All About Highway 255

The Collector

July 5, 2024

State Route 255 connects Eureka and Arcata via the Samoa Peninsula. For most of its length, it is a high-speed, two-lane highway with no bike or pedestrian facilities. It divides the community of Manila in two and acts as a main street (Samoa Boulevard) in Arcata.
Caltrans is now developing a new State Route 255 Corridor Management Plan, which will lay out a new vision for the road. You can provide your input by filling out their survey, which is open until July 11th. CRTP is advocating for safe bike and pedestrian paths to be added along the entire length of the route, as well as new designs to slow traffic and allow for safer crossings both in Manila and Arcata.
At the same time, the City of Arcata is developing a plan for its end of State Route 255. This project is intended to address the long-standing need for safe bike and pedestrian facilities on the State Route 255/Highway 101 interchange, which currently acts as a barrier for people walking, rolling or biking between Sunny Brae and the rest of Arcata. The city will also consider new designs for the rest of Samoa Boulevard (255 within Arcata city limits) and south G Street. You can provide your input via a survey and interactive map on the city’s website.
And don’t forget to make your reports on Street Story, too! Both Caltrans and the city of Arcata refer to Street Story reports when developing these plans, and CRTP uses them in our advocacy as well. Many bicyclists and pedestrians have already reported the risky situations they have faced on this road to Street Story, and we know there are many more out there. To make a report on Street Story today click here.  Haga clic aquí para hacer un informe en español.
A wide expanse of asphalt at the intersection of State Route 255 (Samoa Blvd) and G Street in Arcata, on a cloudy day
Arkley-Backed Group Threatens Litigation Against Transit Center
CRTP has learned that “Citizens for a Better Eureka” (CBE) sent the Eureka City Council a letter alleging that the Council’s recent approval of a development agreement for the Eureka Regional Transit and Housing Center (EaRTH Center) violates city policy. That means that CBE, a group funded by conservative businessman Rob Arkley, is threatening to file yet another lawsuit against the city of Eureka – this time specifically targeting much-needed transit improvements. The EaRTH Center is a key part of transit improvement plans for Eureka and the broader region. Litigation and other threats, like the anti-housing ballot initiative paid for by Security National, put at risk these investments in our community.
In its latest letter, CBE is claiming to be concerned about the city’s process for awarding development agreements. In other lawsuits, they claim to be concerned about environmental impacts. The same group of people is promoting a ballot measure that they say is about housing in another part of town. But nobody is fooled by all the mixed messages and slick advertising. We all know this is just Rob Arkley and his pals trying to block walkable, affordable homes and transit improvements. And we won’t stand for it.

News from Beyond the North Coast

Caltrans Complete Streets Bill Gutted
We are deeply disappointed to report that SB 960 – the bill that was intended to add new accountability for Caltrans to include safe and effective facilities for walking, biking, rolling and public transit on state highways – has been weakened to the point that it makes only minimal changes to current policy. The Assembly Transportation Committee removed the bill’s strongest parts and added huge loopholes, all at the request of Caltrans itself. If Caltrans is already committed to safety for all road users, as it claims, why is the agency putting up so much opposition to being held accountable to that commitment?

Hawaiian Youth Win Landmark Commitment to a Climate-Safe Transportation System
Hawaii settled a lawsuit brought by young people who argued that the state’s carbon-intensive, highway-focused transportation system represents a major threat to their future health and welfare. As part of the settlement, Hawaii agreed to transition to a zero-emission transportation system across all modes by 2045, including the construction of bike, pedestrian and transit networks on each island. This is truly a historic win for younger generations, for the climate, and for the health and safety of Hawaiians.

Congress to Investigate the Safety Impacts of Massive Cars & SUVs
At the request of Maryland Representative Jamie Raskin, the Government Accountability Office has opened an investigation into the impacts of bigger and bigger vehicles – and the government’s failure to regulate them properly – on the safety of people walking and biking. The news comes as pedestrian deaths remain near historic highs nationally, and advocates are calling on the US Surgeon General to treat car crashes as a public health emergency.

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