Monthly Archive for May, 2010

Bike commute gave council candidate some platforms

Published in the Davis Enterprise on Fri., May 28, 2010

By Daniel Watts

Dirt in my eyes again. Knuckles numb with cold. This had become my morning routine.

Forgetting my gloves in winter — that’s my own fault. But those leaf blowers — those gas-guzzling machines that kick up dirt on the bike path — those were sent from hell to destroy me.

The bike path was fun. It let me ride from my mobile home in South Davis to the law school, bypassing most obstacles that confound the drivers of Davis. I’d sneak under roads, entirely avoiding downtown, jetting along the Arboretum, and shooting out onto the roundabout in front of Mrak Hall. Pedaling from my “affordable” pre-fabricated house to my 9:30 a.m. constitutional law class took only seven minutes if I hurried.

Continue reading ‘Bike commute gave council candidate some platforms’

Next Step for Biking in Davis: Stenciled Safe Routes to Schools

Joe at the 2010 Loopalooza

Submitted to: The Enterprise, Davis, California, for May 21, 2010 publication

by: Joe Krovoza

Increasing the number of students biking to school is the most important bike issue for Davis – and potentially the most significant “green schools” action for our school district.  Is this really an issue?  In Davis?  Yes.  Approximately 25 percent of Davis students bike to school.

Safer and clearer routes and better bike infrastructure for students will mean a richer bike culture for all.  If we assist our most vulnerable cyclists, everyone will benefit.  Reducing congestion and spillover parking will make schools better neighbors.  If students bike more, I believe parents will follow.  The cost will be low; strong partnerships – a forte for Davis – will be critical. Continue reading ‘Next Step for Biking in Davis: Stenciled Safe Routes to Schools’

Larsen is the best bike story

By Rochelle Swanson

When I was told I could write a column about bikes, my head started to spin with all the possibilities.

Childhood memories of the sparkly purple banana-seat bike with the giant handle bars? It wouldn’t pass today’s safety standards, as most stories include multiple riders at once.

The beloved yellow Schwinn Varsity when I got my first bike-related confirmed concussion? Nope — by the way, everyone really should wear a helmet.

The adult years? I could write about trying to keep up with a 4-year-old on training wheels along the Putah Creek bike path while pregnant with his brother. Many readers can appreciate those early days of watching their kids figure out that turning around to find mom or dad while riding is not such a smart idea.

Of course, there is also the singing of nursery rhymes while riding as fast as you can because the baby in the Burley wants to get home now. You can always tell the new parents from the veterans. The newbies raise their eyebrows and avoid eye contact, while the parents who have been there just smile and nod their heads in understanding.

Continue reading ‘Larsen is the best bike story’

Here’s a peek behind the bike scene in the city of Davis

Published in the Davis Enterprise on Fri., May 7, 2010

By Jon Li

Squirreled away in a trailer in the city Public Works Department corporation yard are the brains, and the muscles, of the city’s ongoing campaign to improve safety for bicycles and pedestrians. Tara Goddard has a degree in mechanical engineering from UC Santa Barbara, and a master’s in policy from UC Davis’ Institute for Transportation Studies.

She has worked for the state Department of Housing and Community Development, and as an engineer for the city of Sacramento.

Goddard has worked for the city of Davis for two years. I asked her:

How overwhelming is your workload? What are the demands from outside groups?

“With the increased awareness of and planning for sustainability, improved air quality, reduced congestion, etc., there is a near-constant stream of information requests about Davis’ bicycle history and the current state of the practice here,” she says. “In any given week, I field e-mails and phone calls requesting information, interview time and tours from everyone from research students to visiting professionals.

“In my time with the city, I’ve been interviewed for Sunset Magazine and Esquire Japan; hosted professionals and students from Japan, Wales, Canada and the U.S.; and provided tours of Davis’ bicycle facilities to groups from San Francisco, Portland, Japan and others. Continue reading ‘Here’s a peek behind the bike scene in the city of Davis’