Sunday, September 21, 2014

City locks up new bike parking downtown

Donn VanDusen, left, Michael Kilmartin and Eric Spann, background, work on installing bike racks on the 200 block of G Street. These new racks feature anti-theft devices. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

From page A1 | January 18, 2013 |

The city recently unveiled new parking in downtown Davis: bike parking, that is.

Last month, city crews bolted down 10 new permanent bike parking spaces on the west side of the 200 block of G Street, eliminating only one vehicle spot in front of the retailers there.

While the new addition to G Street erases a vehicle spot, the new bicycle spaces will be a big help for those looking for a place to secure their bikes, according to Dave Kemp, the city’s active transportation coordinator.

“All (businesses) in front of the block face were getting a lot of bicyclists as customers,” Kemp said. “So we were seeing a pile of bikes in that area, especially along the facade: against trash cans and light posts and street furniture. They’re just everywhere. This increased the availability (of bike parking).”

Of course, whenever there’s talk of removing parking spaces from the downtown, red flags begin to pop up, but Kemp and the city did its due diligence, reached out and received consent from the businesses in the area.

The block was a lock-up hot spot of sorts, with bicyclists tying up their bikes up to just about any open space they could find. Apparently, a new place for legitimate parking was more than welcome.

Stewart Savage, director of Davis Downtown, said that the business association’s board weighed the subtraction of a vehicle space with the addition of new bike parking at a recent meeting and decided that this was definitely an upgrade.

“We have concerns about losing (vehicle) spots, but we’re trying to find a nice balance with our bicycle-centered community,” Savage said.

“We see the value of having the additional on-street bicycle parking and getting some of the parking off the sidewalks.”

According to Kemp, the bike parking facilities themselves also provide some innovative technology to improve the locking experience.

Made by Park-a-Bike Inc., a Sacramento-based bike rack manufacturer, the “Varsity Bike Docks” come equipped with “QR” reader tags on the top of the wings where the bikes are secured.

Bicyclists can scan the tag with their smart phones and be directed to a page found on the Davis Downtown website that includes Davis bicycling information and a “Park-a-Bike” video that offers pointers on how to properly lock up a bicycle.

The configuration of the rack itself also allows users to lock up both the frame and one wheel simultaneously, even with a U-lock, because of the positioning of the locking wings on the apparatus.

“Always go with the U-lock,” Kemp suggests. The city staffer added that to ensure bicyclists don’t have their wheels stolen, it’s also a good idea to wire-lock the free wheel not locked up by the U-lock.

The wings also feature “Smart Guards” or rubberized material that prevent bicycles and their metal frames from getting marked up, and “wheel troughs” that secure the bicycle footprint and help prevent it from tipping over.

The unit also allows the user to lock their bikes up with the front or back wheels.

In addition to the parking in front of the stores on G Street, the city is considering placing new bike parking in the plaza across the street because of the new rack’s popularity.

As far as more bike parking on the street throughout town, the city is holding off until the Downtown Parking Task Force, which the City Council assembled last month to figure out how to maximize vehicle parking in the Core Area, finishes its work.

Kemp says, however, that he will continue to look at sidewalk locations for the new bike parking throughout the downtown, as long as they don’t cause pedestrian congestion in those areas.

Kemp also believes that Central Park and the surrounding area could use some help in terms of more bicycle parking, especially during the Davis Farmers Market and Picnic in the Park when, on average, more than several hundred people bike downtown.

— Reach Tom Sakash at 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, (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.


Elementary school counselors: necessary, but poorly funded

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Bet Haverim hosts High Holy Day services

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

Teams assess damage as wildfire burns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Driver arrested for DUI after Saturday morning crash

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Help raise funds for juvenile diabetes cure

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Jewelry, art for sale at Senior Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Davis Community Meals needs cooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Send kids to camp!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Da Vinci awarded $38,000 for restorative justice program

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Hawk Hill trip planned Sept. 30

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Outdoor yoga marathon celebrates community

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Wise words

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A12



Awareness is key to this fight

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

We’re living in the Golden State of emergency

By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A6

Options for protection come with flu season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Are we there yet? Not enough hours in the day to goof off

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

Paso Fino — it’s not worth it

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Archer will get my vote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

It’s time for Davis Scouts to stand up for what is right

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Mike Keefe cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

Building something at schools’ HQ

By Our View | From Page: A10

Don’t sell city greenbelt

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Paso Fino project is flawed

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Maybe David can beat Goliath again

By Lynne Nittler | From Page: A11 | Gallery



DHS gets on its Morse to beat Edison

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

JV Blue Devils drop low-scoring affair

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B2

Wire briefs: Giants rally falls short in San Diego

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Four local swimmers qualify for Olympic Trials

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Republic FC’s fairy tale season continues

By Evan Ream | From Page: B3 | Gallery

‘We’re a way better team’ than record, says UCD’s Shaffer

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

UCD roundup: Aggie men pound Pomona-Pitzer in the pool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4

Davis 15-year-old making a splash in European F4 series

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery





‘Ladies Foursome’ adds shows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3



UCD grad’s startup earns kudos at TechCrunch event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Styles on target for November debut

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7

MBI hires VP of marketing

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Taylor Morrison unveils new Woodland community next weekend

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Rob White: What is an ‘innovation center’?

By Rob White | From Page: A9



Carol L. Walsh

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



Comics: Sunday, September 21, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8