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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!

The Collector

 

The Collector: Funding Found for Late-Night Bus Service… PLUS the Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week

Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week
This week’s obstruction may not look like much, but it can still cause a person on a bike to swerve wildly around it – it’s a pile of broken glass! Granted, it may be harder for the responsible public agencies to prevent this kind of obstruction than to, say, ticket parked cars or move trash cans out of the way. But it’s still a problem! Send your bike lane or sidewalk obstructions to colin@transportationpriorities.org, and you could be in The Collector!

Lots of Local Active Transportation Projects Proposed!
The Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG) Board considered letters of support to the California Transportation Commission for eight proposed local bike/ped projects yesterday, including Phase II of the Annie & Mary Trail, the Little River Trail, the Humboldt Bay Trail South, and the “Bay to Zoo” Trail in Eureka. Go trails!

Funding for Late-Night Bus Service Identified
Meanwhile, the HCAOG Board also discussed a source of funding for late-night weekday bus service identified by staff. Previously, this service had been identified as an “unmet transit need” which could not be funded. This represents real progress toward better transit in our region.

Local “Mobility on Demand” Plan in the Works
In yet more HCAOG news, the agency has issued a request for proposals to develop a “Mobility on Demand Strategic Development Plan” for the county. Keep your eye on this one – it’s not clear yet what direction it will take.

Humboldt Slated for Lots of SB1 Money…
…but not nearly enough to keep the roads maintained. Still, things will be a lot worse if the current effort to repeal the bill (which among other things raised the gas tax) succeed in November.

A Nostalgic Ode to the Great Redwood Trail
How can one be nostalgic for something that hasn’t happened yet? Just read it.

The Village Hearing Continues
We think you’ve heard it all by now. If not, this article is for you.

State Train Group Doesn’t Like the Great Redwood Trail Act
We know it’s hard for those outside the region to understand why local environmentalists might not like trains so much, but they really should do their homework before jumping into such an issue head-first. Oh, and they should have read the most current version of the bill (it actually does not require rail-banking at all, just that a trail be built somewhere on or near the rail right-of-way).

American Cities Have More Parking Than Housing… Way More
In one of the first studies of its kind, five very different American cities were analyzed for the amount of parking they provide. Hint: too much.

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: Opposition to the Great Redwood Trail Act Emerges

Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week
A parked vehicle blocking a bike lane… again. Well, the pictures reflect the reality! If you see a more interesting or unique bike lane obstruction – or just more parked cars and trash cans – take pictures and send them to colin@transportationpriorities.org

Rails Removed for Fish Passage
Salmon will get access to old spawning grounds blocked by railroad construction a century ago. A story that highlights the importance of unbuilding transportation infrastructure when the time is right for it to go.

Opposition to Great Redwood Trail Act Emerges
Meanwhile, the bill which could convert the whole North Coast rail line to trails will soon be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The North Coast Railroad Authority, which to date has more or less pretended to be OK with the bill, is finally complaining a bit. As is the Timber Heritage Association. If you think the objections are a bit silly – and we think you do – you might call the Governor’s office and let him know you support full funding for SB 1029. Or maybe write your own letter to the editor.

CRTP Submits Comments on Eureka General Plan Update
Summary: the denser infill development proposed will help reduce vehicle miles traveled, but a lot more could be done.

State Money Coming for Trails in McKay Tract
Soon, you’ll be able to walk to and through Eureka’s new public forestland!

Bike Commuting Reduces Carbon Emissions
No surprise there – but it’s nice to have some numbers.

California Carbon Emissions Inch Down, but Transportation Emissions Keep Going Up
There’s a lot of work to do to achieve a sustainable transportation system. But you probably knew that, or you wouldn’t be reading The Collector.

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: California Needs to Drive Less, But the Transportation Commission Doesn’t Get It

Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week
This week, another version of a classic obstruction – hey, we see them so often biking around town, why not put a few more pictures in The Collector? Send your pictures of bike lane and sidewalk obstructions to colin@transportationpriorities.org.

Joint State Transportation Meeting Reveals Major Disconnects
The first joint meeting between the Air Resources Board and the Transportation Commission received very little press coverage, but revealed stark differences between the agencies. While ARB board members, focused on meeting climate and air quality goals, pointed out that we need to significantly reduce driving in the state, Transportation Commissioners seemed to think that was impossible.

One More Week to Comment on Eureka General Plan EIR
Thank them for planning for dense infill development and better bike/pedestrian infrastructure, complain about their failure to reduce vehicle miles traveled… Just let them know what you think!

Arcata Plaza Closed to Cars Last Saturday
The Plaza was closed to cars for the farmers market and subsequent “Fairy Festival,” and guess what? The sky didn’t fall. In fact, people loved it!

Repainting the Bridge, or The Importance of Planning Infrastructure Maintenance
The North Coast Journal reviews how a poorly planned infrastructure maintenance project – in this case repainting the bridge connecting Scotia to Rio Dell – can seriously impact a local community.

SB 1 Repeal Would Have Big Impacts
Local governments, among others, are a little freaked out about how they’ll pay for transportation infrastructure if the repeal effort succeeds.

Cities Can Grow Cut Transportation Emissions… or Not
It all depends on the choices we make (and some things that most of us really can’t do much about).

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: New Last Chance Grade Report Sets Up Difficult Decisions

Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week
An all too familiar sight: a sign placed by a public agency blocking a marked bike lane to warn cars about upcoming road construction. Often they contain a “no parking” warning, as this one does… conveniently right next to a permanent “no parking, bike lane” sign. Send your photos of bike lane and sidewalk obstructions to colin@transportationpriorities.org.

Last Chance Grade Geotechnical Report Released
Caltrans has released a third-party review of the geotechnical feasibility of various alternate routes being considered to avoid the active landslide area of US 101 called Last Chance Grade. A stakeholder group convened by Congressman Huffman previously agreed that a re-route is necessary in order to avoid a complete failure of the highway at some point in the future but did not recommend a specific route. The new report finds that the longest alternate routes – which would require clearing the most forest but would avoid old-growth redwoods – would be nearly certain to fail within 50 years, while the shortest and most expensive proposed route – a tunnel which would require clearcutting several acres of old growth – would be by far the most geotechnically stable. The findings set up some difficult decisions for Caltrans and local environmental advocates.

Great Redwood Trail Act Clears Another Hurdle
Senator McGuire’s bill passed the Assembly Transportation Committee unanimously and now heads to the Appropriations Committee, likely its final stop before a vote by the full Assembly (and then the governor’s desk). The one sticking point – and it’s a big one – remains securing funding to buy out the North Coast Railroad Authority’s debt and ensure the new Great Redwood Trail Agency starts out on good footing.

Man on Bicycle Killed By Truck, Blamed
A man riding a bicycle was hit by a log truck on Broadway in Eureka and later died of his injuries. Predictably, the Highway Patrol and subsequent news reports prominently highlighted that the victim was not wearing a helmet and implied that he was to blame for the accident. The unsafe design of that road for bicyclists and pedestrians was not mentioned in news reports, nor was the inherent safety risk posed by extremely heavy trucks traveling on public roads. Our condolences go to the victim’s family and friends.

Local Projects at the CTC: UPDATE
Since our report last week on a number of local projects being considered for funding by the California Transportation Commission, we’ve received more information from Caltrans staff about two of the most interesting. We’ve been told that the tide gate project along US 101, scheduled for construction in 2020, would replace nine existing tide gates built in 1954. Meanwhile, the proposed 101 improvements in North Arcata are scheduled for 2022 and would include a Class 1 Bike Trail connecting Wymore and Heindon Roads under US 101. This would allow a much more direct connection between popular bike routes through the Arcata Bottoms (connecting to the Hammond Trail) and the bike/ped crossing of the Mad River on the highway bridge.

Safe Route to School Considered in Del Norte
The Del Norte Local Transportation Commission’s Technical Advisory Committee considered a request this week for more than $80,000 for the Bess Maxwell Safe Routes to School project.

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: Plaza Task Force Vacancies & Lots of Local Projects at the CTC

Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week
OK, maybe horse manure is more of a nuisance than an obstruction…but it still shouldn’t be in a bike lane! Thanks to an early-morning bike-commuting reader of The Collector for sending this in. You can submit photos of bike lane or sidewalk obstructions to colin@transportationpriorities.org

SB 1029 Action Alert
CRTP joined almost every other local group concerned with bike and pedestrian infrastructure this week in issuing an action alert about SB 1029, Senator McGuire’s Great Redwood Trail Act. The bill isn’t encountering any organized opposition in the legislature, but for it to be meaningful it must be funded! If you haven’t already, call Governor Brown’s office at 916-445-2841 and ask him to fully SB 1029’s transition between the North Coast Railroad Authority and the new Great Redwood Trail Agency.

Plaza Improvement Task Force Vacancies
The City of Arcata’s newly formed Plaza Improvement Task Force has three at-large slots for interested and engaged community members, but they have not received enough applications to fill them. If you live or work in Arcata and want to advocate for transportation (and other) improvements to the Plaza, click the link above and fill out an application!

Another Two Meetings on The Village
First Humboldt State University hosted a public meeting to discuss its previously-denied involvement with the project, then the Arcata City Council toured the site and heard more public testimony.

HCAOG Monthly Meeting – More Exciting Than it Sounds!
Among the items on yesterday’s agenda was adopting the new Humboldt County Regional Bike Plan.

CTC, CARB to Hold First Joint Meeting
The California Transportation Commission and California Air Resources Board are scheduled to hold their first joint meeting next week to discuss issues of air quality, climate change and transportation. Joint meetings of the two agencies to coordinate their goals will become a regular occurrence as a result of a state law passed last year.

CTC Considers North Coast Projects for Funding
At its own meeting next week, the CTC will consider a large number of funding requests from Caltrans and local agencies for local projects. Those include two bridge retrofits and an electric vehicle charging station on Route 96, upgrades to the Highway 101/299 interchange in Arcata and the 101/Ehler Road intersection in Klamath, some pedestrian improvements to Broadway in Eureka, fish passage barrier removal on Avenue of the Giants, the Martin Slough restoration project, stormwater drainage improvements on Route 36, several Safe Routes to School projects, and more. Perhaps most intriguing are a project which would include construction of a Class 1 bike path along Highway 101 in Arcata from the St. Louis Road overpass to north of Giuntoli Lane and one which would construction tide gates along the US 101 corridor between Arcata and Eureka.

AB 2363 Passes Assembly Committee
The bill, which would re-examine the state’s current policy on setting speed limits, passed the Transportation & Housing Committee and has been referred to the Appropriations Committee.

Caltrain Improves Rider Service & Intermodal Connectivity
The newly expanded “bikes board first” program seems to be working out quite well.

Koch Brothers Lead the Fight Against Public Transit Nationwide
Is anyone really surprised?

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: CRTP on the EcoNews Report, PLUS E-Scooters (the Hot New Thing!)

Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week
This week’s obstruction is a parked utility truck completely blocking the lane. Also seen (but not photographed) this week: orange traffic cones, with “temporary no parking” signs taped to them, placed in a marked bike lane. “Temporary”?!?  Submit your photos of bike lane (or sidewalk) obstructions to colin@tranportationpriorities.org.

HSU Meeting on The Village, Council to Conduct Site Visit
After months of radio silence, Humboldt State administrators have finally admitted that they will be actively involved in operating the (newly housing-downsized, parking-upsized) student housing project called The Village. HSU will host a “town hall” meeting to answer questions about the project on Monday. Meanwhile, the Arcata City Council continues its consideration of the project with a planned meeting & site visit on Tuesday.

CRTP on the EcoNews Report
Executive Director Colin Fiske was interviewed this week for the KHSU show by EPIC Executive Director (and CRTP Board member) Tom Wheeler. Listen to the archived show for a discussion of interesting transportation planning topics and some CRTP projects.

California Utilities Move Forward with Big Plans for EV Charging Network
Thousands of new charging stations for cars as well as heavy-duty vehicles are planned for locations across the state.

E-Scooters Are the Hot New Transportation Thing – But What to Do About Them?
A bill in the state legislature seeks to define what they are, at least. Meanwhile, Los Angeles and San Francisco crack down on scooter-share programs, but Santa Monica refuses to do the same.

SB 827 is Dead (for Now), But the Debate Continues
Is upzoning around transit a racist gentrification policy or a socially and environmentally responsible way to address the housing crisis? Or maybe it depends on the context?

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: Less Housing, More Parking: The Village Takes a Wrong Turn

Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week
This week: parked cars in Arcata (this is an almost daily obstruction at this particular location). Submit your photos of bike lane (or sidewalk) obstructions to colin@tranportationpriorities.org!

The Village Moves to City Council with Less Housing, More Parking
The Arcata City Council took up The Village student housing project this week after months of marathon Planning Commission hearings. But before they did, the project was once more revised to lower the number of proposed residents to 600 (from an original proposal of 800) and increase the parking spaces provided to 409 (from an original proposal of 366). In other words, its a much less effective infill project than originally proposed, and incentives to avoid car usage have been significantly reduced. This is a clear result of the constant drumbeat of complaints from local residents worried, among other things, about students driving and parking on their streets. Ironically, the changes will likely lead to more traffic impacts from the project rather than less.

Humboldt County Supes to Consider a Budget with More Road Funding
An increase of more than $4 million for road maintenance and repair is proposed. Probably necessary, but it’s a drop in the bucket.

Eureka’s Transportation Safety Commission Meeting Cancelled
Again. What’s going on here? No one would claim that Eureka has no transportation problems to tackle, but the Commission has repeatedly cancelled meetings for lack of agenda items.

Transportation Wins in Statewide Votes
Bike/ped/transit advocates were pretty happy with the results of Tuesday’s statewide voting.

Traffic Safety/Speed Limit Bill Heads to the Senate
After passing the Assembly, the so-called “Vision Zero Task Force” bill, which would create a committee to study the wacky way California sets speed limits among other factors influencing traffic injuries and fatalities, has been referred to the Senate Transportation & Housing Committee.

UCLA Study Shows State Transit Ridership is Declining
And recommends how to reverse the decline. Perhaps the most significant suggestion: make transit cheaper (or free) and make driving and parking more expensive, to better reflect the public costs and benefits of each mode of transportation.

Caltrans’ Internal Struggles to Address Bike & Pedestrian Safety
A revealing inside look at how things are changing (a little) in the massive agency.

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: SB 1029 Passes Senate!

SB 1029 Passes Senate
Yes! SB 1029 — Senator McGuire’s Great Redwood Trail Act —  has passed the California Senate, and been introduced in the State Assembly. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it sails as smoothly through the Assembly!

Bike Lane Obstruction of the Week
How many trash cans can block a bike lane? Local “scientists” on Bayview drive are conducting an experiment.

Bikelanes are for Cars
Interesting piece at Seattle Bikeblog

National Democrats are for Cheap Gas
Despite the fact that it’s horrible for the planet.

“The Village” on June 6 City Council Agenda
Here at the CRTP, we have advocated for increasing the housing supply on the North Coast as a way of tackling the housing affordability crisis. The Arcata city council is set to discuss ”The Village” — a potential 700 bed project that could go a long way to supplying students with more housing options.

 

The Collector: Get Yer Bike Maps!!

New Humboldt Bay Area Bike Map
Get ’em while they are hot.

SB 1029 Vote Today
We reported last week on the how the Great Redwood Trail Act had been placed in the California Senate appropriations suspense file. A quick call to Senator McGuire’s office confirmed its path going forward. Today (May 25), the appropriations committee is voting on the suspense file — it’s literally live or die for all bills placed there. The representative I spoke to said that they were “hopeful” it would pass, but that nobody could ever be sure of bills in suspense. If it survives it will have a full Senate floor vote next week (where passage appears likely), and then head over to the assembly. The major political concerns appear to be cost.

Right on Red: A Bad Deal for Everyone Not in a Car
Automotive primacy means that many aspects of driving culture go unexamined — even when they are inherently dangerous to others. For example, take the familiar right turn on red. What is bad about that? Well apparently, allowing rights on red “increases pedestrian crashes by 60 percent and bike crashes by 100 percent”. Maybe it’s time for a change?

#GivePedsTheGreen
A Seattle campaign from last year would have automatically given pedestrians the right to cross intersections in the same direction as vehicular traffic when the light was green instead relying on “beg-buttons”. Unfortunately, but predictably, the local Department of Transportation came out against the move.

“Crossbikes”
Here is a new thing…

Transit Oriented Developement or Development Oriented Transit
In California, much of the recent political discourse about affordable housing has centered on Transit Oriented Development (TOD). But what if we are seeing the situation backwards? To TOD or to DOT? That is the question!

 

The Collector: Induced Demand and SB 1029

Induced Demand Anthem
The concept of induced demand is a favorite here at CRTP, and one that we think policy makers avoid to everyone’s peril. Apparently, a 73 year old Portland man felt the same way. Like a modern day wobbly protest song, civil rights anthem, or political Pete Seeger tune he he wrote and performed “Induced Demand” at a recent Portland City Council meeting. Let’s all hope it tears up the Billboard Top 40. Go ahead watch the video — the song starts at the 8:30 mark.

Great Redwood Trail Act on Life Support
SB 1029 that would convert the North Coast Railroad Authority railroad into a top notch trail is perhaps the most exciting transportation policy affecting the North Coast to be proposed in a generation. And it appears to be dying in committee after appropriation placed it in in their suspense file. Hey local decision makers/leaders, its time to come-to-bat for a bill that would revolutionize the region.

Paris Looks To Fund Expansive Free Public Transportation Systems
Paris is looking into creating extensive free public transit system for the city. While the proposal would be expensive , “There’s also the possibility that free-transit-for-all would make Paris so pleasant and easy to live in that it becomes irresistible to investors.” Let’s hope Paris had good rent control! It seems like the entire county of Estonia is looking into a similar proposal.

Bike = Future of Transportation
Yep. Couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Contrast with the dystopian Muskovite transportation future.

Arcata Energy Committee-TSC Joint Study Session Points to Big Changes
The city of Arcata hosted a joint study session between the Energy Committee and the Transportation Safety Committee that touched on two potentially relevant topics for fans of the Collector.

  • How to further ramp-up mode shift in Arcata. Arcata is considering replacing its goal of a 50% non-motorized modeshare (which council members found arbitrary and abstract) with more concrete policies like going trying to get Arcata upgraded to a “Gold” Bike city.
  • People’s Days on the Plaza. In conjunction with the Farmer’s Market and Arcata Mainstreet, Arcata is going to have several Peoples Days on the Plaza this Summer. The plaza will be closed to personal vehicles and music/activities will last from morning until evening. People’s days will probably commence in the next few months.