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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!

CRTP Delivers Plaza Petition with Over 500 Signatures

The Collector

January 18, 2019


Plaza Petition Calls for Prioritizing Non-vehicular Users
CRTP delivered the petition with 518 signatures to the City of Arcata’s Plaza Improvement Task Force at its meeting Thursday. The Task Force is still collecting additional public input through its online survey, so fill it out if you haven’t already!

The Village is Back
The City has scheduled a January 30th meeting to discuss a revised version of The Village. This time it’s not student-only housing, and HSU isn’t involved. This latest news begs the question: could Arcata’s The Village project pull off a better plot twist than the 2004 M. Night Shyamalan movie of the same name?

Humboldt County Rezoning Process Continues
The results could have a big impact on the density (or lack thereof) of future development. The county’s transportation future may hang in the balance.

A New Face, and a New Perspective, on the Humboldt County Planning Commission
New Commissioner McCavour mentions the connection between density, wildland development, and greenhouse gas emissions. Can we be forgiven for hoping that she might move the Commission in a more enlightened direction?

New Electric School Bus Hits the Streets
The first of several to be delivered to local districts. Cool!

Sidewalk/Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week
We saw plenty of bike lane and sidewalk obstructions this week. But the rain discouraged us from getting out our cameras, so you’ll just have to take our word for it. Don’t let this space go empty again – send your pictures of bike lane or sidewalk obstructions to colin@transportationpriorities.org!

New Bill Would Bring “Complete Streets” Framework to State Highways
Senator Scott Wiener continues his crusade for better transportation planning.

Study Shows Importance of Land Use Patterns in Transit Use
Why aren’t more Americans riding transit? Because houses, jobs, or both aren’t close enough to high-quality options. But we can change that.


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.

The Collector Is Cancelled… Oh No Wait, That’s the Eureka Transportation Safety Commission

The Collector

January 11, 2019


Rail Authority Ordered to Cover Court Costs for Enviros
In yet another blow to the beleaguered agency, the North Coast Railroad Authority has been ordered to pay the court costs for local environmental groups with whom it’s been involved in years-long legal battles. One more reason for the NCRA to finally abandon its elusive dream of restoring rail service through the Eel River Canyon, as the newly passed SB1029 requires it to turn its attention toward long-term rails-to-trails planning.

Eureka Transportation Safety Commission Meeting Cancelled…Again
This is becoming a habit. Why does the City of Eureka struggle so much to maintain a functioning commission meant to consider its many pressing transportation issues?

Applications Due for Measure Z Oversight Committee
The deadline is next week for citizens interested in serving on the committee. Funds from this half-cent Humboldt County sales tax have often been allocated to road repair and maintenance projects in recent years.

HCAOG Board Looks to Committee Changes for Unmet Transit Needs
The Social Service Transportation Advisory Council (SSTAC) advises the Humboldt County Association of Governments on the annual task of assessing local unmet transit needs. Staff are recommending a few changes to the SSTAC, including adding a seat for CRTP. (We’ll be proud to participate in this important process!) Also on next week’s HCAOG Board agenda: An update from Caltrans on the long-running Last Chance Grade project.

Sidewalk Obstruction of the Week
Yup, there’s a sidewalk somewhere between those brambles and that sign post. Just not a very usable one. Send your pictures of bike lane or sidewalk obstructions to colin@transportationpriorities.org.

 

At Long Last, New CEQA Transportation Rules Are Final!
Five years after the law mandating the changes, the state has finally adopted new CEQA guidelines which prohibit consideration of traffic delays as an environmental impact. We’d like to say that’s the last we’ll see of the outmoded “Level of Service” concept in this state. But sadly, reactions to the new rules indicate that many planners and engineers will resist changing as long as they can.

On Congestion Pricing & Inequity in the Transportation System
A cogent and thought-provoking commentary.


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.

Bay Trail Funding on the Way

The Collector

January 4, 2019


$13.3 Million in State Grant Funds Recommended for Bay Trail Completion
California Transportation Commission staff recently released the latest list of recommended grant awards through the state’s Active Transportation Program, and Humboldt County’s Bay Trail project was near the top of the list. This funding would keep the region on track for a completed Bay Trail by 2021 or 2022. The CTC will vote on the recommendations at its January 31st meeting.

January Edition of “Wheel People” Released
Check out the latest from our friends at the Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association. It’s always a good read!

CHP Cracks Down on Speeding for the Holidays
One wonders what the enforcement policy is for the rest of the year.

Sidewalk Obstruction of the Week
Actually, this is less of an obstruction and more of a phenomenon we call the “crosswalk to nowhere” – a crosswalk that connects to a sidewalk on one side, but on the other side, the pedestrian infrastructure just ends. This one is on School Road in McKinleyville. Send your pictures of bike lane or sidewalk obstructions to colin@transportationpriorities.org.

Trucker Deaths on the Rise
Big rig drivers are dying in larger numbers. What’s the cause, and what can be done about it?

Elon Musk’s Newest Project is Boring Tunnels Under Los Angeles for Cars
As one of CRTP’s Board members commented, “There are already tunnels under cities that ease traffic – they’re called subways and they move millions without cars.”

State Gives Grants for “Transformative Climate Communities”
Sacramento and Pacoima got funding from the Strategic Growth Council for sustainable community development projects aimed at increasing climate resilience.


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.

The Housing Connection

The Collector

December 21, 2018

Editor’s Note: We’ll be taking a week off from The Collector next week – but don’t worry, you can catch up on all the local transportation news the week after. Happy holidays!


Housing, Jobs and Transportation: Our Local Governments Still Don’t Get It
This week, the Humboldt County Association of Governments Board considered a formula for allocating state-mandated housing requirements among the local cities and the county. Without getting too deep into the wonky weeds, the main question was whether it’s more important to put new housing near existing housing, or near existing jobs. CRTP, along with Caltrans and the McKinleyville Community Services District, encouraged a focus on the jobs – because putting housing near jobs is one of the best ways to reduce vehicle miles traveled. Unfortunately, the local government representatives on the HCAOG Board ignored this advice (they voted to give jobs and population equal weight in the formula) – proving that when it comes to the all-important connections among land use, transportation and economic development, they still just don’t get it.

More Unhelpful Bike Laws Going into Effect
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not against kids wearing helmets or bike riders acting responsibly after a collision. But as we’ve reported before, high rates of helmet usage in the US have not led to safer conditions for bicyclists. And acting like bicycles  pose the same risks as cars and trucks is just living in an alternate reality.

Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week
A delivery truck blocks the bike lane on Alliance Road in Arcata. Send your pictures of bike lane or sidewalk obstructions to colin@transportationpriorities.org.

California Buses Will Be Emission-Free
The state’s Air Resources Board voted to require all public bus fleets in the state to be zero-emission within two decades.

California Transportation Advocates Announce New Comprehensive Platform
The platform focuses on how to achieve a truly sustainable and equitable transportation system in the state. One of the main groups behind the new platform, CalBike, also announced its 2019 legislative agenda in conjunction with the release.

Northeastern States Team Up for Transportation-Related Greenhouse Gas Reduction
Transportation is the nation’s leading source of greenhouse gases, but this is one of the first major regional efforts to tackle the issue directly.


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.

Transportation and Housing in the Sacramento Spotlight

The Collector

December 14, 2018


Arcata Plaza Task Force Conducting Public Survey
Let them know what you think about the Plaza – and about how people should be getting there!

Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week
Parked cars and trucks combine with low-hanging branches to create especially hazardous conditions for bicyclists on School Road in McKinleyville. Send your pictures of bike lane or sidewalk obstructions to colin@transportationpriorities.org.

California Lawmakers Introduce a Platoon of Land Use Bills
Looks like housing and transportation will be hot topics in the upcoming legislative session. The North Coast’s own Senator Mike McGuire is co-sponsoring one of the most talked-about bills so far.

Terry Gross Talks Driverless Cars
The legendary NPR interviewer talks with former New York City Traffic Commissioner Sam Schwartz about the good, the bad and the ugly of a future dominated by autonomous vehicles.

Federal Research Agency Calls for Public Input on “Mobility as a Service”
The Transportation Research Board is planning a study to investigate the new trend (and hot buzzword) in transportation, and wants to hear from you.

Learning from Experience with Congestion Pricing
It’s never easy and rarely popular, but it tends to work.


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.

Driving Over the Climate Cliff

The Collector

December 7, 2018


More Driving is Pushing the Globe Toward Record Carbon Emissions
Normally, our top stories in The Collector are local ones. But this story is too important not to take the top spot.

Mobility on Demand in Humboldt
As we mentioned in last week’s edition of The Collector, the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG) met this week to start getting input on a plan for “mobility on demand” services in Humboldt County. CRTP attended and emphasized the importance of preventing private companies like Uber and Lyft from dominating the sector in Humboldt, as these services have been shown to increase vehicle miles traveled without increasing the mobility of underserved populations. One of the other main takeaways from the public comment was that there is still a large unmet (and unfunded) demand for access to high-quality, traditional fixed-route transit services.

Crescent City Active Transportation Project Changing
At its meeting this week, the Del Norte Local Transportation Commission weighed in on changes to a proposed multi-use trail along Sunset Circle. The changes are the result of landowners refusing to grant the right-of-way for some portions of the trail.

Self-Driving Armored Vehicles for Cannabis?
That’s the idea one Southern California company is selling.

Sidewalk Obstruction of the Week
Construction projects routinely block sidewalks without providing a safe detour for pedestrians. This one is particularly egregious, as it prevents any safe crossing of the street at a major intersection: both sides of the street have the sidewalk and crosswalk blocked with signs directing pedestrians to “use other side.” Note that the bike lane is also blocked. Send your pictures of bike lane or sidewalk obstructions to colin@transportationpriorities.org.

San Francisco Eliminates Minimum Parking Requirements
The Chronicle’s editorial board says it was about time. We agree.

Getting Back in the Saddle After the Paradise Fire
Chico Velo, the local cycling club in the Paradise area, is raising funds to help people who lost everything at least be able to ride a bike again.


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.

What’s Your Vision for “Mobility on Demand” In Humboldt?

The Collector

November 30, 2018


Special Meeting Next Week to Plan for On-Demand Mobility in Humboldt
The Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG) has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday morning to begin the process of envisioning “mobility on demand” in Humboldt County. Do you want to see more bike-sharing, or maybe a pedicab app? How about a “public Uber” option? Expanded dial-a-ride services? The possibilities are endless. Come out and have your say.

Transportation Commission to Consider Local Safety Projects
The California Transportation Commission’s agenda next week includes funding allocations for safety projects on Highway 199 (high-friction surface treatments, signs, rumble strips and guard rails near Gasquet) and Highway 299 (shoulder widening near Willow Creek).

Will New Eureka Fast Food Development Decrease Safety for Pedestrians?
In light of the Eureka City Council’s recent approval of $450,000 for a traffic light to serve a new fast food development on Broadway, we thought this study showing that these types of land uses are associated with more pedestrian collisions was particularly timely.

Richardson Grove Back in Federal Court
One of the lawsuits against the highway-widening project through the beloved State Park got another hearing this week.

Local Rail Proponents Get Luke-Warm Support from State
Basically, the Governor’s office and Caltrans said rail is a great idea – if it works for your area. Hmmm.

Sidewalk Obstruction of the Week
Sidewalk construction should provide safe detours for pedestrians. This one doesn’t. Send your pictures of bike lane or sidewalk obstructions to colin@transportationpriorities.org.

State Climate Progress Stymied by More Driving
The first official progress report on so-called Sustainable Communities Strategies, which are plans to reduce driving that large metro areas in California have been required to adopt for a number of years, shows that there’s a marked lack of follow-through. Californians are driving more, and that threatens all of our other efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

San Francisco May Remove All Minimum Parking Requirements
Because minimum parking requirements are bad urban policy!


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.

Who Likes Traffic Lights?

The Collector

November 16, 2018

Special Note: We’ll be taking next week off for the Thanksgiving holiday, so your next edition of The Collector won’t arrive until November 30th.


Caltrans 4th Street Project Gets City Approval
As we reported a few weeks ago, the City of Eureka has been considering a Coastal Development Permit request from Caltrans for a project which would add an extra lane to part of 4th Street. Although there are some genuine pedestrian safety improvements included in the project, including traffic-calming bulb-outs and a new traffic signal at L Street, the problems associated with adding an extra lane caused us to oppose the project. Unfortunately, this Tuesday, the City approved the project’s permit. This is the last official opportunity for public input on the project, which is now slated to begin construction in 2020.

HCAOG Board Weighs Regional Housing Needs
At its Board meeting on Thursday, the Humboldt County Association of Governments took public comment on its proposed methodology for allocating new housing requirements among all of its member jurisdictions (a state-mandated process). HCAOG’s current proposal is to divide the total amount according to a combination of the number of residents and the number of jobs each jurisdiction holds, weighted equally. CRTP delivered the only public comment at the hearing and urged the Board to weight jobs more heavily in the formula. As we explained, putting homes next to jobs is one of the best ways to reduce vehicle miles traveled! Thanks to a request from HCAOG Board member (and Eureka City Councilmember) Natalie Arroyo, the Board will consider a formula that weights jobs more heavily at their next meeting on December 20th.

Eureka City Council Approves $450,000 Stop Light
At a special meeting on Wednesday, the Council unanimously approved paying for the expensive traffic signal on Broadway in order to allow a proposed fast food development to proceed.

Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week: Open House, Closed Lane
Apparently some local realtors don’t realize that you can’t block a bike lane. Send your pictures of bike lane or sidewalk obstructions to colin@transportationpriorities.org.

Detectable Warning Surfaces
Ever wonder about those bumpy yellow things often found on sidewalk ramps? Here’s your chance to find out more.


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.

The Gas Tax Lives On

The Collector

November 9, 2018


Proposition 6 Fails
Tuesday’s election results included a resounding defeat for Prop 6, which would have repealed the recent state gas tax increase funding infrastructure improvement, and would have made it much harder to fund non-vehicular improvements in the future. In other transportation-related results, Humboldt County voters approved Measure O to make permanent the sales tax increase which has funded a number of road repair projects in the last few years, while Eureka’s Measure I gained a solid majority for the proposed road-repair tax but fell short of the two-thirds needed. Meanwhile, all of the Eureka City Council candidates who backed a plan for a road diet on H & I Streets retained their seats in the face of concerted attacks from opponents focused on this issue.

Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week
Surprise, surprise – it’s another parked vehicle blocking the lane. Send your pictures of bike lane or sidewalk obstructions to colin@transportationpriorities.org, and you might just be featured in The Collector!

Eureka City Council Sets Special Meeting for $450,000 Stop Light
The traffic signal is seen by many as a subsidy for a big out-of-town fast food corporation. (We know we don’t need to remind our readers that fast food, the industry that brought us the drive-thru window, is the pinnacle of car-centric culture and commerce.) Attend the meeting Wednesday to have your voice heard.

New Report Agrees: Eucalyptus Must Go
A second arborist’s report commissioned by Humboldt County agrees with the first report, finding that many of the eucalyptus trees along the route of the proposed final section of the Humboldt Bay Trail must be removed for the safety of trail users.

Huffman Has Transportation Priorities
Two of the three top priorities listed by the North Coast’s Congressman in a post-election interview with the Times-Standard were transportation-related: “critical transportation projects” (we assume he has Last Chance Grade in mind) and harbor dredging. Actually, all three were transportation-related if you count Klamath dam removal, which would affect transportation by boat on the river!

More Evidence that Uber & Lyft Are Taking Rides Away from Transit
In Seattle, they carry more riders than light rail – and mostly in parts of the city well-served by 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.

Transportation on the Ballot

The Collector

November 2, 2018


Transportation Issues Headline State & Local Elections
Tuesday’s California ballot includes Proposition 6, which would repeal the recent gas tax increase and make it much harder to fund bike, pedestrian and transit improvements in the future. CRTP doesn’t take an official position on many ballot measures, but we have joined many local governments and non-profits in opposing Prop 6. In Humboldt County, voters will also weigh in on Measure O, which would continue the half-cent sales tax previously known as Measure Z – which has funded, among other things, local road repair over the last few years. And Eureka residents will vote on Measure I, another proposed sales tax for road repair. Not only that, but transportation issues have played a central role in local city council and Harbor District races, too. For more information about many of these topics, be sure to check out previous issues of The Collector. And don’t forget to vote on Tuesday!

Sidewalk Obstruction of the Week
We’ve seen plenty of cars and trucks blocking bike lanes in The Collector, but this is the first vehicle blocking a sidewalk we’ve featured. Thanks to an avid reader of The Collector for submitting this one. Send your pictures of bike lane or sidewalk obstructions to colin@transportationpriorities.org.

Eureka Hearing on 4th Street Widening Postponed
As we reported in last week’s Collector, the City of Eureka was scheduled to hold a hearing on Monday on Caltrans’ request for a Coastal Development Permit to allow changes to parts of 4th Street, including adding an extra lane. The hearing ended up being postponed – apparently due to several comments received in opposition (including from CRTP), along with the failure of Caltrans to consult with HCAOG. We’ll keep you informed as this story develops.

Expensive New Stop Light for In-N-Out Development?
We’re not necessarily against new stop lights on Broadway. But the fact that the City says one is needed because of all the new traffic the fast food joint will generate, and the fact that the developer refuses to pay for it – well, these things aren’t exactly surprising, but they should be cause for reflection.

New Bike/Ped Counting Technology Considered at HCAOG
At the Humboldt County Association of Governments’ Technical Advisory Committee meeting yesterday, the group talked about technological advancements in the field of bicycle and pedestrian traffic counting. Measuring is the first step toward understanding!

Justification for CAFE Standards Rollback Badly Flawed
The primary reason given by the Trump administration for allowing automakers to sell less fuel-efficient vehicles is that doing so will save lives. Unsurprisingly, that assertion turns out to be based on a pretty shaky analysis – including lots of basic math errors.

Advice on Creating a Local Bike Advocacy Group
OK, so maybe our weekly sidewalk/bike lane obstruction feature isn’t the best organizing tool. But we still like it.


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.