Wednesday, July 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Road diet quietly works to a crescendo

By
From page A1 | March 09, 2014 |

By late spring, motorists on Fifth Street between A and L streets will see two lanes of through traffic going 25 miles per hour, instead of four lanes at 30 mph.

It’s known as a “road diet,” but the project is officially called “Fifth Street Corridor Road Improvements,” somewhat obscuring the long history this project has had before construction started last October.

It’s been more than 10 years in the making, guided largely by public input and a succession of city councils. City staff originally opposed the project, Davis traffic engineer Roxanne Namazi said, because early traffic studies showed that congestion would increase.

The project first came to the council in 2003. It went away, then came back in 2005. It went away, then came back in 2008, ending up as an approved project in 2009. Then by 2011 it had a public outreach consultant attached to it. Design changes were made and the final project started with signal and sidewalk work late last year.

Bicycle advocates pressed the city for the project, seeking a more equitable path for bicycles on this stretch of well-used roadway. Despite the initial thoughts of congestion, the project contains bona fide improvements for both drivers and bicyclists.

In total, the road changes are estimated to cost $1.9 million. Part of the cost is handled by an $836,000 grant from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. Roughly $800,000 will come from Davis road funds, $200,000 from a highway safety grant and $50,000 from Community Development Block Grant funds.

The timetable is much less certain. Hailed last year as a project that would have been completed by now, hang-ups with the arrival of new signal equipment, coordination with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and finding just the right time to grind out the old lines and install the new markings make Namazi certain only of one thing: giving out a date of completion is foolhardy.

“There’s a lot of coordination that needs to happen to make it a smooth transition,” she said.

Here’s a bird’s-eye view of the project:

* A Street to B Street: At the A Street intersection, there will be new, wide-painted crosswalk markings, something that will go in at every signaled intersection. There will be a bike signal and in the northbound direction a green-painted bike box — where bicycles wait ahead of traffic for the green light.

Where University Avenue intersects with Russell Boulevard there will be a user-activated flashing crosswalk to provide a safer path for bicycles and pedestrians. All along this piece of roadway and all along Fifth Street to L Street, there is a bike lane with a painted stripe a foot wide — twice the standard width — that will serve to separate cars and bicycles.

* B Street to D Street: There will be bike boxes for northbound and southbound lanes, as well as wide-painted striped crosswalks. At the C Street intersection there will be a median safe zone for pedestrians along with a user-activated flashing crosswalk.

There are so-called turn pockets where drivers coming from the west can head north and drivers coming from the east can turn south. There are the same turn pockets for the D Street intersection, with wide striped crosswalks.

* D Street to F Street: At the fire station near the intersection with E Street there will be a signal the firefighters can use when they go out on calls. There will be turn pockets at the E Street intersection as well, along with F Street, where turning motorists in all directions for the first time will have protected turns at the signal.

* F Street to railroad tracks: F Street also will have bike boxes for northbound and southbound bicycle traffic. At G Street, all turning motorists will have a protected signaled turn, just like F Street. As Fifth Street approaches the railroad tracks, turn pockets become a lane used for drivers turning north and south. Farther up Fifth, raised medians made of concrete will try to block all attempts to wiggle around lowered railroad crossing arms.

* Railroad tracks to L Street: At the I Street intersection there will be wide-striped crosswalks. At the J Street intersection, a flashing crosswalk goes north to south, in addition to wide-striped crosswalks. Farther down Fifth, there are more wide-striped crosswalks at L Street.

At a glance

* Bike box: A green-painted box at an intersection giving bicycles a head start on vehicle traffic

* Shark’s teeth: Painted white triangles indicating a stopping point before flashing crosswalks

User-activated flashing crosswalk: Pedestrians and bicyclists push a button and activate flashers along the crosswalk that have been proved to get the attention of drivers

Raised Island: Concrete medians designed to deter motorists from getting around railroad crossing arms

Turn pocket: A lane that seems carved out from the median to allow turning drivers to separate themselves from east-west or north-south traffic

Dual turn lane: A lane that drivers can use to turn in conflicting directions; often used in business districts where parking lots are located on either side of the street

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Clay BrandowMarch 10, 2014 - 4:38 pm

    The expensive Fifth Street Follies will cause considerable pain and frutratration. Could it be that proponents want avoid strangling Fifth Street until after voters go to the polls in June? Thus avoiding voter wrath at the ballot box.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Are arachnids awesome or awful? Visit Bohart Museum to find out

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    NAMI program offers mental illness information, support

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Backpacks for Kids launches annual donation drive

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Architecture in Davis, on ‘Davisville’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Speaker will spin some fishing tales at Davis meeting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Kids can paint their own Breyer horses at Davis store

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Grandparents support group meets weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Kaiser awards grants to Yolo nonprofits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Wine-tastings will benefit YCCC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Pedro party will benefit Yolo Hospice

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Car lovers will speak Sunday at gallery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Racial diversity crucial to drug trials, treatments

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A4

     
    Exchange program seeks host families

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Enterprise is focus of Davis Roots talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Forum

    They’re pickier than she is

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    U.S. is complicit in attack

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Extinguish extremism for peace

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    With profound gratitude

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Someday, there will be peace

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Former Davis man at crossroads: biking or artwork?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie golfer headed to men’s U.S. Amateur Championship

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Giants outlast Phillies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    A’s fall in extra innings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Jays hitting upends Red Sox

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Pyrenees please Nibali, Rogers in Tour Stage 16

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Albergotti to discuss Armstrong’s doping scandal

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    Field to Fork: Skyelark Ranch, not a lark at all

    By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    Name droppers: ASUCD hands out awards

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    .

    Arts

    Additional casting notice for ‘Hello Dolly’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Hear Los Tres de Winters on Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Picott to play at The Palms Playhouse

    By Kate Laddish | From Page: A7

     
    Fairy-tale romance in Barnyard Theatre’s ‘Pinky’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Soar to Neverland with DMTC’s ‘Peter Pan’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Village Homes to host Rita Hosking Trio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Tomato Festival makes call for young artists

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6