Active Transportation in McKinleyville? Oh My!

The Collector

August 16, 2019


Tear Down Housing for a Parking Lot? No Thanks.
CRTP weighs in. And for the record, we’re not in favor of a parking garage, either. That would cost even more per parking space – a lot more – and just encourage more driving.

McKinleyville Has a New Active Transportation Committee
The McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee has formed an ad hoc subcommittee on active transportation and trails, and its first meeting is next Wednesday. Come on out to show support for better bike, pedestrian and bus infrastructure in Mack Town!

CRTP Submits Comments on Creek Side Homes Project
Main takeaways: This could be a good project, but it needs less parking and more transportation alternatives – and it could use some more housing, too.

Arcata Plaza Task Force Considers Recommendations
At its meeting on Thursday, the Task Force began discussing which specific recommendations to make to City Council and how to implement them. Among the draft recommendations, 6 of the top 10 were related to improving non-vehicular transportation design!

Weekly Street Story Update: Highway 36
It’s no secret that Highway 36 between Carlotta and Bridgeville is dangerous – whether you’re in a vehicle or not. Street Story reports are confirming that. You can make your Street Story report here.

Holmlund Stepping Down as Eureka Development Director
Rob Holmlund has led the way in Eureka’s revitalization by focusing on denser, mixed-use, less car-focused infill development. Will the city’s next Development Director continue in this direction, or will we return to the old-fashioned (but still common) car-centric approach to development?

Caltrans Complete Streets Bill (SB 127) Set for Hearing Next Week
At the same hearing, the Assembly Appropriations Committee will consider the bill to allow Amtrak to run bus service independent of its train lines (SB 742). This is likely that last major hurdle for both bills.

As Trinidad Hotel Moves Forward, So Does Highway Interchange
Let’s not forget about that part of the project.

How Long Until Highway 101 is Under Water?
Maybe not that long.

Our State’s Struggle with Cars
A thoughtful big-picture look at the challenges facing California as we face the necessity of reducing car use.

New York & San Francisco Re-Think Car-Dominated Streets
If they can do it, can’t we?

Bike-Share, Scooter-Share…Moped-Share?
These new transportation systems appearing suddenly on city streets could play a valuable role in reducing driving and addressing the “last mile” problem of public transportation. But it’s a challenge to roll out new ideas in cities designed around cars.


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.

State Agencies Make Big Decisions for Humboldt

The Collector

August 9, 2019


Coastal Commission Approves 101 Corridor Project…
Despite many complaints about billboards and lack of planning for bike and pedestrian access and sea level rise, the Commission approved the changes to Highway 101 between Arcata and Eureka. What bothers us most about this project – other than the fact that much of the corridor will likely be underwater in less than 10 years – is the unstated intention to raise the speed limit. Because faster is safer, right?

..and Trinidad Hotel Project
With the focus on water, the proposed new highway interchange which the hotel relies on (but has not received any approvals yet) was barely mentioned.

Transportation Commission to Vote on Local Project Allocations
Among the projects under consideration for funding next week are “vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian improvements” on Redway Drive in Garberville and major changes to the Kenmar Road interchange in Fortuna (also to include some bike/ped amenities).

Humboldt Street Story in the News
CRTP Executive Director Colin Fiske presented about local our use of Street Story on a statewide webinar this week.

Weekly Street Story Update: 6th Street
6th Street in Eureka shows up on Street Story reports to date as a string of collisions and near misses. At least this weekend bicyclists and pedestrians got a brief respite when a stretch of 6th Street was closed down for the Eureka Street Art Festival Block Party, and CRTP provided free bike valet! You can make your Street Story report here.

New York Times: Do Bicyclists Really Deserve All the Blame?
Anyone who’s ever mentioned bicycle hazards to a non-bicyclist knows that the most likely reaction is something like this: “Darn bicyclists, they’re so reckless, they create hazards for the rest of us.” Never mind that studies have shown bicyclists and drivers break the law at about the same rate, and a car is orders of magnitude more dangerous than a bicycle.


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.

Affordable Housing or a Parking Lot – What Does Downtown Eureka Need More?

The Collector

August 2, 2019


County to Raze Apartments and Build a Parking Lot
OK, so this block isn’t exactly paradise, but it still boggles the mind that the County would pave over affordable housing in the heart of Eureka to put up a parking lot. For the record: the purchase price alone amounts to almost $30,000 per parking space – and that doesn’t include demolition, construction and maintenance. But it’s not too late! While the sale of the property looks like a done deal, the County doesn’t have to waste this prime real estate on car parking. They could develop it with a fun and appropriate mix of public services and amenities along with leased commercial and residential facilities. Maybe you should let your Supervisor know what you think.

Eureka Street Art Block Party Tomorrow
Bike there and take advantage of CRTP’s free bike valet service in the Picky Picky Picky parking lot. And don’t miss the bicycle tour of murals!

Coastal Commission Meets in Eureka Next Week
The agenda includes several important local transportation topics, including changes to the Eureka-Arcata Highway 101 corridor and the proposed Trinidad Rancheria hotel, which is connected to a proposed new highway interchange nearby.

Eureka Gets Serious About Street Repair Problems
Sort of.

Weekly Street Story Update: Eureka Arterials
A map of hazards reported in the city of Eureka on Street Story is remarkably similar to a map of arterials and collectors – i.e., major streets in the city. The purple lines and dots cover almost every main thoroughfare, and relatively few other areas. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, though. It’s just another reminder that when we design our transportation systems almost exclusively around cars, the main routes become dangerous for everyone else. You can make your Street Story report here.

Bill Would Increase Electric Vehicle Rebates in California
Then slowly decrease them, to encourage people to buy EVs now.

Seattle Starts New On-Demand System Linked to Transit Hubs
Will it work in the long run? Will it decrease emissions and make people safer? Questions remain, but quick adoption by local commuters is intriguing.

Will New York Now Get Serious About Bike Safety?
A series of fatal collisions is increasing pressure on Mayor Bill de Blasio.

New Electric Lyft Bikes Catch Fire in San Francisco
Literally.


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.

Henderson Center Hazards…and a Trolley!

The Collector

July 19, 2019

Note: The Collector will be taking a summer break next week. But don’t worry, we’ll be back on August 2nd!


Richardson Grove Event This Weekend
EPIC is hosting a “potluck rendezvous” at Richardson Grove State Park on Sunday to celebrate the fact that there’s still no highway widening in the grove. And you can carpool there!

Fortuna Hosts Annual Celebration of Cars
We know people love their cars. But wouldn’t it be nice to celebrate forms of transportation that aren’t, you know, killing people, communities and the planet?

New WheelPeople Newsletter Released
The latest Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association publications highlights the results of this year’s Bike Month.

Weekly Street Story Update: Henderson Center
This week, we highlight the Henderson Center area of Eureka. This should be a pedestrian-friendly business district, but a significant number of collisions, near-misses, and hazards have been reported by Street Story users. Meanwhile, Henderson Center merchants are raising money for a trolley. You can make your Street Story report here.

San Francisco Creates a New Car-Free Area
And bike lanes!

Caltrans Says It’s Addressing Bike, Pedestrian Fatalities
But its local solution to a pedestrian high-hazard area – 4th Street in Eureka – includes adding an additional car lane at the same time as it upgrades some of the pedestrian infrastructure. That doesn’t make much sense to us.

Federal “GREEN Streets” Act Introduced
A bill in the Senate would require states to measure and reduce both vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. That would mark a monumental shift in the way we spend our transportation dollars.

Start-Ups Try for Zero-Emission Ships & Planes
A Costa Rica-based company is trying to revive sail-and-electric cargo shipping. Meanwhile, several companies are working to develop electric airplanes.


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.

Supervisors Debate Parking in Town & Houses in the Hills

The Collector

July 12, 2019


County Zoning Gets Contentious…Again
At a hearing this week, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors debated various proposed zoning text amendments for around 4 hours. The main controversy was over plans to place some limitations on where homes can be built on designated timber and agricultural lands – proposals which had some realtors and property rights advocates threatening lawsuits. Perhaps surprisingly, proposals to lower parking requirements in mixed-use zones appeared significantly less controversial. Still, the legal threats killed any chance of reasonable action by the Supes at this meeting, and they continued the hearing to August 20th.

One Step Closer to a Pedestrian-Friendly Plaza?
At a special meeting of the City of Arcata’s Plaza Improvement Task Force this week, members confirmed that a number of proposals for improving the Plaza’s pedestrian design – including those brought forward by CRTP and others almost two years ago – will be officially considered by the Task Force in the coming months. Also at the meeting, a business owner on the 8th St side of the Plaza announced that there was support from a majority of business owners on that block for pedestrianizing it to allow the development of outdoor dining and parklets!

Ride the Bus for Free in Arcata This Month!
What could be better than free public transit?

Are All Those Pickups Really Necessary?
A local letter-writer wonders. Meanwhile, another writer reports a dangerous intersection for seniors.

Weekly Street Story Update
The total number of Street Story reports in Humboldt County is now almost 300. One intriguing trend which is emerging is that almost half of the reported hazards are identified as “multiple modes.” In other words, people are reporting areas that they think are dangerous not just for walking, or biking, or driving, but potentially for all of these types of transportation. You can make your Street Story report here.

New Residential Development Under Review in Arcata
Danco’s Creek Side Homes project includes a large assisted living facility for seniors as well as some single-family homes with accessory dwelling units. It also includes some street and trail improvements. Here are CRTP, we’re still digesting the Draft Environmental Impact Report which was recently released. Comments are due in August.

Climate Crisis Threatens Local Transportation Infrastructure
A new report confirms what we’ve known for some time – and the need to act gets more urgent every day.

Harbor District Projecting Debt
Apparently roads aren’t the only transportation infrastructure we can’t afford to maintain.

Eureka Focuses on Multi-Family Housing
Development Director Rob Holmlund accurately points out that there’s more than enough low-density single-family housing in other parts of the county.

State Assembly Transportation Committee Has a Busy Week
Among the bills the Committee approved this week: SB 127, the Caltrans complete streets bill; SB 356, which lays out next steps for the Great Redwood Trail vision; and SB 742, which could allow Amtrak to offer bus service without requiring an associated trail ticket.

Federal Complete Streets Bill Introduced
You might think a common-sense measure like this would have an easy road to passage. But if you’ve paid any attention to Congress over the last decade or so, you probably aren’t holding your breath.

Uncle Sam Says: Drive Your Car!
A fascinating look at the many ways in which our laws enforce a culture of car ownership and driving.


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.

Will Humboldt Do Anything About a Spike in Fatal Collisions?

The Collector

July 5, 2019


A New Spike in Fatal Collisions
As the article points out, this latest crash means six people have died in less than two weeks on Humboldt County roads. We can no longer view this as an acceptable cost of our way of life; we need to stop building our communities around moving heavy vehicles long distances at high speeds.

Complete Streets Bill Amended
SB 127 has faced stiff opposition from some lawmakers and interest groups. Don’t ask us to explain why anyone would oppose common-sense measures like restricting the use of state highway maintenance and repair funds for capacity-increasing projects, or prioritizing the safety of the road’s most vulnerable users. But apparently some people do. The bill’s authors have been forced to remove some of its more interesting and groundbreaking provisions, but it would still move bike and pedestrian infrastructure much farther up Caltrans’ list of priorities. Will the amended bill now pass? Your call or email might make the difference.

Weekly Street Story Update
16 more reports from Humboldt County were made on the Street Story platform in the last week. Today, we highlight an area which has been reported as a hazard seven different times already: the intersections of Sunset Ave with Highway 101 ramps and LK Wood Blvd in Arcata. These reports underline the fact that many have long considered this the most dangerous area in Arcata for bicyclists and pedestrians. You can make your Street Story reports here.

Redwood Coast Energy Authority Hiring a New Transportation Specialist
Fired up about sustainable transportation in Humboldt? Think you’ve got what it takes to make a career of it?

Oakland Makes e-Scooters Official
Rental companies get permits for the first time.

What’s the Impact of Self-Driving Cars on Disadvantaged Communities?
That will depend on how we regulate them, according to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Electric Cars Aren’t Enough
A report from the UK concludes the same thing that our own California Air Resources Board has long recognized: Electrification alone won’t solve our transportation problems. We also just need to drive less.


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.

Complete Streets Bill Heads to Assembly

The Collector

June 28, 2019


Complete Streets Bill Heads to Assembly
SB 127 has passed the state Senate, but the Assembly is an even bigger challenge. It’s currently scheduled for a hearing in the Transportation Committee, and sponsors are calling on supporters to contact their Assemblymembers.

More Bad News for Caltrans Richardson Grove Project
In a scathing opinion, a federal judge has ordered Caltrans to complete a full Environmental Impact Statement – a long and time-consuming process – “if it still wishes to proceed with the road project through Richardson Grove State Park.”

Arcata Planning Commission Approves Infill Project
The Isackson’s Affordable Housing Project and associated active transportation improvements were approved this week. Some neighbors offered objections to the project, while CRTP had a different take.

Weekly Street Story Update
As of this writing, a total of 272 reports have been made from Humboldt County on the Street Story platform. Speeding, failure to yield, and poor or missing bike facilities are the top reported causes of crashes, near misses, and hazardous areas. Today, we offer a close-up of one intersection that seems to be emerging as particularly problematic: 4th & O St in Eureka. Four crashes and three near misses have been reported here already. This is clearly an intersection that needs some work.

$3.8 Million for Parking
Why would state law require millions of dollars of state university money be spent on parking – and not student housing, faculty salaries, or any number of other important needs?

Great Redwood Trail Progress Continues
Meanwhile, funding for the dissolution of the North Coast Railroad Authority and planning for the new trail was included in the state budget just signed by Governor Newsome.

New York, Denver, Boston Top Walkable Metro Areas
Washington, DC, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Chicago round out the top six in the new report.


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.

New Street Safety Tool Makes Its Debut in Humboldt

The Collector

June 21, 2019


We Want to Know Where You Feel Unsafe on Humboldt Streets
With the support of other local agencies and organizations, CRTP is rolling out the online Street Story tool on the North Coast. The tool was developed at UC Berkeley as an easy way for the public to report where they’ve had collisions, near-misses, or just feel unsafe on local streets and roads. Nearly 200 reports have been made in the county just since the tool was announced yesterday morning.

Hazards reported in the Arcata-Eureka area.

Supes Ask for More Zoning Rule Options
On Tuesday, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors discussed a set of zoning code text amendments meant to implement the new(ish) General Plan. One of those changes is the creation of new Mixed Use zones, which are intended to facilitate denser, pedestrian-oriented town centers in places like McKinleyville. CRTP has been arguing for months that these zones need reduced parking requirements in order to allow the kind of development our town centers need. And apparently someone was listening: at the hearing the Supes asked staff to come back with proposals for reduced parking requirements. Imagine that!

State Transportation Commission Set to Discuss Local Topics
At its meeting next week, the Commission will vote on allocating $775,000 toward preparations for the Trinidad Rancheria’s desired new Highway 101 interchange. The Commission will also move the Annie & Mary Trail, the Bay Trail South (the “final four”), pedestrian improvements on Central Avenue at McKinleyville’s southern entrance, and Trinidad’s Van Wycke Bicycle & Pedestrian project one step closer to construction each with various funding and right-of-way decisions on the agenda.

Annual Public Transit Allocations Made in Humboldt
This week, the Humboldt County Association of Governments Board took up the annual task of allocating Local Transportation Fund dollars among local jurisdictions for public transportation support. This year, as in past years, the County of Humboldt is using a quarter-million dollars of its allocation on streets and roads instead of public transit, claiming that money isn’t needed for transit. Because there’s no way our transit system could use that money…right?

Arcata Council Considers Loan for Infill Project
Let’s face it – it’s not easy to build a good, pedestrian- and transit-oriented infill project. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Blue Lake Envisions a Town Square
As a long-time resident said: “Everybody started driving so the businesses went away.” The town wants to capture something of what it once had. And we all know a good town square is a pedestrian paradise!

CSUs Blasted for Building Expensive Parking While Raising Student Fees
OK, that’s not the headline the newspapers chose. But it’s still a lesson to be learned.

California is Dangerous for Pedestrians
That’s not really news. But seeing how much higher our rate of pedestrian deaths is than the nationwide average is still sobering.

How Do We Actually Get People Out of Their Cars?
A fascinating look at some ways we can use the science of behavior change to design better mode shift strategies.


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.

How Will Humboldt County Reduce Transportation Emissions?

The Collector

June 14, 2019


Another Victory for Opponents of Richardson Grove Highway Expansion
A state court appears to have put another nail in the coffin of the proposed highway expansion through Richardson Grove State Park.

Progress on Countywide Climate Action Plan
The County held a public workshop in McKinleyville this week to talk about the countywide (multi-jurisdictional) Climate Action Plan currently under development. There was a lot of talk about transportation – because it’s the source of more than half the county’s greenhouse gas emissions. The solutions? Better land use planning and support for alternative transportation and transportation electrification. But a lot of the details haven’t yet been filled in. The Board of Supervisors recently formally approved the Plan’s development, and another workshop is scheduled for next week in Willow Creek.

Trinidad Hotel Loses Coastal Commission Vote
The rejection isn’t binding for the Trinidad Rancheria, which is a sovereign nation, but will likely have an effect on the project. While the Commission focused on issues with the project’s water supply, another big issue is the hotel’s relationship with a new Highway 101 interchange that the Rancheria also wants to build nearby.

Arcata Planning Commission Discusses Infill Project
Neighbors of the proposed active transportation-oriented affordable housing project in downtown Arcata objected to shading of their properties and…wait for it…parking impacts. City staff and some of the Commissioners pointed out that we’re never going to get good infill development if we build lots of parking. The Commission asked the developer (Danco) to come back on June 25th with project modifications.

Environmental Art in Eureka
A street or a sidewalk can function not only for transportation – it can also be a venue for cool public art!

Great Redwood Trail Moves Forward
The state legislature passed a budget this week that includes $10.8 million for the next steps in closing down the North Coast Railroad Authority and preparing for the Great Redwood Trail. Meanwhile, another town hall to talk about the Trail is scheduled for next Saturday (6/22) at 10:30 am in Ukiah.

Hydrogen Ferry Hopes to Make Debut on San Francisco Bay
Will fuel cell ferries be more viable than long-promised fuel cell cars?

New York Protects Bike Lanes During Construction
If you ride a bike regularly, you know that construction projects regularly block bike lanes, and usually don’t provide a safe detour. A new law in New York City will change that.


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.

More Infill Housing for Downtown Arcata?

The Collector

June 7, 2019


More Infill Housing for Downtown Arcata?
The city’s Planning Commission is set to consider the “Isackson’s Affordable Housing Project” next week, which would add 43 affordable apartments to the downtown area. It’s also tied to a number of improvements to the surrounding bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, as well as a potential new bus route. CRTP weighs in on the project here.

Flights from Denver Start Arriving in McKinleyville
Don’t get us wrong, we understand the appeal of being more connected to the world beyond the redwood curtain through a quick plan ride. But it still strikes us as odd that local boosters are encouraging the public to fly as much as possible, when flying is one of the most climate-wrecking forms of transportation.

We’ve Run Out of Clever Headlines About The Village
But the Arcata City Council finally said they’re OK with it. Formal approvals to come… probably.

Eureka Gets Money to Study Balloon Track
As both a contaminated former rail yard and the desired location of a future extension of 4th Street being studied by the City and Caltrans, the Balloon Track is a significant site in local transportation lore. But contamination is only one of the challenges here – it’s also full of coastal wetlands, as a lawsuit from local environmental groups reminded developers the last time around.

Redwood Coast Energy Authority to Host Electric Vehicle Workshop
While we generally support driving less, if you have to drive, an EV is the way to go. If you want to get into the nitty gritty of how to buy an EV, this event is for you.

Cal State Students Pay More for Parking Than Faculty or Staff
Students and advocates are framing this as a case of poor students subsidizing wealthier staff. But reduced parking fees means that non-driving students (who incidentally are more likely to have lower incomes) will have to subsidize drivers. Our opinion: if the CSUs want to help struggling students, they should provide alternative transportation rather than reducing fees for private vehicles to park on campus.

Letter Laments Potholes
We lament the fact that our cities, counties, states and federal government built up an enormous system of streets and highways over the last half century with no feasible way to pay for maintaining it.


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.