Bike Davis Position on Covell and L Street Intersection

June 20, 2019

Introduction

The otherwise continuous bike lane along Covell from west Davis to east Davis has been interrupted by the newly configured intersection at L Street. At L Street the bike lane ends requiring eastbound cyclists to make split second decisions. To avoid running into the bulb-out they are either forced into traffic on Covell or forced to stop in the travel lane at the intersection blocking northbound traffic on L Street. 

Posting a sign saying “Bike Lane Ends” does not compensate for the poor design. A transportation cyclist will choose to continue along the roadway in his preferred direction of travel. But in this case the cyclist will find a vehicular turn lane and then a concrete island obstructing his path and gravely endangering him.

To rectify this situation Bike Davis takes the following position: 

The uninterrupted bike lane should be restored on Covell. People riding bikes east-bound should be able to cross the intersection without being forced to divert or merge out of the bike lane.[1] The dedicated right turn lane for vehicles on Covell needs to be converted back into a bike lane, which can accommodate right turning vehicles. Restoring the continuity of the bike lane would eliminate the current hazard to through bicycle traffic. 

Until the intersection can be reconstructed, Covell should be restricted to one lane of travel through the intersection so as to provide safe passage for people on bicycles in accordance with the General Plan Transportation Element, which states “Where limited street space exists, priority should be given to non-motorized modes to protect the safety and comfort of these more vulnerable users….”[2]

Future projects should be re-reviewed so that no more bike lanes are obstructed by new projects.  

 
  1. Examples of intersections along eastbound Covell having a continuous bike lane are at Lake Boulevard, Denali, Shasta, Hwy 113, Sycamore, Anderson, Hanover, Oak, F Street, J Street, Poleline, Birch,  Baywood, Manzanita, Monarch, Alhambra and Harper Junior High.

  2. City of Davis General Plan Transportation Element, December 10, 2013, page 22.

Pictured here: eastbound bike lane along Covell Blvd. approaching the L Street intersection. The photo below was taken just beyond this point, continuing east.

Pictured here: eastbound bike lane along Covell Blvd. approaching the L Street intersection. The photo below was taken just beyond this point, continuing east.


View along Covell at the intersection looking east. The bulb-out curb with signal pole lies directly in the path of the customary alignment of the bike lane.

View along Covell at the intersection looking east. The bulb-out curb with signal pole lies directly in the path of the customary alignment of the bike lane.


Covell and L Street, looking west (same location as previous photo)

Covell and L Street, looking west (same location as previous photo)


Example of a standard intersection design: the bike lane striping ends at the approach to the intersection, then resumes with no obstructions to the natural, direct path of bicycle travel along the right side of motor vehicle travel. Pictured here is Covell at F Street, looking east (about 1/2 mile west of L Street).

Example of a standard intersection design: the bike lane striping ends at the approach to the intersection, then resumes with no obstructions to the natural, direct path of bicycle travel along the right side of motor vehicle travel. Pictured here is Covell at F Street, looking east (about 1/2 mile west of L Street).