Commentary: Do We Need an Additional Traffic Study on Mace?

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Most of Alan Pryor’s guest commentary deals with the current conditions on Mace and the need to study traffic prior to making changes on Mace – but he also points to the 800-pound gorilla as being the proposed Aggie Research Campus.

In a letter to the Bicycling, Transportation, and Street Safety Commission he writes, “there seems to be a key component missing from this process and that is having an updated traffic study of the entire corridor done so real traffic numbers are modeled and evaluated when considering future changes.”

He adds, “the 800-lb gorilla in the room that is not being considered is the traffic impacts on Mace Blvd. of any new Aggie Research Campus (ARC). The EIR for that project (done when it was still called the Mace Ranch Innovation Center – MRIC) was certified about 3 years ago but it was similarly based on much older traffic counts circa 2011.”

In his conclusion, Mr. Pryor notes, the previously certified EIR “indicated that “Mace Boulevard carries approximately 17,500 vehicles per day according to the traffic counts collected by the City of Davis in April 2011.””

He notes: “The EIR also projected that the commercial-only (no housing) option “would generate about 2,600 AM peak hour trips, 2,390 PM peak hour trips, and 17,100 daily trips before considering external trips made by non-auto travel modes.” or about doubling the 2011 traffic counts which, by now, are very substantially understated.”

Clearly adding 17,000 trips per day to the already congested Mace Blvd. corridor could potentially result in gridlock through the entire Mace Blvd. – I-80 corridor,” he writes.  “The estimates of increased traffic on Mace Blvd. as a result of ARC underscores the need for a thorough and complete traffic study before any short-term fixes are made to Mace Blvd south of Chiles Rd.”

There is a lot to unpack here since there are multiple points that Mr. Pryor is making.

The first point I would make is that I don’t believe anyone at the city or around Mace wants to wait the six months or so it would take for a full traffic study.  And really they don’t need to.  I agree with Mr. Pryor that the numbers from 2011 are dated at this point, but I believe they could accomplish most of what he wants by getting updated traffic counts rather than doing a “thorough and complete traffic study.”

Back in April, when the Vanguard spoke with Police Chief Darren Pytel, whose officers had do some basic traffic flow counts, the biggest problem was finding a way to separate local traffic that wanted to access local streets from traffic that was headed through the corridor to get back onto I-80.

This was very apparent yesterday as I drove through around 5:30 pm (a Thursday).  There was a long line of traffic in the right lane that backed up from the freeway, through the Chiles-Mace intersection and back to the Mace-Cowell Intersection.  Finding a way to queue that traffic so that it doesn’t them back up further and box in vehicles wanted to head northbound on Mace is critical.

I don’t think you need a full traffic study to observe those patterns and figure out a way to way bypass the problem.

Bottom line: I think for the Mace Blvd. situation, the city doesn’t want to wait for a full study, they don’t have funding for it, and they have studied the problem enough that they shouldn’t need it.

That gets us to ARC.  Clearly, traffic was going to be a big issue regarding ARC. While ARC is unlikely to impact the most congested portion of Mace, south of Chiles, unlike the apartment situation we analyzed earlier this week, ARC would be a big traffic impact potentially.

There are several important points here.  First is that when the EIR was performed, CEQA required mitigations for impacts on LOS (Level of Service).   That is no longer the case, the implementation now of SB 743 requires that traffic analysis should be based on VMT (vehicle miles traveled) rather than LOS.

SB 743 called “for the guidelines to be revised to no longer consider automobile delay a significant impact on the environment.”

Does that mean that traffic won’t be a critical component of any Measure R campaign?  Of course.  It simply changes the requirements with respect to CEQA.

Again, I think that getting an accurate traffic count would be helpful.  In 2011, Mace carried about 17,500 vehicles per day through the corridor.  Clearly, conditions have changed in the last eight years, and we need to know what those conditions are.

It seems like getting an accurate traffic count could be tricky – the traffic seems so variable that if you pick the wrong days or outliers you could substantially either overstate or understate the overall traffic.

It is also worth pointing out that the projected impact of Mace was based on the project that was commercial-only.  Fortunately, the EIR studied for the Mixed-Use alternative which is the project that is proposed to go forward.

The EIR finds: “According to Fehr & Peers, the Mixed-Use Alternative would result in an increase in new (external) trips of 14,880, as compared to the proposed project’s increase of 17,091. The daily VMT associated with the Mixed-Use Alternative would be less than the proposed project as well.”

The alternative then “would involve lower volumes of traffic and less of a delay than the proposed project.”

It is also important to understand that the buildout of the ARC – unlike that of a housing development – is not going to be felt in the next five years.  Instead, it would take place potentially over a 20- to 50-year period.

In his article, he notes, “Any changes in traffic flow in I-80 that may alleviate the congestion problem on Mace are at least a decade ahead of us.”

He hazards a guess: “I’d venture to say that any work to add additional lanes to the Causeway will be at least 10-15 years in the future.”

If true, that could mean that just as ARC is about to reach its full build out, there would be a fix in place to alleviate problems on the corridor.

We also have yet to see the project’s transportation plan.  One of the factors that caused Nishi circa 2016 to fail at the polls (narrowly) was the perception of traffic impacts on Richards – even though the developers pledged $10 million as a way to mitigate some of those impacts.

What we know right now is that Mace was congested in 2011, and is more so now.  We know that ARC would add significant amounts of traffic at build out (again perhaps 20 to 50 years down the line) but less impacts than the commercial only project.

What we do not know is what the transportation plan will be for Mace, how they propose to reduce the traffic impacts, and we do not know the current traffic counts.

Clearly, this is a major issue facing this project that will need to be addressed when it comes time to put this before the council and ultimately the voters.

—-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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57 thoughts on “Commentary: Do We Need an Additional Traffic Study on Mace?”

  1. Ron Glick

    If you count the traffic at two places you can figure out if traffic is from the neighborhood or from farther away.

    Also something that nobody, as far as I know, has brought up is if you changed the school boundaries how that could impact safety of kids biking or walking to school. If you reduced the number of kids crossing Mace by moving the line between Montgomery and Pioneer  you could reduce the numbers of kids crossing Mace. This would also help Montgomery by changing the socioeconomic mix at the school and improving its under performing status and perhaps actually start to do something about the achievement gap.

    Of course this would be politically radioactive for the school board but you could get a twofer by moving the school boundary line. Better results for the kids at Montgomery and safer commutes on the one hand and on the other hand you would reduce the need for strangulating traffic calming at Mace.

  2. Tia Will

    Ron

    A lot of assumptions going on there about the educational impacts, but I applaud your ability to think about the bigger picture and “outside the box” on the interrelated nature of housing, school districting, educational gap, and traffic. Bravo.

  3. Ron Oertel

    He hazards a guess: “I’d venture to say that any work to add additional lanes to the Causeway will be at least 10-15 years in the future.”

    “If true, that could mean that just as ARC is about to reach its full build out, there would be a fix in place to alleviate problems on the corridor.”

    Truly, my “smile for the day”.  Or, is it a “guffaw”?

    There are many thousands of additional houses planned for the region and beyond. All of which will impact I-80 (and the Mace corridor).

    1. Ron Oertel

      And, if you think that MRIC won’t “add” to this problem, ask yourself why they want to build this adjacent to existing freeway access points – which are already impacted.

      Historically, there’s also been some realization (e.g., in the Bay Area) that adding traffic lanes (or creating new freeways/roads) merely facilitates further development.  (A reason that a freeway out to Pt. Reyes was ultimately abandoned.)

      And yet, some folks never seem to learn.

  4. Don Shor

    https://www.sacbee.com/latest-news/article212302884.html

    Toll lanes on the Yolo Causeway? State begins tackling I-80 bottlenecks with creative ideas

    BY TONY BIZJAK AND KELLEN BROWNING

    JUNE 04, 2018 12:01 AM, UPDATED JUNE 04, 2018 10:35 AM

    Excerpts:

    The initial idea, Caltrans says, is to build a carpool lane, also known as a high occupancy vehicle or diamond lane, east of Dixon to the Sacramento County line in West Sacramento.

    That would widen the freeway in key bottleneck spots that occur where Interstate 80 merges down to three lanes. While the problem affects weekday commuters, some of the worst slowdowns occur when Bay Area and Sacramento residents alike cram onto Interstate 80 for weekend getaways.

    Perhaps the most challenging section would be the Yolo Causeway, the 3-mile elevated bridge and berm that crosses the Yolo floodplain between Davis and West Sacramento.

    A fourth lane in each direction would extend to the Sacramento River on I-80 at the Bryte Bend Bridge and on Highway 50 at the Pioneer Memorial Bridge, which carries commuter traffic into downtown Sacramento.

    The project could cost $400 million. Caltrans plans to apply for state and federal grants to cover the cost.

    Project officials said, however, they would consider charging a toll for peak-hour users if the state can’t fund the project other ways — and if an economic analysis shows a toll lane makes sense.

    “You have to look at all sorts of funding,” Caltrans’ I-80 project manager, Johny Tan, said. “It is likely going to be HOV lanes, (but) if it comes to a funding shortage, they may look at different alternatives. It could be toll lanes.”

    The state tentatively plans to begin construction of the I-80 Yolo/Solano widening project in 2024.

    The project will include improvements to the causeway bike and pedestrian path, Tan said.

    Clarke said several freeway widening possibilities are being discussed, including a “contraflow lane” option, which would turn the freeway’s far left westbound lane into an eastbound lane available only to public transit during peak eastbound travel times, and vice versa.

    Clarke said the Davis bicycling community supports improvements to the bike route over the Yolo Causeway. Frerichs said the project could make for a “much more enjoyable ride for people.”

    He and Clarke also talked about the possibility that the city can create a separate pathway for cyclists riding east of Davis. Cyclists currently must ride along a high-speed, two-lane road to get to the causeway.

     

  5. Ron Oertel

    Development proponents would do themselves a favor, if they stuck to the only (remotely) plausible reason for a development such as MRIC:

    They’re hoping (or at least they “claim” to be hoping) that the city will be able to skim off a little bit of “net fiscal profit”, from such a development. (After costs to the city are considered, as well.)

    Pretty challenging to do, given the limited percentage of property taxes expected, the competing “innovation center” planned for Woodland, etc.

    Another commenter has posted links to documentation which show that these type of developments have not, in fact, been a fiscal windfall.

    1. Ron Oertel

      On a larger level, it would “cost” the environment (via increased emissions), and would create individual costs (resulting from being stuck in traffic – including from traffic generated by those who would live at MRIC and commute to Sacramento or toward the Bay Area – the same destination as existing Davis and regional commuters).

      I wonder how you’d put a dollar value on these costs. For sure, it’s not going to be in any analysis. And again, some of it is borne by individuals.

      Perhaps it’s a good time to also question how the city might use any “net profit”, as well. Cities and counties across the state don’t have a very good track record, regarding that.

        1. Ron Oertel

          Do you see anything in there regarding just me, personally?

          Again, the only remotely plausible justification for a development like this is a net fiscal profit, for the city.

          I was pointing out some other costs that won’t even be included in ANY analysis.

      1. Alan Miller

        Perhaps it’s a good time to also question how the city might use any “net profit”, as well. Cities and counties across the state don’t have a very good track record, regarding that.

        I’m sure the City would use ‘net profits’ to fund only programs advocated by the Davis Vanguard.  Isn’t that how government is supposed to work?

        1. Ron Oertel

          Ha!

          I understood that city government (council members – via their presence and participation at the “fundraiser”) helped fund the Vanguard, itself!

    2. Bill Marshall

      The anti-development proponents (who really just want to protect “theirs”) would do themselves a favor by not: characterizing others, with innuendo; assumptions as to motivations of others, false facts (or unsubstantiated speculation); insipid rhetoric; and profusion of negative adjectives…

      But nobody would really do anything like that, right?

      And, I worded that deliberately, intending to make my point… the “characterizing others, with innuendo; assumptions as to motivations of others, false facts (or unsubstantiated speculation); insipid rhetoric; and profusion of negative adjectives” is not helpful… whatever side of a “position”… so I deliberately parodied… to try to make a point about discussions… not pros/cons of any given position on any matter…

      Some folk just need to mature, get real… I’m still working on that, for myself… others can judge how successfully…

    3. David Greenwald Post author

      Profit is for private gain, tax revenue is what you are talking about. Again, there are various estimates for how much revenue a project of this sort could generate – the best I have seen has been between $2 and $5 million. Remember, once again, Mori Seiki, on a much small piece of land by itself generates over $1 million in revenue for the city. The city also has the option of doing a per sf CFD that could generate $1 or $2 per square foot. We will see what comes out of new fiscal analysis when it comes out.

      1. Ron Oertel

        I am familiar with the terminology.

        I used the phrase “fiscal profit” because that’s what is ultimately important – not “revenue”.  And, folks intuitively understand what “profit” means.

        Those who focus on revenue, without including costs are putting out misleading information.

        A more appropriate term might be “net fiscal surplus”, after costs are deducted from revenue – projected over a period of time. (Many developments create a fiscal DEFICIT, rather than a surplus over time.)

        But again, my original comment discussed costs (including those borne by the environment, as well as individuals) that won’t be included in ANY fiscal analysis.

      2. Ron Oertel

        By the way, how is it that the city developed in such a way that there’s suddenly a claimed shortage of commercial space, compared to the amount of housing previously approved?

        And, how is a shortage even claimed, when there’s so much regional commercial space available (and/or in process)?

        In any case, I’d suggest abandoning the old city (since it’s apparently “beyond repair”), and simply moving into the new one proposed on prime farmland, adjacent to freeway access points. 😉

        And this time, I’m confident that they’ll get things “right”.

        1. Mark West

          Ron Oertel: “By the way, how is it that the city developed in such a way that there’s suddenly a claimed shortage of commercial space, compared to the amount of housing previously approved?” [emphasis added]

          The shortage of commercial space and the lack of economic activity was recognized as early as the 1961 Core Area Specific Plan. It was also recognized in the 2000 General Plan and likely every plan in between. There is nothing sudden about the realization.

          If you want to know how the City developed this way it was because there is a contingent of ‘involved citizens’ in town who oppose anything that threatens their little slice of nirvana and their voices won out. A little bit of empathy for those without their own slice might have given us a better result.

        2. Ron Oertel

          “The shortage of commercial space and the lack of economic activity was recognized as early as the 1961 Core Area Specific Plan. It was also recognized in the 2000 General Plan and likely every plan in between. There is nothing sudden about the realization.”

          Assuming that’s true, then there’s no explanation for the lack thereof – other than a lack of commercial demand.  You’re referring back to a time when “anything and everything” was approved and built, and costs to do so were much lower.

          Must be an absolute miracle that the city has survived for 60 years, since the “shortage” was recognized.

          “If you want to know how the City developed this way it was because there is a contingent of ‘involved citizens’ in town who oppose anything that threatens their little slice of nirvana and their voices won out. A little bit of empathy for those without their own slice might have given us a better result.”

          The way that it actually happened is that existing commercial sites have been converted to housing.  How that is related to a “lack of empathy” is unexplained. But again, claiming a “shortage” means that there’s a “demand” that’s not being met. There’s simply no evidence that this is true.

          As the city fills in, that is (also) not “evidence” of a shortage of any type of space. What it actually means is that the city is undergoing completion, as planned – and as market demand dictates.

          If anything, significant commercial development would increase the chasm between the “haves”, and “have nots”.  (That is, assuming that there’s market demand for it in the first place.)

           

          1. Don Shor

            how is it that the city developed in such a way that there’s suddenly a claimed shortage of commercial space, compared to the amount of housing previously approved?”

            It is based on planning principles and practices that developed over about the last 25 years. There is nothing sudden about it.
            The city has a downtown core that is relatively small by comparison with other cities.
            Commercial space is hemmed in by the university to the west, the county line to the south, and the floodplain/causeway to the east.
            The primary retail sites available to Davis have long been occupied by auto dealers, which provide a significant percentage of the sales tax revenues for Davis.
            There has been a long-standing city policy, written into the General Plan, that conserves the downtown as the retail and commercial hub and that all commercial centers that are peripheral would be for neighborhood shopping — not regional shopping centers that might include larger retailers or large commercial centers.
            Every other city nearby has annexed large amounts of peripheral land and developed it for commercial purposes. Davis doesn’t do that. It is an intentional policy of constraining growth, by the simple practice of reducing the availability of inexpensive land that can be made shovel-ready for any larger commercial or retail tenant that might come along.
            I highly recommend Mike Fitch’s history which is available on the city website, and suggest this chapter might be a good place to start:
            https://cityofdavis.org/about-davis/history-symbols/davis-history-books/growing-pains-chapter-7

          2. Don Shor

            Assuming that’s true, then there’s no explanation for the lack thereof – other than a lack of commercial demand.

            There is no lack of commercial demand. Businesses just prefer to have land that is ready to build on, or have the buildings already there. Any business right now that is looking for a site won’t have much to choose from in Davis, and will also be considering other nearby cities. They have the land, and in some cases they have the buildings.

        3. Ron Oertel

          But yeah, I can see how the Vanguard will continue to claim a “shortage” of one category of development or another, unless the city keeps expanding (outward and/or upward).

          That’s an unsustainable path, but it’s also the “norm” for most cities.  It’s as if crazy people are in charge.

        4. Mark West

          “Assuming that’s true”

          No assumptions required. Go read the plans for yourself if you don’t believe… I’ve posted the link to the ’61CASP more than once here (Google is your friend) and the GP is available on the City’s website.

          “then there’s no explanation for the lack thereof…”

          Sure there is. There will always be people who put themselves and their own beliefs first regardless of the evidence and the impact on others. When you are protecting your own slice of nirvana, nothing else matters. We have had an overabundance of those folks here in Davis, starting back with those who opposed the changes that the community proposed in 1961 and continuing on through today.

          No amount of education will help those who intentionally choose to deny reality and remain ignorant.

        5. Craig Ross

          “other than a lack of commercial demand. ”

          You keep repeating this demonstrably false statement over and again while ignoring the presenting evidence that debunks it.  You’re either intentionally dissembling or hoping if you repeat it often enough it will make it true.

        6. Ron Oertel

          Craig:  If I were the MRIC developer, the first thing I would do is to try to make some arrangement with a commercial tenant, in order to at least make it appear as though there’s commercial demand for the entire site.  Even if that required incentives, to generate such initial interest.

          I would also do so before making a public announcement that they are reactivating and modifying their proposal, to include housing.

          “Bonus points” if those tenants claim that their employees will only consider working at that location if housing is included on-site. (Ignoring the availability of cheaper housing in nearby communities.)

          All evidence suggests that the profit from housing is what’s actually creating the “interest”, at this time. Well, that – plus the EIR is getting old.

        7. Ron Oertel

          Don:   Any business right now that is looking for a site won’t have much to choose from in Davis, and will also be considering other nearby cities. They have the land, and in some cases they have the buildings.

          None of this explains the conversion of existing commercial sites in Davis, as well as the conversion of 2-3 other “innovation center” sites entirely to housing.

          It’s b.s.

          But mostly, it’s what you’ve previously acknowledged – that commercial demand in particular is regional, in scope. And, that Davis simply cannot compete via availability or price.

          West Sacramento, for example, is virtually one entire commercial zone (or seems that way, at least). Much of it seeming abandoned or undeveloped, at times.

          Housing is a different matter. That’s where customers are willing to pay a premium, for a Davis location. And, it’s apparently the reason that housing is now included in the MRIC proposal.

          1. Don Shor

            None of this explains the conversion of existing commercial sites in Davis, as well as the conversion of 2-3 other “innovation center” sites entirely to housing.

            It’s b.s.

            Sure it does. Any parcel of land is available for consideration for residential or commercial development. Private developers differ as to what they want to build. Many of the smaller commercial sites are awkwardly located and not particularly suited to development for retail or for various forms of commercial development, so the options are more limited for them.
            You know full well why Nishi was converted entirely to housing.
            It’s pretty clear that the development team that was looking at the west Davis site simply gave up on the process because of the planning hurdles that are unique to Davis and the requirement for a public vote. Just think like an investor for a moment, and the decision will be pretty clear to you.

        8. Craig Ross

          Ron: What makes you think they haven’t made such an arrangement?

          In terms of conversion – you’re ignoring two fundamental issues.  First, size and location.  Second, competing needs by the city.

        9. Ron Oertel

          And then, there’s the Woodland proposal, with more than 2 million square feet of new innovation center space, and 1,600 more homes. Approximately 7 miles away from UCD, via a relatively unimpacted freeway (unlike MRIC’s location).

          I wonder if they’ve attracted any businesses, yet. If so, I would expect the Vanguard to endlessly trumpet the “businesses that got away”.

          I suspect that there aren’t even enough businesses to fill one innovation center, anytime soon. If ever.

          1. Don Shor

            I suspect that there aren’t even enough businesses to fill one innovation center, anytime soon. If ever.

            On what do you base this analysis? Ever actually looked to develop a site for a business? Acquainted with any commercial developers or brokers? Keep up to date on regional real estate trends?
            Do you have any actual evidence of the lack of demand that you “suspect” prevails?

        10. Ron Oertel

          But, even if there’s not enough businesses to fill the Woodland innovation center site, I suspect that the 1,600 homes will be built.  (In addition to all of the others planned or under construction.) Even though they won’t command the price premium that Davis houses do.

          Of course, the upcoming recession will slow everything down (temporarily), at least.

          Bottom line is that if there was actually honest demand for large-scale commercial development in Davis, then that’s what the proposal would consist of (instead of a housing development).

        11. Craig Ross

          “I suspect that there aren’t even enough businesses to fill one innovation center, anytime soon. If ever.”

          There is a build out time frame of 20 to 50 years.  And you say, that’s because you don’t have the demand.  But the reason is you are projecting the size you need over a reasonable period time.

          That point aside, consider that there are three businesses alone that have left or will leave Davis that would probably fill half that space by themselves – had it been there.

        12. Ron Oertel

          Don: “Private developers differ as to what they want to build.”

          With limited exceptions, there isn’t much difference.  Should I tell you what they want to build, or can you figure it out on your own?  😉

          Here’s some hints off the top of my head: The Cannery, Nishi, the Davis Innovation Center site, Chiles Road, Families First, . . .

          Not to mention the other sites that have been, or are being converted for “semi-residential” uses.

          How far does one’s head need to be up an orifice to deny this?

          1. Don Shor

            With limited exceptions, there isn’t much difference.

            There are commercial developers as well (Richards Hotel, Hyatt House Hotel, Mace & Alhambra Office/R&D, University Research Park , University Commons mixed-use) but they have much less to work with locally.
            I already explained the others.

            How far does one’s head need to be up an orifice to deny this?

            You have created a false narrative about lack of local demand for commercial development. You have neither expertise nor evidence for your position.

        13. Mark West

          “Sure it does. Any parcel of land is available for consideration for residential or commercial development. Private developers differ as to what they want to build. Many of the smaller commercial sites are awkwardly located and not particularly suited to development for retail or for various forms of commercial development, so the options are more limited for them.”

          The other aspect that never seems to be discussed when considering the undeveloped land in Davis are the interests of the current land owners. Much of the currently undeveloped land in town is not functionally available for development because the current owners are not interested in the project or for that matter, in selling their assets. The same is true for potential redevelopment projects as well. Just because the land is there doesn’t mean it is ‘available’ for use.

        14. Ron Oertel

          Ron to Don:  With limited exceptions, there isn’t much difference.

          Don:  “There are commercial developers as well (Richards Hotel, Hyatt House Hotel, Mace & Alhambra Office/R&D, University Research Park , University Commons mixed-use) but they have much less to work with locally.”

          Hotels don’t take up a lot of space, but already some have noted that this can impact existing hotels.  (If I’m not mistaken, an existing hotel owner was quite concerned about this.  Wasn’t there some kind of related legal action taken, as well?)

          Regardless, it seems that the “hotel demand” has been met.  I realize that some are hoping for yet another hotel, on the MRIC site.

          I’m glad that Nugget decided to locate/consolidate, in Davis.  However, some of your other examples consist of conversion of existing commercial sites, to accommodate housing. I assume that these semi-residential uses were facilitated by “commercial developers”. 

          Glad to see you acknowledge this.

          Don:  “I already explained the others.”

          Yes – they were converted entirely to housing.

          In reference to my earlier comment, it seems that there’s a small “group orifice”, big enough to accommodate several on this blog.  Each and every day.  😉

          But, we’ve drifted away from the topic of traffic studies, and I’m bear some responsibility for that.

        15. Craig Ross

          Ron –

          I always appreciate how you lecture people with far more knowledge than you on these matters…

          Don Shor – 30 years of business experience

          Bill Marshall – former city engineer in public works

          Mark West – former businessman

          Richard McCann – business and policy consultant

          Matt Williams – former Chair of the Finance and Budget Commission

          Am I missing anyone?

          But you know better.

        16. Mark West

          “Regardless, it seems that the “hotel demand” has been met.”

          Every day Ron, you come up with a comment that makes me think – ‘this is the most ignorant thing he has ever said’ – only to have that thought contradicted by something you said the next day. We could double the number of hotel rooms in town and not meet the ‘need’ that currently exists. Of those that have been considered, one project is currently under construction, a second is reported to be about to start, and the third is in limbo. None have added a single room to the inventory, so the idea that we have met the demand is completely absurd.

        17. Mark West

          “If only the city had done a study…”

          A study that was an utter waste of taxpayer’s money and resulted in a waste of time and resources for the developers. There was no need for the City to determine the existing demand for hotel rooms. If there is a proposal on the table it is because the investors in the project believe that the demand exists. The job of the City is to make sure that the project meets the City’s requirements, not the anti-competitive demands of the existing business owners.

        18. Ron Oertel

          You know, all of this nonsense started in response to the obvious – that developers (for the most part) prefer to build housing – especially in Davis.

          A simple, direct observation (that anyone can see WITH THEIR OWN EYES), unless they want to engage in outright denial.

          Even the new Nugget headquarters is not necessarily “growth”, as it’s a consolidation of existing sites (from Woodland).  Which might mean that those old sites will be vacant.

          As with MRIC, they want to be close to the freeway (I-80), instead.  (But no – that won’t have “any impact” on the freeway.)

          There’s a new Residence Inn under construction, right across the street from the proposed MRIC site.  Which will also take advantage of the same freeway access points as MRIC would.

          But, it really is a waste of time to comment on here, when others purposefully deny the most basic of realities.

          Regarding Craig’s list, I don’t disagree with all of those people, on all issues. But, there are some development activists on here, with whom I have a fundamental disagreement with.

          Now, can we get back to the need for a traffic study? (The topic of this article?)

        19. Craig Ross

          “You know, all of this nonsense started in response to the obvious – that developers (for the most part) prefer to build housing – especially in Davis.”

          All of this started due to an inaccurate statement based on your prejudice and bias rather than data and then your refusal to back off it with the elucidation of further information.

        20. Ron Oertel

          Craig:  “All of this started due to an inaccurate statement based on your prejudice and bias rather than data and then your refusal to back off it with the elucidation of further information.”

          Do explain.  Because after all of the b.s. comments above, none has been forthcoming.

          Should I repeat the list of sites that have been converted to residential, or semi-residential uses? Including now, MRIC?

          Or, would you just like to refer to the list posted above? (Which probably wasn’t even complete?)

        21. Craig Ross

          It’s really simple Ron, you said that housing is the preferred development, Don pointed out there were commercial developers and cited hotels.  Rather than accepting that as true, your absurd response: “Hotels don’t take up a lot of space.”  What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?  You decide you know things you don’t know and no one can talk you off it and when they try, you go sideways like there.

        22. Ron Oertel

          Seems like you are purposefully disregarding the acknowledgement I initially made, regarding the limited exceptions.  (Indeed, there are what – 2-3 hotel proposals? Including one under construction right across the street from the MRIC site!

          And frankly, hotels are also “housing”.  Albeit taxed differently.

          Off the top of my head, here’s some other sites which have been converted ENTIRELY to housing: The Cannery, Nishi, the Davis Innovation Center site, Chiles Road, Families First, . . .

          Not to mention the other sites that have been, or are being converted for “semi-residential” uses. As well as the “innovation center” sites in Woodland, Dixon, etc.  All of which also include substantial amounts of housing.

          Should I just continue re-pasting this?

           

        23. Ron Oertel

          By the way, didn’t you suggest earlier that “another” lumberyard would replace Hibbert’s?  Why is it that I suspect even you didn’t believe this – despite what you stated?

          Guess what that site is likely to include, instead. Yeap – housing.

          Attacking me won’t change facts. Even with your development-oriented friends on here, chiming in periodically.

          Which brings us full circle to MRIC, which I understand will likely include more housing units than the entire Mace Ranch development.

          But no, “no need” to conduct a traffic study, for that. 😉

          1. Don Shor

            Which brings us full circle to MRIC, which I understand will likely include more housing units than the entire Mace Ranch development.

            But no, “no need” to conduct a traffic study, for that.

            I spent some time looking at the EIR for MRIC. Any development on that site will obviously increase traffic. Having housing, it is said, would cause less of an increase of traffic than would just a straight-up business park. The logic is that people living there would travel less than if they had to commute to the site. This assumes, of course, that the people living there would be the people who work there. I hope that any overview of the traffic impact will take into consideration the plans that CalTrans has underway for widening the Causeway and factor in their projections of overall increase in traffic on the I-80 corridor.
            Yes, I think a traffic study would be useful. I suspect that the results will not persuade anyone to support or oppose the project. Most people won’t understand the metrics and the impact will be hard to explain. But they need to dot every i and cross every t for this.
            I also oppose housing at the site, and think it will sink the project. But that’s a discussion for another day. I’m sure we’ll have another opportunity to discuss this.

        24. Ron Oertel

          The logic is that people living there would travel less than if they had to commute to the site. This assumes, of course, that the people living there would be the people who work there.

          It should be noted that residences generally have more than one occupant.  It’s entirely possible that some occupants would work on-site, while others would commute elsewhere.

          All of which can change, over time.

          For those commuting “outward-bound” from the development, their commute direction would coincide with current Davis residents who are also commuting “outward-bound”.

          This would not be the case, with a commercial-only development.  Of course, many would be commuting “inbound” to MRIC, but not to UCD (as most inbound commuters do). And, a commercial development wouldn’t be interfering with the existing, out-bound commute.

          And then, there’s the new traffic that would be generated which might not even be defined as inbound, or outbound “commuting”.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            “And then, there’s the new traffic that would be generated which might not even be defined as inbound, or outbound “commuting”.”

            They study that too. Most of that will be off-peak though.

        25. Ron Oertel

          And of course, it’s entirely possible that the new residences would be filled with students, “commuting” to UCD through town.  Regardless of how the leases are structured, or what other “promises” are made.

          Forget “Davisville” – it’s really “Dormville”.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            There are several reasons that probably won’t be the case. First, if they set the leases to expire in February, the students aren’t going to live there. They just won’t. Second, as others have done, if you require tenants to pass their own credit check, that will eliminate students. Third, by the time this is build, there will be 9000 more beds on campus and 4500 beds in town far closer than this. It’s entirely possible that there will be some students living there, but probably highly unlikely that it would be filled with them.

  6. Ron Oertel

    By the way, if you want to see some roads that are actually in poor condition, venture out to some of the heavily-used, two-lane roads in Sonoma county.  Where, instead of fixing GIGANTIC potholes apparently left-over from winter storms, they sometimes paint “white circles” around them, which one often cannot see until it’s too late.  (I assume that these circles are to show where repairs are needed, from damage that occurred MONTHS ago.)

    These are the type of holes that one must swerve around, to avoid damaging a vehicle. It’s downright dangerous.

    It’s not just potholes, either.  The roads are literally falling apart, full of earlier patches. Again, some of these are heavily-used, high-speed roads.

    I suspect that Sonoma county is far wealthier than Yolo county, but (somehow) still can’t find funds to fix roads in a reasonable or timely manner.  I suspect that some third-world countries have better roads.

    I guess they just don’t realize that an innovation center can solve their funding challenges, without adding even more traffic. 😉

  7. Ron Oertel

    You know, it’s really unfortunate that this article got sidetracked regarding the need to conduct an updated traffic study, for all of the developments and projects around the Mace corridor.  Including, but not limited to MRIC.

    Alan P.’s article (from yesterday) explained the situation, well.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Maybe you should keep that in mind next time you make some of the comments that you did. Things started going off track when you made comments about the developers and profit.

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