The city of Davis is currently discussing possible options for the renovation of Fifth Street between A and L streets.
The four-lane corridor currently serves several modes of transportation, including bikes, pedestrians, automobiles and delivery trucks. Many community members have complained about bike safety – there are no bike lanes – and traffic and pedestrian flow problems.
Officials with the city of Davis are hoping to make the corridor more accessible and easier to navigate for all those who use it.
A number of groups are looking for public input before moving into the planning stages of the project, said Joy Cohan, administrator for the Davis Downtown Business Association.
“We are actively trying to hear from our members about this,” she said. “Many of the issues [with the corridor] would be issues shared in common with both the DDBA and the Chamber of Commerce.”
The city of Davis along with its downtown affiliates, including the DDBA are currently still in the planning phases of the project, Cohan said.
“[Right now] we are really just trying to lay [all the information] out on the table,” she added. “We have to look at the current issues with Fifth Street and some potential issues and changes that can be made to Fifth Street.”
The DDBA and the Chamber of Commerce are trying to work collaboratively with the city and others in the community who may have strong opinions, she added.
“The overriding issue is making sure that downtown remains an accessible place for people who live in Davis and for those who are [visiting] from out of town,” Cohan said.
It is also crucial that downtown Davis remain accessible for things such as shipments coming into the small businesses downtown, she added.
The DDBA is also aware of the concerns that may arise regarding bike lanes and pedestrian crosswalks, Cohan said.
“We want to find a way in conjunction with city staff that all these needs can be met and no one feels short changed,” she said.
While the project is still in the planning stages, city of Davis officials are already beginning to work on gathering information and public opinion, said Lynanne Mehlhaff, planning technician with the Davis Planning Department.
“The city has been given direction from city council to gain information from [city] stakeholders,” Mehlhaff said, citing the DDBA and Chamber of Commerce as examples.
The city is also interested in hearing public opinion, specifically from those who use the corridor as a means of transportation, Mehlhaff said.
“We have had complaints from pedestrians trying to cross Fifth Street [saying that it is too busy with traffic],” she said. “We would like to engage in public discussion of what to do with that corridor.”
City of Davis officials are entering these planning phases without trying to take a particular stand, Mehlhaff said, and the project will not go to city council until all ideas are compiled and a general plan is made – likely February.
Several local commissions, including the Bicycle Advisory Commission have voiced their concerns for the project as well.
“[The bicycle advisory commission] is definitely going to have input during the focus groups and public meeting, but they have not formally done anything on the Fifth Street corridor project this time around,” said Tara Goddard, city staff liaison for the Bicycle Advisory Commission.
Members of the Bicycle Advisory Commission have raised concerns at previous meetings regarding the fact that Russell and Fifth Streets are main corridors in Davis, yet they do not have bike lanes throughout.
CAITLIN COBB can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fifth Street corridor project
Thursday, Dec. 4
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Holmes Junior High School
1220 Drexel Drive
The city of Davis is currently soliciting public input on the future of Fifth Street between A and L streets. City staff will host an open house to answer questions and receive comments.