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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!

Progress Toward Walkable Housing for Downtown Eureka

The Collector

February 16, 2024


Eureka Planning Commission Approves New Old Town Development
As we noted in last week’s edition, the mixed-use commercial and housing project near the city’s transit hub marks a bit of a milestone: it may be the first project in the region (or at least the first project for many decades) to include new bike parking, but no new car parking. CRTP supports this style of development. We are in conversation with the developer in an effort to ensure that at least some of the project’s bike parking is secure, weather protected, and accessible to a wide variety of bikes and bicyclists.

Commissioners also this week approved a project that includes substantial upgrades for the Waterfront Trail between Y Street and the Adorni Center.

Group Withdraws Request for Injunction to Stop Walkable Housing Projects
“Citizens for a Better Eureka,” the group suing the city of Eureka over its housing plans, had been asking a judge to temporarily bar the city from moving forward with those plans. CRTP intervened in the litigation and filed objections to the injunction request, which if granted would have delayed and potentially jeopardized downtown developments including the three Linc Housing affordable apartment buildings, the Wiyot Tribe’s land trust housing projects, and the EaRTH Center housing and transit hub. Thankfully, “Citizens for a Better Eureka” this week withdrew their injunction request before the judge could hear it.

This news comes on the heels of another recent court loss for opponents of downtown Eureka affordable housing: the dismissal of yet another lawsuit, this one challenging the city’s treatment of their November ballot initiative. It has been widely reported that both the lawsuits and the ballot initiative are being bankrolled by local conservative billionaire Rob Arkley.

If you’d like more information about this anti-housing, anti-transit ballot initiative – and what you can do to help defeat it in November – head over to the Eureka Labor Temple at 480 E Street this Saturday (February 17th) at 4 pm. The campaign against the ballot initiative will be providing information along with snacks and games.

Trinidad Rancheria and Caltrans Launch Environmental Review for Interchange Project
If you have opinions about what should be considered in the official environmental review of the project, you can attend a public scoping meeting next week or submit written comments to Caltrans. CRTP is excited about the idea of providing a new pedestrian overcrossing to connect tribal lands on either side of Highway 101, which is an option being considered as part of the project. (The other option is a whole new interchange, which would come with lots of additional impacts.) The project also includes changes to the existing Trinidad interchange and to Scenic Drive. We have been advocating for all aspects of the project to be designed to provide safety and comfort for pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities.

Learn How to Make Bike Fenders Out of Your Trash!
Bike fenders are really helpful for bike commuting during a rainy North Coast winter. If you’re in need of fenders but can’t afford new bike accessories, or if you’re just into diverting trash from the landfill, check out the Northcoast Environmental Center’s fun workshop next Tuesday.


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

A Driver’s License to Ride an E-Bike?
A new bill in Sacramento would require e-bike riders to either have a driver’s license or take a course and qualify for an official waiver. We’re all for safety education, and we admit that e-bikes can pose some challenges in communities with poor bike infrastructure (which is most of them). But pretending that riding an e-bike is as dangerous as driving a car is just silly. E-bikes have the potential to get a lot more people on bikes, helping reduce climate pollution and actually increasing community safety. This bill could crush that potential. It’s a bad idea.

Americans Are Driving As Much as They Did Before the Pandemic
The nation’s collective miles driven dropped significantly in 2020, but driving has now rebounded to pre-COVID levels. This is really bad news for the climate, since reducing the amount we drive is key to meeting emissions reduction goals. The good news is that the amount each person is driving is still slightly less than before. But the increase in population has more than offset that progress.

Paris Will Triple Parking Fees for Big Vehicles
Voters in the city approved a proposal to charge oversized SUVs extra to help cover their impacts on safety and the environment – and maybe discourage people from buying them in the first place. It’s been reported that some other European cities are considering similar measures.


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.

Eureka Bike Plan Workshop Next Week

The Collector

February 9, 2024


Eureka Bike Plan Workshop Next Week
Next Thursday at 5:30 pm, the city will hold its second public workshop to get input on the development of the citywide bike plan. If you bike in Eureka – or if you’d like to bike but don’t feel comfortable under current conditions – please attend the meeting and encourage the city to plan a complete network of safe, low-stress routes for riders of all ages and abilities. While you’re at it, you can also thank the City Council for committing funds this week to move ahead with the long-awaited Bay to Zoo Trail. Click here for more information about the bike plan and the workshop, or click here to join the virtual workshop on Thursday night.

The day before the bike plan workshop, on Wednesday evening, the Eureka Planning Commission will also be considering a couple of bike-related projects. One involves the rehabilitation and improvement of the Waterfront Trail east of the Adorni Center (where it is currently a mess of cracked and buckling pavement), making it much more bike-friendly. The other is a new mixed use building in Old Town near the future EaRTH Center transit hub, which may be the first local development proposed with bike parking but no car parking. We’re excited by all the progress, and we continue to advocate to ensure that both bike paths and the bike parking are well designed for a wide variety of users.

In other Eureka news, Rob Arkley continues to pump huge sums of money into his campaign to confuse and bully Eurekans into blocking walkable, affordable, downtown housing. Thankfully, some in the local media are pushing back and defending the importance of providing voters with objective facts (your initiative isn’t “prohousing” just because you said it is).

New Humboldt County Planning Commissioner
Supervisor Natalie Arroyo this week appointed Jerome Qiriazi to fill an empty seat on the county’s Planning Commission. Here at CRTP, we’re excited about this pick because – among his many other qualifications – Jerome currently serves as a transit planner at the Humboldt Transit Authority. A Planning Commissioner with such a deep understanding of public transit signals a new and positive direction for Humboldt County planning. Congratulations, Jerome!

Guaranteed Income Pilot Program Up and Running in Humboldt
On its surface, guaranteed income might not seem like a transportation issue. But because our region is so car-dependent, and because cars are so expensive to own and operate, transportation costs are second only to housing in local household budgets. Experience with other programs shows that much of the money distributed to low-income residents is likely to be spent on car repairs and fuel. If we had more walkable, affordable housing and better public transit that made car ownership optional, people would have a lot more money to spend on other necessities.


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

More on the Caltrans Complete Streets Bill
Many of the main streets in North Coast communities are also state highways, so Caltrans policies about bike, pedestrian and transit infrastructure really matter.

State Transportation Commission Approves Big Highway Expansion
Despite generating some hope last month that they might reconsider, Commissioners this month rammed through the I-15 expansion approval and shut down the lone dissenter’s questions about the climate and air quality implications. Highway expansion projects like this one have been identified as one of the main reasons the state is not meeting its goals to reduce climate pollution.

Public Transit Systems Get Better When We Give Them More Money
This may seem obvious. But conventional wisdom in some circles has long held that subsidizing public transit leads to inefficiencies. A new study finds just the opposite: the most highly subsidized systems are the most efficient (presumably because they offer the best service).


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.

CRTP Intervenes in Anti-Housing Lawsuit

The Collector

February 2, 2024


CRTP Intervenes in Anti-Housing Lawsuit
CRTP has successfully petitioned a local court to intervene in litigation filed last year by a group called “Citizens for a Better Eureka” (CBE) against Eureka’s efforts to build affordable housing on downtown parking lots. After the court granted CRTP’s permission to intervene, CRTP filed an opposition to CBE’s motion for preliminary injunction which if granted, would delay and potentially jeopardize currently planned affordable housing projects including millions of dollars to support both the development of housing, and other community benefits including transit passes, pedestrian safety features, transit improvements for the neighborhood, and impactful programs like workforce development and homelessness prevention.

CRTP has long advocated for prioritizing housing for people over storage for cars, and we have fought for years to protect and strengthen the city’s plans to build much-needed affordable housing and a multi-modal transit center on some downtown parking lots.

The City’s plan to make city owned property available for the development of affordable housing is part of its legally required housing element plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in Eureka. The need for affordable housing in California is immense. Eureka is home to approximately 3,060 extremely and very low income households, and there are nearly 500 people in Eureka experiencing unsheltered homelessness on any given night. The City’s plan, which this lawsuit threatens, is well on its way to making a meaningful impact in our community, and 218 affordable homes near public transit are already in the works as part of this project.

The California Attorney General’s office has also filed a request with the court to file briefs in defense of the city’s housing plans.

There’s Still Time to Apply to Work at CRTP!
The new Outreach Specialist will focus on promoting Street Story and on organizing for improved transit service in our region. The Outreach Specialist will help increase transportation equity and street safety and take action for the climate at the same time! Applications are due next Wednesday.

Environmental Documents for Arcata Plans Now Available for Review
An Environmental Impact Report analyzing the city’s Gateway Plan and zoning code, along with other updates to the city’s General Plan, is now available for the public to review and provide comments. CRTP is still reviewing the document, but we remain confident that these plans, if approved in their current form, will have a major positive impact on the environment by increasing walkability, bikeability, and transit-friendly development.

Supervisors Approve McKinleyville Housing Project with Some Changes
We’re pleased that more housing is being built within walking, biking and rolling distance of the future Town Center and transit hub, and that the project includes a few pedestrian upgrades and traffic calming measures. However, we are disappointed that some neighbors objected to housing that is far less dense than even current zoning rules allow, and that Supervisors responded by reducing the number of units that could be built. Increased density in the Town Center area will be necessary to support both walkability and improved transit service in the future.

Consultant Selected for Bay-to-Zoo Trail Project
When complete, the Bay to Zoo Trail will connect downtown with the Hospital District and the Sequoia Park Zoo. Next Tuesday, the Eureka City Council is slated to approve a contract with a consultant to keep this important project moving forward. The project is mostly funded by a state grant, but a lot more work needs to be done before the city can start construction.


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

Minneapolis Is Piloting a Secure Bike Parking Program
The availability of secure, weather-protected bike storage is critical to encourage people to ride for transportation – especially as more and more people turn to e-bikes.

A Bill in Congress Could Provide Much-Needed Transit Funding
Historically, federal transit funding has failed to provide adequate support for frequent, high-quality service in communities across the country. A new bill aims to fix some of those problems, and North Coast Representative Jared Huffman is a co-sponsor. But its approval in a divided Congress is far from assured.


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.

Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Releases Draft Pedestrian & Bike Safety Plan

The Collector

January 26, 2024


Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Releases Draft Pedestrian & Bike Safety Plan
Tribal members are less likely to have access to a vehicle and more likely to walk, bike, carpool or ride the bus than people in the surrounding region. But the area is full of hazards for bicyclists and pedestrians, including Highway 101, and lacks safe bike and pedestrian infrastructure. The new Connected Communities Plan aims to change that, and it’s now open for public comment.

Big Secrets and Big Money Surround Anti-Housing Efforts in Eureka
At a town hall meeting this week, Eureka residents were frustrated by the continued lack of information about the mysterious company that recently appeared out of nowhere to buy the former Jacobs school campus. The property is central to the bait-and-switch strategy being used to promote the anti-housing initiative on the November ballot: supporters claim that housing should be developed at the Jacobs site instead of downtown, despite the fact that the initiative blocks downtown housing while providing no guarantee of anything being built anywhere else. The ballot initiative campaign says it has nothing to do with the recent Jacobs purchase, but the buyers, the initiative proponents, and the people suing the city to stop downtown housing are all represented by the same San Diego lawyer. They have also claimed that conservative billionaire Rob Arkley has nothing to do with their efforts, but his company is bankrolling their campaign (and lawsuits) with huge amounts of cash.

Given the fact that Arkley had previously publicly laid out his plans to sue the city and put forward a ballot initiative to preserve downtown parking lots and block affordable housing, we’re not sure why he doesn’t want to be associated with those efforts now. But perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at the misdirection coming from an initiative that aims to block affordable housing while labeling itself “Housing for All.” We hope Eureka voters will see through all the smoke and mirrors and reject the initiative in November, allowing walkable, transit-oriented housing to finally be developed downtown (and maybe eventually at the Jacobs site too!).

There’s Still Time to Apply to Work at CRTP!
The new Outreach Specialist will focus on promoting Street Story and on organizing for improved transit service in our region. Apply today to help increase transportation equity and street safety and take action for the climate at the same time!

New Bike Club Holds Kick-Off Meeting Next Week
Humboldt Bicyclists will provide new opportunities to ride with friends and neighbors and celebrate all things bike. If that sounds fun to you, you can join them for their initial meeting next Friday in Arcata.


Arcata Committee Will Review Street Story Reports
Arcata’s Transportation Safety Committee recently decided to review Street Story reports on a quarterly basis and use the information to make recommendations for safety improvements. This is a great example of the importance of making reports on Street Story! 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

Rural Areas Need Complete Streets Too!
It’s no surprise to those of us living on the North Coast: small towns and rural communities have big bike and pedestrian safety problems, and we need safer streets just like big cities do.

Major Transportation Safety Legislation Introduced in Sacramento
State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced a bill that would require all new vehicles in California to have intelligent speed assistance that prevents them from operating at unsafe speeds, and would also require side guards on trucks to keep people walking and biking from being sucked under and crushed. Wiener also introduced a separate bill that revives past attempts to establish an official complete streets mandate for Caltrans – meaning bike, pedestrian and transit improvements would be the default for all projects on state highways. These bills, if they become law, will represent some of the most significant transportation safety advances in decades and will save countless lives.


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 Than a Quarter of Downtown Arcata is Covered by Parking Lots

The Collector

January 19, 2024


More Than a Quarter of Downtown Arcata is Covered by Parking Lots
Following up on our analysis of parking lots in downtown Eureka last summer, CRTP this week released an analysis of off-street parking in downtown Arcata. While Arcata’s downtown has less land devoted to car storage than Eureka’s, there is still more than a quarter of developable land covered by parking lots – and that doesn’t include on-street parking or garages. This is another clear demonstration of the priority that local communities have historically given to cars over other modes of transportation. But it also suggests that if we want to produce more housing and prioritize walking, biking and public transit, there are lots of opportunities for good infill development. Read more and explore the map here.

Thankfully, local planners are starting to take steps to avoid making this problem even worse. Thanks to CRTP’s advocacy, Arcata’s General Plan update proposes eliminating outdated mandates for developers to add large amounts of additional parking with every new project. And this week, the Humboldt County Association of Governments designated 6 “major transit stops,” mostly in Eureka and Arcata, invoking a 2022 state parking reform law. New housing and other projects within a half mile of these stops will no longer be subject to any remaining local parking mandates, allowing more affordable and environmentally friendly development.

Let Eureka Officials Know What You Think Should Be Done on the Jacobs Property
Make no mistake, the recent shady property “swap” involving Eureka’s former Jacobs school campus is almost certainly related to the efforts of Rob Arkley and his cronies to mislead voters into approving their anti-housing measure in November. But hopefully Eureka voters will not be fooled, the ballot measure will fail, and the Jacobs property will remain in private hands. That private ownership makes the property newly subject to the city’s zoning rules, which is why you might want to attend next Tuesday’s town hall meeting to tell city officials what you think they should plan for on the site. We think a good idea would be affordable housing with bike, pedestrian and transit upgrades, just like the city is promoting downtown.

In other Eureka news, the city recently secured funding to spruce up one of its waterfront parks. We’re particularly excited that the project includes much-needed rehabilitation of the waterfront trail from the Adorni Center to the Samoa Bridge. Hopefully this will make the trail more usable and comfortable for commuters and recreational riders alike.

New Express Bus Service from Eureka to Ukiah
This week, the Humboldt Transit Authority started running the new daily Redwood Coast Express bus, with stops in Eureka, Fortuna, Garberville, Leggett, Laytonville, Willits and Ukiah. The service is designed to allow riders to transfer to other local transit services serving Del Norte, Lake and Mendocino Counties, filling in some of the major gaps in regional transit connectivity. And the trip from Eureka all the way to Ukiah only costs $2!

Transportation Is a Health Issue
Humboldt County and other rural areas experience higher than average rates of death, injury and illness in almost every category. Two of the many reasons for this disparity are inadequate access to reliable transportation and a landscape that fails to provide opportunities and encouragement for physical activity – in other words, a lack of walkable and bikeable neighborhoods. This is a good reminder that investments in public transit, walkable housing, and safe streets don’t just benefit the climate and local economies – they are also investments in public health.

That’s one reason we’re excited to see small communities like Rio Dell upgrading their pedestrian infrastructure. Next week, the California Transportation Commission is slated to approve funding for the city’s Neighborhood Pedestrian Connectivity Project, and we applaud Rio Dell officials for taking this initiative to improve their community and invest in their residents.


Arcata Committee Will Review Street Story Reports
Arcata’s Transportation Safety Committee recently decided to review Street Story reports on a quarterly basis and use the information to make recommendations for safety improvements. This is a great example of the importance of making reports on Street Story! 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

California Transportation Budget Should Prioritize People, Not Cars
CalBike recently launched a campaign for the state to re-prioritize transportation spending in order to reduce driving and increase safe, healthy, climate-friendly options. In related news, states including California are preparing to implement a new federal rule that requires reporting on the climate impacts of transportation spending. Click here to tell Governor Newsom to set ambitious targets and ensure honest emissions reporting.

Other Sectors Make Climate Progress, But Transportation Emissions Are Up
A new analysis suggests that the transportation sector may be responsible for 40% of all US climate-harming emissions, when the impacts of car and truck manufacturing are included. And the problem keeps getting worse. Two trends are exacerbating the problem: more driving (and more air travel), and ever-bigger cars, trucks and SUVs.


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.

Eureka City Council Rejects Safer Bike Lanes

The Collector

January 12, 2024


Eureka City Council Rejects Safer Bike Lanes to Preserve Parking
Against the recommendation of its own Transportation Safety Commission, the Council a few weeks ago rejected a proposal to provide buffered bike lanes to improve safety for the Myrtle Avenue. Instead, they sided with a handful of residents who demanded that they retain a row of little-used public parking spots.

This prioritization of underutilized public car storage over transportation safety is deeply disappointing to us, especially from a Council that has repeatedly professed its concern over safety on local streets. And especially because the Council last year adopted a complete streets policy that should have made the upgraded bike lanes automatic, averting this kind of counterproductive result.

You can be sure that CRTP will continue to advocate for more bike and pedestrian safety on Myrtle Avenue, and for full implementation of the complete streets policy.

Arcata Gateway & General Plans on Track for Late Spring Adoption
Just before the holidays, the City of Arcata released new drafts of the Gateway Area Plan and the broader General Plan. There aren’t a lot of surprises here, as the documents reflect the changes recommended by the Planning Commission, City Council, and other committees over the past 2 years of public meetings. These plans started out strong from a transportation perspective, and they got even better as comments from CRTP and our allies were incorporated into the drafts.

This week, the Planning Commission gave its preliminary stamp of approval to the new drafts, following a similar action last week by the City Council. The draft environmental review documents are expected to be released at the end of January – which will provide the next big opportunity for public input – and final adoption is scheduled for late spring.

From safer street designs to walkable development standards to modern parking reforms, Arcata’s Gateway Plan and updated General Plan are leading the way on many of CRTP’s top priorities. We are excited to see the finish line finally in sight!

Harbor District Commits to Green Port Strategy
Big ports have a reputation as major air pollution hot-spots, the result of toxic and climate-damaging emissions from ships, trucks, and lots of fossil fuel-powered industrial equipment. That’s why CRTP and our allies have long demanded that the Humboldt Bay Harbor District commit to zero-emission processes and equipment right from the start as they develop a new terminal to support the offshore wind industry. On Thursday, the District took a big step in that direction, committing to a “green terminal strategy” and directing staff to work with stakeholders on the details. We’re excited to be seeing some progress on this important issue.


Street Story: A Simple Way to Contribute to the Fight for Safe Streets
More than 600 people have combined to make more than 1,100 reports on Street Story in Humboldt County alone. Making a report is simple, and it’s important: reports help us advocate for safety improvements, and they provide valuable information for public agencies who design and maintain streets and highways. 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

Newsom Targets Bike and Pedestrian Funding Again
Despite being one of the smallest of the state’s transportation programs – and despite there being no actual deficit in the transportation budget itself – the Active Transportation Program is being targeted by the governor for all of his transportation budget cuts. Transportation advocates, including CRTP, think this is unacceptable. It comes after a statewide coalition sent the governor a letter asking him to fully fund active transportation and transit, stop spending on climate-wrecking highway projects, and reform the state’s transportation funding to align with its climate priorities.

Enormous SUVs and Trucks Are Now the “Normal” American Passenger Vehicles
A new article explores the history of how we got here, and what we can do to transition away from these dangerous, environmentally destructive vehicles in the future. Hint: the situation doesn’t have a whole lot to do with inherent “consumer preferences,” as the car companies would like you to believe.


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.

Eureka to Improve Myrtle Avenue Bike Lanes

The Collector

December 15, 2023

Editor’s Note: The Collector will be on a winter break for the next few weeks. But more transportation news and analysis will be coming your way in 2024!


Shady Property “Swap” Could Affect Eureka’s Infill Development Plans
On Thursday evening, Eureka City Schools trustees voted to “swap” the vacant former Jacobs Middle School campus for a small single-family home and over $5 million in cash. The other party in this “swap” was a mysterious limited liability corporation that was created only days earlier, but is rumored to be connected to Rob Arkley. Perhaps not coincidentally, Arkley and his allies have been trying to justify their anti-downtown housing initiative by arguing that housing can be built on the Jacobs property instead.

CRTP supports building affordable housing on downtown parking lots and on the Jacobs property. However, it would be naive to put much faith in housing actually being built on the Jacobs site any time soon. Unlike the downtown parking lots – which the city owns and has already awarded to non-profit developers with specific affordable housing plans – the Jacobs property is now owned by a mysterious private entity with no obligations to do anything in particular with the land. And this week’s land “swap” was specifically engineered to evade the school district’s responsibilities under the Surplus Lands Act, which would have required them to offer the property for affordable housing development before selling it to a private party. So unfortunately we think this latest development is more of a shady political maneuver than a promise of more infill housing.

Eureka to Improve Myrtle Avenue Bike Lanes
If you don’t count the state highways (Broadway, 4th and 5th Streets), Myrtle Avenue is one of the busiest, least comfortable places to walk and bike in Eureka. So we’re excited that next week the Eureka City Council will consider removing a little bit of largely unused street parking to allow improved bike lanes with painted buffers.

However, due to the dangerous conditions on Myrtle, we’re asking the city to go just a little bit further and add some kind of physical separation between the bike lanes and the car lanes. We’re also asking for some improvements to the notorious Myrtle & West Avenue intersection as well.

Also, while we’re happy to see the bike lanes improved, we need to point out that this all should have been done automatically under the city’s Complete Streets Policy, rather than being brought to the City Council for a vote.

California Coastal Commission Approves South Broadway Project
The South Broadway Complete Streets Project was approved by the California Coastal Commission this week, and construction is scheduled to begin late next year. This is the first of several planned projects to make Broadway safer for people walking, biking and rolling, developed in response to CRTP’s advocacy. The project will save lives, and we are excited to see it move forward.

Unfortunately, Caltrans objected to our request for two small improvements to the project. However, the Coastal Commission did require Caltrans to monitor bike and pedestrian safety for 2 years after the project is complete and report back. This provides a mechanism for us to ask for additional safety improvements in the future, and you can be sure we’ll advocate for whatever is needed.

Humboldt to Develop Regional Transportation Safety Action Plan
The Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG) has been awarded a federal grant to develop a transportation safety plan for the entire county. The grant also includes funding for several temporary demonstration projects to test out safety improvements. You can be sure that CRTP will be involved, advocating for the best evidence-based safety improvement strategies and for prioritizing the most vulnerable road users.

Last Chance Grade Environmental Documents Available
After years of planning, technical analysis and political negotiations, Caltrans has released its environmental review documents for the Last Chance Grade “permanent restoration” project. The project aims to re-engineer this section of Highway 101 to keep it from continuously riding an active landslide down toward the ocean, which for decades has resulted in constant closures and expensive temporary fixes. We are grateful that the most environmentally damaging options for this project have already been abandoned, but the environmental documents nevertheless should get careful scrutiny from stakeholders and the public.


Street Story: A Simple Way to Contribute to the Fight for Safe Streets
Reports on Street Story only take a few minutes, and they give CRTP and local government agencies 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

The New York Times Attempts to Explain the US Pedestrian Safety Crisis
The article focuses on the fact that many fatalities happen after dark. This might not seem surprising, given the problem of lower visibility at night, but it is a uniquely American phenomenon: pedestrians in many other countries are more likely to be hit during daylight hours. But those countries have much lower overall rates of pedestrian fatalities, too. The problem of nighttime crashes thus seems to be related to all the other safety hazards on American roads – notably high speeds and huge vehicles.

New Vehicles Could Prevent Drunk Driving
The federal government is considering a rule that would require new cars to have standard features that detect when someone is intoxicated and prevent that person from driving. Devices that prevent drivers from speeding are also getting renewed attention lately. Both types of technology have been around in various forms for decades and, if implemented, would likely save thousands of lives every year.

How Can Pedestrians in Tribal Communities Be Protected?
National data show that Native people are much more likely than any other demographic group to be hit and killed while walking. A new report explores some of the challenges and potential 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.

Eureka Considers a Really Bad Idea

The Collector

December 8, 2023


California Coastal Commission to Consider South Broadway Project
The South Broadway Complete Streets Project needs a coastal development permit from the commission. CRTP strongly supports the project, which was developed partly in response to our advocacy and will add protected bike lanes, new mid-block pedestrian crossings, safer intersection designs, and traffic calming features to our region’s most dangerous corridor. However, we are asking for two small improvements: (1) make the posts protecting the bike lane out of a material strong enough to actually protect bicyclists and withstand a vehicle collision; (2) redesign the bus stops so that the boarding areas aren’t in the middle of the bike lanes. You can email the Coastal Commission or attend next Wednesday’s meeting remotely and provide your own comments by submitting a speaker request (see Agenda Item 12b).

Humboldt Transit Authority Workers Named 2023 Responsible Transportation Champions
CRTP has given our annual award to HTA’s bus drivers, mechanics, vehicle service workers and equipment technicians. This is just one small way for us to recognize and honor the people who literally keep the buses running, providing us with desperately needed safe, equitable, and low-carbon transportation.

In other HTA news, the agency’s Board of Directors this week approved a pilot program to provide free rides for people going to emergency shelters during declared extreme weather events. The program was proposed by CRTP and our allies at Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives (AHHA) and Tri-County Independent Living as a way to help save lives by ensuring that everyone who needs access to shelter during extreme weather can get there.

Eureka Considers Building the Region’s First Parking Structure
More than one-third of downtown Eureka is covered by parking lots. The city’s own parking study found that there is more than enough public parking, even after a few lots are converted to housing, and recommended against a parking structure. But the city is now pursuing that idea anyway.

This is a really bad idea. A parking structure is extremely expensive, and would amount to a massive new subsidy for driving downtown. Recent estimates for California cities start at about $26,000 per parking space for construction alone, plus hundreds more each year for operation and maintenance. If they tried to charge enough to recover those costs, no one would park there, because there’s plenty of free parking nearby.

In addition, another central parking location would not stop the complaints from people who unrealistically demand parking availability right next to their destinations. The last time the city caved to the demands of the parking-first minority, their action didn’t silence the critics; instead, they’ve been rewarded with four new lawsuits and an anti-housing ballot initiative!

Don’t Forget About New Laws to Protect Pedestrians
Check out CRTP Board Member Carol Moné’s op-ed in the Times-Standard about the new crosswalk daylighting law and the decriminalization of “jaywalking.”


Street Story: A Simple Way to Contribute to the Fight for Safe Streets
Reports on Street Story only take a few minutes, and they give CRTP and local government agencies 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

Parking Mandates Drive Up the Cost of Housing
A new report adds to the evidence that minimum parking mandates for new development only lead to more expensive housing and more traffic. Or, as in the case of a small town in Washington state, perhaps no new housing at all. Fortunately, Americans are starting to catch on, and a new poll shows strong majority support for eliminating these costly and unscientific policies.

Paris Could Be First City to Charge Big SUVs More for Parking
The massive vehicles have huge impacts on the climate, public safety, and local streets, and they tend to be owned and operated by wealthier individuals. So the mayor of Paris thinks they should pay more for the privilege of using the streets.

Read Carefully! That Article Could Be Sponsored by Big Oil
Respected major media outlets from Reuters to the New York Times have advertising programs that generate paid propaganda designed to look like real journalism. Fossil fuel companies are using these services in a big way.


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 Transit Workers Named 2023 Responsible Transportation Champions

Three Humboldt Transit Authority employees in the shop, the person in the center holding a plaque
HTA employees (L to R) Lee Miller, Cody Ferreira, and Dave Carter with the 2023 Responsible Transportation Champion Award.

The Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities (CRTP) has named the Humboldt Transit Authority’s drivers, vehicle service workers, mechanics and equipment technicians as the 2023 North Coast Responsible Transportation Champions. The annual award is given to locals who further CRTP’s mission of “promoting transportation solutions that protect and support a healthy environment, healthy people, healthy communities and a healthy economy on the North Coast.”

The Humboldt Transit Authority (HTA) workers are being recognized for their consistent, hard work providing crucial public transit services to our region under sometimes challenging conditions. This marks the first time that the award has been given to a group of people, rather than to specific individuals.

“HTA’s drivers, vehicle service workers, mechanics and equipment technicians are the people who literally keep the buses running every day,” said CRTP Executive Director Colin Fiske. “Our public transit system helps meet the mobility needs of the many local residents who can’t drive, including kids, seniors, people with disabilities, and people who can’t afford a car. And because private vehicles are the biggest source of local climate pollution, public transit is also a critical climate solution, providing low-carbon mobility throughout the region. None of this would be possible without the daily efforts of transit workers. HTA’s bus drivers, vehicle service workers, mechanics and equipment technicians are truly Responsible Transportation Champions.”

“All of us at HTA are committed to providing safe and effective service to our community, and we are honored to receive this recognition,” said Cody Ferreira, an HTA equipment technician and AFSCME union steward. “Our union drivers, mechanics, equipment technicians, and vehicle service workers take pride in offering an ever-expanding array of safe and environmentally-friendly transportation options across the region, and we hope to see everyone out on the route soon.”

Past recipients of the Responsible Transportation Champion award include: State Senator Mike McGuire, former McKinleyville Community Services District Director Mary Burke, former Humboldt County Association of Governments Executive Director Marcella May, Humboldt Transit Authority General Manager Greg Pratt and Transit Planner Jerome Qiriazi, and Caltrans District 1 Complete Streets team members Alexis Kelso and Joseph Caminiti.

Highway Expansion Projects Rear Their Ugly Heads Again

The Collector

December 1, 2023


Protected Bike Lanes Coming to Arcata?
At a joint study session this week, the Arcata City Council and Planning Commission expressed strong support for many of CRTP’s policy priorities, including better parking policies and safe, slow streets. They also supported building protected bike lanes (our region doesn’t have any yet), and were specifically excited about the idea of replacing one car lane each on G and H Streets with protected bike lanes. Currently this is just a concept, and no specific project has been proposed. But we are excited to see broad support for such significant bike safety improvements, and we look forward to helping make this happen in the future.

Highway Expansion Projects Rear Their Ugly Heads – Again
Next week, the California Transportation Commission is slated to authorize, yet again, state funds to be spent on the Highway 101 expansion in Richardson Grove State Park, as well as the expansion of Highways 197 and 199 in the Smith River Canyon. Together, these projects now have an estimated price tag of more than $73 million. Their sole purpose is to provide access for the biggest interstate-sized trucks – access those trucks already have to our region via Highway 299 from the east and Highway 101 from the north.

It is galling that Caltrans continues to propose spending huge sums of money on highway expansion projects in the midst of a climate crisis and a transportation safety crisis. These projects were a bad idea when they were first proposed well over a decade ago, and they’re an even worse idea now. If Caltrans is serious about its purported new priorities of safe streets and multimodal transportation, it should abandon these outdated, destructive projects once and for all and reallocate the funding. Those $73 million dollars could go a long way toward making state highways safer for people walking, biking, rolling, riding the bus and driving in local communities.

CRTP Seeking Board Members
Are you passionate and knowledgeable about safe, equitable and sustainable transportation on the North Coast? Want to get more involved? Joining CRTP’s Board of Directors could be the next step for you. Click here for more information about applying to join the Board.

New State Laws Affect Transportation and Housing
Listen to the EcoNews Report for information about a few of the recent laws coming out of Sacramento that will affect us here on the North Coast, including a new law that prohibits parking near crosswalks to improve pedestrian safety and another that mandates a study of the safety impacts of big trucks and SUVs.


Street Story: A Simple Way to Contribute to the Fight for Safe Streets
Reports on Street Story only take a few minutes, and they give CRTP and local government agencies 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

American Drivers Speed. A Lot.
Speeding is one of the most dangerous things an average person can do in their daily life. But a new survey shows that many drivers don’t understand the danger, and openly admit to doing it.

New Federal Rule on Transportation Emissions
A new rule will require state transportation departments to track how their projects affect climate pollution, and set targets to reduce emissions. There won’t be any penalties if they fail, though.


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.