UC Davis commencements end Sunday. So what comes next? Summer construction, of course!
In one of the biggest projects, the university will rebuild Howard Way and the Memorial Union bus terminal. Work is scheduled to start Monday and continue through Sept. 28, just before the start of the fall quarter.
The MU terminal will be out of service all this time; Unitrans will run its buses to either the Silo Terminal or other stops on Hutchison Drive, and other transit agencies will use stops on Hutchison and Russell Boulevard.
Howard Way will be closed for only two weeks, tentatively scheduled for the second half of August. During this time, the north entry parking garage will remain open — with access via California Avenue and Tennis Court Lane.
The rest of the summer, when Howard Way is open, traffic will be allowed only as far as the garage, not to Tennis Court Lane.
Accessibility and safety
Officials said the MU Terminal, built in the 1970s, will be completely redesigned to accommodate today’s larger buses and more of them, and for improved accessibility and safety.
In the new terminal, all passengers will board from a sidewalk and deboard onto a sidewalk — rather than having to walk in the street, in the middle of the terminal, to get on or off some buses.
The three-lane terminal will accommodate 12 buses for loading and unloading at right-side curbs and sidewalks — on the same side as the doors on most buses. There’s a 13th spot with a left-side curb and sidewalk for one of Unitrans’ vintage double-deckers, because its door is on the left.
The design also includes space to park four buses against a left-side curb (on the west side of Hickey Gym). These buses, upon returning to service, will not load passengers in the parking zone; instead, they’ll drive around to one of the regular boarding stations, again for accessibility and safety.
The passenger areas between lanes will feature benches and shade structures akin to those at the Silo Terminal. Trees will be retained (and protected during construction), and the London telephone booth and light will be restored and moved to the terminal’s northeast corner, but the large brick shelter will be removed.
The visitor kiosk also will be removed, having already been replaced by a kiosk on Hutchison Drive.
Howard Way will dead-end
The Howard Way reconstruction, between Russell Boulevard and the north entry parking garage, will strengthen the road so it can stand up to larger and heavier buses, and increased bus traffic.
The rest of Howard Way, alongside the existing bus terminal, will disappear — to become part of the expanded terminal. In the new layout, Howard Way dead-ends at the terminal, cutting off access to the core campus (deliveries will be redirected to the gate on Kleiber Hall Drive, between Hutchison and California Avenue).
Two sets of gates will keep unauthorized vehicles out of the bus terminal — that means, unless you’re driving a Unitrans bus or other authorized vehicle, you won’t be able to drive into the terminal to drop off someone or pick up someone (as happens now, even though signs say it’s not allowed).
But don’t despair: This summer’s project includes a turnaround — for passenger loading and unloading — on Tennis Court Lane across Howard Way from the parking garage.
One other interesting switch: Buses will travel clockwise through the new terminal.
McGuire & Hester of Sacramento won the construction contract with a bid of $2.8 million. Total project cost, including design and construction management, is $3.9 million — covered by federal transit grant funds ($2.4 million); local transit funds and undergraduate student fees ($700,000); and campus funds ($800,000) for the Howard Way portion of the project.
Unitrans this summer will reroute its B, E, F, K, P, Q and W lines, and the C, G, H and M lines will not run at all. The C, G and M lines are similar to the B, J and W lines, respectively, so riders can simply switch lines. The H line serving the campus perimeter does not run in the summer. Summer schedules are now available on Unitrans buses. More information is available online.
Yolobus will use temporary bus stops on Russell Boulevard at Howard Way-College Park. North side of Russell east of College Park: Lines 42A, 43R (a.m.), 43 (p.m.), 220C (p.m.) and 220 westbound. South side of Russell east of Howard Way: 42B, 43 (a.m.), 43R (p.m.), 220C (a.m.) and 220 eastbound.
Fairfield and Suisun Transit’s Line 30 will use the FAST bus stop on Hutchison Drive across from the Silo Terminal.
Intercampus shuttle is not affected; it uses the Silo Terminal.
Double-decker bonus: With the G and J lines combined this summer (the combined route will use the “J” designation), ridership will go up to a point that justifies using a modern double-decker.
“We have never run the double-decker buses in the summer before, and now one will be available each day for parents and kids looking for a summer outing,” said Anthony Palmere, Unitrans general manager.
The double-decker will alternate between the J and V lines; you can check the bus’ whereabouts on the Unitrans website, http://unitrans.ucdavis.edu, or by calling 530-752-BUSS. Oh, and rest assured, the modern double-deckers have air-conditioning and are accessible for people with disabilities.
— UC Davis News