Mayors' Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets

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In 2014, Mayor Pro Tempore, Robb Davis, joined 200 other cities across the country in the Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets. As part of this challenge – issued by the US Department of Transportation – the City of Davis will take steps to improve the safety, convenience, and comfort for people on bikes and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. 

The Mayor's Challenge includes 7 challenges.  Below is a list of the challenges and information about what the City of Davis is doing to meet these challenges. 

Mayors' Challenge 1: Complete Streets

A complete streets approach changes the way every day transportation decisions are made; changes design guidelines; educates and trains everyone on the new approach, and uses new measures of success. The ultimate goal will be that pedestrians, people on bikes, drivers and transit riders of all ages and abilities will be able to safely, conveniently, and easily use roads, sidewalks, bike paths, transit and rails to get to their destination.

What we are doing:

  • In 2013, the City of Davis published a Complete Streets policy in the General Plan Transportation Element.
  • The Davis Bike Action Plan includes both programs and projects to create complete streets, fix barriers, gather data, design right, create networks, improve laws, and educate and enforce.   
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    complete streets

    This image is in the City of Davis Transportation Element Complete Streets section.  This is an example of a complete streets improvement design concept.  The Complete Streets section includes policies, standards, and actions to enhance the streets for all users in Davis.

    Mayors' Challenge 2: Fix Barriers

    The purpose of this challenge is to identify and address barriers to make streets safe and convenient for people of all ages and abilities, including those using personal mobility devices. 

     What we are doing:

    • We have 25 grade separated crossings in Davis.  Four overpasses and twenty-one underpass crossings.  We used grade separated crossing to move people on bikes and pedestrians over and under barriers like railroad tracks, busy roads, and the freeway.

    Artist underpass >overpass

    • Davis has eleven intersections with bike traffic signals.  Davis was the first in U.S. to install bike only traffic signals.  The bike traffic signal was created and designed by retired City of Davis City Engineer and Public Works Director Dave Pelz.  On February 16, 1994 this traffic control device was presented to the California Traffic Control Device Committee.  Read the minutes from the meeting: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/engineering/ctcdc/minutes/19940216.pdf  

    bike signal red bike signal yellow bike signal green

    • The City of Davis uses cycle tracks to enhance bike connections.  The cycle track in the images below is located on J Street.  This cycle track connects to a Bike Boulevard on Drexel Drive.  School aged children ride their bikes on Drexel Drive to access Holmes Middle School and the nearby elementary school.  

    Connection to cycle track- Drexel to J Street Facing east on J Street- cycle track connection Facing south- J Street cycle track

     Mayors' Challenge 3: Gather Data

    Pedestrian and bike data programs should be initiated or expanded to better understand walking and biking activity levels (i.e. volume), crash location and circumstances, and existing and proposed infrastructure. This data will enable more informed decision-making such as targeting improvements where the need is the greatest.

    • The City of Davis and UC Davis share data.

    Mayors' Challenge 4: Design Right

    Go beyond minimum design standards to make streets safe and convenient for all road users. Plan projects for the long-term to anticipate likely future demand for biking and walking facilities and not preclude the provision of future improvements.

    What we are doing:

    Bike Box at A Street and Russell Man in bike box

    • In 2015, the City of Davis worked Collaboratively with New Home Company, the developer of the Cannery project, to construct an enhanced bike and pedestrian intersection at Covell Boulevard and J Street.  Learn more about the Cannery Junction intersection

    Cannery Junction Graphic Compressed

    • The City of Davis has six Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) crossings around town.  The RRFB is a flashing LED light that is activated by pressing a button.   RRFBs use an irregular flash pattern that is similar to emergency flashers on police vehicles.  The flashing lights enhance safety by increasing driver awareness.

    RRFB flashingRRFB Crossing at F Street

    • The City of Davis has over 50 miles of pathways.  This pathway system crosses roadways. Where pathways and streets intersect there are traffic control devices to warn both drivers and people on bikes to expect one another. 

    pathway and roadway crossing

     Mayors' Challenge 5: Create networks

    The goal of this challenge is to find ways to make facility improvements for pedestrians and people on bikes during resurfacing and other maintenance projects. Expanding and improving existing roads and facilities to build biking and walking networks as part of regular and routine resurfacing and other maintenance programs can be a low cost alternative. Ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    • The City of Davis improves both pedestrian and bike facilities during resurfacing and other maintenance projects. 

     Mayors' Challenge 6: Improve Laws

    Take steps to protect all road users. Strengthening codes, ordinances, and practices can help to protect non-motorized users. Consider adopting or improving laws related to failure to yield, safe passing, bike lighting requirements, distracted driving, and bicycle helmet use. Also consider vulnerable user laws as well as pedestrian and bike lane use oriented codes and lowered speed limits. Ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Mayors' Challenge 7: Educate and Enforce

    A comprehensive education and enforcement program can be effective in reducing injuries and fatalities. Cities should publicize traffic safety laws and behaviors; educate their communities about the consequences of violating laws aimed at reducing pedestrian and bike injuries and fatalities; and conduct enforcement where they will be most effective based on local crash data. Cities should also recruit local grassroots and community organizations to help educate and publicize enforcement efforts.

    What we are doing:

    • The 2014 Walk and Bike School Audit Report identifies barriers to walking and riding a bike to school and projects and program to improve safety and support walking and biking to school.
    • We have a monthly column in the local newspaper, The Davis Enterprise, where we provide educational information to people who drive, walk, and bike. 
    • We work collaboratively with the bike advocacy group, Davis Bicycles! and host bike rodeos at schools in Davis.
    • We support fun bike rides in Davis.

    Ken's Bike and Ski Board Fun Ride Ken's Bike and Ski Board fun ride- September 2015

    • We created www.gettingarounddavis.org to provide people with information about how to bike, walk, and transit to destinations.
    • We host tours with groups interested in learning about our transportation infrastructure.  We share information with other cities and organizations about biking and walking projects and programs.

    Davis Bike tour- October 2015

    • We are working on developing bike safety classes.
    • We are kicking off a wayfinding project, which will help people on bikes and pedestrians get around Davis.