Work on Nishi EIR About to Begin – Staff Weighs Olive-Only Access Option

Nishi-2015-Draft-Site-Plan

It has been just over two years since the Davis City Council approved a pre-development shared costs agreement with the property owner of Nishi. Last year, the city was awarded a $600,000 grant from the State of California Strategic Growth Council for sustainability and environmental reviews of the proposal.

On the surface, the property, which is conceived of as having both a high density housing component and an innovation center component, might be seen as an easy approval for city voters when it reaches for a Measure R approval. The property is centrally located with easy bike and pedestrian access, both to the UC Davis campus as well as the Davis downtown. It is also secluded enough not to have a huge visual impact on existing residents.

However, concerns exist as to traffic circulation, as there is limited access to the property. Richards Blvd. is already a congested roadway and pushing more traffic through the Richards underpass is seen as problematic. We have yet to see a traffic study or a plan to avoid these problems.

The first part of that will be the required review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Currently, staff is proposing two equal-weight alternatives as the primary project to be analyzed in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR): “The preferred project alternative with full ped/bike/vehicle access from both west Olive Drive and the UC Davis campus; and an alternative with access from west Olive Drive only.”

According to staff, “Access to the UC Davis campus would require approval of the UC Regents, anticipated to be within the context of a Long Range Development Plan update. Campus staff report that a LRDP update effort will be launching within 2015 with Regents action anticipated in 2016.”

What they do not appear to be looking at, however, was a plan discussed by the Housing Element Steering committee several years ago: a UC Davis-only access alternative.

The Nishi project is actually only a small portion of a much bigger vision for this portion of town. The city, UC Davis, and Yolo County have been exploring options for creating a Downtown University Gateway District comprised of the Nishi Gateway area, West Olive Drive area and adjacent UC Davis lands.

The project includes not only the development of the Nishi property but the potential future redevelopment of private properties on West Olive Drive. Staff notes, “This redevelopment would occur based upon market decisions by property owners, but impacts will be analyzed in the EIR. The EIR will also anticipate road improvements on West Olive Drive to provide access to the Nishi property.”

There is also the proposed Embassy Suites hotel conference facility by a separate applicant that will be analyzed with its own CEQA review, expected to come to council for consideration this spring. Land-use decision affecting the campus properties will be made by the UC Regents and would also require environmental review.

The concepts that were presented to the council in 2014 discussed roughly 500-700 housing units in the form of apartments and condominiums, with another 300-500,000 square feet of non-residential development on the Nishi property, which has been viewed as proposed space for innovation and technology.

According to staff, “The EIR will analyze 650 residential units and 325,000 square feet of office/research development, plus approximately 20,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail uses (likely on the ground floor of the residential buildings).”

Staff notes that there is a discussion of a potential extended stay hotel on the property, “This hotel is not part of the proposed project included within the EIR. However, staff anticipates the possibility of a hotel – and the conditions under which one might be considered – to be part of the Measure J/R Baseline Project Features.”

Staff and the CEQA consultant are proposing the following CEQA alternatives:

  • A “no-project” alternative, as required by statute.
  • A office/research only alternative, which has the potential of reducing impacts from placing housing near the freeway and the railroad tracks;
  • A reduced-intensity alternative, which has the potential to reduce traffic and agricultural impacts of the proposal; and
  • An off-site alternative on the 5th Street Corridor (PG&E, City, and DJUSD corporation yards), as assessed in the Studio 30 Innovation Center Study.

The current schedule sees the public review of the scope of the EIR in February 2015. The draft EIR would be issued for public review in July, along with the draft sustainability plans. Staff writes, “This will allow Planning Commission and City Council the capability of holding public hearings and making a decision by the end of the calendar year, thereby allowing the possibility of a Measure R election as soon as March of 2016.”

Part of the next steps will be the sustainability plan – funded through the Strategic Growth Council grant. “The City has contracted with Ascent Environmental to prepare sustainability plans for the Nishi Gateway District. These include water and wastewater, energy, open space, and transportation components. The utility, transportation, and open space plans will also address adjacent UC Davis properties, for consideration during campus efforts of updating its long range development plan.”

According to the staff report, there have been initial thoughts on sustainability by Cool Davis and the Natural Resources Commission. Staff notes, “The Natural Resources Commission will serve as the Council’s advisory body on sustainability efforts for Nishi Gateway. The draft Sustainability Framework, with goals and objectives for the area, recommended actions for further study, and performance metrics is scheduled for NRC consideration later in January. As future studies are completed, they will be presented to the NRC for review and recommendation to City Council.”

Staff adds, “The City and Ascent Environmental are also working with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments to evaluate the Nishi Gateway proposal through the SACOG Urban Footprint model. Urban Footprint is a scenario-based evaluation model which includes the ability to analyze the performance of land use scenarios based on a full range of fiscal, environmental, and public health metrics.”

Not mentioned at this point has been concerns that have been raised about the health impacts of the adjacent highway that runs along the southern boundary of the property.

The other critical issue will be the ability of the development team and the city to manage circulation impacts onto the already congested Richards Blvd. Given that, it is surprising that the equal weight EIR weighs an Olive Dr.-only access point but not the reverse, a UC Davis-only access point – which was discussed by the 2007 Housing Element Steering Committee as a possible alternative.

—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.

Related posts

45 Comments

  1. Tia Will

    I have questions for those with knowledge of transportation and accessibility issues.

    It seems curious to me that since one of the major challenges with the Nishi proposal seems to be automobile accessibility, and since one of the City metrics is reduction of emissions, that the largest amount of designated space ( 13.1 acres) is set aside for automobile storage.

    I believe that most people choose their means of transportation based on their perception of convenience. If this is true, and we are being true to our stated values, do we really want to center the plans for Nishi around , and incentivize more use of automobiles by making this a more convenient modality ?

    1. David Greenwald

      I think you raise a very good point – I keep thinking if we want to create housing close to downtown and UC Davis, let’s create housing. So I think a high density 2000 unit studnet housing project with no cars might be a good alternative to explore.

      1. Don Shor

        Even if cars are not their primary mode of transportation, many — probably most — of the potential residents will have one that needs to be parked somewhere. Even the dorms have parking nearby.

        1. David Greenwald

          That’s the question I was going to ask – I believe that students can’t bring cars to campus year one, so do they have a place to park off campus or do they simply have no car?

          Now I don’t know that this is really that big a problem – there are a lot of students who simply don’t have vehicles. Those who do will live somewhere other than car-free housing, those who don’t have a car, then have a convenient place to get to campus and downtown.

          I think we should at least explore this as a possibility.

        2. Aggie

          Matt: This being the good old U S of A, UCD cannot prevent freshmen from owning a car. They try to discourage freshmen from bringing cars by refusing to sell them an on-campus parking permits (leading the more motivated kids to engage in a wide array of workarounds).

          1. Matt Williams

            Aggie, the way it was explained to me was that the no-car provision is one of the conditions of the room lease that each student signs for their freshman dormitory room. If you are unwilling to voluntarily agree to that condition then no lease, which I believe means no matriculation, since dormitory (or parental residence) habitation is a condition of acceptance. None of that appears to violate the provisions that we all enjoy as pert of “the good old US of A.”

            As I said earlier, my information is not from primary sources, so I will welcome any more informed factual information anyone has to share.

        3. hpierce

          Matt… I question your second premise, that freshmen (would that include transfer students?) HAVE to live in the dorms their first year unless they live in the dorms.  That was once true, but many years ago.  Can’t they live with a relative (sibling/aunt/uncle/etc.?).  I think they Greystone Apartments, on Fifth, recruited Freshmen when they first opened in the ’90’s.  Please check your “facts”.  I don’t think they are “facts”.

          1. Matt Williams

            Hpierce, what is it that you do not understand about my words, “As I said earlier, my information is not from primary sources, so I will welcome any more informed factual information anyone has to share.” I did a quick check and the only person who used the word “fact” was you.

      2. Aggie

        So I think a high density 2000 unit studnet housing project with no cars might be a good alternative to explore. David Greenwald.

        It’s not legal to restrict housing in the city based on whether or not a prospective tenant or owner is a UCD student. This alternative would require UCD to purchase the property.

         

    2. Anon

       

      A office/research only alternative, which has the potential of reducing impacts from placing housing near the freeway and the railroad tracks;
      A reduced-intensity alternative, which has the potential to reduce traffic and agricultural impacts of the proposal;”

      Excellent fact filled article.  I am not sure I understand the difference between an office/research only alternative, and a reduced-intensity alternative.  What exactly is the vision for the reduced-intensity alternative?

      Not mentioned at this point has been concerns that have been raised about the health impacts of the adjacent highway that runs along the southern boundary of the property.

      I suspect the reason for not getting overly concerned about this issue is because the problem is fairly easily resolved, as it was in the New Harmony development.  Those units nearest the freeway have hepa-filters on their air conditioning/heating units; and tree screens are used to generate oxygen/reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

      The other critical issue will be the ability of the development team and the city to manage circulation impacts onto the already congested Richards Blvd. Given that, it is surprising that the equal weight EIR weighs an Olive Dr.-only access point but not the reverse, a UC Davis-only access point – which was discussed by the 2007 Housing Element Steering Committee as a possible alternative.

      Do you think there may be some reason that a UC Davis access only plan is not workable?  That there must be access to Olive Drive?

      1. David Greenwald

        “Do you think there may be some reason that a UC Davis access only plan is not workable? That there must be access to Olive Drive?”

        That’s a fair question that I think we need to explore.

        1. Anon

          It seems curious to me that since one of the major challenges with the Nishi proposal seems to be automobile accessibility, and since one of the City metrics is reduction of emissions, that the largest amount of designated space ( 13.1 acres) is set aside for automobile storage.
          I believe that most people choose their means of transportation based on their perception of convenience. If this is true, and we are being true to our stated values, do we really want to center the plans for Nishi around , and incentivize more use of automobiles by making this a more convenient modality ?

          When you say “do we really want to center the plans for Nishi around, and incentivize more use of automobiles by making this a more convenient modality”, what that says to me is you feel not every unit should be allowed a set aside for automobile storage.  That clearly implies some will not be able to have cars, because there is no space for one.

      1. Tia Will

        Anon

        So what are you saying, that those who choose to live at Nishi cannot have a car?”

        My post said nothing at all about not being able to have a car. What I was implying is that neither the university nor the city is making a wise choice if they actively incentivize or make it easier for those who choose to own cars. I said nothing at all about a car “ban”. What I do believe, although I did not say it,is that we have no obligation to, nor should we promote car ownership by providing free space for everyone who wants to have their own car. I believe it is in the best interest of all for health, safety, and environmental reasons to lower the use of the private automobile wherever we can. The only thing that one is sacrificing is a bit of personal convenience which can be mitigated as I have posted elsewhere by a modicum of planning ahead and collaboration. To me that is not a high price to pay for all of the advantages. However, it does require being willing to accept that just because we adopted a culture centered around the private automobile, does not mean that we should stubbornly cling to that clearly outdated model.

         

        1. South of Davis

          Tia wrote:

          > What I do believe, although I did not say it,is that we have no

          > obligation to, nor should we promote car ownership

          Interesting that someone who has car parking at both her homes in Davis to park the multiple cars her family owns does not want a private developer to let people have parking spaces near their home like she does.

           

          1. Don Shor

            You should really stop with this constant theme. Aside from being tiresome, it’s very hypocritical to take advantage of the Vanguard’s policy of allowing anonymous comments and then repeatedly attack members who post under their own names in this manner. You attack Tia over and over again, but you don’t reveal who you are, what you do, where you live, or any particulars of your own financial situation. So unless you’re willing to do that, maybe you should just stick to the topics and avoid getting so personal about issues.

          2. David Greenwald

            I agree with Don – you’re using information that you’ve learned about Tia – specific personal information and using it to attack her while hiding behind anonymity – that’s patently unfair.

        2. South of Davis

          Don wrote:

          > You attack Tia over and over again

          Do you really think my last post (or any post EVER) was an “attack” (take aggressive action against (a place or enemy forces) with weapons or armed force, typically in a battle or war.)?

          I “disagree” with Tia often but I don’t think that many people would call my posts “attacking” her.

          > maybe you should just stick to the topics and avoid

          > getting so personal about issues.

          It is funny that you have never posted to tell Tia to avoid getting VERY personal about so many issues.

          I’ve never hired a PI to track down info on anyone and I can’t figure out why you get so bent out of shape when I just re-post things that others have previously posted about themselves (like the post you deleted where I just re-posted something you had already shared about yourself).

           

    3. hpierce

      Tia… your comment should be explored… those who think we should have free, segregated parking sufficient to allow one car per person + some for commercial, are in my opinion, not good planners.  Those who would ban parking entirely are idiots.  As a college student, I did not own a car, but I had enough friends who had cars when I really couldn’t depend on walking, biking, or transit.  Perhaps 1 car per 5-8 residents, and/or a project sponsored program such as zip-cars.

      I think the parking should come at a price, for those who use it, possibly with “vouchers” available for the occasional users of the non-res uses, similar to downtown Sacto parking garages.  Given the proximity to bike/ped/transit facilities, perhaps we should start out with a much lower parking requirement than we’ve traditionally required, but hold some land in a “parking reserve” that could be used if we don’t get the “sweet spot” right the first time.  With paid parking, a multi-level parking structure might be feasible, thus reducing the ‘footprint’ of the parking that is necessary for the success of the project.

      I believe, also, that West Olive Drive be made available for ped/bike/EVA access, but for none other.

      I also believe the project should be required to fund and construct a bike/ped connection across Richards, on the west side of the tracks, to facilitate/encourage use of Amtrak (train and bus), to again minimize the number of cars that would be ‘required’ to be ‘stored’ and also reduce overall emissions for necessary trips.

      1. South of Davis

        hpierce wrote:

        > I think the parking should come at a price, for those who use it

        Keep in mind that the higher the “price” to park on campus the more cars we are going to get parked on the street in the city (plenty of kids today that live on campus already use friends visitor permits or get their own by putting their name on a lease)…

        1. hpierce

          Hence, the “sweet spot” concept.  The University overprices its parking, because in their view, parking isn’t part of the ‘educational mission’, so they charge based on the construction, operation/maintenance, admin costs and probably an additional admin charge to pay for upper echelon university management staff.  If the lots aren’t being fully utilized due to costs, the University hikes the rates to cover the costs not recovered by more permits.  Hence, students (and many instructors/staff) park in the abutting neighborhoods and in response the City has had to establish “preferential parking districts”.

          What I would propose is paid parking where it is priced so that ~95% of of the parking was ‘subscribed to’, due to the fees being less or equal to the hassle, etc. of the use of abutting neighborhoods, or “playing games”.  I don’t dispute your points but feel there may be a place between the current UCD pricing system and guaranteed, free parking.

           

      2. Tia Will

        hpierce

        Thanks for the very thoughtful post. I like your ideas, especially the thought of a “zip car” like approach or car sharing.

        In thinking of this issue in terms of my own children, now 25 and 22, both of them rarely used a car when they were first in college in Berkeley. My son used feet, bike and public transportation exclusively in the first three years. The reason he was able to is because the communities of the Bay area have taken public transportation seriously and have made it a priority. I believe that we would be able to do the same if that were to become a true priority for us instead of clinging to the old model of every individual must have their own car.

        Car sharing is truly not that onerous. My son, his girl friend, my partner and I are now doing exactly that. My partner and I each brought our own car to the relationship which we each need during the week since both of us work in locations in Sacramento difficult to access by public transportation.  We have no need for two cars during the weekend. The “kids” newly here from Berkley had no car. Obvious solution for us was not to buy one to two more cars, but to plan our needs. They take my car on the weekends to do any necessary larger scale shopping or distant errands. I take it back during the week. I think that these kinds of car sharing arrangements should be easy to work out even though they are not the “traditional” model.

        1. hpierce

          Tia:  “… because the communities of the Bay area have taken public transportation seriously and have made it a priority.” 

          I hope you understand how sustainable public transit works… You need population levels and densities (and good land use decisions along transportation corridors) sufficient to support the construction and O&M of those facilities/equipment.  To be feasible, to improve much beyond what Davis has now, would take a huge amount of densification (due to redevelopment) AND population growth, probably greatly in excess of what you seem to keep saying would be acceptable to you.  Something about having cake and eating it.

  2. Dave Hart

    All the traffic and parking issues discussed above need to be addressed, but an overarching issue is how development of the Nishi property becomes part of Davis.  It seems to me that Olive Drive-only access creates a giant cul-de-sac that limits the integration of the entire parcel into the fabric of the rest of Davis and the campus.  At minimum, there needs to be access somewhere along the west end near the Mondavi Center so that there can be a sense that this area is part of its surrounding community.  Otherwise, the whole thing starts to feel like a gated community that is vaguely hostile to outsiders.  That is one of my negative reactions to the Cannery thing.  One way in and out doesn’t make it feel like part of our town.

    1. Miwok

      Dumb dumb dumb.

      Dave Hart, you have finally, in all these comments mentioned what I was going to say. Thank you,

      The “planning” points out they want access to UCD but make people drive around to get to it? They probably are not even “planning” to tear any buildings down or widen the ingress and egress.

      The Underpass is heavily overused, and somehow they cannot figure out Olive Drive crosses it right at the tunnel?

      One in and out avenue, and you get dumb things like people crossing the tracks on foot, on bicycles, and not even a bridge considered to accommodate people? Give me a break!

      Dumb Dumb Dumb

  3. Aggie

    I’m struck by the contrast between the graphic in this article and the three concept alternatives presented by Perkins+Will.

    http://community-development.cityofdavis.org/Media/CommunityDevelopment/Documents/PDF/CDD/Advance-Planning/Nishi%20Gateway/Design-Framework-Presentation.pdf

    The plan is getting worse, not better. What an incredible lack of vision and ambition on the part of the applicant and staff. And if the project actually gets built in this form, what an incredible waste of a precious piece of strategically-located land.

  4. Aggie

    I’m also struck by the deceptive nature of the graphic posted with this article (which came from the Staff Report).

    The connection to Olive Drive is draw as if the Putah Creek Bikeway will be preserved as a grade-separated bike path (which it should). Either the graphic is draw incorrectly and fails to show a new underpass or overpass at the Olive Drive extension, or the intent is to breach the Bikeway with a new road and the graphic is draw and colored to obscure this detail. The Staff Report is silent on the question.

    So what’s the plan? I’m specifically calling out Robb Davis on this one since he’s the bike activist on the Council.

    Robb: Is the plan to breach the Putah Creek Parkway with an at-grade crossing carrying the traffic from Richards to Nishi?  If so, is that acceptable to you?

    1. Jim Frame

      Is the plan to breach the Putah Creek Parkway with an at-grade crossing carrying the traffic from Richards to Nishi?

      I don’t think wouldn’t be hard — though it would be an added expense — to lower the grade on the bike path to go under the Olive extension.  This would also have the benefit of reducing the climb from both the RR and I-80 undercrossings.  If the north fork of Putah Creek were still active this might not be feasible, but given the very little water it carries, I think it’d be just a dirt-moving and bridge-building job, and they’re going to have to bridge the creek anyway.

      1. hpierce

        Previous proposal for Nishi would have a vehicular bridge over the Parkway bike/ped path.  Not 100% positive on the current proposal, but a grade separated crossing of the existing pathway is feasible.

    2. Robb Davis

      Aggie said: I’m specifically calling out Robb Davis on this one since he’s the bike activist on the Council.
      Let me “riff on Rifkin” here and provide the Oxford dictionary definition of “calling someone out”:

      Draw critical attention to someone’s unacceptable actions or behaviour:

      People were calling him out for his negative comments
      Dan had called her out on a couple of contradictions in her story
      She called him on his claim that the media were doing a bad job of covering the economy

      So, I am assuming you mean “I want to specifically ask Robb Davis about this (because he cares about bike connectivity issues).”

      When PG&E replaced a gas line along the bike path there last summer, it is my understanding that they dug pretty deep to allow for an eventual tunnel under an eventual Olive Drive west.  The plan at this point (though I have seen no renderings of it) is to have the street at level and the bike path go under it via a tunnel.

       

      1. Aggie

        Robb: Yes. You are correct. Poor (and uninformed) choice of words. Now if you were to vote to breach the PCP with an at-grade intersection, I might then “call you out.”  🙂

        I appreciate your input, as well as the comments of hpierce and Alan Miller on this issue.

        That being said, I am truly perplexed by the silence in the Staff Report on the PCP crossing as well as the lack of appropriate annotation in the graphic. It raises red flags (in my mind, at least) that staff and/or the applicant may be trying to string this out.  I urge the Council to provide clear and unambiguous direction on the PCP crossing before you authorize preparation of the EIR. A grade-separated crossing of the PCP should be a non-negotiable precondition for considering any proposal involving extension of Olive Drive to the west.

  5. Alan Miller

    “The connection to Olive Drive is draw as if the Putah Creek Bikeway will be preserved as a grade-separated bike path (which it should).”

    The intention is for the bike path to under Olive Drive, and utility lines were lowered in advance so the work wouldn’t have to be re-done.  That was one of my concerns, and with that I approve of the idea, as long as traffic models show the rerouting of traffic will work at Olive/Richards.

    I like the H.P. idea of running a path up the west side of the tracks to the station.  This was considered years ago but seems to have dropped off the consideration radar — I’d like to see it as part of Gateway.

  6. Aggie

    According to staff, “Access to the UC Davis campus would require approval of the UC Regents, anticipated to be within the context of a Long Range Development Plan update. Campus staff report that a LRDP update effort will be launching within 2015 with Regents action anticipated in 2016.”

    This is the key piece of information in the article. There will be no clarity on access from UCD until 2016 at the earliest. As a consequence, the developers need an equal weight EIR with an Olive Drive only access alternative in order to try and compete with the real innovation center proposals at Mace and West Covell.

    The Council is playing a dangerous game with the electorate right now.  If they fail to deliver an expansion site for FMC Schilling (and that almost certainly requires annexation of Mace) it will be a disastrous setback with respect to our future economic development prospects and long term fiscal sustainability. Pandering to the Nishi developers and their legion of small town political cronies instead of focusing like a laser on delivering economic opportunity to the city is bad leadership.

    In my opinion the Council should hold firm on the original plan – dual access from UCD and Olive Drive – and insist that the applicant be more ambitious (and bring forward a legitimate innovation hub proposal) as outlined in my previous posts.

    1. Miwok

      “In my opinion the Council should hold firm on the original plan – dual access from UCD and Olive Drive – and insist that the applicant be more ambitious (and bring forward a legitimate innovation hub proposal) as outlined in my previous posts.” – Aggie

      If they don’t have access from UCD then the incidents of people crossing the tracks will increase, along with accidents. The other thing is a recent Vanguard article about the Richards underpass had no mention of Nishi in the Planning. When they propose doing millions of dollars of change for  400 bikes and pedestrians per day, then mention 1000 employees at Nishi with no talk of the Olive and Richards intersection, it always seems like the “planning” is reactive rather than proactive?

      700 living spaces adds at least 1400 more people (but more like 1800 to 2000) to the daily mix. Many will simply bike or walk to campus, but many will work somewhere else and drive.

  7. Anon

    In my opinion the Council should hold firm on the original plan – dual access from UCD and Olive Drive – and insist that the applicant be more ambitious (and bring forward a legitimate innovation hub proposal) as outlined in my previous posts.”

    I tend to agree with this viewpoint.

    My post said nothing at all about not being able to have a car. What I was implying is that neither the university nor the city is making a wise choice if they actively incentivize or make it easier for those who choose to own cars. I said nothing at all about a car “ban”.”

    Hmmm.  To me, this is playing with semantics.  If you disincentivize car ownership, it can be as good as a ban.  In other words, if no parking is available, then effectively, it makes it very difficult if not impossible for someone to own a car.  Where will they park it?

    Interesting that someone who has car parking at both her homes in Davis to park the multiple cars her family owns does not want a private developer to let people have parking spaces near their home like she does.

    I probably would have posed the question more diplomatically, but it is still an appropriate inquiry.  If Tia owns a car, it is easy for her to demand that others be limited in their ability to own a car.  Is Tia willing to give up her car, and use Zip-Car only?

    1. Tia Will

      Is Tia willing to give up her car, and use Zip-Car only?”

      Yes, if I could be assured that one would be accessible at the time I need to be at work in Sacramento. At home, I can walk .

      I have been very explicit about the steps that I have been taking to wean myself away from the car culture. My current job depends upon my ability to reach areas of Sacramento that are not accessible by public transportation at the times that I must be there.

      I have been clear that I have downsized and changed the location of my home in the hopes of eventually being able to do without a car altogether. In the meantime, as I posted, I am doing exactly what I was advocating, namely car sharing. I am not demanding of others that which I am not willing to do myself. That is, during the week, my son does not need a car. I do. During the weekend, I do not need a car and he does. We are sharing. I do not see this as so different from the zip car option. Just this morning, we were talking about a change of address of offices in Sacramento which would, if I am still working at that point allow me to take the train rather than driving, an option I would welcome.

  8. Tia Will

    Anon

    To me, this is playing with semantics.  If you disincentivize car ownership, it can be as good as a ban”

    I do not agree with either of the assertions. I firmly believe that we should be willing to pay for the amenities we want in our lives. I live in a parking controlled district. I do not mind paying for a visitor pass since I have visitors often enough to warrant their convenience in being able to park in front of my house.

    I have lived in many different housing situations, some of which required separate payment for parking, some of which did not. I have no problem agreeing to pay for what I want to use, and I have no problem with someone who wishes a private car available for their convenience as long as they are willing to pay for it. I do not feel that we have an obligation to facilitate this choice.

    What I do not feel is in keeping with the stated goal of emission reduction and multimodal transportation is to incentivize every student bringing their own car. I am frequently accused on this blog of “clinging to the past”. I think that this is a clear example where those who are wedded to the American view of the automobile as somehow an individual right are those who are “clinging to the past”, and a very unhealthy past at that.

     

    1. Don Shor

      Not all automobiles are equally “unhealthy” and I expect technology to continue making healthier automobiles. I fully expect that most Americans in the western states will continue to prefer a personal automobile to any of the various mass transit options. But if the vehicle in question is an EV or a hybrid, it’s an improvement on the standard combustion engine.

      1. Tia Will

        Don

        Agree with this point of view while not disregarding the shift in preference of the millennials who often do not see the private car as the automatic default in the same way as did the Boomers.

        1. South of Davis

          Tia wrote:

          > Agree with this point of view while not disregarding the shift

          > in preference of the millennials who often do not see the

          > private car as the automatic default 

          It is true that most “kids today” are not as interested in cars or car racing as boomers (a recent article on the demographics of auto racing described the fans at most races as the same people you would see at an “older white guy convention”), but the main reason that most millennials don’t see a private car as the “automatic default” is that most “can’t afford a car” (you can’t buy a car for $400, insure it for $300 a year and get gas for $1/gallon like you could when I started driving).  Most male millennals don’t have jobs that they can fully support themselves with and are either living at home or still getting support from Mom & Dad so they are lucky to be able to afford a nice fixie.

          P.S. Do you know anyone under 30 makes over $80K a year who lives in the suburbs without a car (I don’t)?

    2. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > I do not mind paying for a visitor pass since I have visitors often

      > enough to warrant their convenience in being able to park in

      > front of my house.

      Would you be in favor of building enough parking at all new developments in town so the new residents could also pay $15 a year for a “visitor pass” to allow their guests the “convenience in being able to park in front of their homes”?

      http://police.cityofdavis.org/Media/Police/Documents/PDF/Police/Forms/Parking-Permit-Purchase-Info.pdf

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for