The Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities (CRTP), the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), the Northcoast Environmental Center, Humboldt Baykeeper, and Keep Eureka Beautiful have recently launched a petition asking Caltrans to make immediate safety improvements for people walking, biking, and rolling (such as using a wheelchair or skateboard) on Broadway in Eureka.
The petition was officially announced on Friday, August 27th, 2021 at the Memorial for People Killed by Cars organized by CRTP. CRTP Executive Director Colin Fiske noted at the memorial that while the traffic safety crisis is widespread in Humboldt County, it is most concentrated on Broadway. Over the last decade, at least 10 people have been killed and at least 14 people have been severely injured while walking or biking on Broadway.
“When people are killed with such regularity in such similar ways, you can no longer call it an accident,” said Fiske. “It is clearly the result of a system that simply has not prioritized the safety of road users, especially the most vulnerable – people walking and biking.” The organizations coordinating the petition all support Caltrans’ South Broadway Complete Streets Project, which aims to improve safety conditions for walking and biking between Herrick Avenue and Truesdale Street.
They also agree that there is an urgent need to extend such improvements to the rest of Broadway as soon as possible, rather than waiting years for Caltrans to develop expensive, environmentally impactful and potentially infeasible plans to rebuild the entire corridor. While the most critical cost of the unsafe conditions for people walking, biking and rolling on Broadway is the loss of lives, these conditions also impact local quality of life, coastal access, and access to environmentally friendly transportation. Immediate action from Caltrans is needed to address the situation.
The petition calls for several specific near-term safety improvements, including:
1. Build additional safe pedestrian crossings.
2. Improve the safety of signalized intersections with new infrastructure and signal reprogramming.
3. Build protected bike lanes. transportationpriorities.org
4. Provide raised medians and landscaping.
5. Support the City of Eureka’s efforts to improve pedestrian-scale lighting.
The petition can be signed online at https://transportationpriorities.org/broadway/. We encourage members of the public to sign as soon as possible.