by Todd Edelman
Yesterday the Davis Vanguard asked the nine candidates for City Council: “The city of Davis will be embarking on its update of the core area specific plan. Describe your vision for the Davis Downtown – be sure to discuss issues like housing in the downtown, retail business, parking, transportation and other issues.”
There are some really delicious mobility-related ideas here!
To start, bicycle-facilitated peripheral parking and walkable shopping – I don’t think people want major chains to be shopped here, however – from Gloria Partida*; a tax-making structure in the parking lot at Davis Depot – but read on to see why there’s a danger that this could be more so hex-making – from Dan Carson; Luis Ruis waxes excellent about E St. Plaza as Downtown’s “heart” and also “anchors” and some specific distributed businesses; Linda Deos’s broadening of sidewalks and parking management; legitimizing mixed-use and – hooray! – some acknowledgement of my dear BTTSSC** (sic… but really, thanks!) from Larry Guenther; Mary Jo Bryan seems to say that 2nd St will be focused on promenading (and so I suppose 3rd for bikes, yes, yes!), acknowledges Amtrak; Mark West has some similar ideas to above but then curmudgeons himself into the swamp of negativity (he could have addressed this issue with something more constructive, yes?); I am not sure why to Ezra Beeman more than three stories is not small town-ish when it literally makes towns smaller (and I’ve heard that although going above four stories requires elevator and expensive structural elements it can be made by the unit-bang-for-the-buck, so five floors might as well be six?); it’s great that Eric Gudz** mentions the Axis of Existence – though it’s live-play-work and not work-live-play – but then about listening to business owners, it’s interesting because patronage and profitability are not nouny the same way “parking” is, because – as my grandmother would say – “parking shmarking, it’s about access, bubeleh!”
Curiously, the word “bike” only appears four times in the story; “(bi)cycling” twice; bicycle(s) also twice. With nine candidates, that means on average less than one time per candidate is our town symbol mentioned, and five don’t mention these terms at all!
Gloria Partida* wrote::
“subsidized employee parking”
You mean pay people to use the already “free” parking?
“To further alleviate parking we need at least one new parking structure.”
Where? At $50,000 per space? Who are the intended users? Replacement for current parking?
Perhaps make it peripheral, for example south of the train tracks so it doesn’t impact Richards and is an integrated part of the 80-Richards & Bus/HOV lane projects, providing a Park & Ride for Amtrak and a regional bus stop adjacent to the structure? Connecting to Amtrak – with a venue or other mixed-use instead of “free” parking to people who happen to work early – and further enabling a pedestrianized Downtown with a 24/7/365 autonomous electric shuttle operating on a fixed route? Build any structure so it can be re-used for other purposes, including using modular construction methods so it can downsized in the middle-distance future when there’s less personal car use.
Dan Carson wrote:
“Such a project could also include additional parking to support downtown businesses”
So now the parking lot would just fill a little later in the morning? And how do these cars get to it, through the Richards tunnel, across Downtown?
Luis Rios wrote:
“can be closed-off”
You mean “opened up”, right? The language of automobilization and entitlement is very important.
Linda Deos wrote:
“adding additional parking at the train station.”
Please see my earlier comments for Gloria Partida and Dan Carson.
Larry Guenther wrote
“Working with the banks to share parking should be a priority.”
Good point about efficiency but how can single-layer surface parking lots be justified at all?
“removing parking from the E Street plaza”
See my earlier comments about language to Luis Rios and further up about peripheral solutions: Parking can be removed, but also relocated to be slightly less convenient for some, more convenient for others, and safer for all.
Mark West wrote:
“Parking should be incorporated beneath or behind the new buildings”
See my comments to Gloria Partida about the costs of building private automobile storage (parking). Beneath can cost $50,000 per space and can complicate above ground construction. Behind can cost $10,000 per space.
“and hidden from the streetscape”
And just how do these invisible cars enter their housing units? Their entrances suck up facade and sidewalk space, and they all move through the streets, creating convenience for some, noise and worse for others.
Ezra Beeman wrote:
“distributed commercial districts around our fringe, which also help reduce congestion and improve quality of life.”
Can reduce VMT compared to trips Downtown, but from what I have seen 90 to 95% of journeys to these districts that are not by foot are by private automobile. They’re still too far to walk to for many, and the City needs to promote the use of specifically-equipped – though commercially-available – bikes that work very well for shopping (not backpacks, not the one-bag carrier on Jump bikes, and not necessarily trailers either.).
I think that the new General Plan should mandate that all new and existing housing has at least a decent corner store within a ten-minute walk, yet with no parking for people who live outside the neighborhood.
Eric Gudz*** wrote:
“The parking dilemma is exacerbated by the lack of housing”
Dots connected, okay! But what if people who want to live in Downtown want to keep their cars Downtown?
* We have a lawn sign for Gloria.
**Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission.
*** I have personally endorsed Eric.
Todd Edelman has been a resident of East Davis for not very long, pleasantly residing on the I-80 side of the Birch neighborhood.