CRTP and Allies Demand Transit Funding in “Road Tax” Measure

The Collector

November 10, 2023


Will Arcata’s Gateway Plan Go Citywide?
Next Wednesday, the Arcata City Council will consider whether some or all of the policies developed as part of the Gateway Area Plan should apply citywide instead. The staff report notes that while general policies could be applied citywide, location-specific features of the plan would likely still need to be implemented through the zoning code. CRTP is still reviewing this proposal, but we are excited by the idea that many of the bike, pedestrian and transit-friendly features of the Gateway plan could apply throughout Arcata.

CRTP and Allies Demand Transit Funding in County “Road Tax” Measure
On Tuesday, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors heard results of public polling and made some decisions about 2024 ballot measures, including a potential sales tax to fund transportation. While county staff and some supervisors focused almost exclusively on road funding, advocacy by CRTP and our allies ensured that public transit funding remained on the table. (We made it clear that we would oppose any “road tax” that didn’t also include transit.) In the end, the Supervisors directed staff to conduct additional outreach as they shape the details of the measure for the November 2024 ballot. Increased investment in transit is a necessity for both equity and the climate, and you can be sure CRTP will continue to advocate hard for new funding for our local transit providers.

Biking Continues as the Seasons Turn
Join CRTP, the Northcoast Environmental Center, and Moon Cycles for our next group bike ride on Saturday at noon. This ride, from Valley West to Cal Poly Humboldt, will focus on how bike commuters can prepare for and even enjoy winter weather. Click here for more information and to register.

If you bike (or would like to bike) in Eureka, we also encourage you to come out next Thursday to a city-sponsored walk audit of bike conditions around Henderson Center. Results will help inform the official Eureka Bike Plan, currently under development.

A Sad Week on Local Roads
When it comes to street safety, CRTP focuses mainly on the most vulnerable people – pedestrians and bicyclists. But our local roads are dangerous for people in vehicles, too, as the last week has so tragically reminded us. Three serious vehicular crashes in Eureka – on Henderson Street, Broadway, and I Street – and one in Hoopa collectively left at least 2 people dead and several more injured. The details vary in serious crashes, but one factor is almost always present: speed. To prevent more deaths and injuries on our roads, drivers need to slow down, and agencies need to design streets to force them to do that. It’s not complicated. We just need to decide as a community that safety is truly more important than speed.

Opportunity to Comment on New Housing Development on Broadway
The City of Eureka is taking public comments about its plan to develop housing on a property overlooking Broadway between between Henderson and Harris Streets. You can attend a meeting next Wednesday, or click here to take their survey. If you comment, be sure to emphasize the need for bike and pedestrian safety improvements on Broadway, Harris and Henderson, so that future residents can safely access bus stops and local destinations without a car. As usual, we also strongly recommend maximizing housing units rather than parking spaces in the project design.


Street Story: A Simple Way to Contribute to the Fight for Safe Streets
Reports on Street Story only take a few minutes, and they give CRTP and local government agencies better information about the need for safety improvements. So don’t forget to make a report every time you experience a near-miss, a crash, or a hazardous location. La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí. 


News from Beyond the North Coast

California’s Climate Plan for Transportation Isn’t Enough
Caltrans is making good progress on implementing the plan, but there is no corresponding decrease in driving, in climate-harming emissions, or in deaths on the roads. Something’s wrong here.


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.

McKinleyville Roads and Bike Lanes to Be Discussed

The Collector

November 3, 2023


Yes, the Anti-Housing and Anti-Transit Arkley Initiative Is as Bad as We’ve Been Saying
Eureka city staff are out with their official informational report on the Arkley initiative, including an economic assessment from an outside firm. Just as we’ve been reporting, the impacts of the initiative passing in November would be severe. It would block walkable, affordable housing development and prevent hundreds of millions of dollars from being invested downtown. It would put the city out of compliance with state law, creating the potential for legal chaos. Also important but largely undiscussed in the staff report, the initiative would block the much-needed construction of a downtown transit center (the EaRTH Center) which is already funded by the state and would help improve local and regional transit service. The report is scheduled to be discussed by the City Council at next Tuesday’s meeting.

Also on Tuesday’s Council agenda is an update on the regional Climate Action Plan, including the recent decision to re-write significant portions of the plan and delay the environmental review process until next year. Get an overview of the current status of the Climate Action Plan by listening to this week’s EcoNews Report.

McKinleyville Roads and Bike Lanes to Be Discussed
A joint meeting of the McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee and the McKinleyville Community Services District next Wednesday will tackle road projects and bike and pedestrian plans for the community. One hot topic will be the county’s proposal to add bike lanes to Washington Avenue, currently the main connection between McKinleyville Avenue and School Road. CRTP supports the addition of bike lanes, but some features of the proposed design are extremely concerning – particularly the plan to end the bike lanes 150 feet short of the School Road intersection. The county says there isn’t enough room for them to continue. But disappearing bike lanes create an extremely hazardous situation for people riding bikes, and giving up on bike safety is just not acceptable.

Instead, for the narrower 150 feet of road near the intersection, CRTP has proposed: (1) Narrow the car lanes to 10 feet, creating enough space for a bike lane on one side of the street – we recommend the southbound side. (2) Protect northbound and left-turning bikes by narrowing the intersection to slow down turning cars, adding speed “pillows” (speed humps with gaps for bicycles), and including prominent signage and conflict markings.

You can speak up for bike and pedestrian safety by attending Wednesday’s meeting, or emailing your comments about the Washington Avenue bike lanes to publicworkspermits@co.humboldt.ca.us.

Don’t Forget to Vote for CRTP & Friends!
The North Coast Co-op is holding its annual Seeds for Change vote right now, allowing members to pick nine local nonprofits to receive a month of donations next year from cash register round-ups. Please cast your vote for CRTP! We also encourage you to vote for our “sister organizations” on the ballot, as well as other friends and allied organizations including: the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), Humboldt Waterkeeper (formerly Humboldt Baykeeper), Friends of the Eel River, Humboldt Trails Council, and Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives.

Police & Reporters: Stop Blaming Pedestrian Victims
Check out CRTP Executive Director Colin Fiske’s column in this week’s North Coast Journal about the need to end the pervasive and insidious victim-blaming perpetuated by law enforcement agencies and the media every time a driver hits a pedestrian. Tragically, we saw another egregious example of this victim-blaming in the local press just this week. Our thoughts are with the Noe family at this difficult time.

Political Protester Alleges Attack with Vehicle
Vehicular attacks on protesters became disturbingly common during local and nationwide racial justice demonstrations in 2020. This week, a pro-Palestine protester alleged she was the victim of an assault involving a vehicle following a rally in Arcata. As CRTP stated clearly back in 2020, a car is a lethal weapon, and there is no excuse for using one to attack a protester or anyone else. We must fight against the normalization of this and every other kind of traffic violence.



Street Story: A Simple Way to Contribute to the Fight for Safe Streets
Reports on Street Story only take a few minutes, and they give CRTP and local government agencies better information about the need for safety improvements. So don’t forget to make a report every time you experience a near-miss, a crash, or a hazardous location. La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí. 


News from Beyond the North Coast

State Officials Continue to Push Highway Expansions
Ignoring mountains of evidence showing that extra lanes do not relieve congestion or provide safe mobility, and disregarding the state’s own climate and transportation goals, the California Transportation Commission and Caltrans keep doubling down on massive highway expansions in many parts of the state.

Message from Norway: Support for Vehicles (Even Electric Ones) Comes at a Cost
Norway is often seen as a model for environmental progress. In recent years, policy makers around the globe have lauded its remarkably fast transition to electric vehicles. However, Norwegian transportation experts are warning that the government’s exclusive focus on incentivizing EVs as a climate strategy is actually increasing car ownership and undermining attempts by local governments to encourage other, lower-carbon modes of transportation.


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.

Support for Key Parking Reforms in Arcata

The Collector

October 27, 2023


Support for Key Parking Reforms in Arcata
At their study session this week, several Arcata Planning Comissioners and Councilmembers reaffirmed support for key parking reforms long sought by CRTP, including: (1) the elimination of costly and unscientific parking mandates that block walkable development, and (2) a downtown parking meter program with revenues to support walking, biking and transit. Make no mistake, such strong support for these policies would not have been possible without years of public education and advocacy from CRTP and our members and supporters. So thank you!

At the same meeting, Councilmembers approved the city’s application for federal funding to implement many of the new policies in the updated General Plan. This work would include form-based zoning codes for downtown and Valley West similar to the one proposed for the Gateway Area, extending bike and pedestrian-friendly development rules to more parts of the city. You can read the application, comment and express your support here.

Co-op Members: Vote for CRTP & Friends!
The North Coast Co-op is holding its annual Seeds for Change vote right now, allowing members to pick nine local nonprofits to receive a month of donations next year from cash register round-ups. CRTP is one of your options, and we ask for your vote! We also encourage you to vote for our “sister organizations” on the ballot:

  • The Environmental Protection Information Center, better known as EPIC, advocates for the science-based protection and restoration of Northwest California’s forests, rivers, and wildlife with an integrated approach combining public education, citizen advocacy, and strategic litigation. EPIC has been an important member and partner of CRTP since our founding and have more than earned your vote.
  • Humboldt Waterkeeper (formerly Humboldt Baykeeper) safeguards Humboldt Bay, the crown jewel of our local region. Since 2004, Humboldt Waterkeeper has been instrumental in protecting Humboldt Bay, whether by holding polluters accountable, watchdogging proposed developments, or getting community groups out on the water. Humboldt Waterkeeper is a vital part of our local environmental movement and needs your support.
  • Friends of the Eel River is leading the way on Eel River dam removal and ensuring that the Eel River—one of the most important salmonid-bearing waters in California—recovers the hundreds of miles of cold-water habitat trapped behind the dams for a century. The Friends are a key ally and deserve your support.

In addition, there are several other organizations on the Seeds for Change ballot that CRTP supports and regularly works with, including Humboldt Trails Council and Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives. We encourage our supporters to vote for them as well.

A Walk from Fortuna to Eureka / Movimiento Indigena Migrante
Mark your calendar: on Saturday, November 4th, Centro del Pueblo will hold its annual walk from Fortuna to Eureka to honor and call attention to the journeys of immigrants and ancestors. This event reminds us that walking can often be a powerful political act. Of course, participants in the walk also have to navigate the difficulties and hazards of poor and missing pedestrian facilities in this important local travel corridor.

Marque su calendario: el sábado 4 de noviembre, el Centro del Pueblo realizará su caminata anual desde Fortuna a Eureka para honrar y llamar la atención sobre los viajes de inmigrantes y antepasados. Este evento nos recuerda que caminar puede ser a menudo un acto político poderoso. Por supuesto, los participantes en la caminata también tienen que sortear las dificultades y peligros de las instalaciones peatonales deficientes y faltantes en este importante corredor de tránsito local.



Street Story: A Simple Way to Contribute to the Fight for Safe Streets
Reports on Street Story only take a few minutes, and they give CRTP and local government agencies better information about the need for safety improvements. So don’t forget to make a report every time you experience a near-miss, a crash, or a hazardous location. La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí. 


News from Beyond the North Coast

Car Culture Is Neither Permanent nor Inevitable
Because Americans alive today mostly grew up in a car-dominated culture, it’s easy to assume that it always has been and always will be this way. But car culture is the result of a specific set of historical developments in the twentieth century, and times are changing quickly.

A Backwards Approach to Pedestrian Safety
Engineering standards prevalent today say that a street or intersection shouldn’t receive pedestrian safety upgrades unless it is already well-used by pedestrians, or multiple people have been hit and killed there. In other words, in a dangerous location, people have to regularly risk their lives and even die before officials will consider safety improvements. This approach is unethical, unacceptable and must change.

Horrific Incident Leads to Backlash Against Self-Driving Vehicles
Earlier this month, a driverless vehicle operated in San Francisco by General Motors subsidiary Cruise ran over a pedestrian who had already been hit and dragged the victim under the vehicle for 20 feet. State agencies have temporarily revoked Cruise’s license, but other companies continue to operate driverless vehicles throughout the city.


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.

Micro-Transit Is Coming to McKinleyville

The Collector

October 20, 2023


Important Progress on Regional Climate Action Plan
This Tuesday, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors redirected some funding toward a “do-over” of parts of the long-awaited Climate Action Plan. CRTP and our allies are deeply concerned about more delays in this process, which started five long years ago. However, we believe that most of the changes proposed by the county will strengthen the plan in the long run. Furthermore, we successfully advocated on Tuesday for the county to establish a clear timeline for adoption, and we will be monitoring progress carefully.

Most importantly, our advocacy in recent weeks paid off, and county staff and supervisors clearly stated this week that they will not include industrial point sources in the Climate Action Plan. The proposal to include these sources would have undermined the integrity of the entire plan, so this decision is a major win. Thanks to all of our allies, members and supporters who spoke up about this – your voices were heard!

Eureka Bike Plan Workshop Next Week
Next Thursday is the first public workshop on Eureka’s official citywide bike plan, which is currently under development. Click here to register, and come prepared with specific input about how to create a safe and comfortable bike network for people of all ages and abilities. More information on the bike plan can be found here.

In other Eureka news, the Rob Arkley-backed, anti-housing, anti-transit initiative has officially been placed on the November 2024 ballot. CRTP strongly opposes this initiative, misleadingly named “Housing for All,” which would actually prevent the city from building affordable, walkable housing and a transit center, all in the name of preserving some parking spaces.

A hundred years ago this week, Eureka was busy expanding its bustling streetcar system. Today, that system is long gone, tragically torn up in the name of “progress.” But history provides an important reminder that car dependency is not inevitable. We can choose to design our communities to promote more efficient, safe and sustainable ways to get around.

Micro-Transit Is Coming to McKinleyville!
Two years ago, CRTP helped facilitate a study of options to improve public transit in McKinleyville. The final report called for trying micro-transit, which uses smaller buses or other vehicles that can be hailed using an app or a phone call, and that follow dynamic routes designed to maximize riders and minimize travel distance. These vehicles can move people around town, or bring them to a bus stop to connect to the regional Redwood Transit System. We’re excited to report that the Humboldt County Association of Governments has received a grant to pilot just such a program! Stay tuned for more updates.

Get Ready for That E-Bike Voucher
The state is expected to launch its long-awaited program any day now. And when it does, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) will offer an additional voucher on top of that! Both vouchers will likely go fast, so prepare today by checking your eligibility, visiting a local bike shop, and planning ahead for secure e-bike storage. Click here for more information from RCEA.

CRTP Seeking Board Members
Are you a responsible transportation enthusiast with nonprofit financial experience, transportation planning or research expertise, or an important perspective to offer? You could be our next Board member! Click here for more information, including how to apply.

Another Arcata Study Session Next Week
The City Council and Planning Commission will reconvene for a third (and maybe final) joint session to discuss proposed updates to the city’s General Plan. While the first two sessions focused primarily on the Gateway Area, this one is expected to cover citywide General Plan updates. There are a lot of important and positive changes proposed, including new policies prioritizing slower speeds on city streets, recognizing public transportation as a civil right, and an opportunity to finally remove the costly and unscientific parking mandates which have long stifled walkable development.

A Traffic Stop in Hoopa with Tragic Consequences
People sometimes ask CRTP why we don’t advocate for more law enforcement to crack down on unsafe drivers. One of the reasons is that traffic stops all too often lead to violent and tragic outcomes, and the burden of those tragedies is felt disproportionately by people of color. There are safer, more equitable and more effective ways to improve safety on our streets and roads, and those are the solutions we will always prioritize as an organization.


Street Story: A Simple Way to Contribute to the Fight for Safe Streets
Reports on Street Story only take a few minutes, and they give CRTP and local government agencies better information about the need for safety improvements. So don’t forget to make a report every time you experience a near-miss, a crash, or a hazardous location. La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí. 


News from Beyond the North Coast

Advocates Call for a Caltrans Audit & Highway Expansion Moratorium
A top Caltrans official responsible for bike and pedestrian programs was recently demoted after pointing out that funding was being misused for highway expansions – something we have seen here on the North Coast as well. These projects run counter to the state’s own climate policies and are not eligible for the main highway funding program, but Caltrans has been using that money anyway. Now, advocates across the state are calling on Governor Newsom to audit funding practices at the agency and implement a moratorium on highway expansions.

Final Recap of New Laws, Vetoes and Failed Bills from the Legislative Session
CalBike’s helpful post provides information on the fate of many of the important transportation bills introduced in Sacramento this year, as well as money for active transportation in the state budget.


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.

Eureka Anti-Housing, Anti-Transit Initiative Headed for the Ballot?

The Collector

October 13, 2023


Arkley-Backed Initiative Headed for the Ballot?
Next Tuesday, the Eureka City Council will consider whether to put the anti-housing, anti-transit initiative on the November 2024 ballot. Rob Arkley’s paid signature gatherers got enough voters to sign their petitions, which generally means the Council doesn’t have much of a choice. But the signature gathering was so tainted by false and misleading information that we think the city – or somebody – should sue in court to stop it. (Meanwhile, Arkley and his cronies are doubling down on their reckless attacks on walkable, affordable downtown housing, filing two more baseless lawsuits this week against the projects slated to be built by nonprofit Linc Housing.)

Also on Tuesday, the City Council will hold its hearing on unmet transit needs. This is one of a series of annual hearings held by local agencies to receive feedback on needed improvements to the public transportation system. You can also get your comments on the record by filling out the form here.


SAVE THE DATE: CRTP Fundraising Night at the Hatchet House
Mark your calendar for Thursday, November 9th, from 6-8 pm, when CRTP will be holding a fundraiser at the Hatchet House in Arcata. More details, including how to purchase tickets, will be coming soon!


Reflections on the Week Without Driving
Thirty people in Humboldt County participated in last week’s National Week Without Driving, including ten elected officials and a number of public agency staff. Click here to read some of the reflections shared by participants. And keep your ears tuned for this week’s EcoNews Report (airing and posting in podcast feeds starting on Saturday), which will feature reflections on the Week Without Driving from Humboldt County Supervisor Natalie Arroyo, Rio Dell Mayor Debra Garnes, and Eureka City Councilmember G. Mario Fernandez.

Share Your Vision with the Northcoast Environmental Center
What future do you desire for the community and the planet? Maybe it involves lots of bikes, pedestrians and public transportation? Whatever you vision is, you can write it down or draw it up and share it with the Northcoast Environmental Center.

Great Redwood Trail Celebration Tomorrow!
As a long-time supporter of the Great Redwood Trail, CRTP is participating in a community event on Saturday, October 14th, to celebrate the progress toward making this trail a reality. Unfortunately, the event location is pretty hard to get to without a car – so please sign up to carpool. And if you feel like pitching in, the event organizers are also looking for some volunteers.


Street Story: A Simple Way to Contribute to the Fight for Safe Streets
Reports on Street Story only take a few minutes, and they give CRTP and local government agencies better information about the need for safety improvements. So don’t forget to make a report every time you experience a near-miss, a crash, or a hazardous location. La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí. 


News from Beyond the North Coast

Critical Crosswalk Safety Bill Signed by Governor!
Governor Newsom this week signed a bill that prohibits parking within 20 feet of the vehicle approach side of any marked or unmarked crosswalk in the state. This important safety measure, called “daylighting,” provides much-needed visibility for pedestrians and drivers alike. CRTP will be advocating to ensure local governments implement the bill immediately.

Newsom also signed a number of other transportation bills in recent days. Disappointingly, he also vetoed two high-priority bills for transportation advocates: AB 825, which would have allowed bikes to ride on sidewalks where there’s no safe bike infrastructure, and AB 819, which would have decriminalized fare evasion on public transit, putting the penalty roughly in line with a traffic ticket (as opposed to current draconian criminal punishments).

Bike and Pedestrian Fatalities Are Increasingly Concentrated on State Highways
National data show what North Coast residents have long observed: the safety crisis for people walking and biking is most intense on state-owned roads.

Car-Free Community Opens in Arizona
We’ve been following this development for a while now, as it may be the first in the country to effectively prohibit car ownership by keeping residents from parking anywhere nearby. Surprising to some, even in the Phoenix metro area – one of the nation’s most sprawling, car-dependent cities – this community is in high demand. Planners take note: if they can do it there, we can do it here on the North Coast too!


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.

We’re in the Middle of the National Week Without Driving

The Collector

October 6, 2023


Work Continues on the Arcata-Eureka Highway Corridor
Check out this week’s EcoNews Report for a refresher on what all the construction is about. Of course, one of the highlights is the completion of the long-awaited Humboldt Bay Trail! And thankfully, that bike and pedestrian connection between Arcata and Eureka is being built at the same time as some much-needed upgrades to Eureka’s bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

Your Annual Opportunity to Weigh In on Unmet Transit Needs
CRTP helps you advocate for better public transit all year round! But it’s still a good idea to take the annual survey and provide your official feedback to the Humboldt County Association of Governments.

Speaking of transit needs, as we reported last week, the Blue Lake Rancheria has discontinued its bus service between Blue Lake and Arcata. Fortunately, thanks to some quick work by the Humboldt Transit Authority, some baseline transit service will now be restored by adding a Blue Lake stop to the existing Arcata-Willow Creek bus line. More improvements will be needed soon to meet the needs of people living in Blue Lake and Glendale who rely on public transit.

We’re in the Middle of the National Week Without Driving
If you’re someone who drives regularly, this is the perfect time to give a little thought to how your life might be different if you were among the 30% of the population who can’t drive. The challenges faced by non-drivers are among the many important reasons to change our transportation systems and our communities for the better. And the next time you do get behind the wheel, perhaps take a moment to reflect first.

Celebrate the Great Redwood Trail With Us!
As a long-time supporter of the Great Redwood Trail, CRTP is participating in a community event on Saturday, October 14th, to celebrate the progress toward making this trail a reality. Unfortunately, the event location is pretty hard to get to without a car – so please sign up to carpool. And if you feel like pitching in, the event organizers are also looking for some volunteers.


Street Story: A Simple Way to Contribute to the Fight for Safe Streets
Reports on Street Story only take a few minutes, and they give CRTP and local government agencies better information about the need for safety improvements. So don’t forget to make a report every time you experience a near-miss, a crash, or a hazardous location. La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí. 


News from Beyond the North Coast

Caltrans Demotes Official Who Opposed Highway Expansions
Jeanie Ward-Waller has been a champion for active transportation in California since before she was hired as a top Caltrans official several years ago. Now the agency has demoted her, apparently for objecting to the misuse of funding to support highway expansion projects that work against the state’s active transportation and climate goals.

A Bunch of Responsible Transportation Bills Are Sitting on the Governor’s Desk
Find out more, including how to take action, from our friends at CalBike.


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.

Future Uncertain for Regional Climate Action Plan

The Collector

September 29, 2023


Future Uncertain for Regional Climate Action Plan
If you saw CRTP’s action alert earlier this week, you know that Humboldt County staff are promoting a new idea for the stalled regional climate action plan: take credit for past emissions reductions that local governments had nothing to do with. Staff are claiming this is the only way forward, and that they really do still want to reduce climate pollution. But the reality is that this accounting trick just reduces the pressure to do the hard work that’s really needed to tackle the climate crisis, including reducing the amount of driving that local residents do. We will keep fighting to ensure that the county and local cities adopt a regional climate action plan that truly meets the urgency and scale of the challenge.

Progress on Arcata Gateway Plan and McKinleyville Town Center
Two major, long-running planning efforts, which are also top priorities for CRTP, took big steps forward this week.

On Tuesday, Arcata city councilmembers expressed unanimous support for the building height limits recommended by the city’s planning commission for the Gateway Area Plan. Those height limits vary by sub-district within the Gateway area and range from four to seven stories. These increased height limits are key to the plan’s efforts to produce walkable, car-optional housing, and have been one of the major sticking points for opponents of the plan. So this week’s unofficial “straw poll” showing unanimous support by the council represents a big step forward. If you see Mayor Sarah Schaefer, Vice Mayor Meredith Matthews, or Councilmember Kimberley White around town, please thank them for their support of the new height limits.

Then on Wednesday, at the McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee meeting, committee members wrapped up their review of the draft Town Center ordinance after three years of meetings (although it will probably return to them again later). Although the committee did not formally endorse a much-needed lane reduction on Central Avenue, they did unanimously agree to recommend some form of significant traffic calming on the thoroughfare. They also reaffirmed their recommendation to remove costly parking mandates, establish a maximum of one parking space per unit for residential development, and require most parking to be shared for greater efficiency. We can’t overstate how significant a change this all represents for McKinleyville (and Humboldt County as a whole), and none of it would have happened without the advocacy of CRTP and our many members and supports – so thank you!

More Hazards and Tragedies for Local Pedestrians
Tri-County Independent Living, a local group serving people with disabilities, is raising the alarm about the dangers its clients face trying to cross 4th and 5th Streets (Highway 101) to get to its office in Eureka. CRTP regularly works with Tri-County Independent Living on issues around transit and pedestrian safety, and we strongly support their efforts to get Caltrans to implement safe crossing improvements in Eureka.

The danger to pedestrians in our region is all too real. Just last week, we reported on one fatal pedestrian collision and another serious injury crash. Afterward, we learned about yet another crash seriously injuring a pedestrian, this time in Arcata. And this week, 52-year-old Isidro Gali was struck and killed by a driver on Broadway in Eureka.

The details and circumstances differ among all these near-misses and crashes, and there’s a lot we don’t know yet. But there is at least one commonality we can already see: they are all on streets and highways which allow or even encourage drivers to go fast. Higher speeds increase the chances of a crash, and increase the chances that a crash will be deadly if it occurs. That’s why CRTP will continue to fight so hard for changes to streets that decrease traffic speeds and increase safety for everybody.

Last Chance for a Bus Adventure to Blue Lake
Next Monday, 350 Humboldt will host its next Bus Adventure. Participants will catch the Blue Lake Rancheria Transit Service bus in Arcata around 1:30 pm and ride out to Blue Lake for a tour of the Rancheria’s sustainability programs. Email Bus Adventure coordinator Cathy Chandler-Klein at cathyck@sbcglobal.net for more information and to let her know you’re coming.

Unfortunately, this Bus Adventure will take one of the very last rides on the Rancheria’s transit service! We have confirmed that Monday will be the service’s last day in operation, apparently due to the financial strain it has put on the Rancheria to operate it. We hope that other local agencies will step up to work with the Rancheria and revive transit service to Blue Lake in the near future.

New Committee Formed to Fight Anti-Housing, Pro-Parking Lot Initiative
As we’ve reported before, Rob Arkley is meddling in Eureka politics again, trying to stop walkable housing construction and a downtown transit hub. Now Eurekans are organizing to fight back.


Local Leaders Sign Up for Next Week’s National Week Without Driving
The first National Week Without Driving starts on Monday, and 23 local residents – including 8 elected officials and a number of planners and community leaders – have signed the pledge to participate. This is an important opportunity for decision-makers to get first-hand insights into what it’s like to live in our communities for the many people who can’t drive because of age, disability, income or other reasons. If you haven’t signed yet, it’s not too late! Click here to sign up today.


Street Story: A Simple Way to Contribute to the Fight for Safe Streets
Reports on Street Story only take a few minutes, and they give CRTP and local government agencies better information about the need for safety improvements. So don’t forget to make a report every time you experience a near-miss, a crash, or a hazardous location. La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí. 


News from Beyond the North Coast

Many Transportation Bills Await Governor’s Signature
Check out CalBike’s helpful recap, which also has opportunities to contact the governor and ask for him to sign key bills. While you’re on CalBike’s site, you should also consider emailing Caltrans to tell them that they can’t just exempt freeway interchanges from bike and pedestrian safety guidelines.

New Report: Despite Efforts, Californians Keep Driving More
One of the main reasons is that, even though funding programs are now mostly supposed to be supporting “multimodal” and safety infrastructure, Caltrans and other agencies still keep building more lanes for cars and trucks.

Tires Are an Enormous, Formerly Unrecognized Source of Pollution
Car tires shed a trillion tiny particles for every kilometer driven. Many of those end up in the air, making tires a bigger source of health-harming particulate pollution than exhaust pipes in many areas. Other particles end up in the water, killing fish and making up 78% of microplastics in the oceans, according to one estimate. Electric cars produce even more tire pollution than gas-powered vehicles, which is another reminder that we can’t solve the massive problems produced by our car culture just by shifting the power source.


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.

Drivers Hit Two More People Walking in Humboldt

The Collector

September 22, 2023


Drivers Hit Two More People Walking in Humboldt
A visitor to Richardson Grove State Park was killed by a driver this week after emerging from a trail onto the side of Highway 101. We also learned this week that 27-year-old Ashley Hipol was seriously injured after being hit by a driver last week while walking on Highway 101 in Fortuna. The collision involving Hipol happened a little over a week after the crash on Cal Poly Humboldt’s campus that left student Madelyn Vink in intensive care.

In the Richardson Grove case, police chased and then arrested the intoxicated driver. In the other cases, however, officials seemed more interested in defending the drivers than in the safety of pedestrians. Despite the fact that the driver in Hipol’s case left the scene – a hit-and-run felony – the Highway Patrol spokesperson declared preemptively that the driver might not have known they hit someone. And despite admitting to not having a full statement from the Hipol, and without acknowledging that the crash happened in a location where there are few if any alternative travel routes, the spokesperson still took the opportunity to publicly lecture pedestrians about walking on the highway. In Vink’s case, the victim’s mother says that the University Police Department refused to even provide the name of the driver (so her family could contact their insurer) until the family hired a lawyer. It is a sad but common situation for police officers and other public officials to identify and empathize more with drivers who hit people walking or biking than with the victims themselves.

The families of both Hipol and Vink are asking for donations to help cover their expenses in the aftermath of these crashes. You can donate to support Hipol’s family here, and to support Vink’s family here.

Two More Gateway Plan Meetings Next Week
The City of Arcata will hold a “Gateway Housing Open House” next Monday from 4-6 pm, where attendees can learn about and provide input on the proposed Gateway Zoning Code. More information is available here.

But if you’re only going to attend one Gateway-related meeting next week (yep, there are two of them!), we’d recommend going to Tuesday’s City Council-Planning Commission study session. The Council is likely to take “straw votes” at that meeting on key topics including building height and density. As we’ve pointed out many times before, research shows that we need higher density development (and thus somewhat taller buildings) to allow more people to choose to walk, bike or ride the bus instead of driving. Some decision-makers don’t seem to have received this message yet, so it’s a good idea to show up and remind them if you can.

McKinleyville Committee on the Verge of Key Decisions for Town Center?
Next Wednesday, the McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee will continue (and maybe even finish) reviewing the draft Town Center ordinance. Thanks to years of education and advocacy from CRTP and our supporters, Committee members now unanimously support eliminating costly parking mandates in the Town Center. At next week’s meeting, they may even discuss imposing parking maximums and other more ambitious parking management policies that prioritize car-free transportation. It’s possible they will also finally vote to support a lane reduction and safety redesign for Central Avenue, another top priority for transportation advocates like CRTP.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the Committee will discuss the recently completed McKinleyville Multimodal Connections Project and consider next steps for improving safe bike and pedestrian access throughout the community.


What Can We Learn From a Week Without Driving?
Running October 2-8, 2023, the first National Week Without Driving is an important opportunity for decision-makers to get first-hand insights into what it’s like to live in our communities for the many people who can’t drive because of age, disability, income or other reasons. Thanks to the community leaders, elected officials, planners and engineers who have already taken CRTP’s pledge to participate. If you haven’t yet, please click here to sign up today.


Street Story: A Simple Way to Contribute to the Fight for Safe Streets
Reports on Street Story only take a few minutes, and they give CRTP and local government agencies better information about the need for safety improvements. So don’t forget to make a report every time you experience a near-miss, a crash, or a hazardous location. La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí. 


News from Beyond the North Coast

Why You Should Support E-Bikes (Even If You Don’t Ride One)
CalBike has put together a handy collection of resources supporting the widespread use of e-bikes and responding to common concerns.

Southern California Driver Intentionally Hits Three People on Bikes
The motive for the horrific attacks, which killed one person, is currently unknown. But Huntington Beach, where these vehicular attacks occurred, has apparently decided that the real threat is not deadly vehicles but e-bikes.

Let’s Show Sidewalks Some Love
Cities invest a tiny fraction of their infrastructure budgets into sidewalks, despite the fact that these public spaces are important not only for safe walking but also for community bonding.


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.

Join Us to Help Make Eureka Safer for Bikes

The Collector

September 15, 2023


Want to Help Make Eureka Safer for Bikes?
Join CRTP, the Northcoast Environmental Center, and Moon Cycles for a bike ride around Eureka on Monday at 5:30 pm. We’ll be looking at bike infrastructure and what can be done to improve it, and talking about the Eureka Bike Plan that’s currently being written. Click here to register. And speaking of the Eureka Bike Plan, don’t forget to take the official survey and provide your input.

Free Bus Rides on Saturday!
Local transit systems will be offering free rides tomorrow to encourage people to get to community events like the North Country Fair and Festejando Nuestra Comunidad by bus. Another great option is to go by bike, and CRTP will be offering free bike valet at the Fair!

Once you’ve started riding the bus, you won’t want to stop. So here’s more great news for the next time you ride on a day when fares are in place: all Humboldt Transit Authority buses and Arcata city buses now have convenient “tap to pay” credit card systems for paying your fare. You even get a discount for using this method.

E-bike Vouchers Are Almost Here
Last week, California finally unveiled the website for its new e-bike incentives. You can’t apply for one yet – but you can get your paperwork ready, and you should. Once the program goes live, it’s expected to be hugely popular, so the money will run out pretty fast.

And don’t forget that when the state program begins, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority will simultaneously start its own voucher program. When the incentives are combined, you may be able to obtain up to $2,500 toward the purchase of an e-bike, depending on your income.


Don’t Forget to Take the Week Without Driving Pledge
Running October 2-8, 2023, this is an important opportunity for decision-makers to get first-hand insights into what it’s like to live in our communities for the many people who can’t drive because of age, disability, income or other reasons. Thanks to the community leaders, elected officials, planners and engineers who have already taken the pledge to participate. If you haven’t yet, please click the link above and sign up today.


Street Story: A Simple Way to Contribute to the Fight for Safe Streets
Reports on Street Story only take a few minutes, and they give CRTP and local government agencies better information about the need for safety improvements. So don’t forget to make a report every time you experience a near-miss, a crash, or a hazardous location. La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí. 


News from Beyond the North Coast

Take the State Highway Complete Streets Survey
Here at CRTP, we spend a lot of time advocating for safety improvements to state highways like Eureka’s Broadway that cut through local communities. The advocacy group CalBike is now conducting a statewide survey on the status of bike and pedestrian infrastructure on state highways, and you can help by filling it out!

The Cars Are Watching Us
Modern vehicles collect huge amounts of data about drivers and passengers as well as people walking, biking and rolling nearby. There are almost no privacy protections.


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.

$30 Million Awarded for Housing & Transportation in Eureka!

The Collector

September 8, 2023


Special Meeting on McKinleyville Town Center Next Week
The McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee has been reviewing Town Center plans for years, and it’s hard to predict what will happen at next Wednesday’s meeting. But the committee seems to be close to completing its review, and a vote on the Town Center ordinance could come at this meeting.

We’re glad to report that support has been growing on the committee for two of CRTP’s main priorities for the Town Center: (1) eliminating costly and unscientific parking mandates; (2) reducing the width of Central Avenue and redesigning it for bike and pedestrian safety. If you’d like to support these priorities, you can find out more about attending the meeting or submitting your email comment here.

$30 Million Awarded for Housing & Transportation Improvements in Eureka!
The City of Eureka and non-profit affordable housing developer Linc Housing have won a major state grant to construct three buildings of affordable housing in downtown Eureka, as well as funding major bike, pedestrian and public transit improvements. The city first approved these projects back in 2020, and this funding brings them a big step closer to reality. This is a moment to celebrate!

Unfortunately, after we celebrate, we have to go back to fighting the Rob Arkley-funded lawsuits and ballot measure that are trying to block this exact project, along with many other needed downtown housing and transportation projects like the EaRTH Center. This new grant award means that, among many other negative impacts, the ballot measure would put at risk at least $70 million in already awarded state investments in downtown Eureka housing and transportation improvements.

Driver Hits Cal Poly Student on Campus, Leading to Critical Injuries
Madelyn Vink is currently in intensive care in Santa Rosa, and our thoughts are with her and with her family and friends. We are also thinking about what kind of campus street design could have allowed such an awful collision to happen in a location that is almost always full of people walking, biking and rolling. We hope that the university administration takes this moment to study what happened, and to redesign campus streets to ensure nothing like it ever happens again.


Eureka Makes It Official: October 2-8 Is the Week Without Driving

This week, the Eureka City Council issued a Proclamation recognizing October 2-8, 2023 as the Week Without Driving, and several city officials have taken the pledge to participate. This is an important opportunity for decision-makers to get first-hand insights into what it’s like to live in our communities for the many people who can’t drive because of age, disability, income or other reasons. If you’re an elected official, community leader, planner, or other transportation decision-maker who hasn’t already taken the pledge, please sign up today.


Street Story: A Simple Way to Contribute to the Fight for Safe Streets
Reports on Street Story only take a few minutes, and they give CRTP and local government agencies better information about the need for safety improvements. So don’t forget to make a report every time you experience a near-miss, a crash, or a hazardous location. La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí. 


News from Beyond the North Coast

Transportation Bills Getting to the Finish Line in Sacramento
With the legislative session nearing an end, a number of important bills appear headed to the governor’s desk. These include an intersection “daylighting” bill that would ban parking near crosswalks to improve pedestrian visibility, a bill to allow bike riding on sidewalks where there isn’t safe bike infrastructure, and a bill to require landlords to charge separately for housing and parking (so people without cars aren’t forced to subsidize parking spaces).

Is an Unprotected, Painted Bike Lane More Dangerous Than No Bike Lane At All?
A new study adds to the evidence that busy streets require physically protected bike lanes and good intersection design to be truly safe.


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.