- Hutchison Drive upgrades promote sustainable commuting
- 2-way “cycle track” includes buffer zone between bikes, cars
- Project also will modify Highway 113 on- and off-ramps
UC Davis is building comfort, convenience and sustainability into the Hutchison Drive commute path between UC Davis West Village and the central campus.
The project centered on the Hutchison overpass at Highway 113 calls for new sidewalks, a bike path running east on the south side of Hutchison and a 14-foot-wide two-way cycle track on the north side of Hutchison. What is a cycle track? See box below.
In addition, the project will alter the way drivers exit and enter the highway. Cars coming off Highway 113, southbound or northbound, will end up at “squared-up” intersections, with signals, where drivers will turn left or right onto Hutchison. Cars will enter the highway, northbound or southbound, through the same intersections. Two long, curved on-ramps will be removed.
In Phase 1, scheduled to start this week and last into October, no detours will be required as the contractor narrows the existing median to make way for bike lanes and left-turn lanes. Detours for Phases 2 and 3 are outlined below.
Comfort and sustainability
Campus officials said the project is designed for pedestrians’ and bicyclists’ comfort, while also promoting sustainability in how West Village residents get from home to campus and back.
“As our campus community grows and traffic of all kinds increases, we have to adapt our infrastructure to support it and encourage sustainable commuting options,” said Matt Dulcich, director of environmental planning for UC Davis.
The project coincides with the completion of The Green at West Village, a university-sponsored apartment project with space for more than 3,000 continuing and transfer students. The first phase opened last fall and the rest of the project will open in September.
“Making it more convenient for residents to get from their homes to the rest of campus and to downtown Davis will help them engage while enriching our campus community and the city of Davis in the process,” Dulcich said.
Martin Brothers Construction won the contract with a bid of $7 million. The project is a component of planned campus-funded investment in infrastructure and externally financed with repayment from campus funds.
Phase 1 (August-October)
- Narrowing the existing median to 11 feet (from 16 feet) to make way for left-turn lanes and bike infrastructure.
- No detours.
Phase 2 (November-March)
- Work on the north side of Hutchison, including sidewalk and two-way cycle track.
- Westbound Hutchison will be limited to one lane.
- On-ramps from westbound Hutchison to northbound and southbound 113 will be closed. Detour to the first roundabout at UC Davis West Village, circle the roundabout and double-back to use the on-ramps on the south side of Hutchison.
- Off-ramp from southbound 113 will be open.
WHAT IS A CYCLE TRACK?
A cycle track, also known as a protected bike lane, differs from a traditional bike lane in that the track is “off-street,” that is, separate from automobile traffic. The Hutchison Drive cycle track will have a 5-foot buffer zone and bollards separating bicyclists from motor vehicles — making the cycle track more attractive to a wide range of bicyclists at all levels and ages. Bicyclists going east on Hutchison will also have the option of a traditional bike lane. “For users with more advanced skills, they can ride in the street on the bike lane,” said Matt Dulcich, director of environmental planning for UC Davis. “For other users, the off-street bike path/cycle track may be more appealing.”
Phase 3 (April-June)
- Work on the south side of Hutchison, including sidewalk and traditional bike lane.
- Eastbound Hutchison will be limited to one lane.
- New on-ramp to southbound 113 will be open (on the north side of Hutchison).
- New on-ramp to northbound 113 will be under construction; drivers can use Russell Boulevard as an alternate.
- Off-ramp from northbound 113 to Hutchison will be closed. Alternates: Access Hutchison by way of Old Davis Road off Interstate 80 or Russell Boulevard off Highway 113.