Monday Morning Thoughts: Olive Drive, Richards Underpass and the Potential For NextDoor

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Richards_TunnelNextDoor is set up as a private social network for the community, organized by neighborhood. The city of Davis has been participating and using it as a means to send messages and important information directly to the community.

However, it is a largely untapped potential and, for a variety of reasons, political discussion has been both discouraged and ignored. For the most part it has been the place for city-based announcements, crime reports, finding lost pets, and suggestions for home repair and cleaning services.

This changed somewhat as a resident from Olive Drive, self-described as new to Davis, posted the following:

Hi everyone, I am new to Davis so please forgive my naivet√© on this subject…

I’ve lived on Olive Drive for about two years now and I’ve noticed how awful the traffic snarl ups can be at these two intersections:

– Olive Drive and Richards Blvd: https://goo.gl/maps/ZNXt0

– 1st Street and Richards Blvd: https://goo.gl/maps/Qo3BD

I understand part of the problem is that the railroad bridge between these two intersections has been designated as a historical artifact, so it cannot be replaced to allow Richards Blvd to be widened here from two lanes. I heard this was done to protect the downtown district from pass-through traffic, which is something I can appreciate.

A large number of people take the Olive Drive ramp from I-80, and I believe they contribute significantly to the traffic at these intersections. In fact, many drivers speed down Olive Dr at freeway speeds as though Olive Dr were one long freeway ramp, but that’s another topic for another day. ūüôā

Has anyone in the city ever studied the idea of connecting Olive Drive across the railroad tracks to L Street? It seems to me that this would alleviate a substantial amount of congestion without increasing pass-through traffic through downtown Davis. (In fact, I believe it would actually reduce some of the pass-through traffic through downtown.) It would also free the residents of Olive Drive (such as myself) from being trapped on “Olive Island” and having to use the intersection point at Richards Blvd as our only egress point from the neighborhood.

I can’t have been the first person to think of this, so I would bet it’s been studied in the past and was rejected due to cost or legal hurdles. I would also imagine it’s difficult to get cooperation with the Union Pacific Railroad on these kinds of projects.

Does anyone here know if this idea has been looked at before, and if so, what happened to it? Is it an idea worth investigating again?

What followed was 42 replies. The problem, as many know, has been around for a long time. About 15 years ago, the city attempted to expand the Richards underpass to four lanes, however that proposal was voted down. While that may seem like an obvious remedy to some, the remedy would simply drop a large volume of traffic onto two-lane downtown streets that are not set up to handle that type of flow.

As someone who frequently drives to the downtown through the underpass, a vast majority of traffic flow turns left onto 1st Street and toward the university. This often causes 1st Street to back up past E Street and therefore even higher volumes of traffic flowing through the underpass would have no place to flow.

As we reported a few months ago, the city is looking at alterations for the I-80 exchange which creates a patchwork effect onto Richards Blvd. before Olive Drive.

These are, of course, critical issues to resolve prior to Nishi going before the voters, and that’s why we have looked at alternatives to Nishi ‚Äí including going carless, segmenting the development, or providing an alternative route to campus from Richards via Olive Drive.

One possible remedy would be to work on ways to encourage drivers to enter campus from the south entrance or from Highway 113 on the north side, rather than I-80 to B Street to Russell.

The poster notes that a large number of people take the Olive Drive ramp from I-80. One suggestion I have made in the past was to put a parking structure near the Design House on the corner of Olive Drive and Richards, that would hopefully help to alleviate traffic as well as parking problems downtown. My proposal would be to have it be built over the train tracks and drop down on the 1st Street side of the tracks into the existing under-sized lot. It would be expensive, but it would help alleviate some problems.

However, as a number of posters pointed out, creating additional access points over the railroad tracks makes a solution problematic.

One poster said, ‚ÄúSadly, as soon as “crossing the railroad” enters the conversation, we’re all but dead in the water. Seems easy enough. And it could be easy enough. But going either over or under the tracks is a HUGE deal – all because of having to deal with the railroad that owns that strip of land and really doesn’t like any other entity touching it in any way. Crossing it at-grade would likely never fly. You’ll recall how Davis did not want the fencing put up along the tracks on Olive? You see how that went.‚ÄĚ

Another poster pointed out, ‚ÄúWe can’t even get the Railroad to agree to a bike pedestrian crossing there. Maybe speed bumps and other traffic calming measures could be done to alleviate the speed of the traffic? Or close the freeway off ramp altogether to ensure local only traffic?‚ÄĚ

It was an interesting discussion. It did get a bit heated toward the end, although mildly so. And a number of people pointed out that everyone there was posting under their actual names.

—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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51 thoughts on “Monday Morning Thoughts: Olive Drive, Richards Underpass and the Potential For NextDoor”

  1. Topcat

    However, it is a largely untapped potential and for a variety of reasons, political discussion has been both discouraged and ignored.

    I’ve never heard of NextDoor.¬† I’ve seen many message boards over the years on the Internet and it seems that discussions can often veer off into heated ideological arguments or pointless rambling.¬† While these are sometimes mildly amusing, they are, in the end, fairly pointless.¬†Unmoderated boards are particularly troublesome as the boards are often hi-jacked by a few people who just want a forum to vent their crazy ideas.

    I wonder if NextDoor is moderated and who are the moderators and what are their biases?

    1. Alan Miller

      “Unmoderated boards are particularly troublesome as the boards are often hi-jacked by a few people who just want a forum to vent their crazy ideas.”

      Unlike the moderated Davis Vanguard forum where that never happens.

    2. Bill

      NextDoor is such a great resource. ¬†And I agree w/ David Greenwald that it’s an “untapped potential.” ¬†I think the city is poised to make great strides in terms of community engagement. ¬†I’ve seen over the last several months tremendous efforts by the city to improve communication and innovate communication… ideascale being just one example. ¬†Nextdoor is another great resource.

      Here’s a few other options I pulled together last year for anyone interested: ¬†https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/community-engagement-tools-2014-bill-habicht

      I also want to note that the city has increased its posts on its FB page.

  2. darelldd

    That’s a lot to cover in one article! I’m not sure what to comment on:

    The Olive/Richards disaster, the train, NextDoor, the concept of anonymous posting… oh my!

     

    I’ll just take the last one – I find it harder and harder to hold a useful conversation when I do not know with whom I’m conversing. And I know that many feel the same way, and have stopped commenting on the VG because of the pseudonyms. Those same people ARE commenting on NextDoor.

    1. Frankly

      Leaving aside for the moment that you don’t post with your full name, do you actually expect the personally know everyone on a blog?¬† That would certainly limit your blogging activity.

      1. Alan Miller

        Well, you don’t post with your name at all; darelldd has a photo (that I assume is him) and because he is find-able he is accountable.

        Of course, Frank Lee, I don’t actually consider you an anonymous poster, because you make it about as hard to figure out who you are as that scene towards the end of The Wizard of Oz where they go behind the curtain and find out who the wizard really is.

        1. Michelle Millet

          I’ll agree, while Frankly posts under a pseudonym, I would not put him in the anonymous blogger category. Most of us know where to find him when he makes us mad;-).

        2. Frankly

          The reason that I post with a pseudonym is to prevent damage to my family and company primarily from people in¬†government and politics¬†doing a¬†Google search on my name and seeking me out or excluding me in retribution for something I write that they don’t like.¬† I posted under my real name and learned from experience that it was not a good idea.

          You guys need to just drop your irritation about the use of pseudonyms.  It is a false target.

          If anything I am less abrasive and less combative as Frank Lee than I am as that other guy.   Just ask those that remember the history of VG blogging.

        3. Frankly

          Most of us know where to find him when he makes us mad;-).

          Mad?¬† Me?¬† I am a warm and fuzzy ball of friendliness.¬† Why would you be mad at me?¬† ūüėČ

        4. darelldd

          >> You guys need to just drop your irritation about the use of pseudonyms.  It is a false target.

          If false targets were banned, I’d be sad to lose you here, Frankly!

          I do hear your reasons. And for what it is worth, I appreciate it. I have found the opposite in my experience of using my real name, and being easy to find while trying my best to be reasonable and factual in my comments. I have benefitted from it far more than it has harmed me. Mostly in the friendships I have forged. And along those lines РI sure wish it were possible to message the people who post when one of the comments inspires some off-line conversation.

      2. darelldd

        grin. Seriously? My name is Darell. With a somewhat unique spelling. My initials are DDD. How much of my “full name” would you like? If I tell you, it will be burned into your head forever more. You’ve been warned: Darell Dixon Dickey. Every one of them a family name. I’ve always like Darell, and not so much the rest of it.

        Yes, the websites and photos that bubble up with google tend to be me. Lots to learn about EVs and bikes if you head down that rabbit hole, so again be warned!

        No, I don’t expect to know everyone personally. I do believe that a tiny bit of accountability would be beneficial however. I found it quite disingenuous of you to comment in the third person on your own articles here on the VG.

        I guess my question to you would be: What is the benefit to you of commenting under a pseudonym? And what is the protocol for the rest of us? Is it OK to address you as Jeff on the boards? And if not, why not?

        1. Alan Miller

          “What is the benefit to you of commenting under a pseudonym?”

          Pardon me a moment while prepare a nice warm cup of tea.

          “Is it OK to address you as Jeff on the boards?”

          Ouch.

        2. darelldd

          I just breezed through the commenting guidelines. Certainly I’m interested in a personal as well as “official” response on this topic that I do not see¬†addressed there.

          I’ve been insulted and called names without interference on many occasions. And honestly, I’m OK with that. It says more about the commenter than it says about me. It will be odd to be punished for using somebody’s actual name though, eh?

          The great news? At least I’m on topic!

        3. Frankly

          Well, hello there Darell Dixon Dickey, I didn’t know.¬† I thought you might be the other brother Darell.

          But regardless, I don’t know you personally except your blogging persona.¬† That is fine.¬† You could be “X” and I would know you and think of you just the same… a reasonable person with fine points and ideas that I sometimes disagree with.

  3. PhilColeman

    All useful topics for individual discussion. And I agree with Darell that we need some separation of talking points.

    One comment on one of the topics, negotiation with railroads. There’s a fascinating well-chronicled¬†history dating back to the mid-19th Century on how difficult it has always been dealing with major US Railroad Lines. It’s a fiefdom or empire unto itself.

    More recently,¬†my historical experience with several railroad lines in the Bay Area was always–if you plan to sit down with railroad authorities–expect to spend years, not months, achieving any results. Also, plan on giving the railroad just about everything they want¬†in exchange. People much wiser than me will tell you avoid the railroad hierarchy¬†if you want to make any progress anywhere.

    1. Frankly

      Can you imagine how impossible rail lines would be having all the competing interests with an equal seat at the negotiation table?  The business of rail has a long history of experience dealing with the difficulties protecting the tracks.  Should they ignore the lessons learned and soften up their position, we would see trains start to disappear as a mode of transportation and transport.

      1. Alan Miller

        “The business of rail has a long history of experience dealing with the difficulties protecting the tracks.”

        Not that I am advocating trespassing, but go stand <em>right next to </em>the railroad right of way some time, and picture that you own that right of way, that it is your world.¬† Now look at everything else up next to the tracks that borders your railroad-centric world.¬†¬† Keeping the rest of the world out — unless there is NO impact on your world or you are fully compensated for impacts — is the railroad view of <em>our</em> world that borders the railroad.

        Now step back before the railroad police try to determine if your foot is in the wrong world.

        1. Frankly

          I get your point, but I can also look at if from the other perspective.¬†¬† Stand outside the rail right-of-way and consider all the competing interests that would keeping moving to relocate your right-of-way.¬† Think of it as needing a clear path from point A to point B and all the potential opposition along the way… especially as development takes place around the rails.

          The railroad would always be outnumbered.  And given the unreasonableness common in group agitation Рfor example, the Davis bicycle activists Рit makes sense that the railroad stands firm.

        2. darelldd

          >>And given the unreasonableness common in group agitation ‚Äď for example, the Davis bicycle activists ‚Äď it makes sense that the railroad stands firm.

          Bait acknowledged and not taken.

      2. hpierce

        Yet, does everyone remember the history of how the railroads acquired their fee-title right of way, and alternating sections (1 sq mi on each side, alternating)? ¬†Did they “buy” it? or was it a gift of public lands to encourage them to build the lines? ¬†Should that gift of public lands (if it was) be considered ‘paid’ in full, where the public should be righteous in asserting their rights to a “say” on how those rights of way are used? ¬†Just asking questions….

        1. Alan Miller

          “(A) Did they ‚Äúbuy‚ÄĚ it? or (B) was it a gift of public lands to encourage them to build the lines?”

          Answer: “B”

          In the failed Santa Fe / Southern Pacific merger, Santa Fe gained control of SP’s land grants, sold the land for cash, then dumped the unprofitable railroad when the merger was denied.

          “the public should be righteous in asserting their rights”

          Answer:  Too late, that ship has sailed, that train has left the station.

        2. hpierce

          Pretty sure you’d know what I thought I did. ¬†Still, would like the gov’t to play Poker on the last thought, if they haven’t already…

    2. Alan Miller

      “if you plan to sit down with railroad authorities‚Äďexpect to spend years, not months, achieving any results. Also, plan on giving the railroad just about everything they want¬†in exchange.”

      This is one of many reasons I oppose the so-called Yolo Rail Relocation.¬† The concept, especially as the county (with our city going along for the ride) set up this complex three-projects-as-one-project, three-railroad cluster-F, is among the most complex ideas as far as multi-juristictional and multi-stake-holder all-in-one projects I have witnessed involving railroads.¬† Most especially because it doesn’t pass the smell test on benefits, most especially once you (I) debunk the easily and cheaply fixed trestle removal (cheap relative to the plan presented) concept, the remainder of the cost of the project is unjustified.

      Anyway, back to the point of the comment:¬† “expect to spend years, not months, achieving any results” should go to a decade or more for this project.¬† The city and county politicians and staff promoting this idea (on behalf of . . . ) are either incredibly naive or incredibly self-deluded, most especially in the timeline they present.¬† I do not “bet”, but anyone who believes the timeline listed in the city application:¬† thousand dollar bet?¬† Seriously, thousand dollar bet?¬† Get this:

      The timeline in the recent City document, “Economic Development Administration: Application for Investment Assistance Yolo Rail Relocation Project Economic Impact and Opportunities Analysis” shows Winter 2019 as the completion date for the entire project.¬† The solstice is five days from today.¬† That means whomever put that date into the report believes it possible that the entire project will be completed four years from now.

      I have a big problem with government agencies knowingly-outright-lying about realistic project timelines.¬† This one is ‘Bay Bridge Worthy’, so bad that I propose that whomever signed off on that report (who that is isn’t listed in the document on line) be have their salary reduced by 50% immediately.¬† Alternately, that they stand by their words:¬† Ten-thousand dollar bet?¬† I will bet the signer of that report $10,000 that project will not be completed by the end of winter (winter-spring solstice 2109) as outlined in the timeline for the project in that the report.¬† A claim of any possibility of completion of a project of this complexity on such a timeline borders on morally deluded incompetent criminality, whatever that is.

      And don’t get me started about the details in the application itself . . .

      Project cheerleaders claim the railroads are all on board with this project.¬† Union Pacific has not even begun to roar.¬† Once you have a proposal down, and the other departments and managers at Union Pacific lay down their requirements to implement this proposed project, and the costs of those demands are know after engineering studies are completed, THAT is when one can claim the railroads are “on board” (but of course no one will).¬† Union Pacific is “on board” with anything paid for by taxpayers, and with anything that does not increase their liability.¬† Once the true costs of this project are known, that is when the ability to fund the projects can sought.¬†¬† Four years my [expletive deleted].

      The cheerleaders of this project have not even found the starting gate for their horses, much less which racetrack the horses are at, much less what horses they are going to use, much less do they know a damn thing about horse racing.¬† I doubt they’ve ever seen a horse except on TV.

      1. Dave Hart

        Alan, you are going to lose the bet even if you won’t be around to pay:

        I will bet the signer of that report $10,000 that project will not be completed by the end of winter (winter-spring solstice 2109) as outlined in the timeline for the project in that the report.

        I bet the report will be finished by 2109.

    3. Topcat

      if you plan to sit down with railroad authorities‚Äďexpect to spend years, not months, achieving any results. Also, plan on giving the railroad just about everything they want¬†in exchange.

      Sure, It’s time consuming and difficult to get a crossing of the railroad tracks, but it’s not impossible.¬† In the time I’ve lived in Davis, I’ve seen three new crossings: Pole Line, the Dave Pelz Overcrossing, and the Putah Creek Bicycle undercrossing.

      With enough time and money an overcrossing from L Street to Olive Drive might be a possibility. Maybe we can get a wealthy resident of Davis to donate the money to build it if we promise to put their name on it ūüôā If I were wealthy it could be the “Topcat Overcrossing”.

  4. Anon

    “However, it is a largely untapped potential and, for a variety of reasons, political discussion has been both discouraged and ignored.”

    Nextdoor in our neck of the woods (West Davis) has certainly talked about many local political issues, e.g basketball hoops and the ordinance that deals/doesn’t deal with it being the most recent. ¬†And of course the city posts information on Nextdoor¬†as well. ¬†And I cannot remember political discussion being discouraged or ignored on Nextdoor. ¬†The only thing that did seem to be discouraged on Nextdoor by some neighbors was the reporting of crime believe it or not, but that attitude stopped once enough of us protested that we wanted to hear what criminal behavior was going on in our neighborhood.

    Just wanted to add something, even though I am fully aware it is “off topic’. ¬†If you get the chance, read the following essay written about racism, since the racism topic has been on this blog often as of late. ¬†It was written by an Afrian-American female professor, that in my opinion wrote one of the most profound essays on racism I have ever read. ¬†If refers to the Oklahoma University SAE fraternity that was caught singing racial chants. ¬†Go to the following link:¬†http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mariadixonhall/2015/03/a-teachable-moment-how-ou-failed-transformation-101/

    1. Alan Miller

      [to continue the off-topic]

      The author in the link referred to above states:

      “rather than confronting, challenging, AND teaching; a college community merely washed their hands and decided that their students were beyond redemption.”

      I have often challenged things labelled racist by the Vanguard — and the Davis-racism-of-the-week column in the Enterprise — as actually or necessary being racist.

      What I saw in that video of the singing on the bus was about the most racist verbal thing I have seen in recent decades — far short of someone being dragged behind a pickup track for their race maybe — but as far as verbal-only, this could not be spun as anything short of pure verbal racism in its ugliest form.

      No forgiveness, no teachable moment.  What the college did bringing down the hammer was fully justified.

      [damn I wish this wasn’t off topic — “mommy! A Non started it!!!”]

      1. Anon

        Sorry for being off topic Don, but I hope you will not eliminate this comment. ¬†Thanks Alan for commenting on this article. ¬†I actually think the professor was spot on. ¬†Sit these kids down in front of the people that serve them, and ask these kids to repeat their racist song – I’ll bet they would not have been willing to do so. ¬†But I’m not certain expelling them from school was the thing to do either. ¬†Convenient for the school, but it just drives racism underground and would probably end up making these kids even worse than they already are. ¬†Even the house mother was singing along w the racist chant – think about that. ¬†There really needed to be some serious, serious dialogue, rather than expulsion. ¬† As the professor notes, these are kids, not fully baked, with a house mother who is setting an extremely bad example. ¬†U of MD just had a racist incident that was atrocious as well, with racist epithets and rape. ¬†Seems to me it is time for fraternities and sororities to dialogue with their members that everyone matters, regardless of ethnicity, sex, gender, etc.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I’ll do my best, although no rule says I have to be the one writing the article.

        1. Tia Will

          Anon

          I really appreciate your posting this article. I am going to move my comments on it to the venue I consider more appropriate and less confusing, the Whistle Blower Retaliation article.

        2. Alan Miller

          ” Sit these kids down in front of the people that serve them, and ask these kids to repeat their racist song”

          The idea itself of sitting them down with black people who work for them and sing the song is ok IF the people want to participate.¬† I would still drop the hammer on them as the college and expel them; not mutually exclusive.¬† I don’t understand the thinking that all these “possible” racist incidents in Davis must be so concerning and dealt with harshly, but when a blatant, ugly act of outright racism occurs, then the school can’t severely punish the offenders.

          I suppose it’s up to the offended race, not “us”, but if they were singing, “Let’s drive the Jewish kikes into the sea”, I would be quite fine with the punishment being expulsion, and if I were their Jewish cook (“latkes again, Alan? awwwww!), I wouldn’t want to sit around while they sang me the song and made fake apologies in an attempt not to be expelled.

          As for the house mother, she was singing along to a rap song that contained a healthy sprinkling of the word n—-r, not to the racist chant (unless I missed another tape of her).¬† That is quite a bit more forgive-able, since she was probably liquored up and just singing along prompted so they could have a “funny” tape (in their minds), not singing a pre-practiced song with references to lynching.¬† AND, that brings up the whole thing of, if some blacks have “taken back” the word “n—-r” and use it amongst themselves, but whites still can’t use it, “can” “whites” sing along to rap lyrics with the word n—-r?

          I don’t know the answer!¬† I DO know I wouldn’t try it while riding the light rail in Sacramento.

  5. Davis Progressive

    i think the biggest issue raised here is that there is no real traffic plan.  and now we have plans to build a hotel/ conference center and potentially nishi and yet how does this corridor accommodate existing traffic let alone added traffic?  i know they have to do a traffic study, but this seems almost absurd at this point.

    1. Topcat

      i think the biggest issue raised here is that there is no real traffic plan.

      Yes, there seems to be a lot of pressure for more development and growth without much thought to the traffic problems that more development will lead to.  I travel around the road and highways around Davis quite a bit and I can see that we are at capacity already in some places and some times of day.

      1. Frankly

        Some of that is the traffic in and out of Davis as we are more a bedroom community now.¬† With more local jobs, some of the people traveling in and out of Davis will be replaced with people living and working in Davis.¬† I’m not saying there will not be more traffic, I’m just saying it will not be a one-to-one ratio of new employees to new traffic.

        And don’t forget… UCD is expanding every year.¬† So even if we do nothing traffic will increase.

  6. Dave Hart

    Does anyone know if there has been a traffic study done since the Richards vote in 1997 that gives us any insight in 2015 as to why people feel compelled to take the Richards underpass knowing how bad the traffic will be?

    And, regarding NextDoor, it is a startup that will soon have to feature some advertising to pay for itself.¬† It has an extensive page on core values and behavior that are quite good and “Leads” who appear to have some responsibility for moderating the site if there are behavior problems.¬† What I like most about it is that one can limit comments to one’s immediate neighborhood or go city-wide, depending on the topic.¬† I got rid of a bunch of Meyer lemons I didn’t think would outlast the warm weather to appreciative neighbors in a couple hours.¬† It’s quite useful in that way and feels quite a bit more neighborly than the VG because the people are “real”. I really DO want to get along with my neighbors.

    1. Davis Progressive

      they are going to have to do some traffic studies.  first, i think the council has already approved the i-80 interchange study which would be completed by 2020.  also nishi is going to need to do a traffic study.

  7. Tia Will

    Should they ignore the lessons learned and soften up their position, we would see trains start to disappear as a mode of transportation and transport.”

    What if they were to “soften their position” just enough to learn to deal collaboratively with other interests instead of riding rough shod over others ? Would we necessarily see trains start to disappear or might we see a better paradigm for mass ¬†transporation such as exists in other countries and areas of this country ?

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I’m all for collaboration, but they also probably have good reasons for why they do what they do.

      I think we see a better “paradigm” for mass transit in, say, Europe, because they have the same population but only 1/3 the land mass. They also evolved with dense urban cores before the invention of the automobile, whereas we were / are spread out. Tough to compare.

  8. Tia Will

    TBD

    I think we see a better ‚Äúparadigm‚ÄĚ for mass transit in, say, Europe, because they have the same population but only 1/3 the land mass. They also evolved with dense urban cores before the invention of the automobile, whereas we were / are spread out. Tough to compare.”

    I understand that there are geographical differences between Europe and the United States that limit comparison, and am not suggesting that our solutions would be identical. However, I think too often these differences are used as excuses to cling to an outmoded form of transportation that has many, many drawbacks that people simply accept because we are so change adverse that we can only see what we have now as “progress”.

  9. Alan Miller

    To the actual topic of an L Street crossing of the Union Pacific Railroad main line over to Olive Drive:

    ‚ÄĘ There is ZERO chance of an at-grade crossing.¬† The railroad will not allow it, nor will the PUC.¬† The City already lost that battle in court for an “emergency only” crossing.¬† It is also at the end of a small interchange yard, not a place for a grade crossing.

    ‚ÄĘ There is ZERO chance of a bridge over the tracks.¬† There is no footprint on the Olive Drive side to receive a bridge.

    ‚ÄĘ There is a SMALL chance of an under-crossing.¬† VERY small.¬† And VERY expensive.¬† There is virtually no footprint for an undercrossing; except a small triangle of open land on the Olive side that is for sale.¬† The only way I can see to practically create an undercrossing in the limited space is to submerge both L Street and 2nd Street and have a light at a submerged intersection.¬† On the Olive side, submerge Olive and have it T with a light at L Street.

    This would be phenomenally costly due to the complexity and limited space for construction.¬† There are multiple railroad tracks.¬† Essentially, while trains run, you have to “insert” a solid bride under the tracks over time, secure it, and then excavate¬† the tunnel.¬† As well, there are utility lines along the railroad, and utility lines going into and out of PG&E at the same corner, underground.¬† All would have to be relocated and possibly deeply submerged.¬† Very costly.

    The project may be more possible when and if PG&E turns their property over to the City for redevelopment.  Also very costly, as there are very likely toxic cleanup issues.  This is on the timescale of a few decades.  Were this to occur, 2nd could swing up to 3rd at L, placing the light there, and then ramp L down to under-cross the tracks.

    I had a detailed conversation with a City staffer four or five years ago about the limitations and possibilities of this crossing.¬† The City has looked into it.¬† It is simply too expensive and impractical.¬† A ped-bike bridge might happen here or across from the station decades before there is a L Street access to Olive, and those are several million and not funded.¬† [But hey, we have $100 million plus for the Yolo Rail Relocation — oh that’s right we DON’T.]

    I would place the cost of this at somewhere in the ballpark of $70-$80 million, give or take $40 million.  So continue to enjoy your island status, Olive Drive.

    Maybe sir Toppum Cat can fund it and they will name it after him.

     

     

     

  10. Alan Miller

    Hi,

    Can anyone tell me how to access this NextDoor thing on Olive Drive?

    Does it require joining something like Facebook under one’s real name?¬† (Facebook is evil).

    Thanks, acm

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