Local E-Bike Vouchers Now Available!

The Collector

April 5, 2024

Local E-Bike Vouchers Now Available!
The Redwood Coast Energy Authority launched its new e-bike incentive program this week, providing financial assistance for local residents interested in buying an e-bike. Vouchers range from $150 to $500, depending on your income, with a few vouchers of up to $1,000 available for people who need a special adaptive e-bike. You can find all the details here. Apply now if you’re interested – they’re expected to go fast.

Meanwhile, the long-delayed statewide e-bike incentive program has still not launched, although officials say it will happen soon. That program will offer vouchers of up to $2,000, depending on your income and the type of e-bike you buy. Theoretically you will also be able to combine state and local vouchers, but we suspect the local program may run out of funds before the state program launches.

Draft Master Plan for Great Redwood Trail Published
The draft plan describes the design concepts for different trail segments, which will pass through environments ranging from urban neighborhoods to wilderness areas, and lays out priorities for which segments to develop first. CRTP has always been a big supporter of the Great Redwood Trail. We’re still reviewing the draft plan, but we’re particularly excited about the possibilities for building more commuter trail segments connecting local neighborhoods and communities.

You can review and comment on the draft trail plan here. You can also learn more about the plan and provide input at a public meeting next Tuesday evening at the Sequoia Conference Center in Eureka. Details about that event can be found here.

Car-Free Plaza for Saturday Farmers Markets
Starting on April 20th, the Arcata Plaza will close to vehicles during Saturday farmers markets. This common-sense measure will improve safety for both market vendors and attendees, and will help create a more welcoming community space. To celebrate, CRTP will be providing bike valet at the market on April 20th.

Long-time CRTP supporters will remember that the effort to create a more vibrant, pedestrian-friendly Plaza was one of our first campaigns, starting way back in 2017. As part of that campaign, we worked for several years to support the North Coast Growers Association’s efforts to create a car-free Plaza during Saturday markets. We’re excited to see it finally happening!

Street Story Can Also Be Used to Report Safe Places!
In addition to reporting crashes, near-misses, and hazards on the road, the Street Story platform can also be used to report streets that you do feel safe on – whether you’re walking, biking, using a mobility device, or getting around any other way. Safe place reporting helps us understand what areas are doing something right and where people might be traveling to avoid other streets they don’t feel safe on. This is all helpful and useful information to get insight on the community’s travel experiences. If you haven’t been in a crash and can’t think of any hazard areas, consider reporting a road or intersection where you feel safe! Join our Safety Sunday campaign by taking 5 minutes out of your Sunday to make reporting a routine. La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí.

News from Beyond the North Coast

State Leaders Propose Cuts to Climate and Transit Funding
The state is facing a major budget deficit, and a lot of programs will be on the chopping block in the coming months. But we’re deeply disappointed that climate and public transit funding programs are among the first, supposedly least controversial cuts proposed by the governor and legislative leaders. As we reported last week, transit systems need major new state investments if we are to have any chance of reducing pollution enough to avoid catastrophic climate change. The last thing we need is more cuts and delays to transit and other critical climate funding programs.

We Need to Stop Taking Traffic Deaths for Granted
The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore killed six road workers and has prompted national soul searching. But another recent incident in which a speeding driver killed six road workers on the same highway prompted no interest from the national media. Traffic deaths are a daily occurrence that many Americans barely even notice any more.

And some deaths are even more invisible. The US Department of Transportation recently proclaimed that over 42,000 road deaths in 2022 marked an “improvement,” because that number is just the tiniest bit smaller than the record set the previous year – but failed to note that bike and pedestrian deaths increased yet again that same year. And some deaths, like those of disabled pedestrians, apparently matter so little to public officials that they are not even counted.

We need to stop ignoring traffic deaths, and to start paying closer attention to the risks faced by the most vulnerable members of our communities. We should treat every death on our streets and highways with the same seriousness that we are treating the Baltimore bridge collapse – and with the same urgency to implement solutions.

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.