The Collector: Railroads and Sidewalks and Bike Lanes, Oh My!

McGuire Proposes Bill to Dissolve Rail Authority, Create Trail Authority
Local and state officials may be finally coming to terms with the fact that we’ll probably never again have freight rail north of Willits. But maybe we can turn the rail line into an awesome multiuse trail instead!

The Sad Saga of the Eel River Canyon Line
A local student recounts some of the history of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad’s ill-fated freight rail tracks.

State Transportation Meeting Next Week Considers Some Local Funding Proposals
Items on the California Transportation Commission’s agenda include proposals to provide $2.5 million toward bike & pedestrian improvement to Old Arcata Road and $10.5 million toward safety measures on Highway 101 in Eureka.

Mattole Restoration Council Wants Measure Z Funds for a Sidewalk
Providing safe infrastructure for students to walk between their school and their favorite lunch spot seems like a good idea to us.

Caltrans Proposes Lowering Speed Limit South of Richardson Grove
The agency is looking at lowering the limit from 55 mph to 45 mph on 0.16 miles of road, about half a mile south of the State Park. The reason Caltrans is singling out this particular small stretch of road for an adjustment are not yet clear, but we’re all in favor of lowering speed limits generally. Can we lower it in the park too? The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing on the proposal on April 3.

Caltrans Reports on Progress (or Not) Toward Its Performance Goals
Of particular interest to us is the fact that car, pedestrian and especially bike fatalities are all up in the most recent data (although those data are actually 3 years old). Also interesting: vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per capita, a key indicator of the sustainability and climate impact of the transportation system, barely budged between 2010 and 2015.

California Bicycle Coalition Annual Advocacy Week Coming Up
Lobby your elected officials March 22-29.

Bike & Bus Lanes Blocked…a Lot
Anyone who bikes knows that bike lanes are routinely blocked by other vehicles (not to mention trash cans, construction signs, and any number of other obstacles). A New York man took it upon himself to measure exactly how often bike and bus lanes were obstructed on one particular block. The answer? A lot.

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