features ITS-Davis study of in-town big box stores writer Emily Badger reports:

“In 2006, Davis residents voted on a ballot measure to amend the zoning code for a particular parcel of land off Interstate 80 in the eastern part of town.

“ ‘But everyone knew it was this Target that was going to be opening at this specific site,’ says Kristin Lovejoy, a UC-Davis Ph.D. student who studied what happened next. ‘It was totally controversial, everyone was talking about it, and there was a lot of anti-Target discussion because Davis is this sort of progressive town, where it would be counter to our aesthetics and our culture. Are we going to allow this big box store in to our idealistic town where we all go to the farmer’s market?’

“In fact, people did. The measure passed by 51.5 percent of the vote, and the Target opened in October of 2009.

“Lovejoy and four other researchers at the university’s Institute of Transportation Studies took the opportunity to study how the new store would change residents’ shopping and travel patterns. And it turned out, for one thing, that people in Davis were already shopping at big-box stores – they were just driving long distances to get to them.”

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Photo: Priuses at the Davis Target store (CovertProfessor —