CRTP Statement on Recent Developments in the Richardson Grove Saga

The Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities was disappointed last month when Caltrans released revised environmental documents for the Richardson Grove oversized truck access project and indicated its intention to proceed with the project with no additional public input. CRTP remains opposed to the project for all of the reasons we have articulated over the last two years. Those reasons include the fact that it draws money and attention away from more urgent priorities, and that it would result in additional large truck traffic, with negative impacts on everything from local road maintenance to global climate change. None of this has changed with the latest Caltrans proposal.

Predictably, litigation has now been filed against the project once again by a collection of environmental groups and concerned citizens. CRTP is not a party to the litigation, but we support the efforts of our allies to challenge the project.

We think everyone should know that CRTP and EPIC – one of the plaintiffs in the latest lawsuit – have been attempting for several months to work in good faith with Caltrans and other project stakeholders to reach a mutually acceptable resolution to the issues with Highway 101 through Richardson Grove without the need for litigation. Unfortunately, Caltrans chose to move ahead with the project unilaterally without addressing many of the major concerns of opponents, leaving EPIC and others with little choice but to sue.

However, CRTP hopes to continue to work with all parties to reach a resolution which meets at least some of the goals of project proponents without causing all of the impacts. If and when such a resolution is reached, neither the project as currently proposed nor the litigation challenging it will be necessary. That’s the outcome we’re hoping for.

STAA Trucks Not Just a North Coast Concern

From the Manteca Bulletin:

“…Lathrop Road, not having the STAA designation, was not engineered with the proper road base to support the weight of these long haul trucks traversing it daily.  This is evidenced by the mere fact that within a few short years after it was paved with new asphalt, it is deteriorating to the point that major work is going to be needed soon.…”

Read the full letter here.

North Coast Journal Op-Ed: STAA Projects Present Serious Safety Threat

Richard Salzman writes in last week’s North Coast Journal:

“…We do not need to be putting more large trucks on 199 perched above the Smith River, nor on Highway 101 between southern Mendocino and northern Humboldt County, where 101 has long stretches with curves that strain the suspension of most vehicles driving at 65 mph, never mind if a deer or a loose tire suddenly crosses your path. In such a situation, the one thing you do not want, is to be alongside of, or head-on with, an oversized truck…”

Read the full op-ed here.

Times-Standard Letter: “Be Ever Vigilant, Save Richardson Grove Again!”

From the Times-Standard letters section:

“Rumor has it that Caltrans may still be cooking up plans for the highway expansion project for big trucks in Richardson Grove State Park, despite being rebuked by the courts two years ago. If this is true, I hope Caltrans will allow the public to comment, and that they’ll take our input seriously….”

Read the full letter here.

Triplicate Op-Ed: “199 needs guardrails, not trucks”

From the Triplicate:

“…Now would be a good time for the DNLTC to relinquish its misguided STAA truck funding for Highways 199/197 and put it toward improved safety measures like replacing the Middle Fork Bridge. Shifting funds to the Last Chance Grade replacement would promote a project with obvious economic and safety improvements for the citizens of Del Norte County….”

Read the full op-ed here.

Op-Ed: “Improvements on U.S. 199, 197 needed, STAA trucks are not”

From the Triplicate:

“I must add my voice to the chorus of locals who understand that the proposed work for Highways 199 and 197 in Del Norte County will not solve current road problems but will worsen already dangerous driving conditions if the work is completed and STAA-sized trucks are permitted to use both roadways…”

Read the full op-ed here.