A new gateway between UC Davis and downtown was recently unveiled as part of the city’s Third Street Improvement Project, between A and B streets. Chancellor Gary May and others participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony last month to celebrate the new look and reopening of the street. City Manager Mike Webb ’98 said the project is a physical reminder of the relationship between the city and university. “I think this project is a fantastic gateway to more formally connect UC Davis and downtown,” Webb said in May.
“The Davis Needle” is a 25-foot obelisk made from used bicycle parts at the intersection of Third Street and University Avenue. Artists Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector of Petaluma designed and built the sculpture, and Mike Hollibaugh of Holly Solar, also of Petaluma, devised and installed a system of LED lights inside the art — to flash in programmed sequences at night, for one minute at the top of each hour.
The project also includes an electronic sign that counts how many cycles pass by each day (and compares the number to the previous day).
Decorative pavers now cover Third Street between A and B streets. The project required construction crews to move power lines underground and upgrade the storm-water drainage system.
The “new” Third Street gives bicyclists and pedestrians more room, by narrowing the traffic lanes. The project also features new lighting, bike racks, benches and information kiosks.