Commentary: Fifth Street Probably Still Needs Some Tweaks

For years, we debated, discussed — and some went as far as fearing the Fifth Street Redesign. After years of debate, the redesign became reality. For the most part, it has come off without major problems or major complaints.

There are small changes on the way, for instance, better signage as the road shifts from four lanes to two lanes at B Street. Many vehicles do not realize until it’s too late that the right lane in the eastbound direction will be forced to turn southbound onto B Street.

But, again, these are somewhat minor.

However, one letter from last week caught my eye as the letter writer, fed up with attempting to make a left turn out of Hibbert Lumber had to apparently sit through three light changes.

“Bicyclists are happy. Great! The Davis City Council has made my life easier, too,” the writer begins. “I’ve lived in Davis for more than 30 years and for years, with the lack of choices and horrendous parking, the city has made it abundantly clear that it doesn’t want me to spend my money downtown. It want bikes downtown, not cars.”

She continues, “I banked downtown. I went to Davis Ace, Woodstocks, Jack in the Box, etc. I’ve always tried to support my town, even though it was not easy.”

She adds, “Now, with the changes to Fifth Street, I’m done. I don’t need to be hit over the head to see that cars are not welcome. I went to Hibbert Lumber and sat through three light changes trying to get out of the parking lot. I will never do that again.”

“I can easily go to Woodland or Dixon as those cities have all of the above businesses and they want me to drive into those businesses to spend my money. My life is easier in that I no longer have to put up with the problems of parking in Davis or feel guilty about shopping out of town. The Davis City Council wants me (and my car) to go elsewhere and I am happy to oblige,” she continues.

I have a few thoughts here. First, from a time perspective that response does not add up – after all, if your complaint is that it took too long to get out of the parking lot, driving to Woodland or Dixon is likely to add far more time and vehicle miles than having to sit through several light cycles or, better yet, making a right turn and then course correcting.

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Second, why not try to work with the city to improve the specific problem? With any change there are going to be unintended downsides and part of the early stages of such pilot projects are to try to figure out ways to work around the downsides.

The city may be able to, for instance, use a trigger to turn the lights all red so that a car can make a left turn. There might be other ways to do it, as well. Or perhaps a “keep clear” zone would enable a turning vehicle to have access to turn left out of Hibbert.

Or it may be that you just can’t make a left out of Hibbert at certain times – often in cities, left turns are prohibited during peak hours.  The flow from what I have seen is not constant, but, certainly during commute times, the road is congested.

Third, as was pointed out in the response of another letter writer the problem could have been avoided altogether by some common courtesy shown by the automobiles driving on Fifth Street when she was exiting.  The respondent wrote, “It’s a shame that Bridget Curry had to wait through three signal cycles on Fifth Street in order to exit the Hibbert Lumber parking lot. Motorists treat one another like dirt once they get behind the wheel, so it’s no wonder none of her fellow motorists would let her exit the lot and join the traffic lane. responding.” 

Turning right out of Hibbert’s parking lot would definitely be helped by showing driver-to-driver courtesy.  That has actually always been the case.  Now, with the center turn lane as a potential “first landing spot” for a left turning car coming out of Hibberts, turning left is actually safer and easier now than it used to be when there was no restricted traffic lane.  You always had to be alert to fast moving eastbound traffic in the lane you were merging into.  Now, if eastbound traffic is coming, you can make your left turn out of the parking lot into the protected center lane, and then merge into the through traffic lane once there are no longer eastbound cars blocking your merge into the main traffic lane. Of course, turning left into the protected lane does require one of the drivers of the other cars to have the courtesy to let you make that left hand turn in front of their car.

Fourth, it is worth noting that the argument that the writer makes is interestingly car-centric. After all, for years, it was perfectly fine with the writer that bikes could not access Fifth Street, yet the first time she is inconvenienced, she was willing to take her money and run. Should bicyclists have taken the same approach?

She notes that, for 30 years, the city has made it clear that it doesn’t want her to spend her money downtown, it wants bikes, not cars, and yet it took 30 years to make this change to allow bikes to even travel on Fifth Street. There is a disconnect here.

Ironically, of course, the problem is not bicyclists, but either inconsiderate car drivers or too many cars, or both. Bicyclists aren’t preventing her from pulling out of the parking lot, cars are.

The bottom line is that we need to change our mindset that says that cars have priority. With some tweaks, I think we can make this work, but people have to be willing to work with the city to identify and then solve potential problems.

If the letter writer had done that, perhaps the city might have been able to figure out a way around.

What other problems have people noticed on Fifth Street and what ways can we look at resolving them without drastic measures?

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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  1. odd man out

    Other needed tweaks in no particular order:

    At the east end of the 5th Street project (intersection with L St.) the city placed 8 orange plastic delineators to mark the westbound straight-through bike lane. They are not anchored in any way. I don’t know why these are necessary, and they occasionally get knocked down and end up in one traffic lane or another (one was in the bike lane yesterday afternoon). If they are necessary, they should be affixed to the asphalt.

    Also, I think the transition zone for west bound cyclists on 5th approaching L doesn’t work very well. Even worse is the transition zone for east bound cyclists on Russell approaching B Street. As a cyclist, I am not comfortable at all waiting to get to the dashed zone to merge left and continue straight. I always transition much earlier, placing myself in the thru lane. Otherwise, I’m betting that there will be space for me to merge in the transition zone for a very short distance and time. Same is true in both locations, but feels more dangerous approaching B because of the free right turn that encourages right turning motorists to continue at relatively high speed.

    It also seems odd that there is that short bike lane on the north side of 5th approaching L when there is no bike lane on the other side of 5th. I think the lane should be eliminated and sharrows installed to mark the transition zone. In fact, until such time that space is found to put bike lanes anywhere between at least Hwy 113 and A St. and between L St. and Pole Line, sharrows REALLY are needed along both sides of 5th and Russell where no bike lanes exist. I have never understood why they weren’t done years ago. I recommended them to Public Works many years ago (shortly after they first appeared in the CA Manual on Uniform Control Devices) along most of the entire corridor. And, if any are installed, it’s essential that the R4-11 Bicycles May Use Full Lane signs also be installed.

    I also think the dashed bike lanes with the green extensions at the termination of each bike lane where they approach intersections are not understood by many motorists. Under the CA Vehicle Code, motorists are supposed to merge close to the curb when preparing to turn right. Of course, they must yield to cyclists in the bike lane. By doing so properly, the threat of a “right hook” collision with cyclists is reduced. However, with all that paint in those areas along 5th St., I think many motorists interpret that as a place they should not go. As one who regularly bicycled on 5th for decades, I see more motorists making improper right turns than before the road diet. I recommend getting rid of the green markings at those locations.

    Finally, those same green markings and dashed stripes are done in thermoplastic which is significantly thicker (albeit longer lasting)  than paint. However, because they are thicker, riding over them is annoying –similar to driving or bicycling over rumble strips on road shoulders.

    1. Miwok

      I sure notice the green stripes, but don’t have a clue what they are for. If the bicycles are supposed to ride over them, then the bicycles don’t know either. They ride around them. Some bicycles really fly through areas they would be wise to slow down the way they want cars to also slow.

      Like many people who learned computers when Windows 98 was common, they never took a refresher. I would enjoy seeing new laws and things about stripes when I get my renewal for registration, instead of pitches from DMV for license plates or how many drinks I can have.

      What other problems have people noticed on Fifth Street and what ways can we look at resolving them without drastic measures?

      A final comment, about the streets: They are all overloaded. They have been for decades, and once again the City does not address that. But the article said not to resort to drastic measures. Ignore the problems for twenty or thirty years and drastic may be all you have left?

      1. David Grundler

        This is the exact problem I experience. Sometimes, you have educated drivers that know what they are doing, and traffic flows nicely. Seems like about half of the time I end up a ways back behind a driver who wants to turn right, but doesn’t understand to pull into the bike lane to make the right turn. On two occasions now, I have sat through an entire light cycle with only one car making it through the intersection during the cycle (the car waiting until it was clear to tun right, and holding up everyone else in the process).

      2. Rich RifkinWDE 73

        In addition to the good points David Grundler makes, I have recently discovered a new “bad driver” in Davis problem which affects traffic throughput: The unwillingness of the first car waiting to turn left on a green light (but with no left-arrow) to move out into the intersection when the light first turns green. As a result, only that first car can get through after the signal changes and cars coming opposite stop.

        Common sense and consideration for others suggests that first driver needs to move his car as far into the intersection he can without impeding drivers coming the opposite way from turning left. Everyone used to do this. Now, more and more Davis drivers wait behind the stop line. And they harm the interests of everyone stuck behind them.

        Where I see this most is on B Street at Third. It’s often a busy intersection. So if you are going south on B Street and want to turn east onto Third, chances are that the northbound traffic on B Street will impede you for a bit. But if the first driver is in the intersection and alert, he can make the left when an opening comes, the next car can move up, and several can make that left turn per signal change. Alas, if the first car sits back, often only that one car will be able to make it through; and those waiting from behind will be left with steam pouring from their ears.

        1. Miwok

          Rich, they probably got a Red Light Camera Ticket, and now stay behind the line? I like the timers on the Walk Signs, though. They really let you know a Yellow is coming, as a rider walker or driver you can asses the traffic and not get caught out.

  2. Jim Frame

    I’d like to see a pedestrian warning flasher installed at University Avenue, as the crossing is treacherous due to obstructed sight lines.  Westbound traffic can’t see southbound pedestrians because of the median landscaping, and eastbound traffic can’t see them until they clear the curve in the road.  A flasher would put both on notice that there are pedestrians in the crosswalk.

    1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      Jim, the person to speak with regarding your suggestion is Roxanne Namazi of the City of Davis. She will definitely look into your idea and give you feedback. Also, because that is right at City Hall, I am sure Roxanne is well aware of the traffic situation there.

      1. darelldd

        Frankly – why do you presume that a happy cyclist is different than a sales tax-paying customer of downtown merchants? Surely you are not implying that all motorists buy stuff in town, and cyclists do not? Every study done on this subject shows that cyclists spend more in town than motorists. Surprise!

        Oh, and to answer the question that you posed to Alan… yes. A happy cyclists is more important than a ticked off-motorist who thinks that shopping at Taco Bell is buying locally.

        1. DT Businessman

          Actually, I am surprised by your comment, Darell.  I’m not sure whether your comment about cyclists spending more applies to all of Davis or is focused on Downtown spending, which is what Frankly was commenting on.  It’s also not clear whether by “spending” you are referring to retail spending, dining, or what.  But we do have some anecdotal evidence from the pre- and post Target study done by UCD Institute. of Transportation Studies that indicates cyclist shop less than other Downtown shoppers. If memory serves me correctly, cyclists represent only 13% or so of downtown retail shoppers even though they make-up 28% (?) of the mode share.  That said, the evidence is not conclusive because the study was not directly focused on this issue.  Furthermore, there’s no evidence one way or the other whether cyclists spend more or less than other shoppers even though they are less frequent downtown shoppers.

          It would be helpful for the Institute to conduct a conclusive study regarding cyclists shopping behavior instead of us having to extrapolate from studies that had other purposes.

          -Michael Bisch

        2. darelldd

          Hi Michael –

          I’m happy to offer up this surprise! The only (regrettably) flippant part of my comment was the “every study done” bit. I’m only aware of one study that focussed on this issue – specifically for Davis downtown shopping. The study was done last year by a UCD graduate group, and concluded that shoppers who arrive downtown via bicycle spend more per transaction and per day than those who arrive by automobile.

          I need to go find a link to the study for this to impress anyone, of course. I know that it is available publicly. But that’ll have to wait until I’m on a larger communication device! I’m happy to take the discussion offline as well.

          What makes me most sad is that the folks who need to know this, and who are making decisions on this, are NOT studying it. Instead we are mired in assumptions that cyclists just putter around and get in the way of drivers, and that any money spent to increase ridership serves to drain the coffers of our downtown merchants. I’m getting a bit tired of hearing that. Heck I pay equally for all those astonishingly expensive “free parking spaces” we have all over town… yet I don’t use them when I go shopping. I’m wandering way off topic now, I realize. And I can’t help myself. If we wish to increase parking downtown, we only need to convert more car spaces to 12+ bicycle spaces. But wow… the push-back there is considerable, isn’t it? Because, of course, the continued assumption that customers in cars spend money while customers on bikes do not.

          And while we’re on this subject of spending in downtown… here we are having survived the holiday shopping season with the 5th street redesign in full force. And what is it that I keep reading in the paper? I keep hearing that sales are UP this year. What happened to all the hand-wringing about the 5th street redesign being the death knell of downtown? We were informed that cars won’t be able to get into town if we accommodate cyclists! Yet, here we are. More people can travel on 5th street than ever before. All modes are safer than ever before. And… downtown merchants are making more money. It would appear that we won’t miss the disgruntled, Woodland-shopping letter-writer much.

          Please excuse my late-night ramblings as I await the calendar change.

          Happy New Year!

      2. Matt Williams

        Frankly, when I first read that letter in the Enterprise, and then again when I read it here, I came away with the feeling that nothing was going to make the writer happy. Davis with a population of 30,000 might have done so, but we all know that isn’t going to happen.

      3. Alan Miller

        Not at all, Frank Lee.  My point is, the letter writing was a spoiled brat, complaining about what most have found to be an improvement, letting all know that they are taking their toys and going home.

        But I must admit you are right.  All those boarded up storefronts in downtown surely mean we need to do a reversal, returning to the four-lane speedway, and the bread-and-circuses style pass time of “bump a bike”.

        Ah, the good old days.

        1. Frankly

          Let’s see if Hibbert reports any reduction in sales.

          One of the things that bikers seem to have more of than many other people is available time.  Frankly (because I am) the problem I have with the bike agenda in this town and other bikey places is a bit of “my way or the highway” attitude that you displayed with your comment and I responded to.

          I remain impressed with people that bike everywhere even on the days that I simply cannot because of some professional obligation that demands I drive a car.  But I am just irritated with the “holier than thou” vibes that come off from some people sometimes.

          Convenience is a big deal for time-constrained people.  We cannot all be lucky enough to be retired early or have a professional like that allows for consistent bike rather than car travel.  Yes there are those of us just a bit more lazy and whining about having to wait extra minutes in traffic because Davis changed the roads to appeal to bikes at the expense of cars is worth of scorn.  But I think more often than not, those complaining have a legitimate gripe that their ability to travel to the main designated shopping center of the city has been materially constrained.  And people will take their money elsewhere simply based on convenience.  I know I do on a regular basis.  I don’t shop altruistically.   Local merchants are not some charity case.  But when I can get in and out in a reasonable fashion and the things I need or want are available at a reasonable price, I will always shop locally.

        2. Alan Miller

          The problem with your logic that you are so into car centricism that it is assumed the road is for cars.  Note the term:  “My way or the highway”.  What about “My way or the bike path”?

          Seriously, though, the bike infrastructure in some areas is so poor that if the situation were reversed (all roads had to be made first functional for bikes and cars were an afterthought), then autos would not even be able to use many Davis roads.

          When a car strikes your car in town, you usually live.  When a car strikes your bike, you have a pretty good chance of severe bodily damage and/or death.  There’s a really those of us who cycle around are a bit persistent that Davis roads could use some major balancing.

        3. darelldd

          Frankly –

          You aren’t seriously implying that cyclists are getting in your way and making things more difficult in town, are you? You almost seem to be saying that the 5th street redesign has “constrained” travel in town. By what metric? How about freeway congestion? Are bikes causing that as well? And of course the lack of parking in town. The bikes again, right? There is no “bike agenda here.” There is a “we need to conveniently and safely move people” agenda that I think you’re missing.

          And yes. I know you ride a bike… but of course without an agenda.

          You have asked if Hibberts will see a reduction in sales. Are you impressed that the downtown merchants have seen an INCREASE in sales already? Or shall we ignore that and await what Hibberts has to say? Last I heard, Hibberts was quite supportive of the redesign.

        4. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          GREENWALD: Turning right out of Hibbert’s parking lot … a left turning car coming out of Hibberts …
          DARRELLDD: … getting into and out of Hibberts. … You have asked if Hibberts will see … what Hibberts has to say? Last I heard, Hibberts was quite supportive of the redesign.
          RIFKIN: … a stone’s throw east of Hibbert’s Lumber.

          FWIW, a friendly emailer corrected me and others: The store’s name is Hibbert Lumber Company. It is not Hibbert’s (as I wrote) or Hibberts.

          For those who don’t know, it was started by Jack Hibbert, who also served on the Davis City Council from 1950-1954. I believe Hibbert Lumber is today run by his daughter, Becky Hibbert. One of the people chosen by the Davis Historical Resources Management Commission to be honored with a street named for him in a Davis-history themed neighborhood was Jack Hibbert. However, the developer of The Cannery, who chose at random some names from the HRMC list did not pick Hibbert this time. Yet the list is intact and it’s possible the City Council will at some point choose to honor actual people who played a major role in our city’s history instead of just choosing people on the basis of race.


    1. zaqzaq

      Driving in downtown Davis is one of the more stressful places to drive a car.  The vast majority of bicyclists do not stop at stop signs or obey basic traffic laws.  Defensive driving is the norm.  You have to expect bicyclists to flaunt the laws.  Then you have to find parking which is also time consuming.  There is nothing more fun than driving in the downtown with bicyclist flying by you ignoring traffic laws.  It is easier to go to Woodland, Dixon or West Sacramento to do you shopping if you live in either West Davis or South Davis than deal with the many problems in downtown Davis.  And for the next six months you also get bags with your purchases.

      The city should remove bus stops along the portion of the 5th street corridor to avoid traffic stoppages when cars (and bicyclists) cannot cannot legally and safely pass them.

      1. Davis Progressive

        “Driving in downtown Davis is one of the more stressful places to drive a car.”

        that’s either hyperbole or you don’t get out of davis often?

        i agree with you that bicyclists don’t follow the law, but car drivers speed, swerve into the other lane to avoid vehicles, and cause their own problems.

      2. Alan Miller

        We definitely need to hire 48 more police officers, so there are 16 officers, one for each major intersection in downtown, to ticket all bicyclists on all shifts 24-7, until they stop, stop, stop!  Damn bicyclists.  They are all carved from Satan’s thigh.

      3. Frankly

        Davis is a very difficult city to drive in because of hyper density citywide and hyper-concentration of humanity in the downtown.  The downtown during UCD session is as busy as is most vibrant large urban areas… even more so in some ways because people don’t understand this and move around like they all have the right of way at all times.   It is near an athletic event to drive downtown… needed to see the entire field at one time because there are cars, bikes and people coming from all angles and potentially not paying attention.

  3. Don Shor

    “I went to Hibbert Lumber and sat through three light changes trying to get out of the parking lot. I will never do that again.”

    So, turn right and get turned around on G Street. But no, take out your anger on the business owner.

    1. darelldd

      As well… I have never had an easier time getting into and out of Hibberts. It has ALWAYS been a challenge. And challenges remain. But it is easier now than it was before. At least every time I’ve done – both by car and by bike.

    2. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      I had a somewhat similar experience to the letter writer, though a different reaction.

      My dog recently had surgery at Midtown Animal Clinic, which is on Rowe Place, a stone’s throw east of Hibbert’s Lumber. My challenge was turning right onto Fifth Street from Rowe Place. It was about 8:45 in the morning, and car traffic on Fifth was backed up from G Street to about J Street.

      I think traffic engineers could solve this kind of problem, particularly at the heaviest commute hours, if they would keep the signals on Fifth in sync between B and L and keep them green longer in the east-west direction. I get the sense that the lights are timed to slow down traffic for purposes of safety. That’s fine when traffic is light. But during the morning and afternoon rush, traffic calming measures result in problematic congestion on Fifth Street. I think this was a problem before the Road Diet. However, it might now be worse.

      Obviously, some in our community would opt for traffic calming measures which create congestion like I experienced trying to get off of Rowe. So I suppose it is a conflict of values at play.

      Another situation on Fifth Street I have noticed with the Road Diet is the inability or unwillingness or ignorance of car drivers to pull into the bike lanes to make a right turn. It is especially dangerous for bikes when cars turn right (often without using their turn signal) from left of the bike lane. The bike going straight will assume the car is going straight, too, and then the car will plow over the bike rider. Additionally, when cars do this, and then stop and look to make sure no bikes are there and no pedestrians are there before they turn, they stop all car traffic behind them. Even if it is not entirely illegal, it is terrible manners to not safely move your car into the bike lane before you turn right.

      For every bicyclist in Davis who does not seem to know the rules of the road (or thinks they don’t apply to him), we have at least one car driver who needs a serious education in how to drive a car. Our city is now full of car drivers who never use their turn signals, who don’t pull over when an emergency vehicle with its siren on is approaching, who wrongly think that bicyclists cannot ride “in the cars’ lane.”

      Being an avid cyclists, I often hear complaints about the unsafe driving habits of many car drivers; and my experiences helps me agree with them. On the other hand, a lot of my fellow cyclists are inconsiderate of car drivers. There is no reason to not pull over to the right hand edge of the road when you see a car approaching in your rear view mirror. Just live by the golden rule on a bike: Don’t be an a$$hole.

      1. Miwok

        The old saw about synchronizing lights I guess is old now, since it was done to MOVE traffic and reduce emissions to give better air quality. Now everyone has to CALM traffic and let us sit through lights. Like my questions about public transit were answered as not practical, I guess clean air and gridlock is what everyone wants now.

        When I worked in San Jose about 15 years ago, rush hours were at least three lights per intersection on or off the freeway. Then I heard on the radio the CC had determined no improvements were going to be made until 90% of intersections were at least waiting two lights long at peak time. I guess it is happening as well here?

  4. Anon

    Roads in Davis are to be shared by all modes of travel, be it car, bike or pedestrian.  None is favored over the other.  The problem in the past is that bicycles have been somewhat ignored as a mode share, e.g. on 5th Street.  Now that neglect is being addressed.  The person who complained about waiting through 3 lights to pull out of Hibbert makes no sense.  I have been to Hibbert, and turning right has been no problem for me.  Normally other cars are quite good about allowing me to blend into traffic from the Hibbert parking lot if there is a long line of cars.  If cars are not allowing her in, that is due to discourteous driving by other motorists.  If she is trying to turn left, then I would suggest turning right and then use the next block to circle back and get going the way she wants to go, as Don Shor has suggested.  This woman is certainly free to take her business elsewhere, but Woodland and West Sac have their own traffic problems, believe me.  IMO the 5th St redesign has been working beautifully, and as a driver, I much prefer having bike lanes for bicyclists – it makes me feel safer as an automobile driver.

    1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      I have been to Hibbert, and turning right has been no problem for me.  Normally other cars are quite good about allowing me to blend into traffic from the Hibbert parking lot if there is a long line of cars.  If cars are not allowing her in, that is due to discourteous driving by other motorists.

      My experience is similar to yours, where a car stopped in traffic (anywhere in Davis) will usually let me enter in such situations. But this is somewhat beside the point. I think the larger questions are: Does the street design and traffic signal arrangement cause long backups on a regular basis? And can this be fixed?

      I don’t drive a car on Fifth at busy times enough to say anything definitively. But if this is a regular occurrence, I would think it makes sense to try to engineer the traffic signals so that the throughput of vehicle traffic on Fifth improves. …

      One thing I have observed at the new signals on Fifth (at both F and G) is that the left-turn only lights are not “smart” signals. Even if no one in the westbound or eastbound lanes is waiting to turn left, when the north-south signals turn red, the left-turn only green lights go on; and that then holds up all the through traffic going east and west. …

      Not that Davis would ever do this, but it would also make sense at those intersections to allow drivers turning left onto F and G to legally make a left-turn after the left-only green has gone off. I know the reason cities almost never allow that kind of turn anymore: Because half of all drivers suck at driving, and so all drivers have to be treated as if they are completely incompetent. But it does stink sitting in the left turn lane with a red-left arrow, when no cars are coming the opposite way and the cars going straight in my direction have a green light.

      1. Miwok

        Because half of all drivers suck at driving, and so all drivers have to be treated as if they are completely incompetent.

        You got that right. I tell parents about taking their kid to go kart places when they are young, just to get a wheel in their hands before they turn 16. Other parents are too clueless to drive responsibly themselves.

        I recommend you take kids to some of these places, even amusement parks, and race tracks have Club Days when you can drive your car around. Might be a fun family day and save the life of your young driver – and me, in the future.

        Many states have the Left on Red Arrow rule, but not all are as crowded as Davis, once again, capacity. But if you are blocking a lane waiting for an arrow, why shouldn’t you move? All it takes is Common Sense, oops, never mind. 🙂

        If locals cannot figure out how to get out of Hibbert after thirty years, then there is not much Hope, or Change.

      2. Matt Williams

        One thing I have observed at the new signals on Fifth (at both F and G) is that the left-turn only lights are not “smart” signals. Even if no one in the westbound or eastbound lanes is waiting to turn left, when the north-south signals turn red, the left-turn only green lights go on; and that then holds up all the through traffic going east and west.

        That has been my observation too Rich. I hope that is a shortcoming that gets corrected in the near future.

  5. jrberg

    City staff are aware of most of the issues raised here, and are working on making some changes that will alleviate some of these problems.  I encourage people to raise any issues during public comment at the next meeting of the BTSSC, since transportation planning staff will be there, and the Commission should hear these comments as well.  Fifth Street is not on the agenda, though, so no action will be taken.  The meeting will be held on Wednesday, 7 January, at 5:30 pm in the Council Chambers.

  6. darelldd

    Ironically, of course, the problem is not bicyclists, but either inconsiderate car drivers or too many cars, or both.

    The letter to the editor amuses me in the same way. The driver is having trouble crossing ONE lane of car traffic now, and blames cyclists for the fact she doesn’t have to cross TWO lanes of car traffic to turn left. The driver feels that Davis would be showing it’s unwavering love for the automobile if only those two lanes of car traffic could have been left intact.

    I love it.

    I drive a car and I ride a bike. In my lifetime, while driving my car, I have been held up by bicycles for a few minutes total. In that same lifetime, I’ve been held up for untold hundreds of hours by other cars.

    Clearly bicycles are the problem here. Especially those pesky ones that keep running stop signs.

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