Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dangerous Intersections Along Fifth Street--The Never-Ending Foot-Dragging (60)

The new news organization The Davis Patch ran a story this week on “dangerous intersections” in Davis as computed from 2009 data. Of course, Fifth Street between A and L shows up prominently.

I reproduce the Patch’s “interactive map” of high-collision intersections after the jump.

As can be seen, the map shows a concentration of three high-collision intersections along Fifth in 2009. There were four collisions each at Fifth and E, G, and J (as well as 3 at 5th and F). No other area in Davis had such a concentration, suggesting--as we have long known--that something is systemically wrong with that length of 5th.

You can “interact” with the map at:

All this brings us once again to the City’s bizarre foot-dragging on the matter of 5th Street safety.

This foot-dragging is bizarre because it continues to ignore years and years of a broad-based, vigorous, and collision-data-based citizen campaign to improve the street. 

The newly elected City Council has been hailed as bringing a new spirit to civic affairs.  Unhappily, we have yet to see that spirit applied to 5th Street (and that “new” spirit seems to be fading fast on other matters as well).

My “take-away” about this 5th Street mess, so far, is that polite citizen campaigns are futile in many circumstances of entrenched power.

Finally to move power-holders who are determined to turn a blind eye to obvious problems, vigorous and highly disruptive protest action is required (nonviolent, of course).

Protest action of this kind is most effective and likely when catalyzed by an egregious event that dramatizes the problem.

In this case, a catalyzing dramatic event is likely to be a collision with serious human injury or death.

If this matter continues to drag-on, I think it will not be long until we have a catalyzing dramatic event on 5th Street--and the disruptive, government-paralyzing protest catalyzed by it.   JL