Supervisors Support Railbanking in Contested Vote

The Collector

May 14, 2021


A Contested Vote to Support Railbanking
Despite the fact that by all indications the Great Redwood Trail is a wildly popular idea, and it relies on railbanking of the North Coast Railroad Authority right-of-way, the vote to express support for railbanking was closely contested and barely passed. It appears that a new wave of property-rights activism in rural parts of the county may be the reason this routine letter of support suddenly became controversial. Several other local agencies are considering letters of support next week.

Update on 101 Safety Corridor Project
Caltrans will provide a report on the project at Thursday’s Humboldt County Association of Governments meeting. CRTP has learned that the project is currently “out to bid” – meaning construction can be expected before long.

New Report on Adapting Humboldt’s Trail System to Sea Level Rise
The report was produced by Humboldt State students for CRTP and Humboldt Baykeeper. It calls for long-term planning and collaboration to ensure a resilient trail system and encourage more active transportation.

Even More Bike Month!
This Sunday is the Eureka Bike Scavenger Hunt. Then on Monday is a Virtual Bike Skills Workshop, and Thursday is officially Bike to Wherever Day. And don’t forget about Bike Bingo!

EPIC & Tribes Call on Caltrans to Cancel Richardson Grove Project
The new statement on an old project brings tribal concerns to the forefront.

Arcata Council to Consider Old Arcata Road Project
Next week, the City Council will consider the long-planned project’s environmental documents and hear public input. The project includes much-needed bike and pedestrian improvements which CRTP fully supports, as well as a roundabout – which is car-oriented design that we’re not so excited about.

Register for the 2021 Humboldt Trails Summit
It’s just a few weeks away!


Make your Street Story reports!
Local residents have reported 761 reports (and counting) on Street Story. La versión en español está disponible aquí. CRTP uses reports to advocate for change, and local agencies use them to apply for grants and prioritize improvements. Your reports are important!


Last Chance to Tell Pete Buttigieg to Reform the Federal Traffic Manual
It’s quick and easy using the template provided by America Walks. And the deadline is midnight tonight!

How Should Local Bike Safety Be Measured?
Traditionally, collisions are compared to local population. A new report instead compares them to local bike miles traveled (BMT), with some surprising results.

COVID “Slow Streets” Were Great for Business
Many towns and cities are now making these vehicle-restricted streets a permanent fixture. Unfortunately, none of our local communities took this step over the last year.


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 City-Owned Parking Lots Slated for Affordable Housing

The Collector

May 7, 2021


More City-Owned Parking Lots Slated for Affordable Housing
Following up on its success attracting the Linc Housing project last year, Eureka is preparing this year to ask developers to build housing on another 3 city-owned lots in the downtown area. At community meetings this week, a lot of business owners complained that this isn’t the right place for such housing, because the demand for car storage is too high. CRTP believes strongly that the fact that downtown is a busy area with lots of businesses and other destinations is exactly why it’s the right place for new housing. Although we are also intrigued at the possibility of redevelopment of the Bayshore Mall parking lot, a suggestion made by a few community members at these meetings.

Bike Month Continues!
Next week there’s a Friendly Driver webinar, which teaches you how to keep walkers, bikers and rollers safe when you’re behind the wheel. Find out more about Bike Month on the latest EcoNews Report, and keep logging those rides and playing Bike Bingo!

New E-Bike/E-Scooter Sharing Company Coming to Humboldt?
At this week’s Technical Advisory Committee meeting for the Humboldt County Association of Governments, representatives of Arcata and Fortuna revealed that they have been approached by Bird, one of the giants in the dockless e-scooter/e-bike sharing industry, with interest in setting up shop in Humboldt. We’ll bring you more details when we get them…

Humboldt Transit Authority Moving Toward Zero Emission Buses
This week the Board authorized staff to apply for grants to fund new buses – likely electric for in-town routes and hydrogen fuel-cell buses for longer routes. At the same meeting, the Board approved discounted bus passes for a bulk purchase by Linc Housing, which will provide them for free to its future tenants in Eureka.

Speaking of Linc Housing…
Next week, the nonprofit affordable housing developer will hold another community meeting to share which bike, pedestrian and transit improvements it will be applying to include in its Eureka project.

A Rare Arrest in a Vehicle-Pedestrian Crash
We are grateful that the victim’s injuries are only “moderate.” Charges were also filed this week in a separate pedestrian hit-and-run incident. Is the Eureka Police Department getting more aggressive in pursuing drivers in pedestrian-related crashes?

New Pedal-Powered Business Opens in Arcata
Just another cool use for the incredible machine we call the bicycle.


Make your Street Story reports!
Local residents have reported 760 reports (and counting) on Street Story. La versión en español está disponible aquí. CRTP uses reports to advocate for change, and local agencies use them to apply for grants and prioritize improvements. Your reports are important!


State Transportation Commission to Approve $58 Million for Safety Corridor Project
The funding allocation is a sign that construction of the long-planned changes to the Arcata-Eureka Highway 101 corridor is getting closer. Also at next week’s meeting, the Commission will consider requests to delay active transportation improvement projects in Arcata and Blue Lake.

What’s It Like to Be a Driver Who Kills a Pedestrian?
We don’t normally look at these crashes from the driver’s perspective, but this podcast is really worth a listen.

How Can Bikeshare Programs Be More Equitable?
They’ve got to make it a priority.

More on the Fight Over the Federal Traffic Manual
Supporters of the auto-centric manual are portraying themselves as the victims of a “cancel culture” attempt to overhaul it. We agree with former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, who responded: “I thought the victims were the people getting killed on the streets.”


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.

Survey Results Released, PLUS: Bike Month Starts Tomorrow!

The Collector

April 30, 2021


Transportation Survey Results Released
CRTP has just released the results of our Humboldt County transportation attitudes survey. The 128 respondents represented a broad demographic and geographical cross-section of Humboldt County, and along with overall findings we looked at results related to community of residence, age, gender, disability, income, and race/ethnicity. Perhaps the most striking finding is that people overwhelmingly want to drive less and walk, bike, and/or take the bus more.

Bike Month Starts Tomorrow!
It’s Bike Month again in Humboldt County. Check out the calendar of events here, and play along with Bike Month Bingo too! We also encourage everyone to pick up a Bike Month Humboldt temporary “bike plate” to put on your bike this month to show support – available at most local bike shops and city halls.

Take the Survey on Eureka Transportation Improvements
Linc Housing, the non-profit behind the three new affordable housing projects planned for Eureka city-owned parking lots, is looking for public feedback on potential bike, pedestrian and transit improvements to go with the new housing.

Committee to Consider First Drafts of Regional Transportation Plan Elements
Next week, the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG) Technical Advisory Committee will review early drafts of the Active Transportation and Commercial & Industrial Transportation Elements for the new Regional Transportation Plan update. This is the first public preview of how HCAOG will incorporate its new greenhouse gas and driving reduction goals into this critical plan.

Eureka City Council to Adopt Traffic Safety as Strategic Goal
It’s one of five goal areas identified by the Council in its recent strategic planning process. At the same meeting next week, the Council will hear a report on the inter-agency Climate Action Plan currently under development in the county.

Speaking of Climate Action and Regional Transportation Plans…
Check out CRTP’s article in the most recent issue of the EcoNews to find out just how important these two plans will be.


Make your Street Story reports!
Local residents have reported 758 reports (and counting) on Street Story. La versión en español está disponible aquí. CRTP uses reports to advocate for change, and local agencies use them to apply for grants and prioritize improvements. Your reports are important!


Speed Hump Hurdles
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors held a hearing this week on whether to allow two speed humps to be installed near Bridgeville School on Kneeland Road. The fact that a public hearing had to be conducted just to install some very basic traffic safety infrastructure in a school zone shows just how difficult the county’s policies make it to do anything that might slow down cars and trucks.

Check Out Our Comments on the Bay-to-Zoo Trail
We strongly support this project – but there are still important improvements to be made.

Last Chance Grade Alternatives Down to Two
Caltrans announced this week that the only two options it’s still considering are permanently shoring up the existing highway route or building a major tunnel. Thankfully, these are also the two least environmentally damaging of the options formerly under consideration.

Assembly Transportation Committee Passes Freedom to Walk Act
Could this be the first step toward restoring pedestrians’ right to the road? Also this week, the bill to allow more density in single-family zoning districts passed another committee – which could be the first step toward developing more walkable land use patterns in many parts of the state.

Florida Wants to Build Hundreds of Miles of New Freeways
What century is Florida living in?


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.

Arcata to Get New Wayfinding Signs for Pedestrians

The Collector

April 23, 2021


McKinleyville Transit Study Update Next Week
The draft report will be released for public comment very soon! Get the most current information at next Wednesday’s McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee meeting.

Public Meeting on Eureka Affordable Housing Project Next Week
On Thursday, Linc Housing will hold a meeting to hear from the public about active transportation, transit and other amenities that could be included in its three new affordable apartment buildings to be constructed on city-owned parking lots. CRTP strongly supports this project, which recently became controversial when the city’s Planning Commission Chair quit in a huff over the fact that the project is actually allowed under the city’s new land use codes.

Two More Serious Pedestrian Crashes in Eureka This Week
After the hit-and-run on Wabash on Sunday, a semi-truck driver hit a pedestrian on Broadway on Wednesday. Both victims are in serious condition as of the latest reports.

Arcata to Get New Wayfinding Signs for Pedestrians
The “semi-permanent” signs will be installed as part of an HSU student project trying to enhance connections between campus and other parts of town.

Traffic Safety Snubbed by Measure Z Funds
Despite the fact that far more people in Humboldt County die in vehicle crashes than in other criminal acts, the Board of Supervisors continued the trend this week of allocating lots of Measure Z “public safety” funds to law enforcement and none to road safety. The lone street safety project under consideration, a traffic light on F Street in Eureka, was ranked too low by the advisory committee to receive funding.

Humboldt Supervisors Worried About New State Fire Safety Regulations
Why is this a transportation issue? By limiting development in fire-prone areas through increasingly stringent road standards, the new rules could substantially impact rural land use and transportation patterns.


Make your Street Story reports!
Local residents have reported 757 reports (and counting) on Street Story. La versión en español está disponible aquí. CRTP uses reports to advocate for change, and local agencies use them to apply for grants and prioritize improvements. Your reports are important!


Bike Safety Stop Bill Passes Assembly
If it passes the Senate and is signed by the Governor, California residents on bikes will join those of many other states in being able to lawfully roll through stop signs when conditions are safe. Research has consistently shown the rolling stop – a.k.a. safety stop, a.k.a. “Idaho stop” – to be safer than requiring people on bikes to come to a full stop and then start again.

Will People Keep Working from Home After the Pandemic?
Some new data from a survey of California commuters adds to the speculation.

Republican State Legislatures Absolve Drivers Who Hit Protesters
It’s already hard to hold drivers accountable. The new laws practically declare open season on pedestrians, as long as they’re protesting for social justice.

Green New Deal for Cities?
With a new bill, progressive leaders in Congress are acknowledging the critical role local governments must play in addressing the climate crisis through transportation infrastructure and other investments.

Putting Infrastructure Thinking in Reverse
We need to build a lot of new bike lanes, sidewalks, and transit – but removing auto-oriented infrastructure might be an easier and even more effective way of fighting climate chaos.


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.

Humboldt County Overwhelmed with Junked Vehicles

The Collector

April 16, 2021


CRTP Weighs in On State Climate & Transportation Infrastructure Plan, Federal Traffic Control Manual
Check out what we had to say about the draft Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure and the “notorious MUTCD.” Comment periods for both documents are still open, so you can submit your comments too! Find instructions here and here.

Humboldt County Overwhelmed with Junked Vehicles
It’s a problem second only to cannabis for the code enforcement team, and an impact of our society’s addiction to cars that usually doesn’t get much attention.

Bike Month is Back!
Get a sneak preview in the latest edition of the Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association newsletter.

Redwood Way to Get Pedestrian Improvements
Sidewalks! What a nice idea.

4-Mile Run/Walk/Roll This Weekend to Remember David Josiah Lawson
Charmaine Lawson points out the benefits of active transportation for a healthy community.


Make your Street Story reports!
Local residents have reported 752 reports (and counting) on Street Story. La versión en español está disponible aquí. CRTP uses reports to advocate for change, and local agencies use them to apply for grants and prioritize improvements. Your reports are important!


Bike “Safety Stop” Bill Passes First Committee
Other bills passing out of committee this week include SB 9, which would dramatically increase allowable housing densities in many areas, and AB 1401, which would bar local governments from imposing minimum parking requirements on developments within 1/2 mile of a major transit route. (Unfortunately for us, there are currently no major transit routes on the North Coast.)

The New Phenomenon of Climate Gentrification
Wealthy homeowners fleeing sea level rise, wildfires, and other climate-driven disasters may drive up rents in some low-income areas.


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.

Arcata Hires Active Transportation Expert for Key Position

The Collector

April 9, 2021


CHP to Increase Enforcement on Crash-Prone Highway 101
We appreciate the Highway Patrol’s recognition that this is a dangerous highway, but we have strong reservations about enforcement as a solution. Long experience has shown that traffic enforcement disproportionately affects people of color and isn’t that effective at reducing crashes over the long term.

Local Active Transportation Expert Hired for Key Position at City of Arcata
Redwood Community Action Agency Natural Resources Director – and friend of CRTP – Emily Sinkhorn has been named Arcata’s new Environmental Services Director.

Yep, Eureka’s Getting That Safety Money!
More on the story we highlighted last week.

Eureka Renovators Want to Provide Less Parking
Of course, we support this request made by the Bells to the Eureka Planning Commission. Less parking means less of a subsidy for driving. We just wish they weren’t reducing the number of residential units at the same time.

Railbanking Spat Continues
Memo to TRANSDEF (whoever they are): People who live up here actually want this corridor to be developed as a trail.

Humboldt County to Get Service from New Budget Airline
The cheapest way to maximize greenhouse gas emissions while you travel.


Make your Street Story reports!
Local residents have reported 747 reports (and counting) on Street Story. La versión en español está disponible aquí. CRTP uses reports to advocate for change, and local agencies use them to apply for grants and prioritize improvements. Your reports are important!


Biden Wants to Eliminate Exclusionary Zoning
And other critical but under-reported features of the American Jobs Plan.

How Can We Lower Transportation Emissions Without Worsening Inequity?
A debate is raging in the Northeast.

E-Bike Incentive Bill Unanimously Passes Assembly Committee
But its legislative journey is far from over.

NTSB Adds Bike and Pedestrian Safety to Its Priority List
The National Transportation Safety Board doesn’t have much of a track record of focusing on non-vehicular road users. To bring themselves up to speed (or, hopefully, down), they might want to check out this overview of the laws and regulations that systematically make our streets more dangerous.


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.

Burke Named 2019 Responsible Transportation Champion

The Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities (CRTP) has named McKinleyville Community Services District Director and McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee member Mary Burke the 2019 North Coast Responsible Transportation Champion. Burke is being recognized for her leadership in promoting better planning, infrastructure, and community engagement in active transportation in McKinleyville. Burke co-founded the McKinleyville Community Trails Coalition in 2017 and recently spearheaded the formation of the McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee’s first active transportation subcommittee.

“When it comes to walking and biking in McKinleyville, Director Burke has played the role of a visionary leader as well as an engaged, hard-working citizen,” said CRTP Executive Director Colin Fiske. “She has raised the profile of active transportation in this historically car-dominated community and created a momentum for improvement that won’t soon be slowed.”

“I am honored to receive this award, and I accept it on behalf of the members of our community that have put energy into active transportation planning for McKinleyville,” said Burke. “The work we do now to make it easier, safer, and more fun to walk and ride will improve our health and will benefit generations to come. As an appeal to those who have an interest in serving your community, please consider joining MCSD’s Recreation Advisory Committee or the McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee to help advance solutions to active transportation needs.”

The North Coast Responsible Transportation Champion award is given each year to a leader who furthers CRTP’s mission of “promoting transportation solutions that protect and support a healthy environment, healthy people, healthy communities and a healthy economy on the North Coast.” Burke is the second recipient of the award. State Senator Mike McGuire received the inaugural 2018 award for his work and vision of making the Great Redwood Trail a reality.

“Although it sometimes receives less attention than other local communities, McKinleyville has the third-largest population in Humboldt County,” said Fiske. “Improving bikeability and walkability here will improve public health and quality of life for many people, reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses and other pollutants, and help support a vibrant local economy. Burke’s leadership has put active transportation planning at the top of the agenda in McKinleyville, and for that she fully deserves to be named the 2019 North Coast Responsible Transportation Champion.”

Mary Burke receives the 2019 North Coast Transportation Champion award from Coalition Executive Director Colin Fiske.

The Collector: SB 1029 Passes Senate!

SB 1029 Passes Senate
Yes! SB 1029 — Senator McGuire’s Great Redwood Trail Act —  has passed the California Senate, and been introduced in the State Assembly. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it sails as smoothly through the Assembly!

Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week
How many trash cans can block a bike lane? Local “scientists” on Bayview drive are conducting an experiment.

Bikelanes are for Cars
Interesting piece at Seattle Bikeblog

National Democrats are for Cheap Gas
Despite the fact that it’s horrible for the planet.

“The Village” on June 6 City Council Agenda
Here at the CRTP, we have advocated for increasing the housing supply on the North Coast as a way of tackling the housing affordability crisis. The Arcata city council is set to discuss ”The Village” — a potential 700 bed project that could go a long way to supplying students with more housing options.

 

The Collector: Get Yer Bike Maps!!

New Humboldt Bay Area Bike Map
Get ’em while they are hot.

SB 1029 Vote Today
We reported last week on the how the Great Redwood Trail Act had been placed in the California Senate appropriations suspense file. A quick call to Senator McGuire’s office confirmed its path going forward. Today (May 25), the appropriations committee is voting on the suspense file — it’s literally live or die for all bills placed there. The representative I spoke to said that they were “hopeful” it would pass, but that nobody could ever be sure of bills in suspense. If it survives it will have a full Senate floor vote next week (where passage appears likely), and then head over to the assembly. The major political concerns appear to be cost.

Right on Red: A Bad Deal for Everyone Not in a Car
Automotive primacy means that many aspects of driving culture go unexamined — even when they are inherently dangerous to others. For example, take the familiar right turn on red. What is bad about that? Well apparently, allowing rights on red “increases pedestrian crashes by 60 percent and bike crashes by 100 percent”. Maybe it’s time for a change?

#GivePedsTheGreen
A Seattle campaign from last year would have automatically given pedestrians the right to cross intersections in the same direction as vehicular traffic when the light was green instead relying on “beg-buttons”. Unfortunately, but predictably, the local Department of Transportation came out against the move.

“Crossbikes”
Here is a new thing…

Transit Oriented Developement or Development Oriented Transit
In California, much of the recent political discourse about affordable housing has centered on Transit Oriented Development (TOD). But what if we are seeing the situation backwards? To TOD or to DOT? That is the question!

 

NIMBY, YIMBY, NIABY, YIEBY

Anyone familiar with local land use issues knows that one of the most potent forces in any debate over a proposed project is the NIMBY (“Not In My Back Yard”). “NIMBY” is generally considered a derogatory term, intended to imply hypocrisy; a NIMBY is said to be objecting to a land use they would find totally unobjectionable if located in someone else’s neighborhood. In contrast, the new YIMBY (“Yes In My Back Yard”) movement, developing out of New York and San Francisco, proudly claims its name as it seeks to help residents support and advocate for (some kinds of) development in their neighborhoods.

It hardly needs to be said that NIMBYism is often problematic, standing in the way of needed infrastructure which would benefit the community as a whole in favor of “protecting” the status quo. But we should introduce a little more nuance here. At the risk of providing aid and comfort to NIMBYs everywhere, it has to be said that sometimes “not in my back yard” is an appropriate response to a proposed land use. After all, the idea that not all land uses are appropriate in all places is the basis for the very concept of urban planning. And YIMBYs, in responding to NIMBYism, can also be problematic. Not to put too fine a point on it, but YIMBYs must tread carefully to avoid becoming mere shills for powerful development interests.

Let’s also be clear that not all objections to new development are examples of NIMBYism. Or, even if objections are NIMBY in nature, they may be a sign that no one would want a particular land use nearby and perhaps it shouldn’t be allowed anywhere. To that end, I’d like to introduce a new acronym, NIABY (“Not In Anybody’s Back Yard”). Let’s apply this to people and groups that fight against damaging, polluting, out-moded forms of development wherever they are. And that concept of course implies its opposite, YIEBY (“Yes In Everybody’s Back Yard”). Let’s apply this acronym to those who advocate for widespread and equitable development of the kinds of infrastructure that improve virtually any neighborhood where they’re located.

What does this have to do with transportation? A lot, actually. While NIMBYs and YIMBYs are most often associated with new buildings (particularly large multifamily housing developments), their motivations and viewpoints can be and are applied to transportation infrastructure as well. It’s no coincidence that ports and freeways are generally associated with low-income, minority neighborhoods, while there’s usually far better bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in wealthier, whiter areas.

At CRTP, we aim to primarily take on the role of NIABY and YIEBY. We’re avowed NIABYs when it comes to new vehicle lanes and freeways, and committed YIEBYs when it comes to bike lanes, sidewalks, and bus stops. Of course, we don’t dismiss the importance of location for most types of development. In particular, we believe strongly that the place for dense new residential and commercial development is in existing population centers, not in suburban or rural zones. It’s this pattern of development that will enable the successful transportation mode shift that’s at the core of our work.

So we call on YIMBYs to speak up in support of dense infill development, and we’ll support the NIMBYs when new sprawl is proposed. And we hope you’ll all join us in our NIABY and YIEBY transportation advocacy. Acronyms, unite!