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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Fifth Street road diet construction underway

FifthStConst1w

Vehicle and bicycle traffic adjust to construction at Fifth and A streets. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

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From page A1 | October 11, 2013 | 4 Comments

After a decade of planning, the city at long last began construction of the Fifth Street redesign project this week.

Known more famously in town as the Fifth Street road diet, the project aims to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety along the busy thoroughfare, principally by trimming the road from two vehicle lanes running in each direction to one between B and L streets, while adding bike lanes to both sides of the road as well.

The project, which actually stretches from A to L streets, will add a center dual left-turn lane and turn pockets; improve and add ramps compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act at intersection corners; stripe new crosswalks; and incorporate streetlights and pedestrian-activated signals at the C and J intersections.

It also will upgrade traffic signals at A, B and L and will include new eight-phase signals at the F and G intersections to match up with the new lane configurations.

An emergency traffic signal will be added at E Street for fire station access.

“This is the largest of the city of Davis’ upcoming roadwork projects,” said a city news release describing the work. Road construction has been the theme of the summer in Davis, with more than a half-dozen major projects taking place throughout the city.

On Monday, crews from Vanguard Construction of Livermore began cutting curbs to complete ADA ramp installation and soon will place conduits and foundations for street lighting along Fifth Street. They will move east toward L Street as work drives on.

City officials expect the first phase of the project to be completed by Thanksgiving. Striping and the replacement and addition of traffic signals, however, will take place in January when the new two-vehicle lane configuration will be in place.

As far as traffic impacts over the next two months, the city expects some lane and sidewalk closures, but no full road closures.

Work hours will be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

The city will pay for part of the $1.9 million project through a Sacramento Area Council of Governments grant, worth $836,000. About $800,000 will come from Davis’ transportation and transportation roads funds, $200,000 from a Highway Safety Improvement Program grant and $50,000 from Community Development Block Grant funds.

— Reach Tom Sakash at tsakash@davisenterprise.net 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 tsakash@davisenterprise.net, (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
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Discussion | 4 comments

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  • JoeOctober 12, 2013 - 8:21 am

    Being that our roads are in a state of disrepair, don't you think the money would've been better spent on repair instead of bottlenecking one of our main thouroughfares in the city? I'll bet if you asked the citizens most would be against going to two lanes on 5th.

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  • Rich RifkinOctober 12, 2013 - 6:02 pm

    Joe, I think you need to look up traffic engineering studies on road diets just like this one. They do not create bottlenecks. The average travelling speed will go down a bit. However, the throughput of auto traffic will improve. That is what all similar road diets have done. There no longer will be blockages created by cars waiting to turn left or right. You won't have to stop traffic in three directions (as we do now at 5th and F and at 5th and G) in order to let one direction go through. ........ I think there could be some things to worry about with this road diet. For example, the fire trucks leaving the Fire Station on 5th Street may have trouble racing to an emergency along 5th, if cars don't quickly pull over into the bike lane. Due to the median, it will be impossible for the fire engines to go around the cars. (By law, civilian vehicles are required to pull over. But in our 2013 "no one else counts" culture, many never pull over or even know they have to when a siren is nearby.) It's also possible that, if the left turn lanes are insufficiently long during peak demand, the traffic waiting to turn left could back up into the through lane. (This happens at a few non-road diet streets in Davis already.) If that happens, the throughput will be worse. ......... But those worries aside, it's not as if this road diet is an untried experiment. It has been done in dozens of cities and it has been overwhelmingly successful. If you hope as a driver going from A to L to the reverse is to get through faster and safer than you do now, the road diet will serve your interests.

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  • JoeOctober 12, 2013 - 6:34 pm

    Rich, I guess we will find out soon enough. As you say we won't have to wait for 3 directions to go before our light turns green, but you will now have to wait for the left turn light only to finish before both through lanes can proceed, so wjhat's the difference?

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  • Rich RifkinOctober 12, 2013 - 5:48 pm

    "Vehicle and bicycle traffic adjust to construction at Fifth and A streets. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo" ........ For what it's worth, Fifth Street and A Street do not intersect. Your photo is at the intersection of Russell Blvd. and A Street, across from (Irving F. "Crip") Toomey Field.

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