Proposed Draft Baseline Features for DISC from BTSSC

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The following are draft guidelines submitted to the Vanguard by Todd Edelman of the BTSSC (Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission) for the DISC (Davis Innovation & Sustainability Campus).

BTSSC – DISC Transportation Baseline Features Sub-Committee: William (Joe) Bolte, Todd Edelman, Elizabeth (Lizzy) Hare.

Proposed environmental sustainability features for the Davis Innovation & Sustainability Campus Project

Recommended for inclusion in “Baseline Project Features” submitted for voter approval of the Project pursuant to a Measure R vote

From a transportation perspective a successful development at this location will result in safe, equitable, sustainable access to the site and through nearby corridors. The developer and MOA will prioritize access and parking area by the safety, sustainability, and space-efficiency of travel modes. In descending order of priority, these are walking, bicycling, micromobility, mass transit, high occupancy vehicles, electric vehicles.

Measurement and Verification

To ensure accurate tracking and reporting of achievement of Project sustainability goals and obligations, the Developer will establish a Master Owners Association (MOA) for the Project that reports to the City and is responsible for measurement of, verification of, and assuring compliance with Project sustainability obligations and mitigation measures. The MOA will prepare and submit for City approval a Sustainability and Mitigation Monitoring Reporting Plan. Per the Plan, the MOA will prepare and submit to the City annual reports that describe progress towards meeting sustainability goals and obligations and implementing mitigation measures, including all relevant provisions in the Project’s baseline features. Annual reports will also indicate what actions will be taken in the following year to meet phased actions as part of the sustainability goals and obligations and mitigation measures. The Sustainability and Mitigation Reporting Reporting Plan shall include measurement of the project’s GHG emissions and VMT per service population, and plans to keep them below standards in the City of Davis Climate Action Plan.

Parking Lots and Internal Streets

The desired outcomes of design features for the Project’s parking lots and internal streets shall be to: (1) encourage a mode shift from Single Occupancy Vehicles (SOVs) to walking, bicycling, public transit, private transit, ridesharing, carsharing, carpooling, and/or micromobility; (2) encourage use of zero-emission vehicles (e.g., electric vehicles) where SOV use is necessary as well as in any alternative transportation service that relies on passenger vehicles; (3) reduce runoff and heat-island effects amplified by parking lots; and (4) reduce adverse visual, aesthetic, and quality-of-life impacts of working and living near parking lots. To further these desired outcomes, the developer shall implement the following features in its parking areas and/or along the Project’s internal roadway system:

  • All parking shall be pre-wired for eventual specific assignment by the third phase of the project, with the exception of designated spots for disabled users.
  • All off-street parking shall be in below-grade structures, above-grade structures which are designed for conversion to other uses (commercial or residential) or in surface lots designed for possible replacement by commercial or residential buildings.
  • All general parking will be in off-street lots. On-street spaces for ADA parking, short-term passenger loading, and freight loading will be allowed.
  • Low-impact development (LID) features, such as bioswales and permeable pavement, shall be implemented in all streets and surface-level parking to capture and filter runoff and maximize groundwater recharge.
  • All parking surfaces or street-adjacent sidewalks that use or are conducive to tree shading shall incorporate structured soil or suspended substrate to allow successful tree-root development. The developer shall size the area of each pavement-treatment site to accommodate the maximum size of a tree that could reasonably be accommodated on that site.
  • Landscaping shall provide 80 percent shading of pedestrian walkways and off-street bike paths, and bike lanes / bikeways on streets. At least 50 percent parking-lot shading shall be achieved through either shade trees or PV arrays. Compliance with these requirements shall be demonstrated at the time of building by securing permits for adequate PV arrays and/or by consulting with a certified arborist on a tree-planting and -maintenance strategy expected to achieve the desired shading area within 15 years of planting. Failure to meet shading requirements shall be considered a code violation and subject to penalty until remedied. Progress towards meeting the shading requirement shall be included in each Annual Report.
  • Parking preference and priority shall be given to electric vehicles (EVs) and to vehicles participating in a carpool and car share programs. Only carpool, car share and EV parking shall be allowed adjacent to buildings in spots not designated for disabled persons. Spots designated for disabled persons shall not be restricted to particular vehicle types.
  • All stalls designated for EVs shall have charging stations pre-installed. Stations shall include a mix of free Level 1 charging and paid Level 2 charging.
  • All commercial and residential parking areas shall be EV ready, equipped with infrastructure designed to facilitate installation of EV charging stations as demand grows. This infrastructure will include electrical panels, conduit/raceways, overprotection devices, wires, and pull boxes and will be designed to support vehicle-grid integration. On-site demand for EV charging shall be reported in each year’s Annual Report.
  • All housing shall include one Level 2 EV charger per unit or, if a multifamily building is provided parking at a ratio of less than 1:1, one Level 2 EV charger per parking stall. Townhomes, if built to accommodate two vehicles, will be prewired to allow for the installation of a second charger.
  • All commercial parking for non-electric SOVs shall be paid parking. To encourage occasional bus use, no discounts for monthly parking versus daily parking will be allowed.
  • The Project shall be exempt from parking minimums otherwise required by the City for new development. Specifically, the minimum number of parking spots necessary for the Project shall be informed by the Project’s TDM plan rather than general minimum parking requirements.
  • Applicant will implement “complete streets” that meet City of Davis Street Standards for 20mph vehicle speeds.

Housing

Housing is included in the Project to maximize environmental benefits of mixed-use development. Specifically, Including housing alongside commercial buildings and workplaces encourages walking and biking as commuting options, reduces air-quality impacts, and reduces the Project’s overall carbon footprint. To further increase the sustainability benefits of onsite housing, the Developer shall commit to the following:

  • All Project housing shall be medium- and high-density, incorporating 15–50 units per acre. No single-family detached housing shall be permitted.
  • Housing shall be designed to meet the housing needs of the anticipated Project workforce. and shall not resemble student-oriented housing found elsewhere in the City. No unit shall include more than three bedrooms. No rental apartment shall include more two bedrooms.
  • Housing construction shall be directly linked to the development of commercial space at a ratio of no more less than one dwelling unit per 3,000 square feet of nonresidential space1onsite employee. This linkage will correlate the availability of housing with the creation of jobs which will maximize ARC employee occupancy of the housing.
  • To provide an opportunity for a car-free lifestyle, parking associated with multifamily rental housing will be unbundled. Multifamily rental units will be charged for parking separate from rent.
  • To minimize transportation emissions, the Developer shall strive to maximize the number of Project housing units occupied by individuals working onsite. To this end, the Developer shall require employer master leasing of all rental housing and ownership of a portion of the single-family housing units and require employment for residency. These requirements shall be dependent upon a minimum firm size, to be designated by the City.

Transportation Demand Management

The Project will need to implement a comprehensive set of design features and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies intended to reduce vehicle trips and vehicle miles traveled (and therefore greenhouse gas emissions), encourage the use of safe, sustainable, space-efficient alternative transportation modes such as walking, bicycling, micromobility, public and private transit, carshare, carpool and ridehailing/pooling, and provide safe infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians. The desired outcomes of a TDM Plan shall be to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and transportation total carbon footprint through a reduction of the Project’s vehicle miles traveled (VMT). A key strategy should be shifting away from single occupancy vehicle (SOV) use by incentivizing a mode shift to walking, bicycling, public transit, private transit, and/or 3+ carpool.

  • A designated TDM manager shall be identified for the Project. The TDM manager shall represent the Developer, MOA, or other equivalent Project-related body, and shall report directly to the City.
    • Prior to, or concurrent with, adoption of Final Development Agreement, the Developer shall create a TDM plan that includes quantitative goals and temporal benchmarks for shifting away from single-/low occupancy vehicle use. The TDM plan shall also include metrics for assessing progress towards these goals and benchmarks. Responsibility for this task shall reside with the designated TDM manager.
  • The TDM manager – or management entity – will include a representative from the Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission and a representative from the Natural Resources Commission.
  • The TDM plan shall include actions that will result in a reduction of GHG emissions consistent with the City’s then current Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) and the goal of the City Council to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. Subsequent phases of the Project shall not be permitted for construction unless the GHG-driven benchmarks for the previous phase of the Project are met.
    • The TDM manager developer/MOA shall coordinate implementation of the Project’s TDM strategies with UC Davis to ensure that relevant efforts by both parties are aligned and allow for cooperative ventures where appropriate.
  • An additional goal of the TDM program shall be mitigation of daily traffic congestion generated by the project by reducing daily SOV trips by at least 33% compared to the business-as-usual (unmitigated) scenario predictions in the SEIR. In other words, at full buildout the project must generate fewer than 16,000 SOV 12,000 motor vehicle trips per day (compared to the 24,000 trips predicted in the SEIR). This reduction requirement is to be applied incrementally at each phase of the Project. If daily SOV trips for each phase are not 33% lower than the business-as-usual (unmitigated) projections in the SEIR, then construction of the next phase shall not be permitted.
    • Prior to the commencement of construction of each phase of the Project, the Developer/MOA shall commission a traffic study which measures in- and out-flow from the Project and identifies traffic patterns. This analysis will be shared with the City to determine which traffic mitigation measures are necessary beyond those specified later in this document. This analysis will also inform the City on mode share and the potential need for increased public transit services.
  • The Developer/MOA shall review and update the TDM Plan every 2 years. The TDM Plan update shall include results of a travel behaviors survey, to be completed annually by the Developer/MOA. The annual survey shall include the travel behaviors of Project residents and employees (e.g., where employees live and by what mode they get to and from work; where residents work and by what mode they get to and from home). The updated TDM Plan, including survey results, shall be made publicly available.
    • Prior to Phase 1, the Developer and the City shall agree upon a process for monitoring and evaluating TDM goals on an annual basis, modeled on the process detailed in the Nishi Gateway Project Sustainability Implementation Plan (2015). This monitoring and evaluation process will include an Annual Report, to be transmitted to the City, which details progress towards the actions outlined in the TDM plan and specification of actions required when TDM goals are not met. (It should be noted that vehicle trip monitoring in the Nishi SIP is a surrogate for transportation GHG emissions, while modeling to estimate actual GHG emissions is preferred for DISC.)

The Project shall include the following features, in addition to features identified by the TDM Plan, to encourage a shift to safe, sustainable, space-efficient alternative transportation modes, such as walking, bicycling, micromobility, public and private transit, and ridehailing/carpooling (in descending order of preference):

  • The Project shall be designed to accommodate and incentivize private transit, internal transit, local transit (Unitrans), and regional transit (Yolobus) through the following measures:
    • The Project shall include an internal transit service – e.g. a low-capacity automated shuttle on a fixed route – between all buildings and transit stops, both within and on the periphery of the project (i.e. both side of Mace Blvd.) Such a service will facilitate transit access for employees, residents, and visitors who may have limited mobility.
    • The Project shall include a centrally-located transit plaza facility to serve as a mobility information center, bicycle workshop and repair facility and a stop for internal transit, shuttle and point-to-point transit services.
    • Bus stops with enough bus capacity to provide 30% of trips to the site will be constructed on Mace Blvd, south of Alhambra. This is an alternative to diverting YoloBus and/or Unitrans buses from Mace Blvd. into the transit plaza, which would add considerable time to the routes and likely reduce ridership.
    • The Project shall include transit stops for internal transit, shuttle and point-to-point transit services located throughout site to ease pedestrian access such that no transit stop is further than 400 meters from any occupied building.
    • All stops should include real-time displays of future departures of transit services.
    • The Developer shall petition Yolobus and Unitrans to increase the frequency and capacity of internal transit, shuttle and point-to-point service to the central transit plaza as the Project develops. The Developer shall provide funding, if necessary, to the transit services to implement the change.
    • The Developer shall establish a contract with a carshare service that exclusively uses EV’s. The service shall include light trucks, small vans and with options replicating classic car rental (weekend use, etc.). Vehicles with adaptive controls and which allow pet dogs shall be included.
    • Phase 2 cannot commence until after the implementation of an on-demand electric transit to and from multiple locations on UCD campus and scheduled electric transit to and from the Amtrak/Capitol Corridor station (Davis Depot, and any future facilities serving commuter and regional rail at a replacement location), running weekdays seven days a week, including the AM to PM peak commute periods. The services to and from the nearest rail services node will be synchronized with arriving and departing trains, inclusive of delays and extraordinary circumstances, such as interruption of rail services, temporary closing of the station etc.
    • To promote transit use, the MOA shall provide upon request free passes for local and regional transit service (e.g., an unlimited access pass similar to Yolobus and Unitrans’ pass for UC Davis undergraduates) to the Project’s residents, and employees and commercial visitors.
    • Total motor vehicle parking spaces at the site will be limited by building use according to the following formula:
    • In order to facilitate fiscal unbundling of parking, no parking spaces within the project should be dedicated to a specific user, commercial or residential, with the exception of designated spots for disabled users. All parking will be managed by the TDM agency described below, including determination of parking fees, terms and allowed users.
    • The Project shall include parking to accommodate single-occupancy vehicles (SOVs) and carpool vehicles while also incentivizing other modes of transportation:
      • As part of the TDM plan, the Developer will determine the appropriate number of parking stalls, which may be fewer than City parking minimums. Commercial parking requirements shall be determined by the TDM plan. For residential development no more than one stall per residential unit shall be provided onsite.
      • All employers shall create through the MOA or participate in a regional carpool program that is modeled after and functionally equivalent to the UC Davis goClub carpool program. The program shall be open to all Project residents and employees.
      • Carshare and preferential carpool spaces shall be provided, with the number of appropriate stalls to be specified in the TDM plan.
      • Parking costs shall be unbundled from the cost of other goods and services. A separate fee shall be charged for all parking spaces (commercial and residential).
      • Parking cash-out programs shall be offered by any employer who provides a parking subsidy to employees, to give employees who do not drive a cash benefit equivalent to the value of the offered parking subsidy. The MOA shall be in charge of ensuring that employers comply with this program and shall record participation in the Annual Report.
    • The Developer shall provide bicycle facilities and infrastructure comparable to the City’s Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community Certification to support bicycling within and to the site, including the following features:
      • Provide short term bicycle parking, as required by Davis Municipal Code, with the addition of protection from both precipitation and the sun.
      • Provide end-of-commute facilities (showers, lockers, changing rooms) and support electric bicycle charging in all commercial buildings.
      • Provide covered and secured long-term bicycle parking inside all commercial buildings – including support for electric bicycle charging and over-sized bicycles – immediately adjacent to end-of-commute facilities (showers, lockers, changing rooms). at central locations within the site and at the central transit hub.
      • Provide community bicycle repair facilities.
      • The MOA shall implement a bicycle share program including Type 1 and Type 3 (28-mph) electric-assist bicycles – including cargo bicycles and bicycles with adaptive controls – for employees, and residents and commercial/residential visitors to use on and off the Project site.
      • A bicycle network of Class IV protected cycle tracks shall connect bicyclists to all areas of the site and all key connecting streets/facilities.
    • The Developer shall provide accessible sidewalks that facilitate pedestrian access within and to the site, including the following features:
      • All pedestrian access routes shall be readily accessible by all users, particularly individuals with disabilities. Street design should emphasize universal design through use of appropriate width, grade, surface material, tactile cues, audible cues, and push buttons. The Developer shall reference the United States Access Board Proposed Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way (PROWAG), or other appropriate reference.

    Site Access and Traffic Mitigation Features

    The following measures are recommended to improve site access and mitigate traffic impacts of the Project. The Developer shall fund infrastructure to mitigate traffic problems attributable to the project either wholly, where the problem is mainly caused by the Project, or proportionately, for traffic improvement measures where the Project is a partial contributor to the problem. The intent is to avoid subsidization of the Project by the City providing funding for traffic mitigation measures.

    As described below, City approvals will not be granted for different phases of the Project until public and private funding are budgeted and available, and regulatory approvals have been granted. In other words, all obstacles to the start of construction have been removed.

    In general, the base conditions will include at a minimum the construction or implementation of all the mitigation measures proposed in the Aggie Research Campus Subsequent EIR and Appendix F – Transportation Impact Analysis, including the “Potential Operational Enhancements” identified in the Traffic Study. Specific projects are highlighted below, but this should not be taken as a comprehensive list. The Developer may propose alternative projects to the City, but these will not be approved unless the Developer can demonstrate that the alternative achieves equal or better site access and/or traffic mitigation without causing other problems.

    The desired outcomes of site-access measures are reduction of the Project’s vehicle miles traveled (VMT) through improvements for bicycle, pedestrian, and transit access to the Project site.

    • Phase 1 Site Access
      • The Developer shall provide sites for bus stop relocation for Yolobus and Unitrans along the Project frontage on Mace Boulevard and to enhance the bus stops with benches and coverings, to the extent those features are allowed by the transit agencies.
      • The Developer shall fully fund construction of a new grade-separated bicycle and pedestrian crossing of Mace Boulevard, located near Alhambra Drive.
      • Applicant will implement a bike/ped crossing under Mace Blvd. that is sufficiently wide to accommodate heavy bidirectional pedestrian and cyclist travel. Crossing will be located south of Alhambra so that bus passengers can use it to cross Mace while allowing buses to turn from Mace to Alhambra.
      • The Developer shall fully fund construction of a new grade-separated bicycle and pedestrian crossing from the Old 40 Class 1 path (running between the UP ROW and I-80) into the Project site.
      • The Developer shall contribute funding to construction of a new Class IV bikeway bicycle path and separated pedestrian path on the inside of the Mace Curve between the new grade-separated bicycle and pedestrian crossing (see previous bullet) and Harper Junior High School. Such funding shall be proportional to the use of this facility by Project residents, and employees, and visitors.
      • The Developer shall contribute funding to construction of a new Class IV bikeway for both north-bound and south-bound bicycle traffic on and near Alhambra St. between the landing area of the Mace Blvd. overcrossing and the northeast corner of John Barovetto Park. Such funding shall be proportional to the use of this facility by Project residents, employees and visitors.
      • The Developer shall contribute funding to paving to Class I standards of the current gravel path starting on the east edge of John Barovetto Park to the existing Greenbelt path at the southwest corner of the Park. Such funding shall be proportional to the use of this facility by Project residents, employees and visitors.
      • The Developer shall contribute funding to construction of a new Class IV bikeway and separated pedestrian path improved pedestrian and bicycle connections for both north-bound and south-bound pedestrian and bicycle traffic on the Mace Blvd/I-80 overpass and continuing to the Project site. Such funding shall be proportional to the use of this facility by Project residents, and employees and visitors.
      • The Developer shall contribute funding to construction of a new Class IV bikeway for both west-bound and east-bound bicycle traffic on 2nd St between the area of Davis Depot / L St. and the Dave Pelz bridge (i.e. connecting to the Class I Greenbelt path to John Barovetto Park). Such funding shall be proportional to the use of this facility by Project residents, employees and visitors.
      • The Developer shall contribute funding to construction of a new Class IV bikeway for both west-bound and east-bound bicycle traffic on 32A between Mace Blvd and current and future bike/fed facilities across the Yolo Bypass. This facility should have multiple egress points to the Project area. Such funding shall be proportional to the use of this facility by Project residents, employees and visitors.
      • The Developer shall contribute funding to re-construction of the intersection of East Covell Blvd and Pole Line Rd. Such funding shall be proportional to the use of this facility by Project residents, employees and visitors.
      • The Developer shall contribute funding to construction of the already-in-planning pedestrian and cycling corridor on the north side of East Covell between Pole Line Rd and J St. Such funding shall be proportional to the use of this facility by Project residents, employees and visitors.
      • The Developer shall not incentivize or contribute funding to the addition of general traffic lanes on Mace Blvd.
    • Phase 2 Site Access
      • The Developer shall petition to reroute Unitrans and Yolobus service off Mace Blvd. and to the central transit plaza and through the Project site. If necessary, the Developer will provide funding to the transit services to implement this change.

    The desired outcomes of traffic-mitigation measures are to reduce the transportation total carbon footprint and adverse level of service (LOS) traffic impacts on roads in the Project vicinity, including Mace Boulevard, Covell Boulevard, and I-80.

    • Phase 1 Traffic Mitigation
      • Phase 1 shall not proceed until public and private funding are budgeted and available and regulatory approvals have been granted for construction or implementation of all other mitigation measures proposed in the Aggie Research Campus Subsequent EIR and Appendix F – Transportation Impact Analysis.
      • The Developer shall contribute funding to the City to study and implement bus rapid (BRT) transit strategies, including a bus signal preemption system on Mace Boulevard and Covell Boulevard for freeway access or local traffic bypass.
    • Phase 2 Traffic Mitigation
      • Phase 2 shall not proceed until public and private funding are budgeted and available and regulatory approvals have been granted for a rush-hour bus and 3+ high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane and class IV bicycle path on the frontage road north of I-80 (county road 32) to allow traffic to bypass the Mace Blvd east bound on-ramps and west bound off-ramps to I-80.
      • Phase 2 shall not proceed until public and private funding are budgeted and available and regulatory approvals have been granted for the construction of bus/3+ HOV lanes on I-80 west of causeway between Richards Blvd and the Yolo Causeway.
    • Phase 3 Traffic Mitigation
      • Phase 3 shall not proceed until public and private funding are budgeted and available and regulatory approvals have been granted for adding bus/3+ HOV lanes eastbound and westbound on the Yolo Causeway (I-80).

    Mitigation Measures

    The project shall comply with and ensure public or private funding and completion within a two-year period for all Mitigation Measures identified in the Approved Mitigation, Monitoring, and Reporting Plan.

    1 The ratio of one dwelling unit per 3,000 square feet is different ratio than the Developer-proposed one dwelling unit per 2,000 square feet. This directly ties housing to the proposed square footage in each phase of the ARC development, to ensure that housing growth is better matched with job growth at the site.


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2 thoughts on “Proposed Draft Baseline Features for DISC from BTSSC”

  1. Todd Edelman

    OK, this is confusing. The following was explained in an intro to the article submitted – I assume it was edited for length or other reasons:

    1 – This is a draft from the mentioned sub-committee. It will be discussed, presumably amended and voted on at tomorrow’s remote meeting of the BTSSC.
    2 – The normal (non-bolded) text is verbatim from the Natural Resources Commission’s Proposed Transportation Baseline Features.
    3 – The bolded text is what we added to theirs.
    4 – The struck out text is what we in the sub-committee expressed in a similar way elsewhere in the document or didn’t agree with. In regards to the latter, it is possible it may be re-added in discussion.

  2. Keith Echols

    Holy cow!  I can understand why developers don’t develop in Davis.

     

    It seems like the effort is to  create some sort of residential, work place, walking/biking environmental utopia.  I love urban walkability more than most. But to impose it on a project to this degree seems insane to me.  All you’re doing is driving up the costs for the project and increasing the cost of rent (for the commerical and residential components).  All of this really nice  environmental additions an restrictions are increasing the chances of the project failing.  That may end up sticking it to the developer…but in the long run you’re left with a project that isn’t built, half built or nearly empty until it’s forced to take on whatever tenents it can (I remember when the Sony Metreon had to host a farmers market inside for a part of a yeaar while it was in transition) get.  That is not optimal nor desirable financially by the city.

    I’ve said before, that tying housing to the this project is insane.  They should be seperate components.  In fact I’d plan for the commerical development to be built and then maybe the first phase of the residential component.  The problem is that you’ve probably got a developer that is counting on the home sales to provide the cash flow to built out the commercial component.

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