January 12, 2024
Eureka City Council Rejects Safer Bike Lanes to Preserve Parking
Against the recommendation of its own Transportation Safety Commission, the Council a few weeks ago rejected a proposal to provide buffered bike lanes to improve safety for the Myrtle Avenue. Instead, they sided with a handful of residents who demanded that they retain a row of little-used public parking spots.
This prioritization of underutilized public car storage over transportation safety is deeply disappointing to us, especially from a Council that has repeatedly professed its concern over safety on local streets. And especially because the Council last year adopted a complete streets policy that should have made the upgraded bike lanes automatic, averting this kind of counterproductive result.
You can be sure that CRTP will continue to advocate for more bike and pedestrian safety on Myrtle Avenue, and for full implementation of the complete streets policy.
Arcata Gateway & General Plans on Track for Late Spring Adoption
Just before the holidays, the City of Arcata released new drafts of the Gateway Area Plan and the broader General Plan. There aren’t a lot of surprises here, as the documents reflect the changes recommended by the Planning Commission, City Council, and other committees over the past 2 years of public meetings. These plans started out strong from a transportation perspective, and they got even better as comments from CRTP and our allies were incorporated into the drafts.
This week, the Planning Commission gave its preliminary stamp of approval to the new drafts, following a similar action last week by the City Council. The draft environmental review documents are expected to be released at the end of January – which will provide the next big opportunity for public input – and final adoption is scheduled for late spring.
From safer street designs to walkable development standards to modern parking reforms, Arcata’s Gateway Plan and updated General Plan are leading the way on many of CRTP’s top priorities. We are excited to see the finish line finally in sight!
Harbor District Commits to Green Port Strategy
Big ports have a reputation as major air pollution hot-spots, the result of toxic and climate-damaging emissions from ships, trucks, and lots of fossil fuel-powered industrial equipment. That’s why CRTP and our allies have long demanded that the Humboldt Bay Harbor District commit to zero-emission processes and equipment right from the start as they develop a new terminal to support the offshore wind industry. On Thursday, the District took a big step in that direction, committing to a “green terminal strategy” and directing staff to work with stakeholders on the details. We’re excited to be seeing some progress on this important issue.
Street Story: A Simple Way to Contribute to the Fight for Safe Streets
More than 600 people have combined to make more than 1,100 reports on Street Story in Humboldt County alone. Making a report is simple, and it’s important: reports help us advocate for safety improvements, and they provide valuable information for public agencies who design and maintain streets and highways. 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
Newsom Targets Bike and Pedestrian Funding Again
Despite being one of the smallest of the state’s transportation programs – and despite there being no actual deficit in the transportation budget itself – the Active Transportation Program is being targeted by the governor for all of his transportation budget cuts. Transportation advocates, including CRTP, think this is unacceptable. It comes after a statewide coalition sent the governor a letter asking him to fully fund active transportation and transit, stop spending on climate-wrecking highway projects, and reform the state’s transportation funding to align with its climate priorities.
Enormous SUVs and Trucks Are Now the “Normal” American Passenger Vehicles
A new article explores the history of how we got here, and what we can do to transition away from these dangerous, environmentally destructive vehicles in the future. Hint: the situation doesn’t have a whole lot to do with inherent “consumer preferences,” as the car companies would like you to believe.
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 email@example.com.