Welcome to Davis, California: A Bicycle Friendly Town

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StreetFilms’ Clarence Eckerson has been in Davis, California the last few days, filming one of the premier bicycling cities in the United States. Clarence has a preliminary report and some photos up on the web site with a StreetFilm yet to come.
It’s worth a quick look.

  • Chris in Sacramento

    Davis, certainly a worthy Streetfilms subject, has been resting on its laurels for many years, and its standing as the undisputed US leader in bicycling is threatened.

    In recent years, many suburbanites from the East Bay have discovered Davis’s cuteness and outstanding public schools and have moved in with their housing cash-outs and SUV-oriented lifesyles. As the wealth of the city’s full-time residents (and UC Davis students) has risen, bicycling’s mode share has fallen. Also, plentiful free auto parking downtown incentivizes driving. After the retirement 7-8 years back of visionary city traffic engineer Dave Pelz, the city traffic bureaucracy has taken a more traditional approach to street (and community) design.

    Still, however up-for-grabs the future may be, there is no question that Davis today remains a darn good place for bicycling for people of nearly all ages and abilities.

  • JMC

    Is Davis a decent city for pedestrians? Or is it a bicycling city because it’s too spread out for pedestrians but has low car ownership?

  • For both bicycling and walking, Davis benefits from being a virtually island, as it is surrounded by rural land or floodplains on all four sides. Thus, while the non-university areas are low-density, they are distinctly Davis. What makes Davis a nice place for walking are trees in its older neighborhoods, fairly ubiquitous sidewalks and a low crime rate; plus, its notable system of off-road greenways benefit both walking and bicycling; they are especially popular for school trips.

    There’s a fabulous conference coming to Davis in September. Come on out y’all and check it out: http://www.walkbikecalifornia.org/

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