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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! You can submit items for consideration, or just enjoy the news collection!

Arcata’s Gateway Plan Enters the Final Stretch

The Collector

May 10, 2024

Editor’s Note: The Collector will be on a break for the next two weeks, but never fear – we will be back bringing you local transportation news before you know it!


Arcata’s Gateway Plan Enters the Final Stretch
Next Tuesday, the Arcata Planning Commission will consider a final recommendation to City Council on the Gateway Area Plan, the rest of the General Plan updates, and the Gateway zoning code. Two weeks later, on May 29th, the City Council is expected to make its final decision. It’s been two and a half long years since the first draft of the Gateway Plan was published. As we’ve said many times, this is the most bike and pedestrian friendly land use plan yet proposed in our region, and many of its best policies have now been incorporated into the General Plan to apply citywide.

Over the long term, these plans and policies will encourage the development of more walkable, vibrant neighborhoods at densities that can support high-quality public transit. We’re very excited at the prospect of the Gateway Plan and zoning code and the updated General Plan finally being adopted. We encourage CRTP’s members and supporters to express their support to the Planning Commission and City Council.

Delays for Arcata Trail & Eureka Bike Boulevard
Next week, the cities of Eureka and Arcata are requesting one-year funding extensions from the California Transportation Commission for two important local projects. In Eureka, the C Street Bike Boulevard is delayed due to an unexpected conflict with a PG&E power pole, and in Arcata, the Annie & Mary Trail project connecting the Sunset neighborhood near Cal Poly Humboldt with Valley West and points north is delayed due to funding changes and red tape. Both projects now have a construction deadline of June 2025.

The Arcata trail project is part of the much larger Great Redwood Trail, whose Master Plan is currently out for public review. If you want to learn more about the Great Redwood Trail, our allies at EPIC are holding a webinar next week. Click here for more information.

What Are Street Story Reports Telling Us in Humboldt County?
Find CRTP’s new Street Story data analysis, “What are Street Story Reports Telling Us in Humboldt County? An Analysis of Almost Five Years of Data”, on our website here. In this report we take a look into all of the Street Story data in Humboldt County up until March 25th, 2024. We focused our analysis on the county as a whole, but we also took a closer look at the trends in Eureka, Arcata, and unincorporated parts of the county which includes areas like McKinleyville and Bayside.

The report highlights many narratives from Street Story reports to give the reader direct insight into community members’ experiences. Street Stories provide robust and qualitative safety information that is not available from traditional data sources, such as police-reported crash data. The purpose of this report is to provide a rich examination of community reports from the Street Story tool, draw attention to the information in these reports, and spark further conversations about how to address the issues identified by Street Story users.

The more people use Street Story, the more powerful the platform becomes at supporting safer streets. Click here to make your Street Story report today! La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí.

A map shows reports of collisions (marked by red dots) and near-misses (marked by orange dots) throughout Humboldt County, concentrated around Humboldt Bay
Street Story crash and near-miss reports in Humboldt

Pedestrian Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver in Southern Humboldt
Our hearts go out to the family and friends of 28-year-old Dakota Stafslien. This is a tragic reminder that drivers must take great care and expect all kinds of road users, even on rural highways. Despite the lack of sidewalks or bike lanes, pedestrians and bicyclists often travel along or across these highways, sometimes because there is no other way to get where they need to go. This is especially true in places like Richardson Grove State Park, where this crash apparently occurred.

It’s Still Bike Month!
Events coming up in the next couple of weeks include bike to work days, a Eureka Mural Ride, and the big Bike Celebration at Eureka’s Jefferson Community Center on Saturday, May 18th. For a full list of events, check out the Bike Month calendar here.

Watch Our Parking Reform Webinar!
If you missed Monday’s webinar with Parking Reform Network President Tony Jordan, you still have a chance to learn some exciting information about parking policy, because we posted the video!

And if you want to apply what you learned in the webinar, a great opportunity is coming up next week. On Monday, there is a public workshop on Humboldt County’s proposed tiny house ordinance. You can attend and tell them to get rid of the costly and unscientific parking mandates that would effectively limit the number of affordable homes that could be built under the ordinance (and require more pavement than housing for a tiny house village).

A photo of Tony Jordan wearing a blue striped shirt, dark suit jacket and checked tie
Parking Reform Network President Tony Jordan

News from Beyond the North Coast

Advocates Ask Newsom to Release Transit Funding
Last year, transit agencies and supporters fought hard to get the state to provide desperately needed funding to keep buses and trains running throughout the state – and they won. The money was allocated, and transit agencies made their plans relying on it. Then, just over a week ago, the Newsom administration refused to release the funding by the April 30th deadline, citing the state’s budget shortfall. Without this funding, many transit agencies face the prospect of entering a “death spiral” of service cuts and declining ridership, leaving the state unable to meet its climate targets, and millions of transit riders stranded.

“When Driving Is Not an Option”
A new book by disability rights advocate Anna Zivarts explores the large population of people – even in the US, and even in rural areas – who cannot and do not drive, and discusses what can be done to design our streets and our communities for all people, not just drivers.


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.

 

 

New Buffered Bike Lanes in Eureka

The Collector

May 3, 2024


Still Time to Register for Monday’s Parking Reform Webinar!
Monday at 5:30 pm, CRTP will be hosting a webinar featuring Tony Jordan, President of the Parking Reform Network. Tony is one of the most prominent speakers on parking reform in the US today, and we’re lucky to have him giving a talk for North Coast audiences. Join us to learn about “Revitalizing Space: The Hidden Potential of Parking Reform.” But be warned, once you see the truth about cheap and abundant parking, you’ll never be the same! Click here to register.

May Is Bike Month
It’s officially Bike Month, and as part of the Bike Month Humboldt Coalition, we’re celebrating with a lot of fun events. On Saturday (May 4th), you can participate in a Bike Rodeo and Clinic at Mad River Brewing in Blue Lake. Then on Sunday (May 5th), CRTP will be leading a Street Story-themed ride, starting at 11 am in front of the Creamery Building in Arcata. And Wednesday (May 8th) is National Walk, Roll or Bike to School Day! Check out the whole Bike Month calendar here.

New Buffered Bike Lanes on H & I Streets in Eureka
At long last, the new buffered bike lanes have been painted on H & I Street, reducing the number of car lanes and creating a safer facility for people biking – and for everyone else too! CRTP and many others advocated for this project for years, and we’re very excited to see it finally completed. If you’ve got questions about how to drive with the new street design, the city has posted some helpful information.


Share Your Street Story About Broadway, Harris or Henderson Street!
The City of Eureka will be hosting a special meeting about the proposed Sunset Heights multi-family development on Broadway between Harris and Henderson, on Tuesday, May 7th at 5pm. Click here for more information about the meeting. Street safety has always been a major concern in this area, and CRTP has worked hard to advocate for improvements. One way you can contribute to the conversation is by making Street Story reports!

With this new development, many more people will be living in this area – meaning more people on the streets. The City of Eureka should know the street conditions for those walking, biking, and rolling. What has been your experience traveling in this area? How safe or unsafe do you feel on these streets? What improvements do you think could be helpful? La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí.

A map shows dots and lines indicating reports of crashes, near misses and hazards in the area of Broadway, Harris and Henderson Streets in Eureka


News from Beyond the North Coast

Intelligent Speed Assistance Bill Gutted
We reported last week that SB 961, which originally would have required active speed assistance on new cars in California, was amended to only require passive assistance. In other words, instead of a system that actually prevents dangerous speeding, the bill would only require a system that lets a driver know when they are speeding. Now further amendments have been made to specify that drivers will only get a “brief, one-time signal” when they exceed the speed limit by 10 mph – basically ensuring that the system is easy to ignore and therefore useless. We continue to be amazed at the insistence of many legislators on protecting what they apparently view as a right to break the law by speeding, and their refusal to require widely available, inexpensive technology which would save many lives.

Roads Are the Biggest Threat to Endangered Red Wolves
Cars and trucks are not only one of the leading causes of death for people – they are also one of the leading causes of death for animals. In some cases the death toll is so extreme that it can lead to extinction.


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.

 

Bike Month Starts Next Week!

The Collector

April 26, 2024


Bike Month Starts Next Week!
May is Bike Month, and as always the Bike Month Humboldt Coalition is coordinating a number of events including fun group rides and the annual Bike Celebration at Jefferson Community Center in Eureka. Next week’s events include a First Friday ride and a Bike Rodeo and Clinic at Mad River Brewing in Blue Lake on Saturday, May 4th. Then on Sunday, May 5th, CRTP will be leading a Street Story-themed ride, starting at 11 am in front of the Creamery Building in Arcata. Check out the whole Bike Month calendar here. And don’t forget to register for the Love to Ride challenge, where you can register your rides and encourage other people on their rides too!

Public Workshop Next Week on Arcata K & 11th Street Improvements
Next Thursday at 5:30 pm, the City of Arcata is hosting a workshop at Redwood Coast Montessori (793 K Street) to gather public input on safety improvements for K & 11th Streets. Prioritizing near-term safety improvements for bikes & pedestrians on these streets has been a core demand from CRTP for the last several years, and we’re glad to see the city responding. We have specifically called for a “quick build” strategy, which means low-cost, temporary changes that can improve safety almost immediately while funding and plans are refined for more permanent changes. The Planning Commission endorsed this idea at a recent meeting as well. (And non-Arcatans should note that quick-build isn’t just for Arcata: this week, the McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee voted to support the concept of a quick-build overhaul of Hiller Road.)

K and 11th Streets are busy streets with frequently high-speed traffic. They have no bike facilities and are dangerous to cross while walking, biking or rolling. If you want to support near-term safety improvements on these streets, please come out next Thursday and show your support for meaningful quick-build changes as part of a longer term design overhaul. You can also provide input through the city’s survey, and of course you should keep making reports on Street Story too.

Support Public Transit as a County Budget Priority
Humboldt County is circulating a survey asking community members for feedback on their budget priorities. The topics include “climate action including transit” – which would mean attracting more riders to transit instead of driving – and “maintaining and expanding bus services” for people who depend on transit. Both of these things mean investing in better transit service, and both are critically important. The county needs to hear that community members prioritize investments in public transit, both for climate action and for transportation equity. If you agree, please take the survey and give top marks to transit.

Will Humboldt County Require Tiny Houses to Have Big Parking Lots?
The Humboldt County Planning Commission recently discussed a draft ordinance to allow tiny house developments, both for long-term residence and for emergency and transitional housing. Unfortunately, the draft ordinance they discussed would require extra-wide driveways and at least one parking space per tiny house, meaning the space required for parking would exceed the size of the houses. These requirements would unnecessarily limit the number of homes that can be built and increase the cost of what is supposed to be affordable housing – despite the fact that many tiny house residents will not even own cars, and some tiny houses will be built where there is plenty of parking already. Mandating new parking spaces for these homes is unfair and counterproductive. CRTP has asked that the requirements be removed.


Street Story is for People Who Use Wheelchairs and Other Mobility Devices, Too!
People using any mode of transportation, including wheelchairs and other mobility devices, can report their experiences of crashes, near-misses, hazards/unsafe or safe locations on Street Story. People using wheelchairs and other mobility devices can face unique hazards like sidewalks that have obstructions, overgrown vegetation encroaching on the sidewalk, intersections with poor visibility, etc. The Street Story platform lists “mobility device” as a transportation mode and provides a variety of device type options: wheelchair, walker or cane, white cane, guide dog, prosthetic, or other. It is important to the Street Story team to make sure the platform is inclusive for all travelers and circumstances. La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí.

A screen shot from a Street Story report form shows a variety of options for transportation mode. "Using a mobility device" is checked, and various specific options for the type of mobility device are displayed.
People using any kind of mobility device can make reports on Street Story.

News from Beyond the North Coast

Caltrans Complete Streets Bill Passes Senate Transportation Committee
If passed and signed by the governor, SB 960 will create a clear mandate for Caltrans to include improved bike, pedestrian and transit facilities in all of its relevant projects. That would make a huge difference in places where state highways pass through local communities, as in most North Coast towns.

Also approved by the committee was a significantly watered down bill requiring speed monitoring systems in new vehicles, and another bill prohibiting state funding for bike “sharrows,” which research has found do not improve safety (and may even make things worse).


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.

 

Celebrate Earth Day Weekend with CRTP!

The Collector

April 19, 2024


Celebrate Earth Day Weekend with CRTP!
On Satuday, join us at the Arcata Plaza for the first weekly farmers market with a completely pedestrianized Plaza! This has been a long time coming, and we’re excited to see a safer, more welcoming, more environmentally friendly environment for the market. Even better, if you ride your bike tomorrow, we’ll be providing free bike valet! Bike valet will be located in the courtyard of the Stillman building, just off the Plaza next to Humboldt Glassblowers on 9th Street.

Then on Sunday, join CRTP, the Northcoast Environmental Center, and Moon Cycles for a group bike ride through the Arcata Bottoms. We’ll be leaving from Moon Cycles in Arcata at noon, stopping at the Hammond Trail Bridge (where you can turn around if you want), and then continuing to the Earth Day Festival at Pierson Park in McKinleyville. CRTP will have a table at the festival, too, so look for us there even if you can’t join the bike ride!

A Lot of Crashes in Humboldt Involve Drugs or Alcohol
A Louisiana law firm’s report has been getting some local media attention for concluding that Humboldt County is first in the nation for the percentage of car crashes that involve drugs or alcohol. There are a lot of factors that influence a statistic like this – and there is no excuse for getting behind the wheel while intoxicated – but we want to highlight two systemic factors that are often overlooked. First, developing more walkable communities can reduce the number of people who drive after drinking or using other drugs, simply by making it easier to get around without a car. Second, slower streets reduce injuries and fatalities from any kind of crash, including those involving drugs or alcohol.

Arcata Highway Cap Proposal Getting More Attention
We first reported on the idea building a massive land bridge over part of Highway 101 in Arcata back in 2022. That idea seems significantly closer to reality now, with Arcata being one of only three communities statewide selected for a grant to help reconnect communities divided by highways. And a highway cap would be really exciting. It could not only reconnect divided neighborhoods but also create new land that could be used for housing, transit facilities, and more.

But realistically, if such a highway cap is built, it will take many years and a lot more money. That’s why we’re also paying attention to other, less headline-grabbing aspects of the grant, including the potential for smaller bike and pedestrian bridges or other connections across Highways 101 and 299. Among other things, such connections could help alleviate the longstanding isolation of the Valley West neighborhood.

Another Sign That There’s Plenty of Parking in Downtown Eureka
Rob Arkley helped orchestrate a “land swap” a couple of years ago to keep the city from building affordable housing on some of its downtown parking lots. Eagle-eyed observers may have noticed that the city agreeing to this swap and removing several parking lots from its plans did not mollify Arkley and his cronies. They are still fighting on several fronts to keep housing from being built on any of the other downtown lots.

The Times-Standard now reports that Arkley’s company purchased one of the City Hall parking lots that was “swapped” into private hands and blocked access to it, attempting to use it as a “bargaining chip” to negotiate with the city to stop development of another parking lot. But that strategy is not working, because the city does not need access to its old parking lot. As City Manager Miles Slattery said: “It’s nothing, there’s plenty of parking around there.”


Make Your Street Story Reports for Arcata’s K & 11th Streets
Thanks to advocacy from CRTP and our allies over the last couple of years, the City of Arcata is planning to improve safety on K and 11th streets – and they need your help. The city will be hosting a workshop May 2nd 5:30-7:30 pm at Redwood Coast Montessori (793 K Street). There is also a survey you can fill out here to provide ideas and input for potential enhancements. CRTP encourages you to make reports on Street Story for these areas as well. Make a Street Story report, fill out the survey, and attend the workshop about K and 11th streets to have your voice heard! La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí.


News from Beyond the North Coast

Caltrans Complete Streets Bill Has First Committee Hearing Next Week
Check out CRTP Executive Director Colin Fiske’s letter to the editor explaining how important this bill is to North Coast communities. Then use CalBike’s handy tool to contact legislators in support of the bill!

New Accessible Streetscape Design Survey
Smart Growth America, the International Parking and Mobility Institute, and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund are sponsoring a survey for the disability community. The results will help inform a new Accessible Streetscape Design Guide. If you’re a member of the disability community, click here to find out more and take the survey.


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.

More Bike Lanes Coming to Eureka

The Collector

April 12, 2024


Eureka Council to Consider Adding a Bike Lane in Old Town
At their meeting next Tuesday, Councilmembers will consider a proposal to replace one of the car lanes on H Street between 1st and 2nd Streets with a buffered bike lane. While it’s only one block, the project will help fill in one of the Old Town bike lane gaps left by other projects. If you think it’s important for bicyclists to be able to access the Waterfront Trail on safe, comfortable facilities, without having to mix with car traffic, come out on Tuesday night and show your support!

And speaking of those other projects, keep an eye out for the lane re-painting that will remove a car lane and add a buffered bike lane to most of the rest of H and I Streets outside of Old Town. This is part of a larger project that also includes many recently constructed pedestrian crossing enhancements. The project has been in the works for many years, and the city says it’s about to finally complete it. It marks a major step forward for safer biking, walking and driving in Eureka.

Register for Our Webinar on Parking Reform
With parking reforms currently being developed and implemented in local communities including Eureka, Arcata and McKinleyville, it couldn’t be a better time to learn more about the ins and outs of good parking policy. That’s why we’re hosting a webinar on parking reform on Monday, May 6th, featuring Tony Jordan, President of the Parking Reform Network. Tony is one of the most prominent voices on parking policy nationwide, and we’re excited to have him give a talk for North Coast audiences! Click here to register.

Join Us for an Earth Day Bike Ride!
The next group bike ride in our ongoing series with the Northcoast Environmental Center and Moon Cycles will happen next Sunday, April 21. We’ll start in Arcata at noon and head north through the Arcata Bottoms, stopping at the Hammond Trail Bridge. Those who want can then continue on with us to the Earth Day Celebration at Pierson Park in McKinleyville. Click here to register.

Redwood Coast Transit Authority’s New Survey
Del Norte County’s transit agency is considering a fare increase, and they’ve put out a survey to get public feedback. We understand that transit agencies are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to funding, but we’re not sure it’s fair to ask riders to choose between higher fares and less service without providing more information. One piece of information the survey leaves out, for example, is that local governments are allowed to replace fare revenue with other local funding sources. In other words, Del Norte County and/or Crescent City could choose to invest money from their own coffers into Redwood Coast Transit instead of increasing fares – or they could cover the cost of fares entirely and make transit free! It’s something to think about.

While you’re thinking about transit, you might be inspired to help encourage more people to ride buses. Good news – you’ll soon have that opportunity! The Humboldt Transit Authority is working on a new marketing campaign, and they’re looking for people of all kinds to appear in their photos and videos. A small stipend is even available! Fill out this form if you’re interested in participating.


Street Story: You Have Some Data; Now What?
Join the conversation at the next Street Story webinar on 4/17 from 1-2pm: “I have the data, now what? Part 2”! In this webinar, you’ll hear success stories from Street Story partners, gain knowledge about packaging data, and learn about helpful resources for collecting and analyzing transportation safety data. CRTP was a presenter in Part 1 of this webinar. We’re excited to be listeners and learners this time around! If you are interested in attending, you can register here. And as always, keep up the Street Story reporting in the meantime! La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí.


News from Beyond the North Coast

Gas Prices Are in the News Again
Gas prices are getting higher everywhere, and they’re particularly high here on the North Coast. But even at their highest levels, the prices do not reflect the damage to the climate, the environment and human health caused by burning that gas in our vehicles. As the Lost Coast Outpost said in its article: “Might be time to bust out your bicycles, Humboldt.”

Remote Work Affects Driving and Transit Riding
There has been a lot of speculation about how the increase in remote work resulting from the pandemic has affected transportation patterns. A new study finds that while increased remote work results in less driving, it has an even bigger impact on transit ridership. If remote work is here to stay, it will pose a big challenge to transit agencies trying to increase ridership.


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.

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.

Cal Poly Plans Campus Pedestrianization

The Collector

March 29, 2024


Cal Poly Plans Campus Pedestrianization
At a workshop this week, the university presented a draft of its long-term plan for the campus. CRTP was excited to hear that the plan now includes turning internal campus streets (such as B Street and Harpst Street) into broad pedestrian ways where the only vehicles allowed are transit shuttles and emergency vehicles. Other plans include greater investment in public transit, bicycle and micro-mobility facilities, and development of housing and academic facilities on some of the current big parking lots. With these big shifts towards active transportation and transit, the draft plan represent a major step forward for the university’s commitment to climate action, transportation safety and public health. While the documents are not yet posted in full on the university’s website, you can view a conceptual rendering and submit preliminary comments here.

McKinleyville Town Center Environmental Review Begins
The Humboldt County Planning Department has posted a notice that it will soon begin developing an Environmental Impact Report for its Town Center zoning plan. Following years of advocacy from CRTP and our allies, the Town Center plan includes major parking reforms and other zoning changes to encourage more walkable development, along with a proposed transit hub and bike and pedestrian safety improvements. Just this week, we learned that it now also includes one of our top priorities – a lane reduction and safety redesign for Central Avenue! If you want to weigh in on topics the county should cover in its environmental review, you have until April 26th to submit a comment. More details on the plan, along with contact information for county staff, can be found here.

Eureka Council to Consider Jacobs Property Zoning
At its meeting next Tuesday, the Council will direct staff on whether to start developing new zoning rules for the former Jacobs school site. The site is in the midst of a shady property swap involving Eureka City Schools and a mysterious private company, and both the property and the attorney representing the unidentified buyers are closely intertwined with the Rob Arkley-backed ballot measure seeking to block walkable, affordable downtown housing. CRTP is working to ensure that if the city rezones the Jacobs site, the new regulations encourage walkable, bikeable housing and other complementary uses at densities that can support high-quality public transit.

Also on the Council’s agenda next week is approval of the annual Capital Improvement Program. Among many other projects, this document includes the city’s repaving plan. We think this is a great opportunity for the city to recommit to its adopted complete streets policy and clearly state that it will include new facilities like bike lanes and upgraded crosswalks in every repaving project.

Quicker Bike and Pedestrian Improvements in Arcata?
The Arcata Planning Commission considered a draft of that city’s annual Capital Improvement Program this week. Included was some funding for public outreach for planning bike and pedestrian safety upgrades to K and 11th Streets, which has long been a priority for CRTP. However, we urged Commissioners to not just hold a public meeting or two about these upgrades next year, but to actually get started improving safety on the streets. In response, the Planning Commission recommended that the city take a quick-build approach to these projects – meaning money could be spent almost immediately on inexpensive but effective temporary safety upgrades while the long-term planning process continues (think painting bike lanes and adding protective features like plastic posts). We think this is a great opportunity to re-think the way safety upgrades are planned and implemented, and to get needed improvements faster. Other communities including San Francisco have already widely adopted the quick-build approach.


Report Pedestrian Safety Issues on Street Story
A quarter of California’s fatalities are pedestrians, and that has worsened over the last decade. It is a sad and unfortunate truth that it is getting less and less safe to be a pedestrian, and we are all pedestrians at one time or another. Factors such as lighting at crosswalks, visibility, and level of traffic, are all components of creating a safe environment for pedestrians.

Using Street Story can be a valuable way to inform decision makers about what streets you feel unsafe walking, biking, or even driving on! Street Story reports help us make the case for safer streets, but we need to hear from you. So make a report today or join our new “Safety Sunday” campaign where we are encourages folks to make Street Story reporting a habit. It is important for our communities to speak up for their needs, especially when it comes to our safety. La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí.


News from Beyond the North Coast

Statewide Transit Transformation Task Force Gets to Work
If California is going to meet its climate goals, transit ridership will have to increase to levels never before seen in the state. That will require major new investments in local and regional transit systems, among other big changes.

Empty Parking Lots Are Holding Back American Downtowns
North Coast communities are far from the only places where underutilized parking lots are taking up lots of space, creating unfriendly pedestrian environments, and holding back the production of much-needed housing.


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.

Public Forum Next Week on Cal Poly Campus Plans

The Collector

March 22, 2024


Cal Poly Humboldt to Hold Public Form on Campus Plans
Next Tuesday at 10 am, the university will host a forum to provide updates and hear feedback from the community on their campus development plans. We’re pleased that earlier plans to build expensive parking garages on campus were scrapped in favor of a focus on needed housing and academic facilities. But we still think the balance of housing to parking could be improved. There is also a need for more investments in safe bike and pedestrian infrastructure on and around campus, as well as expanded car-share and bike-share options.

Case Dismissed!
A local judge recently granted the Wiyot Tribe’s motion to dismiss one of the lawsuits seeking to block affordable housing on downtown Eureka parking lots. That means the tribe’s Dishgamu Humboldt Community Land Trust is free to continue pursuing its plans with the city to build housing on the lot at 5th and D Streets. Plans for the other lots, however – including the EaRTH Center housing and transit hub and the Linc Housing projects – are still threatened by the remaining lawsuits.

Senator McGuire to Host Humboldt Town Hall Next Week
It’s a great opportunity to let your representative in the state senate know about your transportation priorities! One important bill you could bring up is SB 960, the Caltrans Complete Streets Bill. This bill would significantly strengthen requirements for Caltrans to provide safe bike, pedestrian and transit infrastructure on state highways. Since many of our most dangerous local streets are technically state highways – think of Broadway, 4th and 5th Streets in Eureka, or Samoa Boulevard in Arcata – SB 960 would have a huge positive impact locally. The bill is scheduled for a hearing in a few weeks, and you can also take action to support complete streets by emailing Senate Transportation Committee members here.

Conversion of Arcata’s 8th & 9th Streets Completed This Week
The two streets were converted to single-lane, one-way streets from I Street to K Street, with added bike lanes and wider sidewalks. CRTP has participated in the planning for these changes since they were first proposed years ago as part of the Plaza Improvement Task Force. While we have a few quibbles with the final designs, we’re always happy to see more street space allocated to safe bike and pedestrian travel!


Report Bike Safety Issues on Street Story
If you have ever felt unsafe while biking because the street did not have a bike lane, or other bicycle facility, you are not alone. Many users have already begun reporting on the Street Story website about what streets they feel unsafe biking on due to a lack of bike facilities. This includes any bike lane gaps, a bicycle boulevard that needs to be a more rigorous designation, and any other issue or need for improvement you may come across. Join your fellow community members in making a report to get your concerns heard! – La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí.


News from Beyond the North Coast

How Can We Get Bike Lanes and Crosswalks More Quickly?
Let’s face it: we’re not building safe bike and pedestrian infrastructure nearly fast enough. Part of the problem is that each project is typically subject to its own long, drawn-out planning process that often sparks controversy without generating a productive outcome. One potential solution is the “quick-build” project, which is built quickly with materials that only last a few years. Quick-build techniques can get safety projects built fast, while allowing them to change over time in response to local experience – arguably a much better planning process than the one we have now.

More Than Half of Commuters Worldwide Use a Car
Car dependence is growing globally, and with that dependence comes a whole host of safety, public health, and environmental problems. But if you explore the data on how people in different cities commute, you’ll find plenty of inspiration – from Utrecht, Netherlands, where 75% of people commute by walking, biking or rolling, to La Paz, Bolivia, where 75% of commuters take public transit.


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.

Wiyot Tribe Asks for Dismissal of Parking Lot Lawsuit

The Collector

March 15, 2024

Wiyot Tribe Asks for Dismissal of Arkley Parking Lot Lawsuit
The Wiyot Tribe this week requested that a judge dismiss one of several Rob Arkley-backed lawsuits against Eureka’s efforts to build affordable housing on underutilized downtown parking lots. The particular lawsuit in this case is focused on the parking lot at 5th and D Streets, which appears to be the closest to Arkley’s heart because it is near his company’s offices. Last year, the City Council awarded development rights on this parking lot to the Wiyot Tribe’s Dishgamu Humboldt Community Land Trust, giving them a strong interest in the outcome of the lawsuit. The tribe has also come out strongly against the related Arkley-backed November ballot measure designed to block walkable housing and transit facilities on this and other downtown sites.

Speaking of the November ballot measure, the Eureka City Council will discuss next week whether to immediately rezone the former Jacobs school property, since a shady deal with the school district may soon put it in private hands and therefore make it subject to local development rules. Readers of The Collector will recall that this property is part of the bait-and-switch effort by Arkley and his cronies to mislead voters into blocking the downtown projects by making empty promises of housing at the old school site instead. The Jacobs property is not a bad site for new housing, but the city doesn’t control what happens on a privately owned site (unlike the city-owned parking lots downtown). Nevertheless, the City Council could decide next week to zone the Jacobs site for housing now, encouraging that kind of development in the future.

Humboldt Supervisors Adopt Strategic Plan
The four-year plan for the county includes a new commitment to adopting “Complete Streets Guidelines.” The plan also includes other goals for “multi-modal, safe, sustainable and equitable” transportation, as well as a re-commitment to adopting a regional Climate Action Plan in the near future. We are excited to see this new direction from the county, and we will be monitoring closely to ensure they live up to these commitments.

State Transportation Commission to Allocate Money for Local Zero-Emission Buses
Following up on state grants awarded to local transit agencies, the Commission is slated to allocate funding next week for a Humboldt Transit Authority hydrogen fueling station in Eureka and a Redwood Coast Transit Authority electric bus charging station in Crescent City. The Commission will also allocate funds for a project in Blue Lake that includes significant bike and pedestrian upgrades.


Looking for a Way to Help Improve Your Community?
By adding your road collisions and safety concerns to the Street Story website, we can use data from people within our communities to advocate for the safety improvements we want to see on our streets. Making real change based on real experience. Make a report today and encourage other members of your community to do the same! La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí. 


News from Beyond the North Coast

California Isn’t Making Enough Progress Toward Climate Goals
A new analysis shows that the state is not reducing climate pollution enough to hit state targets. And California is one of the world’s biggest economies, s0 the state’s failure to achieve needed emission reductions could have catastrophic consequences.

Transportation is the state’s biggest source of climate pollution, and transportation emissions depend partly on where people live. That’s why another new report argues that infill housing is a big part of the climate solution.

There’s No Good Argument for Parking Mandates
But that doesn’t mean that removing mandates for new development won’t have any impacts. For example, it will likely mean that local governments have to more effectively manage curb parking.


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.

Important Hearing for Arcata Gateway and General Plan

The Collector

March 8, 2024


Important Hearing for Arcata Gateway Plan and General Plan
Next Tuesday evening, the Arcata Planning Commission will hold a hearing to collect public input on the Environmental Impact Report for the Arcata General Plan and the Gateway Area Plan. If you want to dig into the transportation-related details of the environmental review, you can click here to read CRTP’s comment letter.

Also on Tuesday, the Commissioners will review suggested minor changes to the plans themselves, including the changes recently suggested by CRTP. This might be one of the last times the Commission considers these plans before they go to the City Council for adoption. City staff have expressed support for many, but not all, of CRTP’s suggested changes.

Here’s the big picture: both the Gateway Area Plan and the updated General Plan set a new standard for responsible transportation planning in our region. Among many other important policies, these plans encourage walkable infill development, explicitly prioritize car-free living, adopt crucial parking reforms that will reduce housing costs and increase fairness for non-drivers, commit to safety over speed on all city streets, and recognize public transit as a civil right. Much of this important progress has been a direct result of advocacy by CRTP and our members and supporters! If you’re available Tuesday night, please show up and tell the Planning Commission you support the General Plan and the Gateway Area Plan, and remind them that both of these plans will lead to more environmentally friendly development in Arcata.

Welcome to CRTP’s New Outreach Specialist!
CRTP is pleased to introduce our new Outreach Specialist Kelsey Martin to all of our members and supporters. Kelsey will be especially focused on our Street Story program and on transit advocacy. If you see her out and about in your community, please say hello! Here’s a note from Kelsey:

“I attended Humboldt State as an Environmental Science major focusing on energy and climate. Some of my previous work history has been in Zero Net Energy Affordable housing and with the City of Arcata’s Environmental Services department. I am passionate about creating a healthy, safe, and supportive community for people from all backgrounds and circumstances. I’m looking forward to this opportunity to advocate and improve our North Coast’s public transit and non-car transportation availability. Walk, bike, and roll!”

Early Opportunity to Give Input on Eureka Slough Bridge Replacement
Caltrans plans to replace the twin bridges just north of Eureka starting in 2029. The new bridges are planned to include separated bike and pedestrian facilities, which will be a major safety and mobility improvement. You can get more information and provide input at a public scoping meeting next Tuesday evening (if you’re not already attending the Arcata Planning Commission meeting that night!). You can also find contact information here for emailing comments to Caltrans staff.

Hydrogen Buses Are Coming to Humboldt
The Humboldt Transit Authority is investing in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles as it looks to transition to zero-emission buses that can handle the long distances and challenging terrain in our region. Learn more on the latest edition of the EcoNews Report.

A Week of Car Crashes
Normally, we focus our attention on crashes that affect the most vulnerable road users – people walking, biking and rolling. But sometimes, like this week, we are violently reminded that people inside vehicles are also at great risk on local roads. On Saturday, a car crashed through a storefront on Eureka’s Broadway; it appears to be just good luck that no one was injured or killed. The same day, another driver sustained life-threatening injuries after crashing on Highway 101 north of Eureka. Then on Tuesday, a crash in Fernbridge left a teenager dead and another person seriously injured. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families and friends.


Street Story Reports Make a Difference
Local planners, advocates, grant writers and committees review Street Story reports when making decisions about safety improvements. Your reports are important! Make a report every time you experience a near-miss, a crash, or a hazardous location – or report a place you feel safe. La versión de Street Story en español está disponible aquí. 


News from Beyond the North Coast

Los Angeles Voters Mandate Bike, Pedestrian and Transit Improvements
The state’s biggest city will now be required to implement its own plans calling for comprehensive bike and pedestrian safety upgrades as well as public transit improvements.

Support More Complete Streets Funding!
The California Transportation Commission is developing next year’s budget, and CalBike is leading a campaign to get more money for bike, pedestrian and transit infrastructure. Click the link above to take action.

New Bill in Congress Would Help Reduce Climate Pollution from Transportation
The GREEN Act, introduced by Senator Ed Markey, would require states to set targets for reducing miles driven and climate pollution from transportation, and would require reporting on the environmental justice impacts of highway expansion projects. The North Coast’s own Congressman Huffman is expected to introduce a companion bill in the House of Representatives.


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.