Celebrate Earth Day Weekend with CRTP!

The Collector

April 19, 2024

Celebrate Earth Day Weekend with CRTP!
On Satuday, join us at the Arcata Plaza for the first weekly farmers market with a completely pedestrianized Plaza! This has been a long time coming, and we’re excited to see a safer, more welcoming, more environmentally friendly environment for the market. Even better, if you ride your bike tomorrow, we’ll be providing free bike valet! Bike valet will be located in the courtyard of the Stillman building, just off the Plaza next to Humboldt Glassblowers on 9th Street.

Then on Sunday, join CRTP, the Northcoast Environmental Center, and Moon Cycles for a group bike ride through the Arcata Bottoms. We’ll be leaving from Moon Cycles in Arcata at noon, stopping at the Hammond Trail Bridge (where you can turn around if you want), and then continuing to the Earth Day Festival at Pierson Park in McKinleyville. CRTP will have a table at the festival, too, so look for us there even if you can’t join the bike ride!

A Lot of Crashes in Humboldt Involve Drugs or Alcohol
A Louisiana law firm’s report has been getting some local media attention for concluding that Humboldt County is first in the nation for the percentage of car crashes that involve drugs or alcohol. There are a lot of factors that influence a statistic like this – and there is no excuse for getting behind the wheel while intoxicated – but we want to highlight two systemic factors that are often overlooked. First, developing more walkable communities can reduce the number of people who drive after drinking or using other drugs, simply by making it easier to get around without a car. Second, slower streets reduce injuries and fatalities from any kind of crash, including those involving drugs or alcohol.

Arcata Highway Cap Proposal Getting More Attention
We first reported on the idea building a massive land bridge over part of Highway 101 in Arcata back in 2022. That idea seems significantly closer to reality now, with Arcata being one of only three communities statewide selected for a grant to help reconnect communities divided by highways. And a highway cap would be really exciting. It could not only reconnect divided neighborhoods but also create new land that could be used for housing, transit facilities, and more.

But realistically, if such a highway cap is built, it will take many years and a lot more money. That’s why we’re also paying attention to other, less headline-grabbing aspects of the grant, including the potential for smaller bike and pedestrian bridges or other connections across Highways 101 and 299. Among other things, such connections could help alleviate the longstanding isolation of the Valley West neighborhood.

Another Sign That There’s Plenty of Parking in Downtown Eureka
Rob Arkley helped orchestrate a “land swap” a couple of years ago to keep the city from building affordable housing on some of its downtown parking lots. Eagle-eyed observers may have noticed that the city agreeing to this swap and removing several parking lots from its plans did not mollify Arkley and his cronies. They are still fighting on several fronts to keep housing from being built on any of the other downtown lots.

The Times-Standard now reports that Arkley’s company purchased one of the City Hall parking lots that was “swapped” into private hands and blocked access to it, attempting to use it as a “bargaining chip” to negotiate with the city to stop development of another parking lot. But that strategy is not working, because the city does not need access to its old parking lot. As City Manager Miles Slattery said: “It’s nothing, there’s plenty of parking around there.”

Make Your Street Story Reports for Arcata’s K & 11th Streets
Thanks to advocacy from CRTP and our allies over the last couple of years, the City of Arcata is planning to improve safety on K and 11th streets – and they need your help. The city will be hosting a workshop May 2nd 5:30-7:30 pm at Redwood Coast Montessori (793 K Street). There is also a survey you can fill out here to provide ideas and input for potential enhancements. CRTP encourages you to make reports on Street Story for these areas as well. Make a Street Story report, fill out the survey, and attend the workshop about K and 11th streets to have your voice heard! La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí.

News from Beyond the North Coast

Caltrans Complete Streets Bill Has First Committee Hearing Next Week
Check out CRTP Executive Director Colin Fiske’s letter to the editor explaining how important this bill is to North Coast communities. Then use CalBike’s handy tool to contact legislators in support of the bill!

New Accessible Streetscape Design Survey
Smart Growth America, the International Parking and Mobility Institute, and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund are sponsoring a survey for the disability community. The results will help inform a new Accessible Streetscape Design Guide. If you’re a member of the disability community, click here to find out more and take the survey.

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.