Mace Blvd Modifications Update – August 1, 2019
On July 30, the Davis City Council approved a request to remove the concrete islands at the intersection of Mace Blvd and Cowell Blvd. This will increase the corner-turn radii and improve vehicle traffic flow. This work will require moving one of the pedestrian/bicycle push button stations and installing temporary traffic barriers for pedestrian safety. The contractor is scheduled to begin this work on Tuesday, August 6 and be completed by August 28th, the first day of the school year. Staff will work with the contractor to finish earlier if possible by extending work hours where it will not impact peak travel periods in the corridor.
Work is currently being conducted on traffic modeling of the redesign options discussed at the July 10 meeting. Once the results are available, we will schedule a community meeting to share the results.
The Davis Police Department will continue to have Officers onsite Friday afternoons monitoring traffic.
In addition, the Police Department has met with Caltrans to discuss ways to ease congestion in the area. Caltrans will be conducting traffic modeling and will share the results with the City.
Legal Action and Waze (7/31/19)
In recent years, navigation apps like Waze have provided drivers with driving directions based on real-time traffic updates and alternative routes to traditional arteries in an effort to avoid congested roadways. Some City residents have expressed concern that navigation apps like Waze are diverting I-80 traffic onto surface streets and resulting in commuters overburdening and creating congestion impacts on surface streets in the City at the expense of residents. Some residents have asked the City to explore legal action against Waze or consider limiting road use to local residents only and closing the roads to commuters.
Under the Vehicle Code, the City has no authority over vehicular traffic control except as expressly provided and the statutory authority to prescribe traffic rules has been strictly construed. In interpreting the Vehicle Code, California courts have consistently recognized the State’s policy that the streets of a city belong to the people of the state, and the use thereof is an inalienable right of every citizen and that all persons have an equal right to use them for purposes of travel. Thus, the City may not restrict the right to travel upon its streets to residents or to other exempted drivers and exclude all other drivers, such as non-resident commuters.
Further, navigation apps are providing users with data, and it is not the apps but the drivers that are deciding to take alternative roadways to avoid congestion on traditional arteries. As a result, the City has not identified legal grounds to form a basis to sue navigation apps like Waze for their role in directing traffic onto roads in the City previously used less by commuters.
The City will continue to monitor traffic patterns in the City, engage with Waze, and will consider mitigation practices where possible to decrease traffic burdens on these streets.
- Darren Pytel, Police Chief
Mace Blvd Modifications Update - July 3, 2019
Included is an update that will be reviewed at the next community meeting on July 10.
Mace Corridor Community Meeting
Wednesday, July 10
Pioneer Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room
Reworking Islands at Cowell and Mace
The City received a cost estimate to remove the islands at Mace Blvd and Cowell Blvd to increase the corner- turn radii and to modify the crosswalks to improve vehicle traffic flow. The cost estimate was much higher than anticipated, and the City is working with the contractor to reduce the cost. If we are unable to reach an agreement, the City will have to go out for other quotes.
The City reached out to the region’s best traffic design/planning firms to help develop design proposals to improve traffic flow and safety along the Mace corridor. All design options were on the table for them to consider (e.g., dedicated right turn lanes, increasing traffic lanes, removal of concrete, relocation of roadway elements). The collaborative design meeting involving the following consultants was held on June 19.
Maurits Lopes Cardozo with Bas Breakman
Bike Minded / Bicycle Consultancy
Fehr and Peers
The following information captures a brief history of the project and the items that came out of the design meeting. The general concepts and possible solutions are now being put into a scope of work for the consultants to evaluate and present design options for City Council consideration. We anticipate the first draft of these solutions and designs, which will be made public, to be available in early fall.
Original Design Intent
The original design intent for Mace was to improve the safety of the corridor for bicycle and pedestrian use. The enhanced safety measures were designed to increase bicycle trips and pedestrian use of the corridor, specifically supporting Safe Routes to Schools. The other design intent was full rehabilitation of the pavement from Redbud to just north of Cowell.
User Group Feedback
Some of the feedback regarding the current configuration includes:
- There is reduced roadway/vehicle capacity since there are now only two vehicle lanes (one north and one south) instead of four (two north and two south) on Mace and congestion has increased.
- The removal of channelized “free right” turns on Cowell has reduced traffic flow through the corridor and increased the time vehicles must wait to make right turn from northbound Mace to eastbound Cowell.
- According to some neighborhood residents, the Mace/Cowell intersection bulb-outs and pedestrian/bike path areas are too large and make paths of travel confusing.
- Crosswalks are too wide and set too far back from the intersection corners causing motorists to avoid making right turns on red, which are allowed.
- There is difficulty exiting San Marino onto Mace (this concern was alleviated with the addition of the three-way stop signs; however, there are new complaints regarding the size and number of flashing red lights at the intersection).
- Northbound bicycle trips originating from the west side of Mace and ending on the west side of Mace require crossing Mace twice on one leg of the trip. The same is true for southbound trips originating from the east side of Mace and ending on the east side of Mace.
- There were already preexisting complaints from the agriculture users since Mace is the primary stretch from South Davis to I-80, and the reduced width has increased the number of complaints.
- GPS navigation systems are directing traffic from the freeway to Mace causing even more traffic for local users.
- Some of the biking community have said that the protected bike lanes feel much safer, and they are biking in the area more because of it.
General Concepts Moving Forward
- Maintain the original design intent; however, better balance the overall competing user groups’ needs: vehicles, bikes, agriculture, and pedestrians.
- Engage in discussions with Caltrans to determine whether on-ramp modifications are feasible.
- Increasing length of HOV lane
- Increasing length of HOV lane, but removing the HOV requirement
- Move the metering lights further down the ramp for more vehicle storage
- Decreasing the metering time to allow more vehicles to enter the freeway
- Reduce the concrete islands at intersections and along the corridor.
- Determine whether metering at Montgomery during peak hours would reduce traffic along the corridor, and reduce the number of vehicles being directed there by GPS navigation devices.
- Modifications should be iterative; the City should implement one modification and observe how it affects the corridor before implementing another.
Solutions and Next Steps
The following solutions came out of the group discussion and will be used with the recent traffic counts and traffic modeling to evaluate the best overall design options and recommendations for City Council approval.
- Restore second northbound Mace traffic lane. The two lanes will start at San Marino and continue to Cowell.
- Restore second southbound Mace traffic lane.
- Adding second left turn lane for northbound Mace to westbound Cowell.
- Determine how far south the left turn pocket should extend.
- This may require removal of some trees.
- Determine how far south the left turn pocket should extend.
- Create a dedicated right turn lane for northbound Mace to eastbound Cowell.
- Determine whether the shared-use path can create a wider bike lane on the west side of Mace so two-way bicycle traffic can continue from San Marino to Cowell.
- Note - this would require reconstructing & widening the existing Class IV bike lane on the west side. This may impact on-street parking.
- Widen the shared-use path on the east side of Mace to support two-way bike traffic.
- Note – this will require a discussion with Yolo County.
- Meter northbound Mace traffic at Montgomery during peak times.
- Note – there is a potential that frustrated drivers will not comply with a signal that arbitrarily forces them to wait at a low-volume, three-way intersection with no visual justification for holding them up.
Mace Blvd Modifications Update – June 18, 2019
Changes coming for Mace/Cowell intersection
The City is moving forward with plans to modify the concrete medians at the Mace/Cowell intersection to better accommodate vehicle turning movements. In order to allow for further future modifications, the contractor will also add temporary water filled barriers in place of raised curbs. This will separate the traffic lanes from bike/pedestrian crossings. Residents will be notified when construction is ready to begin.
Pursuant to City Council direction, staff has been working with outside street design firms to design corridor modifications. City staff will be presenting design concepts at a community meeting on July 10. Staff will then present the design options to the City Council for consideration and feedback. The design experts can then move forward with analyzing traffic counts and modeling actual traffic flows for a final design.
Mace Corridor Update
Wednesday July 10th
Pioneer Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room
Mace Blvd Modifications Update – May 28, 2019
On May 14, City Council adopted a resolution authorizing a multi-way stop at the intersection of Mace Boulevard and San Marino Drive in order to improve safety (due to a lack of sight distance from San Marino Drive). We had a few rain days, but today (May 28), staff has installed a multi-way stop at this location.
The work included installing stop and stop ahead signs on Mace Boulevard in both the north and southbound directions. On top of the stop signs, red flashing beacons were also installed for additional awareness. For San Marino Drive, the existing stop sign was replaced with a yield sign, and the stop location was moved out closer to Mace Boulevard, increasing sight distance and awareness for all users. The cycle track in both the north and southbound directions had stop signs and “Cross Traffic Does Not Stop” signs placed on them. The existing “Hawk” signal was placed on permanent flashing red to bring additional awareness to the multi-way stop.
In regard to other work, which will be completed in the near future, staff is working on completing the design for interim improvements to the intersection of Mace Boulevard and Cowell Boulevard. These improvements will allow additional room for vehicles to make right turns at the intersection. When the design is completed, staff will select a contractor to complete the work during the school break this summer. Longer term corridor improvements are being considered by several consultants and options being developed will be brought to a community meeting, probably in early to mid-July. Staff recommendation will be brought to Council at the last July meeting and final design will be completed by a consultant in coordination with City staff after a consultant has been selected. The City will provide updates as the efforts progress.
Mace Blvd Modifications Update – May 16, 2019
On May 14, the Davis City Council unanimously voted to authorize installation of a multi-way stop at the intersection of Mace Boulevard and San Marino Drive. This work will entail moving the stop limit line on San Marino out closer to Mace Boulevard and placing a new stop sign and stop limit line. The existing stop on San Marino will be converted to a Yield and stop signs will be placed on the bicycle track in both the north and southbound directions. Stop signs will also be placed in the north and southbound directions on Mace Boulevard at San Marino. Stop ahead signs will be placed in the north and southbound directions for awareness of the new stop signs. To add additional safety to the intersection, the “Hawk” signal will be placed in permanent flashing red. This work will be installed as soon as the weather pattern clears, likely the week of May 20.
City staff has been evaluating turn radii options for the Mace Blvd & Cowell Blvd intersection to better accommodate vehicle-turning movements. The city will be modifying raised medians that inhibit right-turn movements. This work will be started after school breaks for summer.
City staff are working with several transportation design firms to develop concepts to facilitate City Council direction including number of lanes, intersection turn movements, landscaping, safety features for bicyclists and pedestrians, and wheelchair-accessible paths of travel. These concepts will be shared at a community meeting. The goal is to have the community meeting in July.
Due to unforeseen weather conditions, the vehicle and bicycle traffic counts will now occur May 29-31.
May 3, 2019-Mace Blvd Modifications
On April 23, after receiving public comment and engaging in considerable discussion, the Davis City Council voted to authorize use of unallocated funds from the Mace Blvd project to make design modifications to the corridor to better accommodate joint use of the roadway for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians, and to alleviate immediate concerns with the current design. The City Council also directed staff to hire outside street design firms to design those modifications for council consideration.
Staff is currently identifying design firms and they will begin work as soon as possible. The design effort will include, but is not limited to, evaluating conversion of the one-lane roads back to two-lanes in both north and south directions on Mace and options for right-hand turn movements.
In the interim, staff was directed to add a 3-way stop at San Marino Dr. & Mace Blvd and adjust the turning radii at Mace Blvd & Cowell Blvd to better accommodate vehicle-turning movements. Vehicle and bicycle traffic counts will take place May 15-17.
Staff has prepared a City Council Resolution to legally allow additional stop signs at San Marino Dr. & Mace Blvd. The Resolution will be on the May 14 City Council consent agenda and the stop signs will be placed at the intersection immediately following the passage of the Resolution. The existing light at this intersection will also be adjusted to continuously flash red. Staff is also working on getting a contractor to adjust the turn radii at Mace Blvd & Cowell Blvd. The goal is to have the work done as soon as a contractor is available. Importantly, further modifications can be made to both these locations should the design firms recommend further adjustments.
As a reminder, we will not hold our originally scheduled update meeting at Davis Fire Station 33 on May 15, as the design team will not have a formal proposal by that time. A meeting will be scheduled once designs are prepared, and before any formal City Council approval of the design options.
Thank you for all the feedback and public participation we have received on this project; we appreciate the continued focus on improving the Mace Blvd corridor.
April 29, 2019-City Council Direction on Mace Blvd Modifications
On April 23, the City Council voted to spend unallocated funds from the Mace Boulevard project on design modifications. The City will establish a street design team, including an outside consultant and city staff, to advise on design revisions for the Mace Corridor to better accommodate vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.
In the short term, the City will make the following interim changes:
- Add a 3-way stop at the intersection of San Marino and Mace Blvd
- Adjust curbs to improve turning radius at Mace & Cowell intersection.
These first steps will occur soon. Future measures will include evaluating conversion of the one-lane roads back to two-lanes in both north and south directions on Mace and options for right-hand turn movements.
The City will continue to communicate progress and construction dates with residents via email and social media. To focus on proceeding with these revisions, we will not hold our originally scheduled update meeting on May 15.
The City has hosted three community meetings to discuss the project. The meeting dates and intent are listed below.
- January 30 and March 28 - This meeting solicited feedback on the traffic issues and provided status updates and next steps from staff.
- April 11 -This meeting was intended for those who could not attend the March 28 meeting, but also for staff to present the solution options and get feedback from residents.
Information From Community Meetings:
The scope of this project is to resurface Mace Boulevard, from Cowell to Redbud and enhance the movement of non‐motorized transportation along the corridor and between the neighborhoods east and west of Mace Blvd, particularly increasing levels of bicycling to Pioneer Elementary School. The Project Scope includes resurfacing and restriping the entire corridor, reconstructing where needed, improving Mace/Cowell intersection for bicycles and pedestrians (e.g. remove free right turns/extend pedestrian refuge islands, installing bike boxes), installing two‐way protected, buffered cycle track on the east side, reconfiguring lanes from four to two plus turn lanes, installing a buffered bike lane on west side, and installing a HAWK signal control at San Marino.
This project, besides the pavement restoration, was developed to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety and to encourage walking and bicycling in the corridor. This is especially important for school age children. This includes enhanced pedestrian crossings which shorten the crossing distances across Mace Boulevard and the side streets. In addition a pedestrian and bicycle HAWK signal was installed near San Marino to stop vehicles and allow for the crossing of Mace Boulevard. Concrete barrier islands were added to the bike lanes as protection to bicyclists as the raised plastic delineators only provide a visual queue to protect bicyclists, however they do not provide a solid structure to keep motor vehicles from entering the bike lane.
Other features of the intersections, such as the protection islands, were designed with the intent to slow vehicles as they turn corners and to allow for pedestrians to safely wait to cross the intersection. The raised curbs and narrowing of the street were intended to provide a traffic calming effect which further promotes walking and bicycling.
For reference, the pavement condition index for this section of Mace was 66 out of 100 in 2016. The recent pavement survey shows 95 because of the recent full depth reconstruction (FDR). The PCI should go up to 100 with the final overlay that recently took place (but after the survey).
Funding comes from a Federal Grant ($2,440,180), with the rest from General Fund (20%) and Road Development Impact Fees (20%)
The entire worksheet that goes to Council for approval during the budget cycle is shown herein.
Click here to review the SACOG Grant Proposal.
The City Council was presented with and approved the description, cost estimate, and budget plan during the annual budget cycle for years 14/15, 15/16, 16/17, and 18/19.
City Council awarded the project at their December 15, 2017 meeting. City Council increased the construction contingency from $238,000 to 700,000 at the October 16, 2018 meeting.
Projects with Federal funding go through an environmental process. At the end the City is granted a preliminary environmental statement (PES). The PES for Mace is included herein.
Click here for Preliminary Environmental Study.
Grant application to the Sacramento Council of Governments (SACOG) was August 5, 2013. The grant was approved by SACOG in December 2018
Bids were opened on November 16, 2017
Council awarded the project on December 5, 2017
City issued the Notice to Proceed for May 14, 2018. However the Contractor took several weeks to work out the phasing of the road rehabilitation.