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