Davis and Woodland residents hoping for a means to bike or walk between the two cities may be in luck.
Planners from the cities of Davis and Woodland and Yolo County held a second public community meeting this week to discuss the possibility of an alternative transportation corridor between Davis and Woodland.
Farmers, bicycle advocates, landowners and other commuters from Davis, Woodland and Yolo County attended the meeting.
City and county planners are improving existing County Roads 99 and 29 between Davis and Woodland to include wider bike lanes but decided for safety reasons to continue to look at alternatives, said Ken Hiatt, assistant city manager in Davis.
“With some recent fatalities, [Davis and Woodland] dug down to look into another means of transportation between the two cities,” Hiatt said. “[An alternative route] would be separated from the county roadway system – for safety.”
Woodland, Davis and Yolo County are working together and pursuing federal grants and stimulus money to pay for the preferred alternative that comes out of these discussions, he said.
Bennett Engineering Services is conducting the feasibility study for the alternative transportation corridor and with the help of city planners developed three alignment alternatives, said Leo Rubio, project engineer with Bennett Engineering Services.
The study also considers accommodating neighborhood electric vehicles on the alignments.
“One of the main goals of the last meeting was to find out what concerns the public had,” Rubio said.
After gathering public input, meetings with individual city commissions will take place in the late summer and early fall, he said.
Fehr & Peers Transportation Consultants conducted surveys to determine how much use the alternative transportation corridor will see.
Approximately 21,000 trips take place daily between Woodland and Davis, said Kate Binning, associate at Fehr & Peers.
There are currently about 100 to 200 bike trips occurring between the two cities, Binning said.
“An estimated 1,500 Woodland residents are students, faculty or staff commuting to UC Davis on a regular basis,” she said.
These numbers indicate that the bike path would see sufficient use, Binning said.
“The study’s online survey indicates that people would be encouraged to bike more if the alternative transportation corridor was constructed,” she said. “The survey indicated that most people envisioned themselves taking this bike path at least once a month.”
Fehr & Peers also found that bicyclists feel comfortable sharing the path with pedestrians and joggers, Binning added.
The most important factors to individuals who took the survey were the surface and width of the path, the separation of the path from vehicle traffic, and having the path be mostly uninterrupted, she said.
However, some local citizens are still concerned about the implementation of the corridor.
Local residents are concerned about liability, trespass, the safety of their animals, and the fact that the corridor will be built through a wildlife refuge, said Yvonne Lemaitre, Woodland citizen and landowner.
“No one has asked us what our problems could be with this,” Lemaitre said.
Discussions of the proposed plans will continue, and more information can be found at yolocounty.org.
CAITLIN COBB can be reached at email@example.com.