Ride the Bus for Free This Summer!

The Collector

June 7, 2024

Ride the Bus for Free This Summer!
The Arcata & Mad River Transit System is offering free rides for everyone for the whole month of June, and the entire Humboldt County bus system will be free on Thursday, June 20, for National Dump the Pump Day. Buses throughout the county are also free for kids under 18 and seniors 62 and over all summer (June, July and August). With all the free rides, this summer is a great opportunity for new riders to try out the bus!

While you’re riding, make sure to keep an eye out for anything to report on Street Story. Even as a passenger on the bus, the safety concerns you notice are well founded experiences worth reporting. Happy Street Story reporting! Haga clic aquí para hacer un informe en español.

A white, yellow and red Arcata & Mad River Transit System bus on the street in front of Arcata City Hall

Arcata City Council Moves on General Plan, Sunset Interchange, and Bikeshare
The Council this Wednesday held one last discussion of proposed General Plan updates before a scheduled vote on July 17th. While they didn’t request many amendments, one change they did make was disappointing: they watered down language that would allow the city to consider making the Plaza car-free in the future, and pushed consideration of that measure out years into the future. Campaigning for a reduced role for cars on the Arcata Plaza was one of CRTP’s first projects, and we think the Council’s decision to effectively freeze the Plaza’s streets in their current form for years to come is short-sighted. Nevertheless, the overall General Plan update still represents a major step forward for walking, biking and transit, with many strong, progressive policies on land use, parking reform, and street safety.

At the same meeting, the Council awarded a contract to an engineering firm to develop more specific plans for the proposed roundabouts at the Sunset Avenue/LK Wood interchange. These dangerous intersections are long overdue for a redesign, and it’s important that we get the new designs right. We are encouraged by the fact that Councilmembers and city staff expressed support for changes to the conceptual designs based on concerns raised by CRTP, including separating bike and pedestrian facilities, raising crosswalks to slow down traffic, and potentially eliminating dangerous slip lanes.

Also on Wednesday, the Council extended the contract for the city’s growing bikeshare system for another two years.

Eureka City Council Approves Danco Partnership for EaRTH Center
Local affordable housing developer Danco is now slated to build up to 99 affordable units on top of a ground-floor transit center in the heart of Eureka. CRTP is excited about the long-needed transit center, and about all of the new homes that will have such great access to transit! We hope the new agreement will allow the delayed project to move forward more quickly toward construction.

News from Beyond the North Coast

Safe Road Design Saves Lives!
A new international study confirms that following basic safety design principles for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists makes streets safer and has already saved hundreds of thousands of lives in communities around the globe. Safe streets advocates should take heart: our work is having a real and significant impact.

E-Bike Rebates Can Help People Drive Less!
In other exciting news, a new Canadian study documented that people who used a local rebate program to buy an e-bike in one local community decreased their driving by 30-40%. As one of the researchers noted: “Travel behaviour has a lot of inertia, it doesn’t change a lot…So when you find things that get it to the double-digits of shifts in travel behavior, it’s pretty remarkable.” Click here for information on our local e-bike rebate program.

New York Governor Cancels Congestion Pricing
Now for some bad news: The decades-long effort to charge cars entering the busiest parts of New York City and use the revenue to improve public transit (which is how most people in the city get around) saw a huge setback this week, with Governor Kathy Hochul effectively canceling the program less than a month before it was set to be implemented. Her decision is very bad news for advocates in many other US cities who have been hoping New York would set an example they could follow.

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.