Council Takes Community Dialogue Approach on B Street Striping

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B-Street-3
B Street at the corner of Seventh showing the lack of buffer and margin for error between the parked cars and the bike path.

While an overwhelming number of residents expressed concerns about the safety risks involved with the parking configurations along B Street between 7th and 8th, the city council pulled back to take a more community dialogue-based approach on Tuesday night.

Councilmember Brett Lee said, “I think there is an issue on B St between Eighth and Fourteenth. I don’t believe current configuration in the parking restrictions are satisfactory.”

He noted that, as you ride along B Street on a Saturday, you suddenly encounter yard waste, which he says he believes they have addressed, but then you encounter a car and suddenly, he said, “where did the bike lane go? There is no bike lane on Saturdays because it’s where all the cars park.”

The way the issue was currently configured, he continued, “there are going to be some folks that are happy and some that are unhappy.”

He noted that there hasn’t “been much public comment in defense of the status quo, but we have received a fair number of emails to that effect. The emails have been more evenly split.”

Public comment heavily tilted toward changing the configuration to make it more bike friendly.

He noted that there are two groups that “are not actually talking with each other,” and council is in the middle. He said, “I don’t think there’s greater understanding developing between the two groups.”

He asked for staff to come up with a plan to address Seventh through Fourteenth. Prior to staff coming back with that proposal, “we set up a community meeting where the advocates for one path and the opponents to that path can have an opportunity to meet and talk with each other.”

He mentioned the Yolo Conflict Resolution Center that could help facilitate such a meeting.

For example, he said that there are people who like to park in front of their home. “I think it’s fairly dismissive to say park somewhere else,” he said. He noted there are people with mobility issues and they can’t just park a few blocks away. “I think if you have that discussion and that dialogue with each other, I think you’ll better be able to see where people are coming from. These are not trivial concerns.”

He also noted that there are serious safety concerns for bicyclists under the current configuration.

Mayor Pro Tem Davis spoke to the idea of conflict resolution as he stated, “One of the reasons I wanted to be on council is that what I wanted more of and what I wanted to help bring is this concept of when we have conflict that we engaged it. We don’t run away from it and we don’t stand on different sides and just talk past each other.”

He acknowledged that, for example, on the MRAP discussion last week, “We didn’t reach consensus, there wasn’t some magical moment we wrapped our arms around each other and said now we agree. But we listened to each other… and the facilitator was skilled in helping us do that. It took a little bit of time. But we listened, we shared ideas, and we deepened our understanding… in not just our positions, not just we want or don’t want, but what are the needs and interests that underlie those positions.”

“We have a lot of important conflicts in this community,” he said, because they affect our community really close to home. “People have really strong feelings about where they live.”

He sees a place for the council to help promote these dialogues. “That’s part of the leadership role that we provide in the city,” he said.

He said he thinks that what Brett Lee has put forward here could be viewed as “pushing this off.” But he said, “I’d rather see it seen as an opportunity to the kind of community where we want to be where we’re heard.”

He said he will vote for this motion despite the fact that he has a strong sense for what needs to be done here.

An overwhelming number of people came to public comment in support of changing the current configuration.

You can watch the public comments here:

This is a small sampling of the public commenters.

Michael Bisch, of the Davis Downtown, said he bikes every morning in Davis with his seven-year-old. “I would most definitely not take my kids on B Street on bicycles between Seventh and Eighth with the cars parked in the way.” He added, “It is kind of a harrowing experience when there’s a bunch of stuff sitting in the bike path.”

Kathy Scar is a teacher across the street at Davis Independent Study and supported removing the parking along B Street in that stretch. “I’m biking on B Street all the time, and certainly that section between Seventh and Eighth is constrained.”

A newly-transplanted resident who lives on D Street expressed concern that she has to go up to Eighth Street and cross at the light “to get the safer side of B Street, I’m not happy about that.” She said, “That section is treacherous.” She said there’s a huge truck parked on B Street constantly, [and] when she rides with her daughter, she rides on the traffic side “because if we have to go out into traffic… they’ll see me first and not her. The rest of the street is pretty safe. I don’t get it. I chose to come here because it’s a safe city.”

Trish Price from the Davis Bicycles! Schools Committee,which urged the council to take action “to remove all bike lane parking along B Street from at least Seventh to Fourteenth Street at all times of day and night.” She noted this was on the safe routes to school. “We must make the route truly safe for these most vulnerable users.” She noted that, because of the traffic light, B Street provides the safest crossing of Eighth Street. “Right now parked cars force bicyclists into the car travel lane even with the buffer.” She was concerned about a suddenly opening car door presenting a hazard to children.

Mont Hubbard, president of Davis Bicycles!, said they favor the option to restrict parking at all hours. He said, “We also recognize… it’s really better to deal with the street in a holistic way.” He disagreed with staff’s assessment that B Street between Eighth and Fourteenth was functional for all users. He stated, “It is striking the difference between staff’s assessment and the feelings of the users of the street.” He said they have conducted their own survey, and the vast majority of their 186 respondents felt that “B Street was a serious safety problem. 78 percent said cars parked in bike lanes are an impediment to safety. That’s only true from Eighth to Fourteenth right now.”

Darell Dickey added, “Council should eliminate all parking from Seventh to Fourteenth to protect our vulnerable users.”   He asked, “How does parking in the bike lane anywhere, at any time, fulfill the council goals?” He added, “How does parking in the bike lane conform to the vulnerable user clause that’s in the transportation element of our general plan? That clause says, where limited street space exists, priority should be given to non-motorized modes to protect the safety and comfort of those most vulnerable users.” He noted that this is not just safety, because people who are not comfortable are not riding in those sections.

Councilmember Rochelle Swanson argued the need for balance. She noted that she has biked the street “and it’s not ideal.” But “there are people with mobility issues there, so the concept that there would be zero parking…” was not a good one. She liked the idea of people being in a room to talk about it.

She made the motion to have a community discussion that creates a balance of different viewpoints. Staff would be directed to schedule a fully-noticed community meeting for a four-block radius, plus a public notice for a meeting facilitated like the MRAP discussion. Brett Lee seconded the motion.

Mayor Dan Wolk supported the motion, noting, “There is a tension here and I think it reflects a larger tension in our community, it’s not just on B Street between those who have a strong bicycling background, believe in safety but at the same time we do have folks who drive cars who need to park those cars… that tension is certainly evident here and it will be very helpful to that discussion.”

He said we need to respect the concerns of those living on B Street between Seventh and Eighth and want to be able to park there.

Council voted 4-0 to support the motion, with Lucas Frerichs who lives on that stretch of road being conflicted out.

—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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57 thoughts on “Council Takes Community Dialogue Approach on B Street Striping”

  1. darelldd

    Good reporting of the situation here, David. I was sorry to see you leave before this item came up, but you clearly know how to use the video function.  🙂

    I’d  like to expand a bit on something that I tried to cover in my comments, and was maybe a bit too vague: When we assume that a stretch of road is “safe” because of the lack of crash data, we’re ignoring the “comfort” aspect. If we apply this logic to all roads, we find that our freeways are probably the safest place to ride bicycles. I mean look! Cars and bikes almost never collide on the freeway.

    If cyclists fear a collision on B Street, then they will avoid riding on it. (and I know this to be the case for many cyclists today) If they avoid riding on it, they are not involved in a collision. Presto, street is safe.

    Another way this logic has been applied is on the 5th Street redesign. I heard from several drivers who claimed there was no need to add bike lanes to 5th street because, gosh, nobody rides their bike on 5th street anyway.

    And here we are.

    1. Tia Will

      DP

      is there really a middle ground here that’s going to be acceptable to all parties?”

      Perhaps not a middle ground acceptable to all, but perhaps a series of mitigations that could make an undesired ( to some) change more feasible.  For me, it starts with getting all points of view and eventually all alternatives out on the table in an open, public forum. It is much, much harder to fall back on the usual “I am right and you are wrong” stance when the “opponent” is part of a facilitated group discussion than it is to trade barbs on the Vanguard or at a Farmer’s Market table.

    2. darelldd

      It was described to me that “resolution” isn’t necessarily the goal in the community discussion. It is education. Each side learning about the needs and difficulties of the other side. I don’t think anybody is expecting the folks who are looking for usable bike lanes to walk out of the meeting hand-in-hand with the folks who’d like to continue parking in the bike lanes. But I do think there can be more understanding on both sides of the issue.

      My biggest frustration isn’t in the suggestion of having this discussion. It is that this could have been suggested the LAST time this came to council, and was put off until this week…. only to be put off again until the discussion happens… and on and on. Eventually a decision needs to be made, and the delays do not foster community harmony. We can’t get PAST this issue until we get TO this issue.

      Thanks for the relatively “high road” discussion here so far, folks!

      1. hpierce

        I assume you know, Darrell, that this is the fourth time (that I know of) that these issues have come up.  The first time was when the bike lanes were instituted.  The current situation is the compromise that was reached at implementation.  It tried to balance the bicycle transportation/safety needs vs. providing parking to abutting property owners.  The ‘balance’ figured that the bicycle needs were greatest on the corridor during the daylight hours, during the ‘work/school week’, and the main need for on-street parking was in the evening and on weekends.

        Since then, issues such as yard waste pickup, and newer folks not liking the “compromise” made earlier.

        The right of way and physical improvements were decided prior to the concept of bike paths.

        Recently, the roadway between Eighth and Fourteenth was re-striped, adding a so-called “buffer”, that further limited area perceived as available to the various “needs” (bike/MV/MV parking).  No-one feels that this zone is available for ANYTHING.  Genius.  So now, bicyclists feel MORE squeezed, and want relief.  The ‘genius’ is that the buffers were added by pressure on staff by the bicycle zealots, probably to ensure that the only answer now remaining is to eliminate all on-street parking, 24/7/365.  Nice play.  Seems to be working.

        I’ll try to give the public process a chance, to see if people truly want to investigate the issues and look for common ground with a solution that could best meet the “whole street” concept, but I suspect, borne out by some of the comments so far, that there are many already planning to “go to the mattresses” with all their rhetoric (“how many children must die?”, or “on-street parking is my god-given and constitutional right”), and the public process will be a charade or a practice round for “the battle”.  More is the pity.

        1. Barack Palin

          Good post hpierce.  I agree completely.  I hope the council doesn’t decide this issue on how many emails or people in support of no parking of cars on 9th Street that happen to show up at council meetings.  The bike community is very well organized and will always rally their supporters for issues like this but I feel it’s not representative of the city as a whole.

        2. darelldd

           The ‘genius’ is that the buffers were added by pressure on staff by the bicycle zealots

          While it makes enticing prose, I assure you that this is not true. In fact it was “staff” that originally suggested and eventually implemented the buffers. I was directly involved.

          We need to step away from the “bike zealots vs the car zealots” if we want anything meaningful to come of this mess.

    3. Tia Will

      DP “is there really a middle ground here that’s going to be acceptable to all parties?” Perhaps not a middle ground acceptable to all, but perhaps a series of mitigations that could make an undesired ( to some) change more feasible.  For me, it starts with getting all points of view and eventually all alternatives out on the table in an open, public forum. It is much, much harder to fall back on the usual “I am right and you are wrong” stance when the “opponent” is part of a facilitated group discussion than it is to trade barbs on the Vanguard or at a Farmer’s Market table.

  2. Rich RifkinWDE 73

    The Google Street View picture you use at the top of this story is looking the wrong way on B Street. Yes, it is at 7th and B. But it is facing south. The primary controversy is north of 7th Street, where B Street has residences on both sides and is narrow.

    To the issue at hand … I don’t have a particularly strong point of view one way or the other. I know that some cyclists (and cycling advocates) feel it is very important to widen the bike lanes and remove the parked cars. My own experience is that the lanes on B Street are wide enough for me–but obviously others don’t feel the same. I thought the great danger there to bikes was the horrible condition of the roadway, but the city did a great job fixing that this year. But since I don’t ever have to park a car in that neighborhood, I’m fine with whatever is decided.

    The only consideration which concerns me is the idea of making B Street one way*, in part or in whole. That would be a disaster for that part of Central Davis. B Street is the main route into downtown and Central Park for everyone who lives between 8th Street and Covell from Hwy 113 to B Street. That is a big chunk of our town. All that car traffic would be pushed onto A, Miller, D and F, and none of those options are good for those streets. I am glad the Council immediately had the sense to reject this idea from the outset.

    *Long-time Davis residents will recall that the City made some downtown streets one-way many years ago, and just about everyone in town hated it. So they were changed back to two-way traffic.

    1. darelldd

      The Google Street View picture you use at the top of this story is looking the wrong way on B Street. Yes, it is at 7th and B. But it is facing south.

      Thanks for pointing that out Rich. I was scratching my head for a while trying to determine what I was looking at there! I wish I could figure out how to post a picture. Possible?

       

       

  3. Anon

    Brett Lee: “For example he said that there are people who like to park in front of their home. “I think it’s fairly dismissive to say park somewhere else,” he said. He noted there are people with mobility issues and they can’t just park a few blocks away. “I think if you have that discussion and that dialogue with each other, I think you’ll better be able to see where people are coming from. These are not trivial concerns.”

    One question I would ask is do the homeowners on B street between 8th and 15th St have garages with driveways, that should be able to accommodate their cars but is not being used?  I know we have this problem in our neighborhood.  No one, and I mean virtually no one, parks in their garage or driveway.  I can understand why people don’t park in their garage – it may be filled with “stuff” or be used as an extra room.  But I never will understand why people refuse to park in their driveways.  Forcing homeowners to park in their driveways might be a solution to the B St. parking problem, unless some of these homes are rentals with four students living there, each with a car.  I just think a little more basic information needs to be ascertained about the homes on B St between 8th and 15th St, before making any determinations.

    Robb Davis: “He acknowledged that for example on MRAP’s discussion last week, “We didn’t reach consensus, there wasn’t some magical moment we wrapped our arms around each other and said now we agree. But we listened to each other… and the facilitator was skilled in helping us do that. It took a little bit of time. But we listened, we shared ideas, and we deepened our understanding… in not just our positions, not just we want or don’t want, but what are the needs and interests that underlie those positions.”

    Council member Robb Davis asking for “community dialogue” about the MRAP issue after previously stating from the City Council dais “There is nothing that the police could say that would change my mind about my decision that the MRAP should be returned” is laughable, and IMO quite hypocritical.  To me, it appears “community dialogue” is nothing but a political maneuver making it look as if the community was consulted when in fact a decision had already been made before any community dialogue.

     

    1. Davis Progressive

      “To me, it appears “community dialogue” is nothing but a political maneuver making it look as if the community was consulted when in fact a decision had already been made before any community dialogue.”

      did you attend the community discussion on thursday of last week?

    2. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      ANON: One question I would ask is do the homeowners on B street between 8th and 15th St have garages with driveways, that should be able to accommodate their cars but is not being used?

      The properties on the east side of B Street from 7th to 8th are multi-family and do not have this option. However, since you specifically mentioned 8th to 15th–note, there is no 15th, but I am sure you meant 14th Street–your question is a good one and I think in most cases, but not all, this is likely what most would do if street parking were removed.

      Keep in mind that some would inevitably park on the numbered streets, and that would cause some problems for residents of those streets. Also, disabled guests visiting B Street homes may not have a good option if street parking were removed and the homeowners were parked in their driveways.

       

      1. Anon

        Rich, thanks for this feedback about driveways or lack thereof on 8th thru 14th Streets.  If there is no parking option for those who live on that section of B Street, my next question I think would be to city staff, to see if the streets can be made narrower and the bike lanes wider between 8th and 14th?  Is this even remotely possible, as I know Unitrans buses have to have a certain width to maneuver?

        1. hpierce

          There are driveways north of Eighth.  I believe you misunderstood Rich.  I believe he was talking about one cluster of homes between Seventh and Eighth.  See my post below.

      2. hpierce

        Sorry Rich.  You have that somewhat wrong.  Shepard’s Close is single-family attached, has parking on site for each unit, and the conditions of approval (believe) require the developer to disclose that there is no “right” to park in the street adjacent to your property.

        I do believe that parking on B, between Seventh and Eighth SHOULD be deleted, but don’t believe that necessarily needs to apply north of Eighth.  Street widths differ between those two sections, with the southerly being significantly more constrained.

    3. Mont Hubbard

      “One question I would ask is do the homeowners on B street between 8th and 15th St have garages with driveways, that should be able to accommodate their cars but is not being used? ”

      Yes, they do have driveways. Here is a quote from the staff report summarizing the conditions on B Street between 8th and 14th Streets:

      “Existing homes in these blocks have driveways to accommodate parking during the weekdays when parking is prohibited”

      Presumably these driveways are also available on weekends and at nights (in Davis we roll up the streets at night, but not the driveways!).  This begs the question: Why should the city prioritize residents’ convenience to be able park on the street (instead of in their driveways) when it conflicts with cyclist safety? Is it just because the residents like to park in front of their home, instead of in their driveway, or so that the residents don’t have to make that really difficult turn into their driveways instead of just shutting off the ignition on the street? Does no one else see the absurdity of this question? This prioritization doesn’t seem like the appropriate allocation of scarce public resources (the street).

      1. Miwok

        Sure seems like Davis has always meddled in these things, and one of the reasons I left.. Just an overcrowded overheated real estate situation, typical of University towns. To exclude the fact from the CC discussions is pretty amazing sometimes. Some people I used to visit across town parked on the street so I did not get a ticket from parking to visit them. They had the stickers.

  4. Tia Will

    Anon

    To me, it appears “community dialogue” is nothing but a political maneuver making it look as if the community was consulted when in fact a decision had already been made before any community dialogue.”

    Having been at both the City Council meeting at which numerous members of the community spoke out against the MRAP, and the facilitated “community dialogue” in which the police were given more time to present their side of the issue which was much more nuanced than the presentation given by Chief Black at the City Council meeting, I see this quite differently.

    Even if one member of the City Council has such strong convictions that his mind will not be changed, that does not mean that there is no value in a thorough airing of the issues ( since after all the MRAP is not the only issue involving the optimal functioning and safety of the police in our community) in a public dialogue venue. I learned quite a bit by participating in this forum. For example, I did not know about the ready convertibility of some kinds of readily legally available weapons in to their illegal counterparts. I did not know any details about the joint operations of the regions SWAT teams. I also did not know after Chief Black’s presentation to the City Council that there was not universal agreement amongst the police about the suitability of the MRAP for our community and that there had been substantial reservations amongst the police themselves.

    As for political maneuvering and “making it look as if the community was consulted” the MRAP decision was made on a 3-2 vote prior to this event.. No one who can follow a time line is going to be deceived into thinking that the MRAP decision was made after the community was consulted in this forum.  One very firmly held set of beliefs on the part of one council member does not mean that there is any hypocrisy whatsoever in advocating for community involvement.  Rob Davis himself was quick to state, as was Darren Pytel , Chief Black, and virtually everyone in the room who addressed the issue, that the time for such a forum would have been prior to the decision to acquire the MRAP, not after it was already in town.

    I feel that this is very much the issue with the current B street controversy on which I have no strong feelings. Too often here in Davis what we see is a series of escalating monologues in which opponents on any given issue state their case, then state it more loudly, then if not seeming to get their way, start either trivializing the points of the opposition or  impugning the motives of those who disagree, then start stereotyping and deriding those who disagree. It makes for some entertaining posting, but as a means of communication and consensus building to actually make positive changes, not so great.  I am strongly in favor of a community dialogue on this, or any contentious issue, as a more thoughtful adjunct to the usual 3 minute sound bites before the City Council.

     

  5. Rich RifkinWDE 73

    I think there is a middle ground solution which may solve most of this problem and cause less of a hassle for B Street residents:

    Limit the hours of the day and maybe the days of the week when resident and guest parking is allowed on B Street from 7th to 14th. Insofar as this is a route to school, parking could be prohibited during the normal morning and afternoon school commute hours. Additionally, any other times of the day or days of the week when there is normally a lot of bicycle traffic on B Street, parking could be prohibited. It might also be smart to restrict parking during times when there is commonly a lot of car traffic, as that crowds bike riders who may need more space to feel safe. But at times when kids are not riding bikes and B Street is quiet from most car traffic–such as from 6 pm to 7am–I see no reason in not letting residents park on their street.

      1. hpierce

        They either commute with them or park them on-site, and possibly adjacent cross streets.  Remember, this is the EXISTING CONDITION, and has generated little/no complaints from the residents abutting B street. Also, remember that it is not only residents who park, it is visitors/vendors (latter, no so much, due to existing restrictions).

    1. hpierce

      Your proposed limits are parking have existed for years (no parking,  M-F ~ 6 A to 6 P).  Certain elements of the “bicycle community” feel that “compromise” is totally unacceptable.  Good idea, but been there/done that/have that, and there are those saying it’s woefully inadequate and a crime against humanity.

      1. darelldd

        Compromise is not unacceptable. Unacceptable compromise is unacceptable.

        Thinking on this just a bit more… the “bicycle community” has no problem with compromise. In fact, our lives are filled with little else. What we’re not fond of is the *current* compromise of transportation safety of many being compromised by parking for a few. Here’s a compromise (a serious one!) that I can get behind:

        First, the advantages of my plan: All bike lanes are removed. All parking is kept, and there are no limits 24/7.  Safety is improved for every mode of transportation in the corridor. And it is free.

        What great compromise am I talking about? An enforced 15 mph speed limit for everybody in the entire corridor, with sharrows down the middle of the road. Done.

        For safety, accommodation of others,  lovely wide lanes, and limit-free parking, I’d be asking drivers to give up maybe 15 seconds of travel time with each pass through the corridor. That’s a compromise that I would easily and strongly support. Imagine that: A compromise that *increases* safety.

         

  6. Anon

    “Even if one member of the City Council has such strong convictions that his mind will not be changed, that does not mean that there is no value in a thorough airing of the issues…”

    You don’t have a problem with a City Council member who is unwilling to listen to dialogue of any kind, already has his mind made up, then calls for community dialogue on an issue after the fact?  To me such conduct has the appearance of covering one’s political backside, and nothing more.   I think every City Council member has a responsibility to listen to community dialogue and city staff FIRST before making any decisions.  We will just have to agree to disagree on this one.

    1. Davis Progressive

      he didn’t say he was unwilling to listen to dialogue, he said that he didn’t believe his mind would be changed by such dialogue but saw value in it from the community’s perspective.

    2. Tia Will

      Anon

      I think every City Council member has a responsibility to listen to community dialogue and city staff FIRST before making any decisions.”

      And I believe that this was exactly what was done. After the arrival of the MRAP, there was an opportunity which Chief Black took to explain the police position and rationale for the acquisition of the MRAP. At this same meeting there was amply time allotted for public comment. Citizens had the opportunity to communicate with the council members by email and through letters to the editor, and there was not exactly silence here on the Vanguard. All of this occurred before the vote was taken.

      Since this exchange did occur, I cannot see how having an additional community forum to address the rational for and process of MRAP acquisition as well as other community policing issues in a public forum is in any way related to the personal conviction of one member of the council. I simply do not see a firmly held opinion as a reason for not promoting or engaging in public conversation.

      1. Anon

        Sorry, but Robb Davis said from the dais, as a sitting City Council member, there was nothing the police could have said that would have changed his mind about not wanting the MRAP.  It was crystal clear he already has his mind made up before he ever stepped foot in the City Council chamber.

        1. Robb Davis

          Anon is correct.  I had done my homework before the first CC meeting on this issue.  I had researched the vehicle in question, I met face to face with the police and exchanged emails with them.  It was my judgement, considering issues of safety, probability of need, concern about trust between the community and the police, cost of maintenance and ability to maintain the vehicle, and the unreliability of the DOD in helping provide needed replacement parts, that it was simply a bad idea to have the MRAP.  Based on that research I made my decision and that is where my comment and later comments came from.  I informed Chief Black before the first meeting that I had made that decision.

          However, I also recognized from my conversations with the police that it was their strong conviction that policing in Davis had changed in recent years.  I felt it was necessary to discuss these changes publicly and to do it in a way that would enable the community time to ask questions of the police and discuss the challenges with each other.  Such a dialogue (a conversation among people) cannot occur in Community Chambers during a City Council meeting.  The meetings are not structured that way.  Therefore, I included in my motion the idea of creating such a dialogue so the community could better understand the police perspective on policing challenges.

          My motion was NOT to have a dialogue about the MRAP.  It was intended to be a dialogue about public safety and police protection.  For those who took the time to come to the forum (I participated with Darren Pytel and Judith MacBrine–a facilitator trusted by both Darren and me –to put the forum together), I believe they experienced dialogue, learned a great deal, and left with their perspectives both enriched and challenged.  I feel it was the right thing to do.

          Future dialogues on this issue will no doubt include discussions of the challenge of dealing with mental health in policing and what we need to do in the community to reduce the problem of drug use and addiction.

          What people heard on Tuesday evening was a desire on the part of this City Council to deal with other contentious issues through carefully facilitated community dialogue.  As I said on Tuesday and will repeat here: the intent of community dialogue is not to try to reach some kind of consensus.  That may not always be possible given the issue.  However, if we can encourage people to identify the needs and interests underlying their stated positions, and provide a means for people with different needs to share their own and listen to others, then we will create a more resilient community that comes together rather than stays separated on key issues.  Otherwise, we create a brittle community that communicates via ad hominem attacks in which unknowable motives are questioned–communication in which mutual understanding never takes place.

  7. ryankelly

    The streets downtown do not have bike lanes, but instead cars and bikes share the same lane.  Perhaps an immediate response would be to paint the same sign on the street so cars are given notice that bike will be sharing the lane.

  8. Gunrocik

    This is another example of an item which has distracted the Council from what their primary focus should be — fiscal sustainability.  Kudos to Dan for attempting to move this off the agenda and into a forum where a mutually agreeable solution can be reached.

    Council meetings are the worst possible format for give and take.  I believe there are a number issues such as this one that should never clutter the City Council’s time until they’ve been properly mediated.

    Let’s hope that B Street can be a model for future delegation of issues that really require mediation and not deliberation!

    1. darelldd

      It was not Dan who made the motion to move it off the agenda. And the forum will not be expected to produce an agreeable solution. It is informational only. The forum will happen (with all or most of the council in attendance), and then this issue will be brought BACK to the council to deliberate.

      Still think it is a model for future delegation?

  9. sisterhood

    “There is a tension here and I think it reflects a larger tension in our community, it’s not just on B Street between those who have a strong bicycling background, believe in safety but at the same time we do have folks who drive cars who need to park those cars…”

    Let them park on their lawns. No joke. When I rented on Oak Street, near the high school, a greedy landlady took the garage space from me; and wanted to charge me for it. Then the city took my street parking away. No fun to carry groceries to my home with two youngsters in tow, especially in the dark. I would have loved the option of puling up to my front door to unload my food & kids. I wonder if folks using walkers or wheelchairs would also like that option.

    1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      SISTER: “Let them park on their lawns. No joke. When I rented on Oak Street, near the high school …”

      I suspect you never lived on Oak Street. Probably Oak Avenue.

      Before 1920, F Street was known as Oak Street. But then all the roads named for trees in the heart of Davis (Ash, Cherry, Elm, Laurel, Oak, Olive, Pine and Plum) were renamed as letter streets from B Street (Ash) to J Street (Plum). Note that A Street was not one of the original Davisville Streets and, AFAIK, never had another name.

      In 1940 (or so), a man named W. W. Robbins* (for whom Robbins Hall on campus is named) created Oak Avenue. His intention was largely to build a new home for himself and his wife on the land he owned which abutted the Davis-Winters Highway (which was named Russell Blvd in 1943, after W. O. Russell died). However, the county (which had jurisdiction as this was outside the city limits of Davis) was concerned about the plan Robbins had drawn up. There was a large, 100-year-old oak tree on his property, and they did not want to see him cut it down. So they required him to build the house further from the tree and to draw his new parcel wide around that tree. He was fine with that, but it was going to cost him a bit of money to do what the county wanted. So he asked if it would be okay if he could put in a new street, which he called Oak Avenue, from the highway (Russell) to what is now W. 8th Street, and he would sell each of the new home parcels to members of the university faculty (in part as a way to recruit people to come to Davis). That is how we ended up with Oak Avenue. And fortunately, the oak tree that the street was named for is still there, right on Oak Avenue, near the northeast part of Robbins’s old home site, 501 Oak Ave.

      A footnote to the story is that the City approved plans by a software company to tear down the old Robbins’ house (which I knew as a child as the medical offices of Drs. Cooper, Larkey and Vaughn). The HRMC permitted the demolition, as the house has lost its historic integrity over the years. The new building (which surprisingly to me has not been started yet) looks like a modern office building. I like the architecture of it. However, it does not really fit in with the style in that neighborhood. But the HRMC had no say over the architectural decisions of the owner.

      * http://texts.cdlib.org/view?docId=hb0w10035d&doc.view=frames&chunk.id=div00049&toc.id=

      1. South of Davis

        Rich:

        I like it when you include a little on topic Davis History in your posts (without you I never would have never knows that the most famous “gay basher” in town grew up in a 1911 home knows as “the swastika house”, keep the posts with local history coming…

        1. DavisBurns

          Yes!  It is great to get a little local history lesson.  I think I often refer to it as Oak Street when I don’t just say “oak”.  I love the absence of street lights.  I just wish the homes would stop trying to provide light with porch lights which do not illuminate the street but do shine in people’s eyes reducing night vision.  Light needs to illuminate what you want to see. Side light will never light the pavement.

  10. Miwok

    there are people who like to park in front of their home

    Yuh? It is interesting there is no limited parking in this block/area for the owners of the houses.

    When you convert a street to a thoroughfare, it ceases to become a neighborhood. Either widen the street or tear down some blocks of houses for the bicycles to use as a highway. There are thousands of more students than there were last decade.

    Lots of small little neighborhoods were built through the decades without codes, then absorbed by the City. You don’t have wide enough streets, proper storm drains or sidewalks.

    Staff mentioned 120 bikes at peak traffic per DAY. Was that supposed to be per HOUR?

    Next the City will tell people what kinds of cars they can drive or park.

    1. darelldd

      Staff mentioned 120 bikes at peak traffic per DAY. Was that supposed to be per HOUR?

      I never really could figure out what they meant. Or why we care about one or two hours per day. The report said 120 bikes per day at peak hour or something. Regardless, about 1,000 cyclists per day cross 5th street on B.

  11. Tia Will

    I am wondering that since the main trade off seems to be the safety of those choosing bicycles over the convenience ( because folks like to park in front of their house) vs varying degrees of need, such as those of limited mobility or with small children if this is does not offer one possible area for mitigation. Perhaps parking could be limited specifically to those with special need much as we now do with handicapped spaces in parking lots. Would it be feasible for most residents to park in their driveways or garages, and those who could demonstrate special need to obtain parking permits from the city. This would not solve the problem, but it would be respectful of those who have special needs while cutting down on the number of obstacles for those on bikes.  Any thoughts ?

    1. Anon

      Rich Rifkin already answered this by saying that most of the people on the problem stretch of road live in multi-family dwellings that do not have driveways/anywhere to park other than the street. Since he has biked through there often, I am taking his word for it.

  12. sisterhood

    Good ideas from Tia. In most situations, IMHO, toddlers can walk a few blocks, and parents and toddlers may benefit from the exercise. If choosing between folks with real physical challenges and folks with toddlers who are able to walk, I’d give the parking permit to the truly needy.

    1. sisterhood

      P.S. Love the lighted bike path in the Netherlands that is an homage to Starry Night. Also love the bike lane in Arizona that is painted fluorescent green, nice and wide.

  13. DavisBurns

    I’ve thought about what it would be like to have no parking in front of my house and no garage/driveway. At a minimum, I would want a loading zone so I could unload groceries and stuff. My daughter who has a handicapped placard would have problems with parking a block away.  I would go to the expense of giving up some yard space to provide parking. I visit folks who live in apartment complexes.  It’s normal to have to park some distance from their front doors.  All change is difficult especially when you bought a house with on street parking and it goes away but it isn’t unprecedented.

    I live near the high school and we have abundant parking but we have to buy placards for our vehicles because of problems with overflow parking from the high school.  The police department got involved when the high school added a parking lot that they planned to empty directly across from our residential street.  It took over a year but we got the exit offset and a half street closure.  In exchange we had to accept restricted parking.  I believe all neighborhoods around the high school have restricted parking because they find restrixtions on one or two streets simply shifts the problem to other nearby streets.  I think if parking is allowed at all, it should absolutely be restricted to neighbors.

    But the bottom line for me is the public street is for public transportation.  When parking interferes with transportation, parking loses.

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