Sunday Commentary: Richards Traffic Problem Borders on the Surreal

Richards Tunnel

Richards_Tunnel

I have often discussed the issue of traffic congestion, of cars driving through the Richards underpass in the morning on their way to UC Davis and the Davis Downtown. But on Thursday, as I headed to the school board meeting after 6 pm, I got a rare opportunity to observe the traffic flow making the out-commute.

It was nothing short of stunning. The traffic flow was completely backed up. I drove down D St to 1st Street, and saw the line of traffic backed up to the light at 1st and E. As I turned right on 1st, the traffic backup continued all the way to B St.

Then I drove north on B St. and the traffic backup continued all the way up B St., and it was jammed up at the light at B and 3rd. It was jammed up to the light at Russell Blvd. And as I crossed Russell, I could see that the traffic congestion extended to the west, onto eastbound Russell as the road merged onto B St.

Just estimating the length of the backup, those cars just turning onto B St. were looking at least at ten minutes, maybe longer, before they got through the congestion and onto I-80 either east or westbound

The question is – why would they do that? They had two other alternatives that would have saved them time and gas and headache. They could have attempted to drive to the west side of campus and enter the freeway either at Hutchison or Old Davis Road. Or they could have traveled westbound on Russell and utilized the Highway 113 onramp.

Google Maps estimated that route at 17 minutes from the bus pickup on Howard Way to I-80 at Richards Blvd. during peak hours. It estimates a trip to 113 via Hutchison at six minutes. To get onto 113 at Russell is about a five-minute drive. So why would someone drive from campus to I-80 via Richards Blvd. when there are far quicker routes?

More importantly is why we have allowed this to occur? Given the expenses that would have gone into solutions like widening the Richards underpass, all we had to do was re-route the traffic – a very low cost option that would fix the entire problem.

As I have pointed out on numerous occasions, widening Richards Blvd. would not have fixed the problem anyway. All you have to do is drive through the underpass at 8:30 or 9 am and you realize that the choke point for the road is not the underpass. The traffic congestion does not end as you get to north side of the underpass – it continues.

The first problem is the light at E and 1st – 95 percent of the traffic does not head to the right. It does not go straight onto E St. It turns left onto 1st Street. The biggest problem is that 1st St. is not built for that kind of throughput.

There is another light at 1st and D St., and that is a huge problem. The traffic quickly overwhelms the ability of that short block to handle the traffic. As soon as the light on 1st and D turns red, the traffic quickly backs up right back onto Richards and the traffic is pushed backward through the underpass, past Olive, and the chain reaction ensues.

One simple answer would be to sync the lights at 1st and E with the lights at 1st and D. The problem is that the light at 1st and E is designed to be extra long to allow as much traffic as possible to get through that intersection in the hopes that it will alleviate the traffic jam through the underpass. The problem is that, for at least half of the green light cycle, the 1st and D light is red and therefore impeding whatever advantage you would have from the light cycle at 1st and E.

A simple answer would be to run the two lights simultaneously. That means whenever the light is green at 1st and E, traffic would be able to get through 1st and D without stopping. If you do it right, it could fix the traffic in the opposite direction as well.

The problem you have going the other way is that, whenever the light is green for Richards, there is a right turn enabled for traffic headed east on 1st St to turn right onto Richards. But there are several problems along the way.

First, the traffic light at Olive is not synched up with traffic turning southbound onto Richards. Not that it matters, because in the southbound direction, Richards is synched first for all traffic turning left onto Richards from westbound 1st St., going straight onto Richards headed from E St., and then turning right headed from 1st St. in the eastbound direction.

The problem becomes obvious during peak hours as Richards lacks the capacity to handle all of that traffic. The traffic backs up eventually all the way to Russell Blvd. On Fridays, when I used to work on F St., there was a huge backup of southbound traffic on F St. trying to turn right on 1st St., to get to Richards.

The city does not have the ability to re-engineer all of these roads, so the simplest solution is to re-route as much traffic to the west as possible, taking advantage of wider, two-lane roads that are built for much greater capacity.

Why the city has allowed this situation to continue as long as it has remains baffling.

—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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63 Comments

  1. Barack Palin

    It’s not just the traffic lights leading to the underpass, the traffic light syncs all over this town are a joke.  Too much time is given to outlier streets at the expense of through traffic on 5th, Covell, Cowell and a few other main thoroughfares.  I agree with David, it’s time to re-sync all the lights with an actual plan in place.

    These Davis students had it right:

    “these stoplights enrage you”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzztu9xxd9U

    1. Tia Will

      These Davis students had it right:

      “these stoplights enrage you”

      For students of the middle class in the middle of no where with nothing that they can do….they sure look as though they are having a good time celebrating their “incarceration”. First world problems anyone ?

      Now about the roads, I agree that some information about alternative routes is certainly in order. I do not think that I am alone in my tendency to follow well known patterns ( the rat in the maze phenomena) even when potentially faster or less aggravating routes might serve me better.  Since I live near the downtown, it took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that I could avoid the daily commute stall at the Richards crossing by heading east from my home and using the Poleline crossing. Marginally further, but much faster. I really do not believe that we have so  much a traffic crisis as we do a lack of awareness of options and anything that increases awareness of alternatives should be pursued actively.

    1. Tia Will

      ” Caught up in the rush hour”

      There is no “rush hour” for those traveling on foot. In David’s picture, there is no back up for the two pedestrians.

      1. hpierce

        Point taken, Tia, but Mr G’s photo is not related to his narrative… what I think is called “file photo”… the photo shows an in-bound queue, his narrative is about an out-bound queue.  The narrative is also interesting… only a limited number of scenarios that I can image where someone would go south on D, turn right on First, then head north on B… unless I had a need to park on the west side of D, between First and Second, there is no way a sensible person would have taken that path of travel.  I assume that was the exact situation David found himself in.

        1. Tia Will

          hpierce

          Got it and agree. But it should come as no surprise that I see the root problem not as street lights, or road width, or even lack of awareness of alternative routes, but rather an over dependence on the automobile as our preferred means of transportation….myself included, although I am actively working on it.

        2. hpierce

          Back at you,  “got it, and agree” as to “root cause”… yet, Mr H assigns the blame to PW.  Which generated my ‘snarky’ post elsewhere on this topic.

          That said, alternate routes, and to the exent that can be done, ‘tweaking’ of signal operations, can have an incremental positive effect. But neither will “solve” the problem.

        3. Barack Palin

          The people that drive their cars are going to continue to drive their cars, that isn’t going to change.  So because of that we need to address the problems of traffic, not somehow hope that people will change their lifestyles.

          1. Matt Williams

            I agree BP, “hoping” will more often than not not get us to a positive outcome. We need to give the people incentives to change their lifestyle.

            A perfect example is each car that exits I-80 at Richards, goes through the tunnel, turns left on 1st, turns right on B, turns left on Russell and turns left on Howard Way to go park in the Quad Parking Structure. Hoping that they will change that behavior pattern won’t alleviate the traffic issues at the approach to the tunnel. Giving them incentives to continue on I-80 to CA-113 and then exit on the Russell Blvd exit, and take Russell to Howard Way, will not only result in a shorter trip duration for them personally, but also an improved traffic situation for everyone else using that tunnel to get to Downtown.

        4. Frankly

          but rather an over dependence on the automobile

          Sorry, but you have lost complete credibility to keep making this point.

          You reject infill density.

          Your reject peripheral economic expansion to create more local jobs.

          You point out your Utopian demands and then oppose change that would help make them happen.

          Frankly, (because I am) I think you either really do not know what you want, or you are playing all sides of every argument you can with the core pursuit of just slowing or preventing change you think you can control.

          Davis has an extremely high percentage of people that commute to and from the city either because they live elsewhere and work at or attend UCD, or they work outside of the city.   If you want more of them as pedestrians or bike-riders we would need more local jobs and more housing.  Both are things you have absolutely opposed.

           

        5. hpierce

          So, BP, you are a proponent of the “magic wand” approach?  If getting people to change their habits, either mode choice or route “won’t happen”, what do you (concretely) propose?  Or, “acceptance” of delay? [actually, if people aren’t willing to change behaviors, acceptance of congestion works for me][think ‘serenity prayer’]

        6. Barack Palin

          Very few are ever going to change their mode, so some education on changing their route will help.  Also I agree with David, better syncing of the stoplights might help alleviate the situation.

        7. Miwok

          We need to give the people incentives to change their lifestyle.

          Matt, that is like telling people to not have children. What it says to me is: I got mine, and screw you. Many families provide for their well being in funny ways, like living many miles from where they work, because they want good schools for their children.

          What would be nice is if the University gave low interest loans to Everyone, instead of just “special people” and faculty. The so-called “mixed” housing on campus where they claim “faculty, students, staff and retired” can live is a great press release, but far from the truth. THAT would be a lifestyle change, but the Truth is far from the  Press Release.

          1. Matt Williams

            You lost me Miwok. Why is providing UC Davis commuters who park in the Quad Parking Structure an incentive to take an alternative route (I-80 to CA-113 to Russell rather than through the tunnel and Downtown) like telling people to not have children?

            With that question asked, when I come to Downtown from Hanlees Toyota, I don’t come down Chiles to Richards, but rather cross I-80 at Mace and go to Alhambra to the very eastern end of 5th Street and then down 5th to Downtown. The incentive that has caused me to settle on that route is that it is much more peaceful, much more reliable and almost always faster than either I-80/Richards or Mace/2nd Street. Those are solid incentives IMO.

  2. Michael Harrington

    Public Works fought Steve Tracy’s Fifth Street re-stripping for over 15 years. The problem with why nothing has been done to relieve the traffic situation on Richards is Public Works.

    This is the same department that hugely oversized the surface water project based in old assumptions and gave us two sets of screwed up water rate systems

    1. hpierce

      Finally, the depth of your ignorance, Mr H, is fully exposed.  To anyone who thinks, and/or actually knows the history. Or, can check their spelling before posting. [or, ‘posing’]

    2. Matt Williams

      Mike said … “This is the same department that […] gave us two sets of screwed up water rate systems.”

      Mike, you can only blame them for one of those rate systems … and that one wasn’t screwed up, it was simply fiscally unsound. The second rate system came from the Water Advisory Committee (WAC), not Public Works. Further, if you are going to point fingers at the WAC, you really should point those fingers at me rather than the WAC as a whole. The good news is that we learned from our mistakes in both the sizing of the water plant and the water rate system … and got both of them right when all the dust settled. The reason we got them right was that we listened to the citizens/residents and made adjustments to address the valid points that those citizens/residents were raising. Mistakes happen. Correcting those mistakes is the hard part, and in this case those corrections were accomplished.

  3. Scheney

    I suspect that many of these cars are people from out of town that have not researched alternate routes. Locals will avoid this route during rush hour.  But all streets are really busy at this time.  It takes multiple lights to get through on 5th an 8th going East. Russell, Anderson, and B street going North are slow going too.  Any attempt to relieve one route will only adversely impact the other routes.

      1. Scheney

        Having used both 5th and 8th, I’ve decided that 5th is still better. The 4-way stop at 8th & J is a problem.  5th is slow until you get across the tracks, but it’s a delay of minutes really.  I’d say, let the commuters line up along 1st and B Street.

  4. Frankly

    In addition to the traffic congestion in our high-populated, hyper-dense little city that demands it is still a rural college town surrounded by farmland when it is clearly urban and surrounded by a large and growing metropolitan area… the entire regional traffic situation has become more challenging.   The economy has improved driven significantly by the booming re-emergence of the tech industry.

     

    Driving to and from Sacramento has become much more challenging.

    Bay Area traffic, already some of the worst in the world, has taken it to a whole new level.  I have business friends that leave the house at 5:30 AM to get to their San Jose appointment by 9:00 AM if they are lucky.  Personally, when I have to go to the Bay Area for a business appointment, I drive the night before and stay the night, and then leave after dinner.  Even then the traffic is still difficult.

    This explosion in Bay Area business is spilling over to the Sacramento area.  It is good thing for Sacramento because, like Davis, it has failed to develop enough of it’s private economy over the years while living off the soft money of government.

    The problem we have up here in nocal is the lack of lanes.  Especially in Sacramento… three lanes across the causeway is idiotic… there should be six lanes.

    But, primarily because Utopian-seeking unicorn-chasers and environmental wackos have decided that forced road scarcity is  good policy to help with their pursuits, we all get jammed up.

    It would be fine if we, instead of more lanes, invested in more plentiful and reliable public transportation.  But instead we do neither because we decided that government employees need million dollar retirement benefits, and we need to allow open borders so we can pay to take care of millions of poor and uneducated illegal immigrants and their kids.

    And then there is the unfunded boondoggle bullet train to nowhere.

    The funny thing about people complaining about traffic toady is that today it is the best it will every be because we are really not doing anything to make it better.

    1. Miwok

      this article also mentions nothing about the Core being all Stop Signs, which screw up any synchronization of anything. Pedestrians and bike riders only conflict and confuse everything in this plan.

      Attending a Transportation committee last March I listened to them attend to new initiatives to get locals on bikes, and people commuting park “somewhere” and ride everywhere, including the last couple miles, at least within the City limits, to wherever they go. They had no plan “B”, and no initiative for growth. It was inconceivable to them there would be more people in Davis.

      When they start planning for a city that has 75% of its daily inhabitants that do not live here, they will get a clue. Every business would be half its size if they had to make their money on locals, and Davis should really start thinking like a seasonal resort town, not a University town.

      Good description Vanguard – surreal indeed

      1. Jim Frame

        this article also mentions nothing about the Core being all Stop Signs, which screw up any synchronization of anything. Pedestrians and bike riders only conflict and confuse everything in this plan.

        On the contrary, I think the change to all 4-way stops in the core was an enormous improvement.  The previous arrangement — 4-way at some intersections, 2-way at others — was confusing for everyone and contributed to an endless array of near-misses (and some not-misses).  As a driver (often), cyclist(occasionally) and pedestrian (more often yet), I’m much happier with the consistent 4-way stops downtown.  That change was even better than the one that got rid of the stupid traffic signal at 3rd & F.

         

    2. Miwok

      Anecdotal San Jose story: When I worked/lived there for about six months in 1997, it was very busy then, and the city council decided until 90% of intersections were clogged through three lights or more, they were not going to improve it. It was 5-10% then.

      Even with metering lights, the freeway to downtown and back was mostly stopped twice a day. remind you of anything else?

  5. Anon

    There are lots of ways to avoid the congestion at the Richards underpass.  We don’t know why folks would choose that option when other quicker routes are available at “rush hour”.  These drivers may have legitimate reasons, or just choose to take the same route every day because they don’t mind the wait.  To blame the traffic congestion at the Richards underpass at “rush hour” on Public Works is asinine.

  6. Tia Will

    The people that drive their cars are going to continue to drive their cars, that isn’t going to change.”

    Wow….shades of my great grandfather telling his son that there was no point in purchasing one of those damn fool automobiles because it was obvious that everyone was going to continue to use their horse and buggies. After all there weren’t enough smooth roads. The cars were noisy and dirty and unreliable. If they broke down you were just stuck….. Etc. etc. according to my mother.

    Talk about clinging to a progressively more and more impractical means of transportation even when more effective, cleaner and safer means have been in existence for many years. And some of you accuse me of being resistant to change ! Let’s all pull out our hand mirrors.

    1. Frankly

      What BP said.

      You are too fanciful in your position.  You opine for things that don’t exist and cannot be done.  You can be a respected progressive optimist, but not if your defense of the things you are for or against are not even close to feasible.

      At least in consideration of your extreme fanciful progressive ideas you should support the corresponding extremes in change required to make them happen.  You are stuck between a rock and a hard place filled with glorious progressive ideas, but then contracting into a conservative minimalist in opposition to the actual change that would be required to make it so.

      Bike-less.  Walk more. Get rid of material goods.  More density.

      But no tall buildings!   Save those low density bungalows!   Preserve farmland so no new business in town!

      You seem to be more a disruptive disputer than you are a true progressive.

      1. Tia Will

        Frankly

        You opine for things that don’t exist and cannot be done.”

        Tell that to my former self who lived from age 16 to age 26 without a car for all but a couple of those years. Tell that to the many Europeans who do nicely with public transportation and walk far more than we do. Tell that to the the Japanese who use public transportation at much higher rates than we do. I am not suggesting that we do anything that “cannot be done”. I am suggesting that we choose to do what would be much better for us if we were willing to adapt to less convenience, and less speed, but greater health and a better environment.

  7. Tia Will

    Frankly

    You reject infill density.

    Your reject peripheral economic expansion to create more local jobs.”

    Neither is true. And you lose additional credibility every time you drop back to criticizing me for positions that I have never taken. One more thought. “Utopian” is not a dirty word nor does it refer to that which is impossible. Many aspects of our current life would have been considered “utopian” by our great grandparents and yet are commonplace for us.

    1. Frankly

      Neither is true?  Really?  So you support the Tackside development now?  Are you ready to recant all the points in opposition your made against The Cannery, the proposed innovation parks… and your demands that the city give away that valuable Mace 391 asset to the farmland moat?

      You are consistent in both opposing every single significant proposed development or use of land for a development… and you are consistent in saying that you don’t oppose development.

      At least you are consistent.

      1. Dave Hart

        Frankly, you are at risk of becoming a one-trick pony.  While Tia can certainly take care of herself, I feel the need to point out to you that there are many reasonable people who would look favorably on a three or four story Trackside and would have no big problem with a six story project if it were at least a full block away from single story housing.  They just don’t like a six-story project right next to single story housing.  Why is that so hard for you to understand?  Infill density is not some kind of black and white issue where we as a community have to accept every project just because it can be defined as “infill or peripheral economic expansion.”

        1. Matt Williams

          Dave Hart said … “Infill density is not some kind of black and white issue where we as a community have to accept every project just because it can be defined as “infill or peripheral economic expansion.”

          Dave’s comment above falls very squarely in the grey middle ground between black and white. It is in that grey area where compromises are mutually agreed to by the otherwise polarized parties.

          I would also add that it is useful to expand the timeframe of the community dialogue to consider the Davis that our children and grandchildren will inhabit. If someone has no children/grandchildren, then asking a question like, “What will the Old East Davis neighborhood look in 2050?” will also do the trick.

        2. Alan Miller

          asking a question like, “What will the Old East Davis neighborhood look in 2050?” will also do the trick.

          Flattened to ashes by the nuclear holocaust of 2047, just like everything else within 70 miles of Sacramento.  Aren’t you glad you asked?

  8. Tia Will

    Frankly

    forced road scarcity is  good policy to help with their pursuits”

    But no criticism for those who claim that artificially restricting parking spaces at a new development is good policy since forced parking scarcity will force people to use their feet or bikes….. hmmmm ?

    1. Frankly

      Absolute criticism for those too.  Build enough lanes and build enough parking space.  Also build enough bike paths and integrate bike lanes into the road design.  People will drive a car or ride a bike when they choose to do so.  I don’t support the Utopian social engineers pushing scarcity policy as a way to bend others to act a certain way.  It just makes a big mess.

      1. hpierce

        Frankly, Frankly (because you are), the addition of lanes, as Darrel has stated, is not a panacea, particularly when you go beyond 3 lanes, particularly where exits/entrances are less than 3-5 miles apart.  The problem is the entrances and exits.  Also, even then, you have potentially severe problems where there are lane reductions.  Traffic across the causeway is fine… the problem is where I-80 (from Reno) and W Capitol both merge (with merge lanes) into the causeway.  Then there are the idiots (and there are a LOT of them), when they have more lanes, play a game of “weaving” (often without signalling), to see if they can achieve a new ‘record time’ in going thru a given section.  The weaving causes a reduction in levels of service (i.e., more delay) as good drivers need to adjust to maintain reasonable ‘following distances’.

        The weaving creates more delay, and is responsible for a healthy percentage of crashes.

    1. hpierce

      You really don’t know?  Ask Mike Corbett, the then CC, et al.  Look at an aerial, and understand what was “on the ground” as far as developed property in that area where the ramps would have been…

      A better question would be “why didn’t the City stick to the older General Plans and build a crossing with ramps @ CR 103 (now known as Drummond)?”

      BTW, the answer to both questions is the same.

      1. hpierce

        Until the early 90’s, you recall correctly… until then the criteria for full interchanges for an urban area of Davis size was 2 miles of separation.  By early 90’s Davis grew to the point where the criteria was 1 mile.  Pole Line is 2 miles from Mace.  Spacing was not an issue there.

        1. Jim Frame

           Pole Line is 2 miles from Mace.  Spacing was not an issue there.

          But Pole Line is less than a mile from Richards.  My recollection is that spacing was the driver of that decision, but you were much closer to it than I was.  Why wouldn’t the proximity of Richards have been a determinant?

        2. hpierce

          Jim… true on distance.

          There were factors beyond CalTrans/FHWA where the question wasn’t asked, at the very time the CalTrans criteria (for interchange spacing) was “on the cusp”.  That had more to do with the “nature” of Pole Line (4 lane width, constrained to 2 available), cost, and City politics.

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

  9. darelldd

    The contention that we can pave our way out of automobile congestion is absurd. We have been trying and failing at this since the beginning of private motorized transportation. For what reason do we think this will suddenly begin working in Davis? The economic and environmental disaster of encouraging ever more private automobile use is what got us into this mess in the first place.

    At what point do we stop? At what point do we realize that adding lanes to solve congestion is as effective as producing bigger pants to solve obesity? Enabling the problem is not a solution to the problem.

    And my final thought for the day: When the article under discussion is about cycling, we typically hear about all these dang bicycle riders  mucking up the roads and causing delays and traffic problems (oh, and that cyclists don’t even pay their fair share!) So when articles about real traffic congestion come along, my first question is:  Here we have automotive gridlock. Where are the cyclists who are responsible for this mess? And why don’t the automobile drivers shoulder the blame for congestion that is a *big* problem in the same way that cyclists continue to be blamed for sometimes being a minor annoyance (yet truly part of the solution of real congestion?)

  10. Michael Harrington

    Frankly can be a little strident sonetimes, but I’ve been accused of that trait, too. Most of the time I agree with his basic points.  He gets right to the issue.

  11. Don Shor

     

    Dear Caltrans:
    We would like to request two signs.
    One on West-bound I-80, before Richards Blvd., to read: “Downtown Davis next right.
    UC Davis 1 mile.”
    And one on East-bound I-80, before Old Davis Rd., to read: “UC Davis next right
    Downtown Davis 1 mile.”
    (Please adjust for actual distance).

    Dear Public Works Department:
    We would like to request the following signage.
    Intersection of Russell Blvd. and Howard Way to read:
    “I-80 West” with an arrow to the left
    “I-80 East” with an arrow to the right.
    Install subsequent signs directing traffic to I-80 East to be placed at signaled intersections all the way down Fifth Street to the Mace Blvd. overpass.
    Subsequent signs directing traffic to I-80 West to be placed at signaled intersections all the way down Russell Blvd. to the 113 onramps.

    Finally, do not allow a right turn at the intersection of A and 1st

    1. hpierce

      Don, that comment, “Finally, do not allow a right turn at the intersection of A and 1st. “,  is very confusing.  You do realize there are two intersections of First and A, right? (offset from one another)  Do you mean NB leg of A, @ First, or WB First, @ A?  Or both? 

      If the latter, how do cars get to the properties on A, between First and Rice?  A Street is one-way, north only.

      If the former, there is no reason to have any automobile traffic on First between A & B, and that will mess up some of Unitrans’ routes.

      Have you thought this thru?

      RE: CalTrans… there is a message sign, installed on the Pole Line Road OC (don’t think I’ve ever seen it used) that faces WB I-80. Don’t know if it’s functional, or how many characters it can display.

        1. hpierce

          Sorry, probably should have communicated to you “off-line”.  Complete closure of the S’ly leg of A, at First (for MV traffic) was proposed at one time, but rejected by UCD (and, due to that, by CC).  It made a lot of sense to do the closure then, and still might.  But the Unitrans problem (which is solvable) remains.  Also closure would impede MV access to downtown from patrons of Mondavi, etc.  Not sure downtown businesses would like that much.

          Did not intend to be snarky. To the extent it came off that way, I sincerely apologize.

      1. odd man out

        Minor correction: what was formerly named “A Street” on campus south of 1st St. to campus parking lot 5 was relabeled “Old Davis Rd.” a few years back when the original Old Davis Road was extended through lot 5 to connect to 1st St.

    2. Matt Williams

      Good idea Don.  I would make one change though.

      “I-80 West” with an arrow to the left
      “I-80 East” with an arrow to the left

      For those UCD students, employees and visitors coming out of Howard Way regardless of what direction they are headed on I-80, their route should be west on Russell and south on CA-113 to I-80 eastbound and westbound.

      With that said, CalTrans needs to make a change to eastbound I-80 just wast of the Richards Exit, specifically adding an exit only lane on the southern edge of I-80, so that the current merge and unmerge dance that happens when the lanes go down from four lanes to three lanes 0.4 miles west of the Richards Exit.

    3. darelldd

      If we can get folks to stop using 1st street to commute to UCD, would it make sense to convert 1st street to 1-way? I’ve heard it mentioned before, and have been mulling it over in my head for some time. This would require flipping A St. the other direction too.

      I don’t have strong feelings on it one way or the other. I see some advantages though. For one, it would clearly stop the UCD commuters from using Richards!

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