State Transportation Funding Bill Proceeding Through Legislature

The dire state of our existing transportation infrastructure highlights the foolishness of expanding our highways and inviting more big, road- and bridge-damaging trucks into the North Coast. Even the major revenue-raising measure currently proposed would at best only allow us to maintain existing roads and bridges a little better.

From the Times-Standard:

“…’Our road systems are falling apart,’ [Humboldt County Public Works Director Thomas] Mattson said. ‘It’s got to be paid for one way or another.'”

Read the full article here.

STAA Trucks Not Just a North Coast Concern

From the Manteca Bulletin:

“…Lathrop Road, not having the STAA designation, was not engineered with the proper road base to support the weight of these long haul trucks traversing it daily.  This is evidenced by the mere fact that within a few short years after it was paved with new asphalt, it is deteriorating to the point that major work is going to be needed soon.…”

Read the full letter here.

Times-Standard: Sen. McGuire to Make Road Funding Top Priority

From the Times-Standard:

“Highways, freeways, bridges and streets across the state are past due for repairs and upgrades — and in need of billions to make it happen — which is why state Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) placed obtaining transportation infrastructure funding for his North Coast constituents at the top of his to-do list this year….”

Read the full article here.

North Coast Journal Op-Ed: STAA Projects Present Serious Safety Threat

Richard Salzman writes in last week’s North Coast Journal:

“…We do not need to be putting more large trucks on 199 perched above the Smith River, nor on Highway 101 between southern Mendocino and northern Humboldt County, where 101 has long stretches with curves that strain the suspension of most vehicles driving at 65 mph, never mind if a deer or a loose tire suddenly crosses your path. In such a situation, the one thing you do not want, is to be alongside of, or head-on with, an oversized truck…”

Read the full op-ed here.

Times-Standard Letter: “Be Ever Vigilant, Save Richardson Grove Again!”

From the Times-Standard letters section:

“Rumor has it that Caltrans may still be cooking up plans for the highway expansion project for big trucks in Richardson Grove State Park, despite being rebuked by the courts two years ago. If this is true, I hope Caltrans will allow the public to comment, and that they’ll take our input seriously….”

Read the full letter here.

Times-Standard: Coastal “Electric Highway” Coming to Eureka

Good news for the transition to all-electric vehicles from the Times-Standard:

“…The Recargo project will join together 33 California locations and allow drivers with long-range battery electric vehicles the means to travel to virtually any point in the state without running out of power.

[Recargo spokesperson Tony] Rice also said most trips Californians take are between 200 to 250 miles and Recargo plans to provide stations every 100 miles or so to ensure that electric vehicle drivers don’t run out of power while driving the long and sometimes isolated stretches on the North Coast…”

Read the full story here.

Times-Standard: New tax proposal to care for roads moves forward

Key to the discussion over local road funding is this often neglected fact: Even if the new tax is approved by voters, it will make only a small dent in the large and growing local infrastructure deficit.  We will still have to make tough choices about our transportation spending priorities.  So while the two-thirds support for a sales tax grabs the headlines, another of the survey’s findings may be even more important: Humboldt County voters overwhelmingly believe that fixing and maintaining local roads is the most important goal, while support for expanding the system – widening roads and bridges or building new roads – is extremely low.  Local policymakers should take note.

From the Times-Standard:

“‘Voters want a local source of funding to address transportation issues, but are not overwhelmingly confident funds from a local sales tax would be spent well,’ [pollster Miranda] Everett told the [HCAOG] board. The board has estimated the proposed tax would bring in $200 million over its 20-year lifespan.”

Read the full article here.