Yolo County undertakes project that would widen roads, aimed at improving safety

Yolo County undertakes project that would widen roads, aimed at improving safety

Photo Credits: Timothy Li / Aggie. A person on a JUMP bike traveling on a bike path in Davis, Calif. Yolo County is planning to widen bike paths within the county and will hold a meeting in Davis to discuss planning.

Residents to have options of wider roads for bike safety

  In a press release published on Jan. 27, Yolo County announced that it will be undertaking a County Road (CR) 98 Bike and Safety Improvement Project. The project involves initiatives designed to benefit residents of Yolo County by widening roads such as CR 98 and increasing access for large agricultural vehicles. 

        “The project has currently received federal funding for preliminary engineering,” the press release read. 

        Darlene Comingore, a principal civil engineer and the head of the engineering group at Roads Division in Yolo County Community Services, provided details about the widening of CR 98 and other aspects of the project. 

        “The project will widen CR 98 from Solano County (Putah Creek) to 1300 feet south of CR 29 (north of Davis) to include, in each direction, a 12-foot lane, 8-foot paved shoulder (to accommodate wide agricultural vehicles and bicycles) and an additional 12 foot clear recovery zone,” Comingore said via email. “A clear recovery zone is an area where hard obstacles and steep slopes are removed so that an errant driver can recover from a mistake.”

        In order to incorporate these changes, ditches and overhead utilities need to be moved away from the new road that will be built. In addition, the project involves the widening of CR 98 and other components that are designed to benefit residents of Yolo County.

        “We are adding a class 1 shared path between the bike path on Russell [Boulevard] (CR 32) and Hutchison Drive,” Comingore said via email. “Roundabouts will be built at the intersections of CR 98 with Hutchison, CR 32 and CR 31.”

        Now in Phase II, the project is currently in its design and planning stage. There will be a southward extension of the improvements made in 2014 after Phase I of the Bike and Safety Improvement Project was implemented. Once completed, the project aims to promote increased bike safety for residents of Yolo County.

        “By having paved shoulders and clear recovery zones, there is less potential for accidents and especially injury accidents since drivers will have a place to escape in the event of errant drivers,” Comingore said via email. “It will provide easier and safer access for wide agricultural vehicles. It will provide a wide shoulder for bicycles and reduce the potential for conflicts between motorized vehicles and bicycles.”

        Not only will the widening of the CR 98 likely benefit residents of Yolo County, but also the new roundabouts currently being planned will better control traffic at intersections since vehicles can slow down without completely coming to a stop. 

Members of the Yolo County community can  participate and observe the development of the project as it progresses. Community members can also attend a meeting regarding the project and “review roadway, drainage, and proposed right of ways and provide comments on the initial intersection construction’s staging,” according to an alternate press release published by Yolo County.

The Yolo County Community Services Department held this meeting on Feb. 12 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Social Hall of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis. 

The project to improve current infrastructure was long overdue.  

“There was not a discreet event that showed a need,” Comingore said.  “For decades County of Yolo has been working on improving our roads to include shoulders wide enough to accommodate bicycles. Especially on the more major through roads, where we have right of way or funds to expand the right of way we try to widen the pavement.”

The CR 98 Bike and Safety Improvement Project hopes to ultimately provide more options to those who need accommodations.         

Written by: Shraddha Jhingan city@theaggie.org