Candidate Forum
Question 2: L Street and Pole Line already have a lot of traffic. The new Spring Lakes development in south Woodland and the proposed Covell Village will increase traffic on both these roads. What would you do as a city council member to help improve the traffic problems on these north south arteries?

Charlesworth / Forbes / Saylor  / Greenwald

JJ Charlesworth:
First off, I am heavily against ANY approval for needless sprawl for the financial gain of just a few individuals. Suburban Sprawl is becoming a blight on California. I am especially against the building of Covell Village. So, I wouldn't allow it if it were in my power.

My solution to the Richards underpass problem is to open L ST. up to Olive, connecting them over the railroad crossing. This would relieve much of the downtown congestion experienced by citizens in the downtown region.

Stan Forbes:
Spring Lake and Covell Village will add significant traffic to L and Pole Line. But so too will commercial developments on Second Street and the old Hunt Wesson site. First I would only build to the extent the streets can handle the traffic. I would oppose any six lane streets or any development that would result in the streets exceeding their capacity. People who live in east Davis, or any part of Davis for that matter, should not have to endure gridlock traffic for the sake of a developer's project. Second, I would work to manage traffic better. As of now, Pole Line approaching Davis from the north is a race track. I would install traffic calming and traffic managing improvements on Pole Line such as well designed roundabouts at Moore and Picasso. They slow traffic and give those intersections greater capacity. When I was previously on the Council, F Street and Lake Boulevard had the same race track problem and I got the city to install traffic calming islands and stop signs which significantly improved traffic flow. Third, I would make greater efforts to develop a commuter bus service between Davis and Woodland and Davis and Sacramento so fewer people would find it necessary to use their cars.

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Don Saylor:
Existing traffic issues include driving over speed limits on both streets due to a "speed trap" effect of the wideness of the streets and the drivers' natural response to the open feeling. A second problem occurs when drivers approach the wide turns and very open intersections at higher rates of speed than safe or desirable.

We should consider adding some signage and controls on L. Although this is outside the DMN, I am especially concerned about the area north of 8th - near Holmes Junior High and at time of day when school commutes are underway.

In terms of the named projects, it is my view that traffic impacts must be addressed as a necessary precondition for any development - whether infill or greenfield development outside existing General Plan. The most significant traffic issues are likely to result from increased uses nearest the neighborhood. For example, a major infill project at the PG&E site on 5th would likely generate more traffic concerns in the immediate area than a project some greater distance away.

The residents of Davis did not have a chance to weigh in on the Spring Lake Development in Woodland. We need to be at the table when issues affecting our future are decided. Traffic is the biggest challenge for any housing project in our community.

Before I would support any project - either infill or Greenfield - I would apply several specific criteria in addition to traffic issues:
  • True community needs are addressed. (We must be better off after the project.)
  • The project pays for itself and does not create a financial burden for existing residents.
  • Total citywide growth is within the annual ceiling of 250 housing units per year set by the City Council in 2003. This is slightly below the SACOG fair share guideline of 276 units and reflects about 1% of our current housing stock.
  • There must be a mix of housing types and we must address affordability for moderate income families such as teachers and other local employees.
  • Agriculture mitigation must be in place
  • School impacts must be fully addressed
  • Complete environmental review is conducted and impacts are identified and mitigated.
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Sue Greenwald:
First, I certainly would not want to remove the traffic calming measures on Pole Line Road. These measures were mitigations which were promised the neighborhood, and we must honor our promises.

Secondly, I am not ready to consider Covell center at this time. I donít think that any traffic mitigation would be possible in the face of such a massive development. I do favor improved mass transit and all other measures that could reduce auto trips.

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