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Davis, California

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Public planning workshop kicks off transportation renovation


When riding through a round-a-bout during rush hour it’s clear that UC Davis is a campus unlike any other. With more bikes in the city than cars, planners must raise their standards for facilities.

For this reason the UC Davis Office of Resource Management and Planning began plans to renovate the bike paths, transit routes, round-a-bouts and sidewalks in Tuesday’s UC Davis Bikeway and Transit Planning Public Workshop.

The workshop was held in Freeborn Hall from noon to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Students, faculty, community members and visitors were invited to post their comments and concerns directly onto a 600-square foot aerial photo of the campus.

We got a lot of detailed input from the people who use the pathways and are knowledgeable about them, said Matt Dulcich, associate environmental planner for the Office of Resource Management and Planning. We’re excited to review the input and details and start working on a plan.

The workshop was the first step in planning process in making roads and paths on campus more efficient. After the public input session held Tuesday, staff will meet with an advisory group to study and analyze comments. Transportation consultant Fehr and Peers will then provide suggestions and form a draft plan which will be presented for funding.

The planning office has already received financial support for planning from a Caltrans grant program as well as other UC Davis funding. Construction of the anticipated plans will be funded through various building projects and grants.

Overall, we’d like to add more developments without motor transportation and make people want to ride their bikes, said Tim Bustos, staff member of Fehr and Peers Transportation consultants.

Bustos said he also worked as a bike coordinator for the city of Davis and helped to install the bike light at the intersection of Russell and Sycamore, which reduced collisions nearly 100 percent.

Transportation and Parking Services and representatives from the California Bike Museum also attended the workshop to discuss current problems and trends within the biking community.

There are a lot of little problems that that add up, said alternative transportation coordinator at TAPS Bradford Leaser. That’s why it’s good that [the planning office] is doing this comprehensive study.

The planning office will be working together with both city and university representatives to develop new plans not only for bike pathways, but also transit systems. Maintaining 40 years of the most top-rated college transit system in the country, Unitrans must constantly pay attention to university and city preferences, Bustos said.

By the end of the workshop, there were over 300 Post-it comments attached to the large map, which attendees could walk over and point out locations they liked, disliked, or had witnessed accidents at.

Many of the post-it comments on the map pointed out bike paths that were too narrow and suggestions for better pedestrian routes. Attendees also wrote very detailed comments about particular potholes and road markers.

The input from the comments was tremendous and came from the people who use these systems every day, Dulcich said. Our job now is to capture that input and create a new plan for our campus.


LAUREN STEUSSY can be reached at campus@californiaaggie.com.




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