June 16, 2023
Highway 101 “Safety Corridor” Projects Under Construction
The long-delayed Indianola undercrossing and the signal at Airport Road are intended to address serious safety issues on the highway between Eureka and Arcata. We note that these issues became substantially less severe after Caltrans lowered the speed limit years ago, and we hope they don’t raise it back up again when the projects are complete. Fortunately, the first major safety improvement on the corridor to be completed will be the long-awaited Bay Trail, so people walking, biking and rolling will finally have a safe path between the region’s two largest towns.
Gateway Zoning Code Has Its Debut at Arcata Planning Commission
Arcata is slowly but steadily moving toward adoption of the bike and pedestrian-friendly Gateway Plan, and this week the city’s Planning Commission was introduced to the zoning code meant to implement the plan. CRTP has reviewed the draft code, and you can read our initial detailed comments here. Short version: there’s a lot of great stuff in there, but there are still a few improvements to be made. Most of the changes we’d like to see are about doing more to encourage walkable development density and ensure a safe and inviting pedestrian realm. We also have some thoughts on car parking (stop requiring it!) and bike parking (require more and higher quality!). You can review the code and CRTP’s comments now, and then submit your own comments to the Planning Commission.
Eureka City Council to Vote On Street Policy and Funding
On Tuesday, the Council is set to vote on a budget policy for street maintenance and repair, as well as approving state funds for a citywide paving project. CRTP doesn’t object to either of these things, but we do object to the fact that neither the policy nor the paving project includes any reference to the city’s Complete Streets Policy. This policy, championed by CRTP and adopted by the Council last year, commits to including facilities for all modes of transportation in all street projects – including maintenance and repairs. (Think of taking the opportunity when repaving a street to paint new bike lanes, crosswalks, or bus stops.) This policy is a huge step for the city, and could significantly accelerate safe and sustainable transportation infrastructure. But that will only happen if they actually implement it!
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
Advocates Ask for Some Highway Funds to Be Spent on Transit
The good news is that the California legislature this week allocated more funding for public transit, hopefully averting an immediate cut in service from major transit agencies. But it’s not nearly enough to keep transit running in the long term, let alone improve transit systems to address equity and climate goals. Luckily, the state gets billions in federal highway dollars every year that could be spent on transit instead if state leaders chose to do so.
Yes, It’s Possible to Reduce the Amount Americans Drive
It may sometimes seem like Americans are so car-obsessed that nothing we do will stop people from driving more and more. But that’s not true! An analysis of data from the last several decades shows that driving has in fact declined in cities and states that have invested in good planning for other 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 email@example.com.