Sunday Commentary: The Big Question For Davis – How Will We Change in 2019 and 2029?

The Brinley Building before it got a facelift

Over the next nine to ten days, the year of 2018 will run its course.  We have seen some interesting changes in Davis in the last twelve months – last year at this time, we were asking if a Measure R vote could win – this year we saw two of them not only win, but win overwhelmingly.  We have seen new leaders emerge on the city council and school board.

We also see that while some issues were resolved this year – some of the biggest questions will remain.  (1) What will Davis decide to do about the downtown?  (2) Will the voters renew Measure R and what will that look like? (3) Will voters renew the current sales tax and will the council consider additional taxes to pay for roads? (4) Will the city undertake economic development and will an MRIC project emerge in 2019?  (5) Will the voters support a parcel tax to increase teacher compensation?  (6) Will the nation sink into recession?  (7) Will the state replace the former RDA with a new tax increment to fund affordable housing?

These are of course not all questions that we can and will answer in 2019.  But the thing is that increasingly I view the world not as discrete years, but rather in terms of two year cycles.  We just completed one two year cycle, the next two year cycle will culminate in election in 2020.

I am not really going to address point 6 as that moves quickly beyond our scope, other than to say that point 6 will probably play as big a role as any in determining the direction of the next two years.  Already there are signs that the district may sink into another funding shortfall which will require the board to simultaneously consider maintaining our current level of programs while at the same time figuring out ways to address the compensation gap.

The city may well have to grapple with a decline in revenue in the short-term as it tries to figure out intermediate term solutions for infrastructure funding shortfalls, and longer term solutions for affordable housing and economic development.

But what I want to address is a bigger picture, 30,000 foot issue for the community.  To me the big question is not whether we will have to change in the next decade, but rather in what way we will change.

Last week I was meeting with a city official and I made the point that if you look at the window of the café we are in, you see the real dilemma that we face as a community.  On the surface you see a lovely small town that lacks congestion, has great character, and is quaint.

But look closely.  If you look closely you will see single story buildings in the heart of town that is the underutilization of valuable and scarce space.  If you look closely you will see empty retail establishments.  If you look closely you will see a downtown that has transitioned away from retail as its commercial base.  And if you look closely you will see the cracks on the pavement and notice that they go all the way to roadbed and thus the road which on the surface appears okay, actually needs to be ripped up and rebuild at great cost.

In a way, that is this community in a nutshell.  It looks good on the surface, and only with a closer look do you see the problems.  These are not necessarily problems that require us to fix immediately.

For too long we have ignored these problems.  We want to preserve the Davis we love but many of us have failed to recognize that we cannot do this without making some change.

Davis is a community that is relatively small and affluent.  Many people moved here because they prefer the small town atmosphere, they like the perceived safety, they like the engaged and informed electorate, they love the walkable and bikable community, and they either work for the university or like the proximity.  Many have chosen to live here as well for our great schools.

For many years we have fought hard to protect the Davis that we envision.  We have done this by limiting growth.  We have done this by limiting the number of retail establishments so that we are not overrun by a peripheral mall and national chains.

We all want what is best for this community.  Increasingly however, I see a community that is no longer sustainable long term without making some change.

My views on this have changed over the years because as I have learned more the facts have become rather unmistakable.  Davis is on the verge of declining.  I know that I repeat this point a lot and many view it as Chicken Little alarmism, but just as climate change is a very real threat to civilization, Davis faces its own existential threats that if we evaluate logically and use math, we can clearly see this is true.

We do not have the money to support our great schools.  We do not have the money to support our roads let alone the parks, bike paths and green belts.

That is a reality.  Don’t believe me?  We just voted down a parcel tax for roads.  How do you expect us to find the money to pave our roads into the future?  The school board is about to put another parcel tax up for consideration because our schools lack money to attract and retain quality teachers.

This is the tip of the iceberg.  We are not seeing the big picture.

We have choices as to how to approach this – but the plain and simple reality is that Davis as we know is not sustainable.  We can continue to limit growth and Davis will become more expensive.  We will also have to either cutback on city services which includes roads, parks and bike paths or we will have to raise taxes making Davis even less affordable.

I have not always seen this myself.  I have come to these views over a good deal of time.

My evolution has been slow.  When I first got involved I believed that Davis had come off a time of rapid growth and we needed to apply the brakes.  I supported Measure J, opposed Covell Village and Cannery as too fast and the wrong kind of growth.

Recognizing before many the fiscal peril we were in – I fought to limit the growth of compensation and reform our pension system.

But by 2013, I realized that cuts alone were not enough and we needed revenue.  And now having watched families and students struggle to find housing and jobs in Davis, I realize we have to do more there as well.

The key is balance.  I still believe we can maintain the things we love about Davis, but by willing to make small and incremental changes.  We should look at infill and densification as a way forward, but we also need economic development and I believe by developing MRIC, we can take advantage of our strengths as a community and expand on them.

Taking university research, transferring technology to build clean technologies that help feed the world are in conjunction with our professed values in this community.

We need to balance the need to grow and expand housing, jobs and revenue with our desire to keep Davis the great community it is.

The reality is that most of these proposals will mean some sort of modest change for Davis.  Most of the housing proposals are not asking us to spread outward, but rather to grow upward, to become more dense.  The voters did approve Nishi which is largely in most real ways infill.

The voters did approve WDAAC which is the first peripheral project approved since Wildhorse over 20 years ago.  And I think adding a 200 acre innovation center with a 30 to 50 year build out will allow us to become fiscally sustainable with only a relatively modest impact on the overall community.

If we don’t make these kinds of changes you will see housing costs go up, fewer families with children living in town, a greater strain on our infrastructure, a declining quality of schools, roads, parks, bike paths and green belts.

So we have a choice – we can modestly growth to us allow us to preserve our great community with its amenities, or we can hold fast to what we have and watch as those very treasures slip out of our grasp.

That is the big question that we will have to grapple with in the cycle and beyond.  We owe to future generations to at least be honest with ourselves as we plan their future.

—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

62 thoughts on “Sunday Commentary: The Big Question For Davis – How Will We Change in 2019 and 2029?”

  1. Matt Williams

    Yammer, Yammer, Yammer, Yammer … Yawn

    I’m going to try and redirect the discussion of this article.

    I believe the issues that David raises are solid; however, I believe his proposed method for addressing them is too granular/transactional … and will only serve to perpetuate the current, highly-siloed “Planning by General Plan Exception” environment, which also lends itself to the proliferation of lawsuits we have seen follow the siloed processing of individual applications based on ad-hoc, inconsistent processes.

    Instead we need to persevere with a General Plan Update process that ends the planning by exception, and creates a consistent standard and process that the community and the applicants can rely on.

      1. Matt Williams

        I’m not saying pause everything, but know that until we come to a plurality holistic vision of what Davis is going to be going forward, and memorialize that plurality vision into a General Plan Update we will continue to have siloed processing of individual applications based on ad-hoc, inconsistent processes, with considerable community strife, lawsuits, crumbling streets,  and failed tax increase votes … said another way, a ship without a rudder.

        Bottom-line, we need a concerted effort to get the electorate actively involved in setting the community vision going forward.

        1. David Greenwald

          Not against doing that.  But I think regardless of whether we have a general plan update, there will be community strife because there are differences in opinion on the future.  Look at both Nishi 2 and WDAAC, both passed easily and yet there was a good amount of angst and strife over it – I don’t think that ends because there is a plurality vision behind it.

        2. Mark West

          “we need a concerted effort to get the electorate actively involved in setting the community vision going forward.”

          The last GP update has been called the ‘Citizen’s GP’ due to all the input from various volunteers.  It was almost immediately ignored as soon as the ink was dry, and is only referred to now by those wishing to block change. I doubt most commenters here have bothered to read the relevant sections before commenting on what they think the plan says.

          The smart approach would be to allow our professional staff to do their job coming up with a General Plan that will meet the needs of the City going forward. What we will do instead is waste countless hours debating yet another new version of our ‘vision’ incorporating all the ideas of the ignorant masses with an end result that looks amazingly like the last three or four versions. As before, the new plan will be completely ignored except by those looking to block change – rinse, repeat…

           

           

        3. Howard P

          Markhasit right… previous “citizen” GP effectively blockedout professionalstaff input… a lot of ‘poison pills’ were put in it, by certain citizen zealots, with hyper-personal agendas, and subsequently, the City pushed it back towards reality, with a lot of”blow-back” from the zealots…

        4. Mark West

          Todd’s 9:18 post provides a great example of the quality of vision we will get for the General Plan with a panel of well-intentioned but uninformed ‘engaged citizens’ who have no experience managing a city. Todd managed to come up with one solid idea out of sixteen attempts, which is probably a better average than we can realistically expect over the long-term. If we want to continue with the status quo then by all means follow Matt’s advice, but if your goal is to actually address our significant challenges we should consider a different approach.

        5. Matt Williams

          Mark, the challenge with the smart approach that you propose is three-fold.  First, the likelihood of the citizens stepping aside and letting “professional staff do their job” is about as likely as Todd Edelman’s roof over CA 113.  Second, professional staff has shown a strong pattern of taking the easy way out, and not recommending the highest and best use for parcels.  Third, there is a long history of staff playing the role of Caesar and choosing winners and losers.

          We should establish a “market” and let the market determine the winners and losers.

          With that said, the past citizens plan was all about choosing winners and losers.  There was no commitment to a level playing field.

          JMO

        6. Mark West

          Yes, Matt, but you address those issues by hiring competent City Managers and electing CC members who won’t micromanage every decision, not by enlisting the efforts of the ill-informed.

        7. Matt Williams

          Understood Mark, but how has that gone for us over the past few decades?

          With that said, there is a middle ground between the past and present Davis General Planning history and the kind of high public engagement General Plan Update I’m advocating for.  It really all depends on the actions of staff in the Update process.  If they do the homework and present well-researched, well-documented alternatives to the community, the public participation becomes additive rather than intrusive.

          JMO

  2. Ron

    The court cases described in the following article may have a major impact on unfunded liabilities throughout the state:

    “The California Supreme Court decided Tuesday to review a ruling that would give state and local governments new authority to cut public employee pensions.”

    https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-court-pension-20161122-story.html

    This has been covered extensively in publications such as the Sacramento Bee, as well.  And yet, not a peep about it from the Vanguard.

    Nor has there been any discussion regarding the amount of money that Davis is getting from the new gas tax, for road maintenance.

    1. Don Shor

      “For decades, California courts have ruled that state and local employees were entitled to the pension that was in place on the day they were hired.”

      Just to clarify your point in posting this, Ron, do you believe Davis should resolve the long-term funding problem by cutting the pensions of existing city retirees? Or reduce the pensions of current employees from what they were promised when they were hired?

        1. Don Shor

          It doesn’t necessarily matter, what I think.

          Nice try.
          Just to clarify your point in posting this, Ron, do you believe Davis should resolve the long-term funding problem by cutting the pensions of existing city retirees? Or reduce the pensions of current employees from what they were promised when they were hired?

        2. Ron

          I’ll tell you what, Don.  I’ll answer that question as soon as you tell me if you think that a non-profit blog should be in the business of advocating for development proposals, and which has a moderator who is part of a development team for one such proposal.

          In the meantime, I’d suggest that your argument is with our governor, not me. Do you disagree with what he’s stating?

          1. Don Shor

            Nice try.
            Just to clarify your point in posting this, Ron, do you believe Davis should resolve the long-term funding problem by cutting the pensions of existing city retirees? Or reduce the pensions of current employees from what they were promised when they were hired?

            if you think that a non-profit blog should be in the business of advocating for development proposals, and which has a moderator who is part of a development team for one such proposal.

            There is nothing wrong with a non-profit blog arguing for the benefits of development proposals, specifically or generally. My role with respect to the urban forest component of the Nishi development was quite clear and had no impact on my actions as volunteer moderator of the Vanguard. These are, of course, as irrelevant as me asking you to reveal your last name to the readers of the Vanguard. Will you do that?

            I’ll answer that question as soon as you tell me

            Ok, we’re waiting.

        3. Ron

          Regarding your first question, I’d say that it depends on the reasonableness of the compensation (which would likely vary, depending upon the job series).

          Do you agree with the governor’s assessment?

          Regarding the appropriateness of a non-profit blog advocating for developments (specific, or in general), this leads to a corrupting effect in terms of advertising dollars and donations, for example.  It leads to for-profit businesses supporting a non-profit publication to further their interests.  Your personal role as a commenter/moderator, and member of a development team is part of that corrupting influence.

          Somehow, I doubt that this was the intention of creating the non-profit category, in our tax code.  (I’m referring to the “alliance” and support between private business interests, and a non-profit blog which provides an outlet for their views.) Note that the Enterprise, for example, does not enjoy such status.

          As the Vanguard increasingly obtains a reputation as a developers’ blog, it will continue to gain support among the development community and their allies. You can see evidence of this, in the nature of many of the comments on here.

          Regarding individual identities, the Vanguard is already taking steps to require this.  So, it will not be an issue, when that policy is implemented.

           

          1. Don Shor

            Regarding your first question, I’d say that it depends on the reasonableness of the compensation (which would likely vary, depending upon the job series).

            For those following along, my “first question” was

            do you believe Davis should resolve the long-term funding problem by cutting the pensions of existing city retirees?

            So, to sum up, Ron believes that existing pensions of some retirees should be cut.
            Now waiting for his answer to the second question:

            Or reduce the pensions of current employees from what they were promised when they were hired?

            At this point, I would ask Ron where he retired from and whether he thinks his own pension should be cut. But that might force him to reveal who he is.
            Gov. Brown is correct in principle. Generally such changes are implemented going forward, not retroactively. The city has the power to change pensions for new employees each time it negotiates a new labor agreement.

        4. David Greenwald

          Ron: As an anonymous poster, I don’t believe it is appropriate for you to be casting personal aspersions against Don or myself, when we have no way to reciprocate without in effect outing you.

        5. Ron

          David:  I disagree, and view your statement as an entirely inappropriate “threat”, which would violate your own policy (and which has nothing to do with the issues).

          Note that I am not digging into any information that isn’t already publicly acknowledged on here.  You’re free to disagree with it, but instead are resorting to threats which have nothing to do with the issues brought up.

          How about if you stick with the issues, instead?

        6. David Greenwald

          There is no threat, only pointing out the assymetrical information you used for example, against Don (a moderator who is part of a development team for one such proposal.), because he is a known entity as opposed to you, who post hidden behind a wall of anonymity.

          I’ll note as well that you are in violation of the comment policy: “Discussions should be limited to the topic of conversation and not focus on the individual commenters”. Moreover there is also a note of anonymous privilege.

          Bottom line, anonymity is leaving next week.  Until then, stay on topic and stop with the personal attacks.

        7. Ron

          As you noted, Don is (in no way) attempting to downplay his involvement as a member of a development team, while also serving on the Vanguard.  Pointing that out is not a “personal” attack.  In fact, I’m not the first one to point it out.

          The bigger question is why is a non-profit blog advocating on behalf of for-profit development interests? (Or, is asking that also viewed as a “personal” attack?)

        8. Ron

          Don:  In reference to your 10:45 a.m., comment, here is a quote from our governor:

          “But you can’t say that five minutes after you sign your employment application, for the next 30 or 35 years that not one benefit can be changed. That’s a one-way ratchet to fiscal oblivion.”

          Regarding the retirement system that I’m under, it was already changed decades ago, by Reagan.  It consists of a small, defined benefit, a 401K-type account, and social security. It also requires significant employee contributions toward health plans. (Regarding health plans, the employee contribution seemed about comparable to the system for local teachers, based upon a comparison that I previously submitted on here.)

          https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article223385445.html#storylink=cpy
           

        9. Ron

          I know that some don’t like governor Brown, but he sure seems on top of things regarding fiscal issues.  (At least, for this second go-around, as governor.)  Changing the system for new state employees (as well as the elimination of RDA agencies) points to someone who is responsible with taxpayer dollars. A level of wisdom that he seems to have gained, over the years. (On a personal level, he also seems quite humble.)

          One can only hope his successor is as prudent.  (Most signs point in the opposite direction, however.)

        10. Richard McCann

          Ron

          If you think the Vanguard is biased, then start your own with a different bias. Oh, actually that’s the Davisite which has a very clear bias in content, but its proponents shield their motives.

          I don’t see the bias that you do, but that you see such a strong bias is typical of those who hold extreme political views but believe somehow they are “in the middle” or “represent the majority” with no real evidence.

          You raised the issue of state and local pensions, and Don asked you for further clarification on how you think a solution should proceed. If you’re not interested in engaging in the discussion, you lose your standing as a participant in trying to solve the City’s fiscal problems.

        11. Ron

          Richard:  “I don’t see the bias that you do”.

          Coming from you, your statement does not surprise me in the least.

          I’ve already responded to Don’s question.  However, I would add that I think the city should try again at some point, regarding a tax for road/bike path maintenance.

          I would also suggest that now is NOT the time for a tax to raise teachers’ salaries. Looking at my tax bill, it seems that there’s already quite a bit of additional taxes for local schools. Several of them, actually.

        12. Howard P

          Ron posts,

          Regarding the retirement system that I’m under, it was already changed decades ago, by Reagan.  It consists of a small, defined benefit, a 401K-type account

          Really?  401’s are typically defined contribution, not defined benefit.  Interesting…

          Thank you for sharing your apparent bias… no one should get more than you? Preferably less?

          Ron, you’ve skirted another set of questions:

          From Don:  “Ron, do you believe Davis should resolve the long-term funding problem by cutting the pensions of existing city retirees? Or reduce the pensions of current employees from what they were promised when they were hired?  To which you replied…

          It doesn’t necessarily matter, regarding what I think about this issue.

          Then why opine?

          Finally, when you express concern about your property tax bill… what %-age of your annual income is that, anyway?  Adding what you spend on CATV, phone, internet services, how does that compare to the local taxes?

        13. Ron

          Howard:  edited
          Yes, it’s a small, defined benefit.  Along with a 401K-type option.  Pretty sure that you know this, since we’ve been down this path, before.  (To the point of you previously asking me to provide references regarding the actions that Reagan took decades ago – which I did.)

          edited
          [moderator: off topic comments removed.]

        1. Howard P

          Ron, your 7:13 post cite is re: “air time”… nothing more, nothing less… that aspect was always wrong… hope the courts kill the concept, and PERS refunds the premium (with reasonable interest) to ‘make it like it never happened’… few employees (%-age) pursued that, anyhow… the State ended the practice.

          Please focus on ‘on-point’ facts, and not things that have effectively ended (pointed out in article cited)…

      1. Howard P

        This one: (per Ron’s earlier post)…

        The court cases described in the following article may have a major impact on unfunded liabilities throughout the state:

        “The California Supreme Court decided Tuesday to review a ruling that would give state and local governments new authority to cut public employee pensions.”

        https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-court-pension-20161122-story.html

        Just for clarification… that is the cite used earlier in the thread, which is over 2 years old… to which I referred.

        1. Ron

          I provided a more recent one, above and below.  It’s an ongoing case, and has been in the news quite a bit, lately.  (Not on the Vanguard, though.)

          https://www.modbee.com/news/state/california/article222581865.html

          Although the case addresses “air time” – as you correctly noted, the possible ramifications go far beyond that (as addressed in the articles I posted).

          Brown’s quote (repeated below) references what will happen if the state fails in its defense regarding the elimination of air time. This would impact the entire state:

          “Brown predicts fiscal oblivion if pensions are off-limits for government employers”.

        2. Ron

          In case Howard needs additional clarification, the following quote is from the article above (earlier this month):

          “If the court sides with Brown, unions worry that future city managers and governors will be emboldened to cut benefits they promised to their workers.”

          I find this interesting, as I recall some on the Vanguard stating that it was “not possible” to change pensions.  Looks like that might be wrong.

          On the other hand, if Brown loses, the entire state will likely become insolvent – as Brown noted.  (But, there are apparently also other cases working their way through the system, challenging the “California rule”.) (The California rule essentially prevents government employers from cutting benefits, without providing a comparable benefit elsewhere.)

          https://www.modbee.com/news/state/california/article222581865.html#storylink=cpy
           

          In any case, you can be sure that I’ll bring this up when someone says that the only way to resolve fiscal challenges is to “develop our way” out of them, via a peripheral development.

        3. Ron

          Howard:  ” . . . not proposing new “take-backs”…

          Not yet.  But again, look at the following quote (repeated below):

          “If the court sides with Brown, unions worry that future city managers and governors will be emboldened to cut benefits they promised to their workers.”

          The ramifications go FAR BEYOND air time. That’s why employees are nervous, as noted in the title of one of the articles I posted:

          https://www.modbee.com/news/state/california/article222581865.html

          Of course, they probably should be nervous even if they win this case, because the entire state is facing fiscal Armageddon. Again, look at Brown’s quote, repeated below:

          “Brown predicts fiscal oblivion if pensions are off-limits for government employers”.

  3. Todd Edelman

    If there’s a university nearby that could establish a Fantastic and Needed Solutions for Davis program it would be wonderful! I’d like them to look into the following:
     
    1) Enclosing the long, below-grade section of CA-113 in some fashion and building a mixed-use project on top, with lots of student housing and innovation uses near UC Davis.
    2) Affordable housing and largest in North California pedestrian zone in Downtown by any means necessary.
    3) Covering I-80 within Davis with a combination green and solar roof to reduce noise, gas and particle pollution and generate electricity.
    4) Tolling I-80 at the Bypass.
    5) Convert the PG&E facility to a mixed-use project with housing and complementary services on the north side and offices and innovation/light industrial on the south side / Re-locate PG&E or its successor to the part of area planned for MRIC closest to I-80.
    6) Convert large shopping center parking lots to housing (with some parking) and Target plus all South Davis shopping center parking lots to housing and innovation centers.
    7) Eliminate parking minimums in the new General Plan.
    8) Re-design local streets for 10/20 mph speeds. Max 30 mph speed limit within City.
    9) Implement Davis-Winters-Woodland-West Sacramento rapid bus network, running 24/7.
    10) Implement Davis-Winters-Woodland-West Sacramento and city-wide fast bikepath network optimized for Type 3 electric-assist bikes / complement with the country’s first Type 3 e-bike share (with bikes that have GPS-based speed limiters for areas such as local streets, UCD campus and Greenbelt paths.)
    11) Requiring that any services like Lyft, Uber etc that partner with the City or use its streets to have benefits for its drivers similar to that of unionized transport employees.
    12) Requiring that (e-)bike share operators allow membership for anyone 12 and up.
    13 ) Mandatory Chinese and Spanish at primary and secondary schools.
    14) Climate change / energy reduction programs that also benefit renters.
    15) Full evacuation plan with repeated citywide drills in case of failure of regional flood control structures.
    16) Democratically-design a new City symbol that refers to all of this, replacing the high-wheeler bicycle and its referencing of an anti-egalitarian ableist and sexist anachronism that had its heyday 30 years before Davis was founded.
    17) Support members of the Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission who’ve taken the time this lovely Sunday morning to create this list, or anyone who supports it.

    1. Don Shor

      1, 3 will not happen ever.
      4 may happen, but the dollars will not go to Davis.
      5 will not happen in our lifetimes.
      6 you do understand those are private property? So, no.
      7 could happen, though modification is more likely.
      8 no reason for this, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t happen in a town like Davis.
      9 brilliant. Secure funding for this, please. Preferably via grants.
      10 would require purchasing large amounts of land, so not happening
      11 nope.
      12 great idea
      13 Mandatory Chinese?
      14 great idea in principle, not sure what you have in mind in practice
      15 How much do you know about the risk of flooding in Davis? We don’t actually need this.
      16 you don’t like history?
      17 You have my full metaphorical support for items 9 and 12.

        1. Mark West

          If we want PG&E to move their corp yard all we need to do is show them how it will be profitable to do so. That requires a developer willing to propose a project that is large enough to cover all the costs and City Staff, politicians and populace that are willing to support said project. We don’t have any of those, so Don’s assessment is the current reality.

          “See the recent PG&E safety OII that has put everything on the table…”

          Perhaps, but the State has not demonstrated the willingness to use its ‘teeth’ to effectively regulate PG&E in the past, so why do you think this OII will be any different?

    2. Mark West

      “7) Eliminate parking minimums in the new General Plan.”

      The one ‘solution’ that you have proposed that we have the authority to change, that has a reasonable chance of being enacted, AND that will result in a financial benefit to the City and community.

        1. Ron

          Uhm, if customers can’t park, they’ll go elsewhere. “Probably” a reason that Davis ACE recently chose to invest in a new lot, as the city considers charging for parking.

          And, if neighbors are going to be impacted by a new development (by developments that doesn’t provide adequate parking for new residents), they will likely oppose it.

          Not providing adequate parking is one way that developers transfer costs and impacts from their developments onto a community at large.

        2. Mark West

          “Not providing adequate parking is one way that developers transfer costs and impacts from their developments onto a community at large.”

          Demanding excessive and inefficient parking internal to every development project is one way that anti-change fanatics block redevelopment downtown.

      1. Todd Edelman

        Don: For everything in this list that a least a majority would find useful, it seems reasonable to know the full financials.

        1) Integrated parking would add a lot of cost but would provide direct access to the highway system. Everyone here could cycle to campus and Downtown with exactly zero interactions with motor vehicles. I would just like to see the best case for it, considering the value of land that could be here (it used to be) and that it’s necessarily rocket science to re-create that land.

        4)  Funds raised by the multiple bridges in the MTC area fund public transport (and this could include bikes and other last mile…).

        6) Some of the parking could stay, and remain at ground level. I can imagine there’s some other value to these spaces, besides cars parked part of the time in them. This could actually be huge for the owners.

        8) The European standard for growing central city areas and local streets is just under 20 mph design speed. It is exponentially safer for pedestrians and cyclists and only minimally slower for motor vehicle users — even less so if stop signs are eliminated and control is via priority (with or without a mini-roundabout…). Faster movement happens on arterial streets, and it maintains a faster overall pace if there is less congestion that’s the result of less driving overall, which is the result of more cycling because it’s safer (and transit…).

        9) Funding from toll (see above). There might be grants for purchase of electric buses.

        10) This would only be used on some arterial streets, plus e.g. the re-claimed ROW to Woodland, the 113 path, etc.

        14) There are lots of incentives for live-in owners to have energy efficient homes; much less for renters. Solutions could involve everything from education (e.g. EnergyStar-style energy ratings for homes) to buy-backs for old appliances and financial support for landlords to get new ones. It will be a long time before there’s enough choice in town to enable lots of people to select the most “green” home to rent, but – again – this starts with helping landlords with their desire to do the right thing. The solar roof on I-80 could provide all the electricity needed by over 1/3 of Davis tenants. Hopefully VCE can focus on getting solar on all roofs, not only owner-occupied ones.

        15) OK, then we need more clear info if there is really NO threat.

        16) Show me a photo of a high-wheeler being ridden for transportation in Davis. Show me a photo of more than the odd high-wheeler in Davis during the 20th Century. Most high-wheelers had disappeared from streets across the country 20 years before Davis was founded.

        If Davis was famous for reproductive rights, the equivalent symbol to the high-wheeler would be a chastity belt or a codpiece. If it was famous for medicine, the symbol would be a leech. If it was famous for milk, it would be orange juice.

        1. Don Shor

          16) Show me a photo of a high-wheeler being ridden for transportation in Davis.

          I don’t assume the city’s logo has to reflect a contemporary method or even a common method of transportation. I think the high-wheeler is a nice, funky image that represents Davis well. If you want to push for a change in that regard, go for it. But I could certainly see a lot of unnecessary time being spent on this topic by our civic leaders.

        1. Todd Edelman

          Let’s say for the next 50 years one million people are served by their implementation, and that the total cost – before returns – is 20 billion.
          That’s $20,000 per serving.

    1. Ron

      Perhaps on here.  But, the issues (and ability to communicate) predates the Vanguard. And may be more effective (and less hostile, to boot).

      Looking forward to the change.

        1. Ron

          Based upon some of your prior comments, it seems that you have some fondness for the Vanguard, and for commenting on here. At one time, I recall that you were concerned about the possibility that the Vanguard would implement the policy requiring full IDs. Perhaps you’ve gotten beyond that.

          I do not have any fondness for the Vanguard, or for commenting on here.  I view the Vanguard as harmful.  I’m driven almost entirely by a motivation to point out that harm, whenever possible.

          A similarity that I have with David is that my views have “evolved”, over time.  But, in an opposite direction – away from the Vanguard.

          I hope that the city does not subject its citizens to another Measure R vote, in the form of MRIC. But, I’m ready to do my part to oppose it, to the best of my ability. I’ll be looking to join others in that effort.

        2. Ron

          In fact, I view the Vanguard as both harmful and hostile (at least from some commenters – including some who use their full names).

          When I first started commenting on the Vanguard (2-3 years ago), I was much more polite.  However, participating on here forces one to adapt (or abandon it, entirely).

          I’d recommend to anyone who asks to stay off this site. If one wants to participate in an online forum, there’s another blog in town (which moderates comments more carefully).

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