by Jason Tyburczy
Residents of Koso Street in South Davis, many of whom have lived there for more than 15 years, are working to amend a plan for a proposed outlet street from the Villages at Willow Creek onto Koso Street citing dangerous traffic conditions should the project move forward as planned.
Koso Street residents circulated a petition to the City Council to change the current development plan and more than 70% of the 65 Koso Street resident households have signed it.
“We’re not against the proposed development but know that Koso Street is too small to handle the estimated new traffic and parking volume the planned outlet will create,” said Erinne Aboytes, a six-year Koso Street resident and parent of three small children. “It’s difficult to maneuver at the proposed access street entrance point as it is now. Add more parked cars, kids walking, more cars or bike traffic and I’m afraid it will be only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.”
The group of residents has voiced their concerns via city council meetings and direct communication with the Davis Mayor’s office and the developer, yet feel little has been made of their issues. The developer has proposed minimal street markings and low vegetation as the answer but residents disagree.
“Traffic calming is an inadequate answer; changing the location of the outlet road is the answer,” said 15 year Koso Street resident Jason Tyburczy. “We understand, as residents, that the street is inadequate to meet the needs of existing traffic, parking, bikes and our kids–so it does not make sense that it would be the best option as a thoroughfare to the Villages. We feel we are being railroaded into a project that hurts our small community and disturbs the healthy balance of traffic and safety for our neighborhood.”
The neighbors have cited the following reasons for changing the current outlet plan:
- The proposed single outlet road in and out of the development is planned for a section of Koso Street that has an odd shape, is narrower than a typical street. is already hard to navigate, and has an active crosswalk/bikepath connection nearby.
- Koso Street is one of the narrower streets in South Davis. Traffic and parking on the street as it stands now is strained. It does not make sense to use the street as an outlet to and from housing and businesses. A city staff report suggests that during peak hours ~39 cars per hour (approximately one every 90 seconds) will be added to Koso Street.
- Koso Street as an exit, entrance and thoroughfare shows sloppy planning, or at best, insensitivity. The proposal would endanger the lives of children living on the street, as well as nearby neighborhoods, and negatively impact the sense of community for residents. And yet the City cites preserving the integrity of the major and minor arterial of Drummond and Cowell, which they abandoned numerous projects ago. And yet they now choose to destroy the integrity of a neighborhood to do it.
Koso Street residents say they will remain united in opposing the plan and will use whatever means necessary to stop it from happening.