Monday, April 6, 2015

1967 Map of the First Davis Bike Lanes (223)

Given the quasi-sacred role of bike lanes in Davis life, it is puzzling that the exact locations of the complete set of the first such lanes has never been definitively established.

This is in large measure because the people who installed them in the summer of 1967 left virtually no records, nor did much of anyone else bother to try to provide precise and complete documentation.

The October 2, 1967 issue of the Enterprise carries a report that the Chamber of Commerce had just issued a brochure including a map of the new lanes (image 1). But while 10,000 copies of it were said to be available for free distribution, none was known to have survived. (Where are the hoarders when you need them?)

None was known to survive, that is, until I finally did what anyone could have done in the 48 years since 1967. I wandered into the Map Room of UCD’s Shields Library and looked into its drawer of Davis maps.

There it was--and has apparently been--since 1967.

The lane-relevant portion of the map is excerpted in image 2. The map legend shows a “DAVIS BIKEWAY ROUTE.” Inspected in its totality, it appears to form a “loop” with gaps. It runs west to east along West Eighth to East Eighth, turning south on J and back to the west on Third.

No lane is shown between the tracks and A Street, but it begins again at the campus, where it continues west and turns north to run along the south edge of Russell before joining Sycamore and continuing north and completing the loop at West Eighth.

The missing parts of the loop are likely explained by the extensive road and utility work underway in the summer and fall of 1967. (Several reports on this work are included in the ten part Davis bike series published on this blog and collected at the URL given in the first box listed in the right-hand sidebar on this page.)

In addition, the campus has more lane footage along Russell and along A Street. The placement of the city limits and bikeway legends would suggest these lanes are on campus rather than on City property. (That is, of course, where we see them today.)  And, there is a block-long "spur" on Third between J and K streets. 


In the interest of context, some other portions of that Chamber of Commerce brochure are reproduced in images 3, 4, and 5.