not making an assertion. Would you as a patient feel that I was being unreasonable if I were to ask an anesthesiologist their opinion as to what, based on your individual risk factors, they felt your risk of dying during a proposed surgery was ? Or would you feel that I was being prudent in seeking expert opinion from a professional with expertise beyond my own prior to exposing you to unknown risk ?

    So if the answer to the question is “the risk is negligible” then I would proceed with the surgery. If the risk were judged substantial, I might recommend another course of action for you. In either case, the patient has the right to a full disclosure of risk/ benefit and it is my duty as the surgeon to provide as much information as possible.

  37. Alan Miller

    [quote]Since there are plans afoot to relocate the RR, it seems logical to provide for eventual F Street access, emergency or otherwise.[/quote]

    This idea that the rail line will be relocated is ridiculous. Even if it were to happen, that would be decades in the future, beyond any of our lifetimes. The reasons for this are too complex to explain in a comment.

    My reason for concern about this is only if people believe it. If they believe it, good infrastructure projects, such as the rail trail from Davis to Woodland, or an eventual crossing of the tracks on the north rim of Davis, may be delayed to infinity if people actually believe this fatuous proposal.

  38. Jim Frame

    [quote]This idea that the rail line will be relocated is ridiculous.[/quote]

    The fact that so many local agencies are investing time and money in the feasibility analysis suggests otherwise. I know very little about the project; since you seem to have more in-depth knowledge, I’d be interested in learning why you think it’s not going to happen.

  39. Alan Miller

    Agencies statewide spend incredible sums of money on consultants to study transportation projects that will never occur; many consultants make their living capitalizing on this. I am sure this happens in many other areas of government; there is a move these days to demonize state employees. While they admittedly need some demonizing, the shiny object avoids the real culprit in draining taxpayer funds: certain consultants who capitalize on draining government funds to create, prolong and expand contracts with government that create work and reports, rather than creating an actual finished product.

    I hope to write an in depth article; this may not be anytime soon. As the saying goes, “a complex truth is more difficult to explain than a simple lie.” This issue is very complex, and I realize simply saying “trust me” is insufficient.

  40. Alan Miller

    [quote]Davis is sitting on so much soil — 1500′ or so — that it’s like being on top of a big bowl of Jello, so earthquakes aren’t likely to cause any major damage here. As you move west toward the foothills the soil cover thins out, and by the time you get to Winters you’re close enough to the rock that the shaking gets transmitted largely undamped.[/quote]

    The reality is actually the opposite, though I realize this is not intuitively obvious. To secure a building, it is ideally anchored to bedrock. The worst situation is liquefaction, in which saturated soil does turn into a bowl of jello, and most unachored buildings in such a situation are destroyed or even sink.

    The damage from the Winters earthquake was probably due to proximity to the causative fault line, most likely along the hills rather than out in the alluvium (although faults can occur under the alluvium) like Davis, and also that Winters was more built up then Davis then, and had a number of unreinforced brick buildings that topple easily in an earthquake.

  41. JimmysDaughter

    What if this section of Covell needed to be closed temporarily. (traffic accident, power line down, etc.) There was a time in the past couple of years that this did occur, I think a tree hit a power line….Access to and from the neighborhood could be cut off. Something else to consider.

    September 2005, strong winds knocked a live power line into a tree, then a field, in South Davis, causing a fire. The fire spread from the field to the yards in my South Davis neighborhood. A week or so before the fire, my caring neighbor told the fire dept.the owner of the field hadn’t trimmed the dry grass close to our homes. The fire dept. contacted the owner of the field, and a very small strip of dry grass was mowed just a few days before the fire. Otherwise, the fire would have spread to our homes even faster. Our street was evacuated.

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