Humboldt Trails Summit Tomorrow

The Collector

May 31, 2024

Humboldt Trails Summit Tomorrow
Our friends at the Humboldt Trails Council are holding their annual Trails Summit on Saturday in Eureka, and there will be lots of exciting trail news to talk about! For example, the long-awaited Humboldt Bay Trail connecting Arcata and Eureka is finally nearing completion, and the Great Redwood Trail Master Plan process is well under way. In fact, the public comment period on that draft Master Plan was recently extended, so you still have time to submit comments. You can check out CRTP’s comment letter here.

Arcata City Council Moves Gateway Plan Forward with Minimal Changes
At their meeting this week, Councilmembers only requested a few relatively minor edits to the Gateway Plan. The Council will continue to discuss details of the city’s broader General Plan update at a meeting next Wednesday. Then the General Plan, Gateway Area Plan and associated zoning code will all come to the Council for a vote on July 17th.

CRTP has been deeply engaged with this planning process for years, and we are extremely excited to see these great bike, pedestrian and transit-friendly plans finally move toward adoption. We are grateful to all of our members and supporters who sent in supportive comments to the Councilmembers, and especially to everyone who showed up at the Council meeting this week to voice support.

What’s the Street Story in Your School Zone?
Parents and caregivers who drive on campus and in neighborhoods near school can play an important role in enhancing safety near schools by following safe driving practices. At arrival and dismissal times, drivers are often in a hurry and distracted which can lead to unsafe conditions for students and others walking, bicycling and driving in the area. Whether you are driving, biking or walking your kids to school, Street Story is a useful tool to report these happenings! Children 13 year & older can independently make reports on Street Story and children 12 years old and younger can make reports with guardian supervision. Young people deserve have a voice in street safety advocacy too!  La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí.

Two young people, seen from behind with backpacks, use a crosswalk and smile at each other

Driver Strikes & Kills David Sprague, 66, in Eureka
After hitting Sprague, the driver apparently continued to speed down the street, striking several vehicles and a building and sending more people to the hospital. Our thoughts are with Sprague’s family and friends, and with the other victims.

Because this happened on I Street, which very recently underwent a long-awaited lane reduction and other bike and pedestrian safety improvements, some may be tempted to say that the safety project was unsuccessful or even counterproductive. But that’s the wrong conclusion to draw from this tragedy. Pedestrian deaths in Eureka are infuriatingly common, and the recent improvements, from bulb-outs to buffered bike lanes, are proven to improve safety. It’s even possible that they kept the results of this incident from being even worse.

What is clear, however, is that these improvements were not enough. An event like this is another tragic reminder of the need for actual physical protection for bike and pedestrian facilities, for even more effective traffic calming interventions – and for much stricter requirements for the safe design of vehicles.

Eureka City Council to Consider Changes to EaRTH Center Project
The ground floor of the new building will remain a transit center. However, it now appears that upper floors will host additional affordable housing built by local developer Danco, after previous partners including Cal Poly Humboldt dropped out of the project. The potential for even more – and more affordable – housing units above the transit center only makes this project more exciting from our perspective. The City Council will consider approving an environmental exemption and the Danco partnership at its meeting next Tuesday.

News from Beyond the North Coast

US Streets Just Keep Getting More Dangerous for Pedestrians
The latest edition of Smart Growth America’s Dangerous by Design report is out, and the news is not good. In 2022, the last year for which there are complete data, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the US hit a forty-year high. Pedestrian deaths have increased 75% just since 2010, as bigger and more dangerous vehicles continue to flood US streets that are designed for speed over safety. And some communities – particularly those that are Native American, Black, or low-income – continue to be hit much harder than others.

Caltrans Complete Street Bill Makes It Through the Senate
SB 960 now moves on to the Assembly, where we hope it will also pass. If adopted into law, the bill would increase requirements for Caltrans to include bike, pedestrian and transit facilities in projects on state highways in local communities. Check out CalBike’s legislative summary for information about the recent progress of this and other important transportation-related bills.

Legislature Looks to Restore Bike & Pedestrian Funding
Governor Newsom had proposed completely eliminating the next two years’ budget for the state’s main funding program for bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Thankfully, the legislature’s budget restores the Active Transportation Program’s funding with money from the State Highway Account. We deeply hope that the legislature wins this fight.

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