YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Bob Dunning

Bob Dunning: Let’s see how svelte Fifth St. is after its diet

By From page A2 | August 19, 2014

RULES OF THE ROAD … this very newspaper had no fewer than six separate pieces of advice on its “primer” concerning the mostly completed “road diet” along Fifth Street from downtown into the heart of East Davis …

Even if Davisites figure out all the new rules regarding car behavior when bicycles are about, how are our town’s many tourists ever going to navigate this stretch when they first encounter it? … the jury is still out on this not-so-little experiment … and it will remain out until UC Davis students come back in the fall and put the system to the ultimate test …

FOR INSTANCE … one of the “rules” for Fifth Street is described thus by the Bicycle Editor of The Davis Enterprise: “Bike boxes are safety features that allow bicyclists to get to the front of an intersection and protect them from a right-hook collision; motorists must wait behind the green box until all bicyclists have left the box.” …

Slow-moving bicyclists should remain in the on-deck circle, while vehicles that violate bike box etiquette will be sent to the penalty box …

FIFTH STREET FOLLIES … my first experience with the new-and-improved Fifth Street was witnessing a bicyclist blissfully riding on the wrong side of the street at Fifth and G … then again, maybe that’s legal under the new rules …

ABOUT THAT FIFTH FLOW … the city is most likely correct in its claim that traffic will move as quickly on the new Fifth as it did on the old Fifth … the reason for this is that most folks will avoid Fifth altogether and use East Eighth on those days when they must venture into East Davis …

SPEAKING OF BICYCLES … the original proposal to turn one block of B Street, between Seventh and Eighth, into a one-way street is just plain silly … it would create far more problems than it will solve … one kind reader went so far as to suggest that if they plan to make it one-way, they should alternate northbound and southbound traffic every few minutes …

The problem here is that B narrows considerably on this block, putting a serious squeeze on the many bicyclists who use this busy roadway … for a common-sense solution to this problem, you need look no further than Mont Hubbard’s letter to the editor last week that proposes eliminating on-street parking along that short stretch … as Hubbard says: “It should be a no-brainer.” … problem solved …

YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE … stopped in at the sparkling new headquarters of the Yolo Federal Credit Union and was truly taken by the beautiful mural-like photographs of seemingly local rural scenes on a rear wall … this being Yolo County, one of the photos showed row after row of beautiful tomato plants in mid-season, while another featured a close-up shot of what looks very much like the Sutter Buttes, which aren’t in Yolo County at all … nice stuff, no matter how geographically incorrect …

ELECTORAL KILLJOY … as much as I like Alan Fernandes, I was disappointed to see that no one challenged him for the remaining two years of Nancy Peterson’s term on the Davis school board … while there are plenty of candidates for the three open seats that feature full four-year terms, only Fernandes declared for the two-year seat, meaning there will be no race … in fact, his name won’t even be on November’s ballot, thus robbing Fernandes of the opportunity to claim he has a “mandate” of some sort …

I planned to launch a write-in candidacy just to keep Alan on his toes, but if his name won’t be on the ballot, it will ruin all the fun …

— Entries to the Contest to Replace the Above-Pictured Columnist are due on Monday, Sept. 8, at 5 p.m. Entries, between 400 and 800 words, can be emailed to [email protected] and should include a short biography and mug shot of the author.

Bob Dunning

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