Local News

City Council stops traffic downtown

By From page A1 | January 17, 2013

Half of this signage at Fourth and D streets will soon be removed as the downtown intersection is transformed from a two-way to a four-way stop. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

Half of this signage at Fourth and D streets will soon be removed as the downtown intersection is transformed from a two-way to a four-way stop. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

The City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance to add three new sets of stop signs downtown at its meeting Tuesday, making the Second and C, Third and C and Fourth and D street intersections all four-way stops.

Downtown goers should see the new stop signs in the east-west directions of each intersection in either late February or early March, according to city public works staff, in addition to new crosswalks at the Third and C and Fourth and D street intersections.

The Second and C street intersection already features crosswalks in all directions.

“I’ve had numerous residents … bring up specifically the issue of the crosswalks and lack there of at the Third and C street intersection,” Councilman Lucas Frerichs said.

“(And) at the intersection at Fourth and D, there’s a nursery school adjacent to that site and as someone who lives in this neighborhood, I’ve seen a lot of confusion over time.”

City staff had discussed the possibility of the new stops signs, after the council had directed the ordinance to come back to them last month, with the Davis Downtown Parking Committee, the Safety and Parking Advisory Commission and the Bicycle Advisory Commission, but only received support from Davis Downtown Parking Committee members.

But according to the staff report, while the two advisory commissions did express concern about the safety of all modes of transportation in the downtown business area, they were against adding stop signs and adding travel time to bicyclists and motorists “if there wasn’t a clear record of accidents to support the need for change.”

Bicycle Advisory Committee chair John Berg attended the council meeting Tuesday to reiterate those sentiments during public comment.

“The commission has been for years concerned about the safety of all road users, but we are also concerned about actual and perceived barriers to increase use of bicycles as a mode of transportation,” Berg said. “At this point with no apparent safety advantage achieved through the installation of these signs, the commission unanimously voted to recommend that they not be installed.”

But the council was clear in its decision, voting 4-0-1 to approve the stop signs. Mayor Joe Krovoza, attending the meeting remotely from Washington D.C., abstained from the vote.

“I am sensitive to the concerns of advisory committees as well on this,” Councilwoman Rochelle Swanson said. “(But) I do agree that we have to look at more than what’s data driven and with Fifth Street coming online we are trying to accommodate all modes of transportation. As a pedestrian, most days in downtown … it’s consistently confusion.”

Meanwhile, after approving the new stop signs in the north-south directions of Pole Line Road at Moore Boulevard near Wildhorse Ranch last month, the city has made it through the 30-day waiting period and can now install the signs.

According to Roxanne Namazi, the city’s senior civil engineer, the public works department plans to install the stop signs and the accompanying red flashing beacons that will flash in all directions once the stop signs are in place, in the next few weeks.

 — Reach Tom Sakash at [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected], (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
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