The Collector: The Village, The Great Redwood Trail Act, The Radical Up-zone Bill, and more

Bike Law Fact of the Week: Bike-Actuated Traffic Lights
Many bike riders have been in this situation: You’re approaching a traffic light which turns green only when a vehicle approaches (a “traffic-actuated signal” in transportation jargon). You pull up and stop at the red light, and nothing happens – your bicycle is not detected. Do you run the red light? Get off the bike and press a pedestrian signal button (if there is one)? However you get through, you might want to report that intersection afterwards to your local government or Caltrans. Because there’s actually a law in place that’s supposed to prevent this scenario from occurring: California Vehicle Code Section 21450.5 requires traffic-actuated signals to respond to bikes and motorcycles. Here’s a hint: grooves cut in the pavement often reveal where the detector lies, and a small bike-rider icon is occasionally even painted on the pavement to assist you. If you’re in the right place, you might be detected – but clearly a lot more work needs to be done to make these signals bike-friendly.

The Village Final EIR Released
The City of Arcata has released the Final Environmental Impact Report for the proposed big new student housing project, The Village. We think they were a tad dismissive of CRTP’s comments suggesting fewer vehicular improvements, less parking and a greater focus on bicycles, pedestrians and transit. However, the City and the developer have previously agreed to our suggestion of “unbundling” (charging separately for) residential rents & parking spaces. That will provide a significant incentive for future residents not to bring cars, and prevent non-car owning residents from having to subsidize parking for car owners. We’ll take our wins where we can get them!

RCEA Taking Applications for Zero Emission Vehicle Enthusiast Group
Your opportunity to help promote ZEVs in Humboldt.

Great Redwood Trail Act Passes First Committee
Support for Senator McGuire’s bill was unanimous in the Senate natural resources committee. Meanwhile, the Friends of the Eel River and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics, long-time enviro-adversaries of the North Coast Railroad Authority which would be abolished by the bill, seem fairly pleased.

CRTP Board Members Discuss Richardson Grove Project on KMUD
Board members Tom Wheeler, Barbara Kennedy, and Dave Spreen bring listeners up to date. To listen, click on the link above and scroll down to the Tuesday, April 10th Environment Show. The discussion starts at around 23 minutes.

Radical Up-Zoning Bill Amended, Set for Hearing
SB 827, which would override local zoning laws around major transit hubs and corridors in order to allow denser residential development, has been substantially scaled back. Potential building heights have been lowered, standards for “major” transit areas have been raised, and a bit of a loophole to allow some parking minimums has been introduced. New provisions have also been inserted with the intent to protect against gentrification. The bill is set for a hearing next week.

Precedent-Setting Lawsuit on Regional Transportation Planning & Climate Settled
The case, which went to the California Supreme Court twice, will require Regional Transportation Plans to take a much stronger look at the implications of transportation improvements for greenhouse gas emissions and sprawl.

Seattle May Implement Congestion Pricing
Charging cars to enter city centers, in order to reduce pollution and traffic jams, has been successful in many world cities but so far hasn’t gained much traction in the US. Is that about to change?

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