Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Earliest Known Photo of a Davis Bike Lane and That Location Today (216)

In its Wednesday, July 26, 1967 issue, the Enterprise ran a photo described as a view of “the new bike path on West Eighth near Pine Lane,” an image reproduced here.

Looking at the upper-right hand corner of this photo, we can see the 8th Street water tower tank above the truck on the right.

Intrigued, I went to the intersection of 8th Street and Pine Lane and, sure enough, I could see the water tower tank, as shown in the second photo.

I suppose we might claim at least a tiny bit of “historicity” for that location as the first known photographed location of the historic Davis bike lane system.

Full size reproductions of each photo follow "the jump,"

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Bikes ’67 #9, December: Enterprise Summary of 1967 (215)

This post is devoted to the single item of the Enterprise’s summary of the events of the twelve months of 1967. Because that summary fills a large, multicolumn, small print page, I have divided it into six segments, presented in sequence.

To me, the most striking aspect of this list of projects and events is how minor bike lanes were in the larger scheme of a Davis burgeoning on all sides in myriad ways.

Bike were, it seems, simply: “Oh, yes, I recall now, we did also do bike lanes in 1967.”

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Bikes ’67 #8, October-November: Campus Closed To Cars & Bike Life Rolls On (214)

October 31
It is hard to know how much difference it made, but closing the central campus to car travel in the fall of 1967 seems likely to have prompted at least some increase in resident rates of bike travel and therefore bike lane use.

At any rate, it is certainly an interesting coincidence that campus officials would select the moment Davis starts bike lanes to change it’s campus traffic organization in a way that fostered much greater bike use (November 7 photo, after the jump, below).

Several other stories in this series document a number of the many other actions taken by UCD to both encourage and accommodate bike use. 

Let me suggest that the ordinary “bike narrative” that Davis tells itself might give UCD officials much more credit than it usually does for the rise of the bike as a key feature of Davis life.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bikes '67 #7, September-October: Road Reconstructions & UCD Students Swarms (213)

September 14
By happenstance, a number of the most important streets of Davis were being upgraded or reconfigured at the same time as the introduction of bike paths. As stories reported earlier indicate, this caused problems with marking lanes on streets and required postponements of markings in some places.

The September 14th photo reproduced here shows the then underway transformation of Russell Blvd from a two lane country road into a divided four-lane highway. Bike lanes were not opened until that work was completed.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Bikes ’67 #6, August-September: Lane Revisions & Further Implementation (212)

Apparently having begun to mark lanes, the “on the ground” reality prompted some
August 29
rethinking about the exact design, especially along 3rd Street from about the rail tracks to B Street--described in the August 29th story.

The August 29 report also makes clear that no bike path had yet been installed on 3rd Street between B and the tracks.

At the August Clamor Club meeting (September 1), the Chief Bartholomew reported that 40,000 brochures explaining the new lanes were being printed for distribution, with a focus on school children. (Oddly enough, not one of these brochures is known to have survived.)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Bikes ’67 #5, July-August: Ordinance Adopted, Bike Lanes Start With Little Notice (211)

Although state-enabling legislation was still not in place, this seemed not to hold up the City
in proceeding with bike lanes.

And the process was becoming ever more “official,” now in the form of new City ordinance sections regarding bike lanes and the behavior of bike riders (shown in the July 25th story).
July 25
It is especially amusing to read the ordinances sections. This is prose from which I suppose we can date Davis bike rider massive disregard for bike law!

When Exactly Did Bike Lanes Start?

The caption to the photo dated July 26-2 refers to “traffic on the new bike path on West Eighth near Pine Lane . . .”

This is the earliest reference to bike lane actual use I have seen. It suggests that the system or at least part of it became operational in mid- to later July.