Parking on the Ballot and on the Street

The Collector

June 21, 2024

The Juneteenth Day Festival sponsored by Black Humboldt and other local organizations is taking place in Eureka’s Halvorsen Park this Saturday starting at noon. Interested bicyclists can meet at 11:30 am at the Jefferson Community Center, where Moon Cycles will help with bike preparations prior to a quick ride over to the main event. This ride is also co-sponsored by the Northcoast Environmental Center and CRTP. And if you can’t make it to Eureka on your bike, check out the bus schedules to see if you can get to the festival by transit!
This week the Eureka City Council discussed how exactly November’s ballot should describe the contents of the Arkley-funded, anti-housing, anti-transit, pro-parking initiative. Needless to say, we agree with those Councilmembers who feel it is important to clearly and accurately state that the main impact would be to require the preservation of all existing downtown public parking – at the expense of building more walkable housing and transit facilities.
Meanwhile, Eureka has started enforcing downtown parking rules again. Nobody likes parking tickets, but it is important to ensure drivers abide by metering and time limit rules to allow more efficient use of public parking – partly because more efficient parking management helps reduce the perceived need for building even more spaces.
Next week, the California Transportation Commission is slated to allocate funds for a project that includes 2 miles of bike lanes on Myrtle Avenue between Pigeon Point Road and Freshwater Road. We haven’t seen the plans, but we hope the new lanes will be wide enough to provide some additional safety and comfort for the many people who bike on this road – although we know that for a road where people drive so fast, what’s really needed is a buffer and some kind of physical barrier to protect bicyclists.
After recently voting to recommend that the City Council adopt the city’s General Plan updates and Gateway Area Plan, the Commission is scheduled to vote next Tuesday on a recommendation on the Gateway zoning code. Since the zoning code implements the Gateway Plan, and the Commissioners have already spent many meetings reviewing it, we expect that they will recommend the City Council adopt the zoning code as well. The Council itself is scheduled to vote on the General Plan updates and both the Gateway plan and zoning code on July 17th.
Humboldt County planning staff have released the latest draft of their new ordinance to allow the construction of “tiny house villages,” which ideally would provide a flexible and affordable new form of housing. Unfortunately, the proposed requirement to provide a parking space for every tiny house would drive up costs and result in more space devoted to parking lots than to housing. We appreciate that the latest draft includes some alternatives which would allow builders to provide less parking under certain circumstances. But the better path would be to remove the costly and unscientific parking mandates altogether and let builders and service providers figure out for themselves exactly how much parking they actually need – and can afford – for each project. The Humboldt County Planning Commission will be reviewing the new draft ordinance at its meeting next Thursday.

News from Beyond the North Coast

Long-Distance Driving is Not Inevitable for Rural Residents
Did you know that small-town residents in rural regions actually drive less than suburban residents in big metro areas? Check out this new video from Smart Growth America and AARP to find out more about the importance of complete streets and better land use planning in rural areas.

Non-Drivers Are Everywhere
Disability rights advocate Anna Zivarts points out that a third of Americans don’t have a driver’s license, and there are lots of reasons that people don’t – and often can’t – drive. Designing our streets and communities with non-drivers in mind makes them better places to live for everybody.

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