*The ESLLC was tasked with writing a letter to their hometown politicians about the walkability, bikeability and access to public transportation in their towns and cities. Using Jeff Speck’s Walkable City, the students gave suggestions on how to make their hometowns safer, healthier and cleaner.*
November 3rd, 2015
Mayor Dan Wolk
23 Russell Blvd #1
Davis, CA 95616
Dear Mayor Dan Wolk,
Hello. My name is Alex Solorio, and I am a citizen of Davis. I have lived here for my entire life and have moved houses 4 different times, so I am very familiar with the city’s layout. I loved growing up in Davis, from biking to school every day to walking around downtown at night with friends. Three years ago, I moved from the southern suburbs into a 5-acre property on the opposite side of town. I love the new house and surrounding area of fields and cows, but something I’m not too fond of is having to use a car in order to get everywhere.
According to walkscore.com, my old neighborhood has a walk score of 7 (on a scale 1-100), a transit score of 11, and a bike score of 66 (which is very good). Although the first two scores are low, at my new house they are even worse, with scores of 3, 0, and 0, respectively. The bike score is a bit misleading, because there is a very nice bike lane that goes all the way down Russell into downtown. It gave a bad score simply due to my house’s distance from any stores, businesses, or restaurants. However, the transit score (0) could be easily fixed by implementing a new bus line that travels through west Davis. Another option would be to extend the Unitrans K or D lines to go further west to include properties in my area.
The reasoning behind measuring walk/transit/bike scores is that there are many issues that occur when planning and building a car-based city. First, building more roads causes the average citizen to become more car-dependent, which can cause laziness and inactivity. Second, more cars on the road means more harmful greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere, which directly relates to the overall warming of the planet. Davis is already excelling at providing its people with bike lanes on every major street, in order to promote biking as a means of transit over cars. However, improving the bus system to extend to all parts of Davis would be beneficial to the planet, as well as allow those who cannot afford a car or gas to be able to commute anywhere in the city.
As a citizen of Davis, I urge you to consider these changes to the bus lines. Thank you for your time.