Cal Poly Plans Campus Pedestrianization

The Collector

March 29, 2024

Cal Poly Plans Campus Pedestrianization
At a workshop this week, the university presented a draft of its long-term plan for the campus. CRTP was excited to hear that the plan now includes turning internal campus streets (such as B Street and Harpst Street) into broad pedestrian ways where the only vehicles allowed are transit shuttles and emergency vehicles. Other plans include greater investment in public transit, bicycle and micro-mobility facilities, and development of housing and academic facilities on some of the current big parking lots. With these big shifts towards active transportation and transit, the draft plan represent a major step forward for the university’s commitment to climate action, transportation safety and public health. While the documents are not yet posted in full on the university’s website, you can view a conceptual rendering and submit preliminary comments here.

McKinleyville Town Center Environmental Review Begins
The Humboldt County Planning Department has posted a notice that it will soon begin developing an Environmental Impact Report for its Town Center zoning plan. Following years of advocacy from CRTP and our allies, the Town Center plan includes major parking reforms and other zoning changes to encourage more walkable development, along with a proposed transit hub and bike and pedestrian safety improvements. Just this week, we learned that it now also includes one of our top priorities – a lane reduction and safety redesign for Central Avenue! If you want to weigh in on topics the county should cover in its environmental review, you have until April 26th to submit a comment. More details on the plan, along with contact information for county staff, can be found here.

Eureka Council to Consider Jacobs Property Zoning
At its meeting next Tuesday, the Council will direct staff on whether to start developing new zoning rules for the former Jacobs school site. The site is in the midst of a shady property swap involving Eureka City Schools and a mysterious private company, and both the property and the attorney representing the unidentified buyers are closely intertwined with the Rob Arkley-backed ballot measure seeking to block walkable, affordable downtown housing. CRTP is working to ensure that if the city rezones the Jacobs site, the new regulations encourage walkable, bikeable housing and other complementary uses at densities that can support high-quality public transit.

Also on the Council’s agenda next week is approval of the annual Capital Improvement Program. Among many other projects, this document includes the city’s repaving plan. We think this is a great opportunity for the city to recommit to its adopted complete streets policy and clearly state that it will include new facilities like bike lanes and upgraded crosswalks in every repaving project.

Quicker Bike and Pedestrian Improvements in Arcata?
The Arcata Planning Commission considered a draft of that city’s annual Capital Improvement Program this week. Included was some funding for public outreach for planning bike and pedestrian safety upgrades to K and 11th Streets, which has long been a priority for CRTP. However, we urged Commissioners to not just hold a public meeting or two about these upgrades next year, but to actually get started improving safety on the streets. In response, the Planning Commission recommended that the city take a quick-build approach to these projects – meaning money could be spent almost immediately on inexpensive but effective temporary safety upgrades while the long-term planning process continues (think painting bike lanes and adding protective features like plastic posts). We think this is a great opportunity to re-think the way safety upgrades are planned and implemented, and to get needed improvements faster. Other communities including San Francisco have already widely adopted the quick-build approach.

Report Pedestrian Safety Issues on Street Story
A quarter of California’s fatalities are pedestrians, and that has worsened over the last decade. It is a sad and unfortunate truth that it is getting less and less safe to be a pedestrian, and we are all pedestrians at one time or another. Factors such as lighting at crosswalks, visibility, and level of traffic, are all components of creating a safe environment for pedestrians.

Using Street Story can be a valuable way to inform decision makers about what streets you feel unsafe walking, biking, or even driving on! Street Story reports help us make the case for safer streets, but we need to hear from you. So make a report today or join our new “Safety Sunday” campaign where we are encourages folks to make Street Story reporting a habit. It is important for our communities to speak up for their needs, especially when it comes to our safety. La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí.

News from Beyond the North Coast

Statewide Transit Transformation Task Force Gets to Work
If California is going to meet its climate goals, transit ridership will have to increase to levels never before seen in the state. That will require major new investments in local and regional transit systems, among other big changes.

Empty Parking Lots Are Holding Back American Downtowns
North Coast communities are far from the only places where underutilized parking lots are taking up lots of space, creating unfriendly pedestrian environments, and holding back the production of much-needed housing.

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