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What’s so great about Davis? Plenty!

By From page VG2 | June 08, 2012

The city of Davis is highly ranked for friendliness, as a town in which to live well, and everything related to bicycles.

A book by NBC’s Barbara Corcoran called “Next-ville: Amazing Places to Live the Rest of Your Life” features
Davis in the top five of the friendliest towns in the United States.

“The happiest people I have helped were always those who had an immediate, visceral reaction to a place and trusted it,” Corcoran wrote. “They’d arrive, look around, smell the air and say ‘This is for me.’ ”

Many Davisites have had that experience, whether it happened while attending UC Davis, cycling the greenbelts or visiting town for a conference.

In May of 2009, Davis was ranked 19th out of 25 “Top Towns to Live Well” in Forbes Magazine. “Characteristics like
the number of museums, parks, bars and restaurants, and cultural institutions per capita were considered, as were factors indicative of a favorable business environment,” Forbes wrote.

Forbes counts Davis’ high number of advanced degrees and international workers with education in the plus category.

And, of course, bicycles!

Davis pioneered bicycling as transportation in the United States by building the first bike lane in the country on Sycamore Lane and Eighth Street, more than 40 years ago.

Davis residents Frank and Eve Child were impressed with Amsterdam’s bicycle lanes while visiting there on a
vacation, and came back to Davis on a mission to have something similar here. They formed the Citizens’

Bicycle Study Group and lobbied hard for bike lanes, but met resistance from people who said the lanes were illegal, unenforceable and weren’t needed.

Davis people already rode bicycles around the city, but it was dangerous trying to share the roads with vehicles. Bike lanes were the answer.

The Childs and a growing number of bicycle lane advocates wrote letters to the editor, spoke to the City Council, got UC Davis people involved and finally elected a City Council that was amenable to bike lanes. And that’s how the first bike lane in the United States got built.

The bike lanes, paths and trails that soon spanned 100 miles of Davis roads led to the adoption of the highwheel
bicycle as the city’s logo, to the Fourth of July Criterium that races around downtown Davis each year, and to recognition of Davis as one of the best places to live.

In the following pages, see why Davis is a great place to visit or an “Amazing Place to Live the Rest of Your Life.”

Besides being all about bikes, Davis also has wonderful parks and greenbelts, great restaurants and entertainment venues, and, of course, a world-class university.

— Enterprise staff writer Bruce Gallaudet contributed to this story.

Enterprise staff

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