Funding allocations for the 101 safety corridor to be determined Thursday by the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG)
What: HCAOG Board Meeting
When: Thursday, December 1, 4:00 pm
Where: Eureka City Council Chambers, 531 K Street in Eureka
Thank you all for your support and letters in response to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors hearing on spending limited funds on Caltrans' proposed 101 corridor project between Arcata and Eureka. Now the final funding decision comes to HCAOG, the regional transportation planning agency.
Nearly six months ago, the state of California withdrew roughly $15 million of funding earmarked for safety and maintenance efforts on the Highway 101 Safety Corridor. Caltrans is now seeking approval from HCAOG to allocate up to $23 million in State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) funds to their proposed 101 corridor project, funding which could otherwise be utilized for safety improvements throughout the County.
At the meeting, HCAOG will be considering the following options:
Option 1: Full funding for the Caltrans 101-Eureka-Arcata project Alternative 3A to include full interchange at the intersection of Indianola Road and Highway 101 and ½ traffic signal at the intersection of Airport Road and Highway 101, and closure of all other medians;
Option 2: Funding of a portion of the Caltrans 101-Eureka-Arcata project Alternative 3A to include ½ interchange at the intersection of Indianola Road and Highway 101 and ½ traffic signal at the intersection of Airport Road and Highway 101 (stopping northbound traffic), and closure of all other medians;
Option 3: No funding for the 101 corridor project, all funding for local projects.
The Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 at the special meeting November 14th in support of funding Option 2. The final funding decision will be made by the HCAOG Board this Thursday. We need a strong showing at this meeting to speak up that the 101 project as proposed by Caltrans would spend scarce resources on a hugely expensive, misguided interchange without improving safety and connectivity for non-motorized users of the corridor and limiting opportunities to fund many vital local projects.
In addition, Caltrans’ 101 corridor project is unlikely to achieve California Coastal Commission approval as proposed. Coastal Commission staff continue to maintain in written comments as recent as November 16th that the project as proposed is inconsistent with the California Coastal Act with regards to safe accommodations for non-motorized users along this coastal access corridor, sea level rise and the interchange at Indianola. Dedicating funding to a project that has consistently failed to address key aspects of state coastal law does not seem the best use of resources.
At a November 17th meeting, the HCAOG Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) voted 9-1-1 in favor of allocating STIP funds for the 101 project. As the TAC advises the HCAOG Board, there may be a majority of Board votes in support of Options 1 or 2. While Green Wheels supports Option 3, we hope any potential funding allocation to Caltrans would come with a stipulation to more fully examine the opportunity for separated facilities for bicyclists and a less expensive alternative for improving safety at Indianola, such as a half signal like that proposed for Airport Road.
For more information, the HCAOG Board agenda can be viewed at www.hcaog.net/node/134.
Let HCAOG hear your concerns! Get involved by speaking at the meeting Thursday or sending a letter to HCAOG Board members (www.hcaog.net/content/board-directors).
See you out there!