Second Street in Downtown Davis is scheduled to get a facelift in the near future, in order to make the area more pedestrian-friendly. The project is likely to be funded by Federal Stimulus money, though official approval is still in the works.
Michael Mitchell, senior civil engineer for the city of Davis, said the redevelopment project will include several enhancements of the intersections between C Street and F Street. Ultimately, he said, Second Street will look “a lot like Third Street.“
The citizens of Davis can expect changes such as “bulb-outs” (sidewalk corners that jut into the street), lights on each corner, added trees, a new Unitrans bus stop and brick crosswalks. Mitchell also said the city is looking into installing more eco-friendly LED street lights.
The Unitrans stop will be at Second and E Streets and will serve the A Line.
One issue this project brings up is the fact that for several months, areas of Second Street will be under construction, which could possibly be disruptive for traffic and harmful to local businesses.
“Construction always involves noise and dust,“ Mitchell said, “but people are usually happy afterward.“
He added that as of now, traffic lanes will not be closed during the construction on Second Street. However, the possible addition of an irrigation construction project may change this plan.
Alzada Knickerbocker, owner of the Avid Reader at 617 Second St., said she likes the current aesthetic look of Third Street, and thus is in favor of the proposed changes. However, she said that in the past she has had “business drop with construction.“
City officials expect the approximately $650,000 Second Street improvement project to be funded by federal stimulus money, but this has not officially been approved yet. A certain amount of federal stimulus money for public transportation projects has been allocated to Caltrans, which must officially approve and disperse funding for various local projects.
“The final decision has already been made at a local level,” said Paul Navazio, assistant city manager of the city of Davis. “Caltrans just has to make sure local agencies have dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s.“
The city of Davis has applied for federal stimulus money for two other transportation projects, according to Navazio – a $730,000 street maintenance project and a $600,000 improvement for city bicycle paths.
Because it is uncertain when the funding will actually be approved for the Second Street improvement project, a specific start date has not been set.
“We are poised to start work as soon as we get the final blessing from Caltrans,” Navazio said.
SARAH HANSEL can be reached at email@example.com.