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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Traffic in Silo bus terminal area raises concerns about bike safety

Unitrans and ASUCD are working on implementing measures to combat these concerns, including crossing guards and increased education 

 

By RACHEL GAUER— campus@theaggie.org

 

The Silo bus terminal is one of the primary bus stops on campus, and many students rely on the bus lines that run in and out of the terminal to get to and from campus. The area around the bus station has been increasingly busy since the opening of the Teaching and Learning Complex (TLC) earlier this school year, spurring safety concerns for bus drivers, pedestrians and bikers. 

Julia Shurman, a fourth-year English major and ASUCD senator, is involved with Unitrans through her Senate position. She commented on the impact that the TLC has had on some of the traffic issues at the Silo. 

“One of the issues concerning the Silo terminal is the amount of bicycle and foot traffic in the area,” Shurman said. “After the opening of the Teacher Learning Complex, there’s been an increase in the number of students traveling through that area. This increased traffic is a concern for Unitrans because it’s more difficult for the buses to get through campus.”

The TLC, which finished construction in spring of 2022, is located directly across from the Silo bus terminal. The building has lecture halls and smaller classrooms that can serve more than 2,000 students at a time, according to the TLC project website. With the increased amount of foot traffic from students going to and from the complex, the area has progressively become more congested.

ASUCD Senator Priya Talreja is a member of the Micro-mobility Education and Outreach Work Group (MEOW). She explained several measures that she said her teams hope to implement to combat the safety issues. 

“We are trying to address the concerns with student safety and we want to implement more safety measures,” Talreja said. “One of the suggestions was to add crossing guards and move the bus terminal from the Silo area closer to the Latitude area because there is a lot less traffic over there.” 

MEOW is a group that has recently emerged in order to both educate the public regarding transportation safety and create a safer infrastructure for transportation on campus. The group has listed multiple recommendations and agenda items that they strive to work towards. According to the document, some of these recommendations include encouraging students to wear bicycle helmets and “increase compliance with traffic rules.”

Jeffrey Flynn, who serves as the Unitrans Director, commented on the department’s efforts to prevent issues within the area as well as generally on campus. 

“Unitrans’ top priority is safety — safety of our customers, safety of pedestrians, bicycles and other vehicles and safety of our drivers and staff,” Flynn said. “We’ve focused a lot of training efforts on safe driving around bicycles and pedestrians and in the Silo area over the past couple of years.”

Shurman recommended that until safety measures, such as crossing guards, are implemented, students should abide by traffic laws within the area and use extra caution. 

“In the meantime, if students can continue to follow traffic laws as they travel through the area, this will help Unitrans drivers as they drive,” Shurman said. “The safety of UC Davis students is of the utmost importance, and this is one area where both pedestrians and bus drivers have noted their concerns.”  

 

Written by: Rachel Gauer — campus@theaggie.org