Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A New Old North Street Sign? (263)

How about this for a new Old North Davis street sign? (It might be transitioned to over time, beginning with replacement of four regular combined with ON signs that are currently missing.)

This concept might now become reality because the City has acquired a sign-making machine that allows "logo featuring" on Cannery street signs, shown below. Public Works is apparently willing to apply this feature to Old North street signs.

I suppose one follow-on question might be: should the Old North develop a logo to use on the sign or simply go with lettering of the kind Public Works has placed on the example given above? At this time, I lean to using the Public Works example and be done with it.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Davis Enterprise Report On Eight UCD Student Designs For a Redeveloped School District Block (262)

June 11th, the Enterprise published a story on a UCD class in which the students  developed eight quite different plans for a redeveloped school district block.

Given its special relevance to those of us who reside in Old North, I provide much of the story below and after the jump. The entire story, which features details on five of the plans, can be read at:

To me, the “take-a-way” is: There are certainly a lot of almost radically different and reasonable conceptions of what could happen there! Think long and hard and do not go with any plan too soon.

The Season of Street Sign Theft Is Upon Us (261)

Old North Davis Street signs are stolen on a fairly predictable cycle that corresponds to large numbers of students leaving town. They desire to take mementos of their stay in Davis and our colorful street signs present attractive targets -- targets that are especially attractive to alcohol fueled groups traveling on foot under the cover of darkness.

And so it is that now -- the end of the current academic year -- at least one more has gone missing -- the one at C and 6th. And the one at B and 6th has been the subject of energetic effort that failed but came close (images 1 and 2).

The other day someone faulted the City for not having theft-proof screws on the signs so that people could not so easily detach them. This person may have a point, but the sad fact is that many signs are taken by brute force without the nicety of undoing screws. Thus, the entire sign array at C and 6th is now missing! And the one pictured here almost yielded to brute force.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Types of ONDNA Membership and Old North Collective Action (260)

Over the years I have noticed that the minutes of ONDNA meetings often refer to Old North residents attending a meeting who are not Board members as “visitors” or “guests.”

Strictly and literally speaking, both these labels for resident meeting-attenders are false. Under City of Davis rules for the functioning of City-recognized neighborhood groups (of which the ONDNA is one), all residents of a designated area are members of its official neighborhood group whether they like it or not.*

Without paying dues (which cannot be a requirement of membership), all residents have the right to know in advance of all ONDNA meetings, to speak at meetings, and to vote in all matters stipulated by the City-reviewed and approved by-laws.

This misuse of language has prompted me to think more generally about ONDNA “membership” and, in particular, forms and levels of it.  Contemplating the topic, I have come to the view that “membership” is an under-analyzed and acted-on matter in ONDNA functioning. So, in the spirit of exploration and clarification, let me think-aloud here about ONDNA “membership.”

Friday, May 19, 2017

Next Step on Old North Traffic Calming: ONDNA Working Group On Traffic Calming? (259)

1. Rob Davis to ONDA re Traffic Calming
The letter ONDNA President Marilyn Underwood sent the City calling for traffic calming measures in Old North -- published in post number 257, May 5, 2017 -- elicited the response from Davis Mayor Robb Davis that is reproduced in graphic 1.

The Mayor mentions that the Council has asked the BTSS Commission (“Bit-Sick?”) to “work on a plan for street calming across the city.”

Curious about this, I went to the agendas and minutes of BTSSC and found that, according to the agenda for the April 13, 2017 meeting, an “Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Neighborhood Traffic Calming” was created at that very meeting (graphic 3).

So, there may be traffic-calming work in that Commission, but it is very new. No minutes of that meeting are reported as yet, so we do not know the exact nature of the action taken beyond creation of an organizational entity.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Old North Residents Ask the City to Implement At Least Part of the 2012 Traffic Calming Plan (257)

1. Davis Enterprise, February 12, 2012
In a letter to the City Council dated April 30, 2017, the ONDNA Board presses forward on the long-stalled effort to implement at least a scaled-down version of the 2012 plan for Old North traffic calming -- a plan created by Alta Planning and Design under contract with and at the request of the City.

ONDNA President Marilyn Underwood signs the letter that is reproduced below in graphics numbers 3, 4, and 5.*

The letter speaks for itself quite cogently and I only want to introduce it with some modest context, which includes (full disclosure) my own advocacy in this matter.

In 2011 and 2102, the City carried out a process of engaging Old North area (and other 5th Street proximate) residents on the topic of neighborhood traffic calming. This process was led by Davis City planners, conducted by professional planners from Alta Planning and Design, and involved face-to-face resident engagement (a moment of which is seen in graphic 1). 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sept ’15 to Feb ’17 Minutes of the Old North Davis Neighborhood Association (256)

I recently noticed that it has been almost a year since I last received notice of ONDNA minutes published for public view on the internet. 

Unable to find such internet postings in a concerted search for them, I asked the ONDNA President, Marilyn Underwood, if there were minutes and how I might find them on the internet. She told me that  minutes do exist but that they are on a Google Drive account that has no public URL and that requires that one have a Google account.

When I expressed my concern that this is not a desirable arrangement from a transparency and democratic access point of view, she created a public URL for that Drive, which can be reached at this location:

I greatly appreciate her quick response in attempting to make the ONDNA more open with regard to a record of the organization's actions.

Public access aspects aside, it is still not easy to read minutes on that Drive. In the hope of stimulating knowledge of and interest in the ONDNA, I have reformatted the eight sets appearing there and I post them here en masse. Enjoy.

The reader will notice that there are no minutes for several months in the series. I am uncertain why this is and I will work on acquiring and publishing minutes of the missing meetings.*

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A New Supply of Old North Davis Street Signs? (255)

I have been asked what a new supply of Old North Street signs would cost. The answer I can offer is the one I learned in inquires I made about this matter in 2013.

When the supply was starting to run low in 2013, I asked the maker of the first set of signs -- the Newman Sign Company -- for a quote and received the answer that more of the current shape--the “cut to shape” kind--would be $134.25 for one sign going up to $34.85 each when one bought 100. This quote is shown in the bottom portion of image 1.

This price was quite a lot more than we paid for the set of 30 we bought from Newman in 2005 and I asked about alternatives. I then learned that using a “precut” or standard shape sign cuts the cost considerably.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Documents on Starting the Old North Davis Street Signs Program (254)

A. ON Street Sign Organizing Documents
Given that the Old North Davis street sign program is apparently winding down, I thought it might be of at least slight interest to recall how that civic effort started and was structured (although not all of the formal structure was implemented).

Documents providing this information have been and still are posted on the Old North Davis History website, here:

The list of six documents at that location is shown in image A.  Each requires downloading or opening, which is not very convenient. For ease, I have opened and posted all six of them here (images 1 through 6).