Eureka City Council to Vote on Downtown Housing & Parking Reforms

The Collector

July 14, 2023

Arcata Planning Commission Recommends Gateway Plan Adoption!
The Gateway Area Plan, along with the Gateway Zoning Code and other General Plan updates, took a big step toward approval this Tuesday when Commissioners voted to recommend that the City Council move ahead with the current draft documents. We know Commissioners heard from a lot of CRTP’s members and supporters in support of this decision, so thank you for taking action! The process is far from over, and the Commission reserved the right to make additional recommendations in the future. But we are excited and encouraged by the support for these plans and regulations, which represent a major shift toward more walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly land use planning.

Eureka City Council to Decide on Downtown Housing Projects & Parking Reforms
Next Tuesday, the Council will vote on two major downtown projects. First, they will decide which developer will build affordable housing on two downtown parking lots. CRTP is a big supporter of this project, but we are a little disappointed that city staff are recommending a national developer instead of the Wiyot Dishgamu Land Trust. The Dishgamu proposal includes more housing and more transportation amenities (like an EV car share system) than the competing proposal, and would offer meaningful support to the Wiyot Tribe and its members. We hope the Council opts to award the project to Dishgamu.

Second, the Council will vote on improving downtown parking management, including increasing the currently very low parking meter rates, installing new meters, and piloting an employee parking pass program. CRTP supports this project, which is a sensible step toward more effective management of the existing parking supply. However, we think that instead of rather arbitrarily deciding which days and times parking should be free, the city should follow well-established best practices and adjust parking meter rates according to demand over time.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the Council will hear public comment on the draft Waterfront Eureka Plan. Check out CRTP’s comment letter for more details on that.

Planning Commission to Consider Innovative Housing Project in McKinleyville
We Are Up is a nonprofit devoted to developing a multi-generational, mixed-ability community just off Central Avenue in McKinleyville. CRTP supports We Are Up, which chose its location with transit access and walkability in mind. We think this represents another step toward building a McKinleyville that works for everyone, including people who can’t drive. You can voice your support when the Humboldt County Planning Commission considers the project next Thursday.

Renowned Walkability Expert to Visit Humboldt
Dan Burden, an internationally recognized expert in walkability and bikeability, will be visiting Humboldt County next Saturday (7/22) through Tuesday (7/25). His visit will include walk audits in Arcata, McKinleyville and Eureka, as well as presentations on his findings, all of which are open to the public. Burden will be taking on many of CRTP’s top priority areas, including Central Avenue and the McKinleyville Town Center, Old Town Eureka, and K and 11th Streets in Arcata. Click here to see his schedule, and be sure to attend as many events as you can!

Committee Recommends Bike Lane Infill on Arcata’s H Street
This week, Arcata’s Transportation Safety Committee discussed whether the city should fill in the bike lane gap on H Street between 17th and 18th when it repaves this fall, or leave it out in favor of a car parking lane. Committee members unanimously agreed with CRTP that completing the bike lane is not only needed for safety reasons, but is also required by the city’s Complete Streets Policy.

Street Story Reports Help Us Advocate for Safer Streets
When we are advocating to improve a plan or project, we frequently look at the Street Story map to see what people have reported. Your reports give us 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

Responsible Transportation Bills Move Forward – Or Not
Bills passed out of committee this week include one that would require “daylighting” of crosswalks for safety (prohibiting parking within a certain distance), another that would require transportation projects to align with the state’s climate goals, and another that would create a pilot free transit pass program for youth. One bill which – once again – was withdrawn from consideration was the bike “safety stop” bill, which would have legalized the common-sense and safe practice of treating a stop sign as a yield sign when riding a bike.

Car Ownership Is a Burden on Low-Income People – But Many Have No Other Choice
We have built a landscape in most parts of the United States that forces people to own and operate vehicles they can’t afford in order to meet basic needs and access economic opportunities.

Pedestrian Fatalities Continue to Rise
Preliminary data indicate that the number of people in the US killed while walking increased yet again last year. The causes of this disturbing trend are well known: streets designed for speed rather than safety, and bloated vehicles that just keep getting bigger and more dangerous. CRTP is focused on street design, but we have to admit that the streets will never be truly safe until federal regulators and automakers take responsibility for the design of vehicles and start producing smaller cars again.

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