$300,000 Parking Spaces and the Gutting of the Great Redwood Trail Act

The Collector

August 24, 2018

“Great Redwood Trail Act” No Longer
The Great Redwood Trail Act has officially been gutted (and re-named) in the Assembly. After unanimously passing the State Senate and every other committee that considered it, the newly amended bill would no longer dissolve the North Coast Railroad Authority and create a mandate for the Great Redwood Trail. Instead, it simply calls for the NCRA to spend a couple of years exploring its options for dissolution and rail-banking. It appears to have been derailed by a recalcitrant governor’s office. But the fight isn’t over! If the political will is there, the bill can still be amended.

Supes Balk at $300,000 Parking Spaces
Parking spaces can be expensive. Really expensive. The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors found that out this week when they were confronted with a jail expansion plan that would build a subterranean lot at a cost of $300,000 per space. Alternatives presented by county staff included other extremely expensive ways to build parking off-site. Apparently no one considered the idea of just not building that parking and instead using the money to provide bus or shuttle service to and from the jail. After all, $300,000 is more than an entire month’s budget for the regional Redwood Transit System.

Transportation Plays Important Role in Food Access
In an important exploration of hunger on the North Coast, the Times-Standard highlights the importance of transportation access – or the lack of it – in creating and perpetuating food deserts in our rural area. Local advocates suggest we may have to re-think the definition of “food desert” for our area. CRTP suggests that we may also want to re-think our development and transportation patterns.

Is Eureka’s Vision for Waterfront Drive Unrealistic?
The California Transportation Commission recently approved Eureka’s request for $2.3 million to help complete Waterfront Drive, and the City is now applying for almost $9 million more in federal funding for the project. In promoting this plan, the City seems to be touting a completed Waterfront Drive as the solution to practically all of its transportation problems. They say it will relieve congestion on Highway 101, improve bicycle and pedestrian safety, bring cars into Old Town, improve freight access to the harbor, complete the waterfront trail, and more. Unfortunately, some of these goals appear to be at odds with each other. Just one example: it’s pretty hard to see how a new busy boulevard carrying thousands of cars and trucks right through Old Town would improve bicycle and pedestrian safety.

CRTP Responds to Anti-Bicycling Polemic
Sometimes you just have to speak up.

Arcata City Council Schedules Special Meeting to Wrap Up Consideration of The Village
No more long evenings – this time it’s at 9 am!

The Collector is CRTP’s weekly transportation news roundup, published every Friday. We focus on North Coast news, but we also include relevant state, national and international transportation news – plus other items that we just find kind of interesting! To submit items for consideration, email colin@transportationpriorities.org.