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Bob Dunning

Bob Dunning: Let’s design a special Davis park-and-ride

By From page A2 | June 28, 2013

PARK AVENUE … I’m glad to see all those downtown folks getting together to talk about solving our horrendous parking problems before everyone decides it’s just a heck of a lot easier to head north on Pole Line to Costco and its ever-growing nearby shopping center … I mean, you can already see all sorts of sales tax leakage dripping onto the northbound pavement that leads to Woodland, and things will get only worse if parking in downtown Davis remains such a problem …

From my humble home on the Eastside, it’s a 10-minute walk to the heart of downtown … on the rare occasions when I drive and attempt to park, it’s at least 15 minutes to get where I’m going … without hesitation, if I’m in a hurry, I walk … others clearly don’t have the walking option, however, and even if they do, walking home after dark is no longer the joy it once was what with a variety of petty — and not so petty — criminals ready to relieve you of your valuables …

Now, most of us don’t seem to like the notion of parking meters, especially the new-and-improved versions that take credit cards instead of nickels and dimes, but parking meters seem to be at the heart of the discussion … I still think we should build a massive, 22-story parking garage entirely encircling the downtown, then block all vehicle access inside the circle, turning it into a pedestrian-friendly shopping, eating, strolling and yogurt-slurping experience …

If we can build a $113 million water project without taking a deep breath, we can build a 22-story parking garage … heck, with any luck the parking garage itself will become a tourist attraction, perhaps with a rooftop restaurant and planetarium and a zipline to return patrons to street level … it’s an idea whose time has come …

TAKING THE FIFTH … as per the suggestion by one kind reader that bicycles be permanently banned from Fifth Street, my friend David Takemoto-Weerts, the bicycle program coordinator at UC Davis, notes that “neither the city of Davis (nor the state of California) has any authority to ban bicycle riding on Fifth Street.” … then again, if the Obama administration decides to take out an errant Fifth Street cyclist with a domestic drone, that’s fair game, right? …

Adds David: “I wish more people would understand this. Even our late, great mayor from Mars, Ms. Partansky, suggested banning bikes from Fifth Street, or at least rerouting them to Eighth, as I recall.” … put simply, bikes on Fifth are a bad idea, even if they put Jenny Craig herself in charge of the road diet …

SPEAKING OF BIKES ON FIFTH … I absolutely loved Fred Gladdis’ front-page photo of congestion on Fifth in last Friday’s paper, complete with the only-in-Davis wrong-way bike rider trying to negotiate his way through downtown traffic … I’m sure the FBI has raided Fred’s darkroom and plans to throw this scofflaw (the bike rider, not Fred) in the slammer …

CREMATION NATION … my friend Barbara is puzzled by the solicitation she received from the Trident Society in Roseville, offering her “Free Pre-Paid Cremation!” … always a stickler for details, Barbara wants to know “So, is it free or do I have to pre-pay it?” … I’m not sure, Barbara, but I will say that’s the first time I’ve seen the word “cremation” followed by an exclamation point …

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]

Bob Dunning

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