Local E-Bike Rebate is Now Available in Humboldt!

The Collector

April 24, 2020

May is Still Bike Month!
While most of the events traditionally associated with Bike Month have been canceled or delayed, the Humboldt Bike Month Coalition is still supporting a Bike Month Challenge during May. So get out there and ride (while taking the proper health and safety precautions, of course)!

Transit Authority Scales Back Bus Schedule
The Humboldt Transit Authority has moved to a Saturday schedule every day (except Sunday) and is mandating masks along with the rest of the county. Travel is still fare free, and staff are still taking extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Local E-Bike Rebate is Live!
E-bikes can help extend your biking range and flatten our steepest hills. Now, until funding runs out, if you buy an e-bike in Humboldt County, you can get a $500 rebate from the Redwood Coast Energy Authority. All the details are now posted on the RCEA site.

Want to Audit Your Neighborhood’s Walkability?
If you’ve been walking around your neighborhood more lately, and you’ve noticed some areas where the pedestrian infrastructure is lacking, you’re not alone. If you want to do a formal walk audit for your block or your neighborhood, CRTP has created a Google form that can help. Get in touch with us for more information on how to do a systematic assessment. And as always, don’t forget to report any hazards, near misses or collisions on Street Story.

Caltrans Regional Active Transportation Planning Under Way
The Del Norte Local Transportation Commission’s Technical Advisory Committee will hear a presentation next week on Caltrans District 1 efforts to develop an active transportation plan for the state highway system on the North Coast. Humboldt County has already convened an ad hoc committee (on which CRTP serves) to help develop the plan here.

Lessons from the Pandemic
Local climate activist Martha Walden ponders what we can learn from the pandemic and the world’s response to it.

Arcata Designates One-Way Trails at the Marsh
It’s a sensible way to encourage social distancing while walking on narrow trails. Of course, not everyone can walk at the Marsh. So another step would be temporarily widening narrow sidewalks around town, or closing low-volume residential streets to through-traffic and designating pedestrian priority.

Fortuna Interchange Redesign a Step Closer to Completion
The project will include some much-needed bike and pedestrian upgrades.

Traffic Violence Injuries Down 40% During Stay-at-Home Era
A new study suggests a 50% decline in traffic collisions and a 40% decline in traffic-related hospitalizations in California. If dollars are your thing, that’s a $40 million savings to the state’s economy every day.

Weekly Street Story Update: Stay Safe Out There
Another near miss for a bicyclist was reported this week in the Humboldt Bay area. If you see or experience something dangerous while traveling for essential reasons or for recreation, please make your Street Story report here.

Bailout Conditions Require Airline to Fly Empty Planes
“Ghost planes.” Just what we needed.

Don’t Be So Quick to Blame the Subway
Public transit, like any form of transportation, should only be used for essential travel right now, and social distancing has to be respected at all times. But it’s unlikely that New York’s subways were the central factor in spreading the coronavirus there, as many traditionally anti-transit voices are claiming.

Tactical Urbanism Is On the Rise
In cities around the world, residents frustrated with the inability to use sidewalks and bike lanes while maintaining proper social distance are taking matters into their own hands by reclaiming streets on an unofficial, ad hoc basis. New Zealand, meanwhile, has become the first country to officially sanction and fund these kinds of efforts on a nationwide basis.

No, Gas Taxes Don’t Pay for Your Roads
They haven’t produced enough revenue to cover construction, maintenance and repair costs for years. But we still act like they do.

“If Everyone Drives a Car, There is No Space for People”
Milan has an ambitious plan to re-prioritize street space when it opens up after the pandemic.

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.

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.