Fifth Street ‘constraints’ worrisome

By From page A6 | April 03, 2014

Sunday’s story about the Fifth Street project prompts this letter.

When I wrote to City Council members in March 2012 in hopes that they could allay concerns about the planned narrowing of Fifth Street, Mayor Joe Krovoza assured me the project would “create a safer and more efficient flow on Fifth Street” and pointed me to a now-no-longer-active city website that included an April 27, 2010, staff report. That report (which I’m unable to find on the city’s new Fifth Street Corridor project website) raised, rather than relieved, my concerns.

In it, city staff had identified several likely “constraints” of the project: for example, delays caused when Yolobus and Unitrans buses protrude into the travel lane as they pick up/let off passengers and when they stop prior to railroad crossings; delays when right-turning vehicles on Fifth Street are unable to pull into the bike lane due to the presence of cyclists; and additional delays at peak travel times when the queue of left-turning vehicles extends beyond the left-turn pockets and blocks the through lane.

The staff report indicated a one-year evaluation period, using measures that were yet to be determined and including consultation with the Chamber of Commerce and the Davis Downtown Business Association on the metrics to be used. The staff report also noted that “should the road diet be undone, the city would likely be required to return any funds ($836,000) provided by SACOG/Caltrans. Funding source(s) for repayment would be identified at that time.”

I’d still very much appreciate knowing if these staff-identified constraints have been addressed, if a project evaluation will still be done, and, if so, what metrics will be used.

Maril Stratton

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