Helping the Homeless, Reviewing Depot Ideas

We’re sharing two announcements from the city of Davis: A call for volunteers at a new day respite center for homeless people, and an opportunity to give feedback on recommendations aimed at overcoming “challenges” of the Davis Amtrak station.

DAY RESPITE CENTER — An information session and orientation will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. this Wednesday (Feb. 12) for prospective volunteers (minimum age 18).

The center, which gained City Council approval as a pilot project in late December, has not opened yet. It is being readied in the city corporation yard on Fifth Street in east Davis.

The organizers said volunteer assignments will include greeter and helping with intake, food and supplies runner, laundry and shower manager —  and being friendly company to the homeless people coming to the center.

To sign up or for more information, contact Kellie Vitaich, volunteer program coordinator, by phone, 530-747-5874, or email.

DAVIS AMTRAK STATION — With funding from the state, the city launched a study last year to identify opportunities to increase ridership, improve multimodal accessibility and enhance station safety.

Draft recommendations are due to be presented at a meeting from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Dresbach-Hunt-Boyer Mansion, 604 Second St. A brief presentation is planned at 5:30 p.m.

City officials acknowledge the station is popular — it’s the third most active depot in the region, serving more than 10 percent of total Capitol Corridor ridership — but say it is “fraught with challenges.”

“Parking surveys show the lot fills well before the arrival of the first train and remains full until the late afternoon,” officials say on the Davis Amtrak Access and Connections Study webpage. “Surveys also suggest that bicycle parking is regularly at or near capacity. Additionally, the current depot lacks modern amenities and safety features.”

A consulting firm gathered community input via a survey, workshops and stakeholder meetings over the last year. A report lists the following ideas for improvement:

  • Expanding and improving curbside interface along H Street
  • Enhancing the Amtrak bus station to include an all-weather shelter, lighting, bus-rail information, connection to the depot
  • Installing informational and wayfinding signage
  • Renovating the depot restrooms·
  • Adding more art and-or educational components·
  • Creating secure indoor bicycle storage
  • Opening a depot café

The report also suggests continued examination of the feasibility of a convertible and-or mixed-use parking structure.

The consultant is considering feedback from city commissions and the public before submitting a final report to the City Council, tentatively scheduled for Feb. 25.

For the Feb. 20 meeting, the city is asking for but not requiring RSVPs, which can be arranged online. Questions? Contact Elise Brockett by phone, 916-442-1168, or email.

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