Transportation Equity in Humboldt County by jolinmilioncherie


									Opportunities Humboldt County
   Transportation Equity in
                            to Improve

                                                                     Potential strategies to improve:
                                                                                - Public Participation
                                                                             - Active Transportation
                                                                                  - Community Access

  May, 2006

                                                                                               Prepared by
                                                                         Natural Resources Services
                                                        A Division of Redwood Community Action Agency
                                                                                      Eureka, California

Prepared for                                                                         With assistance from
The County of Humboldt Public Works Department                   Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates
With funding from                                TransForm (formerly Transportation & Land Use Coalition)
                                                                                   Alta Planning + Design
The Caltrans Environmental Justice Program
                                                                                       Planwest Partners
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                      Table of Contents

       To Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt

       Table of Contents

       Introduction: Purpose of This Report                                1
       Need for this Analysis                                              1
       1. Transportation Equity Objectives for Humboldt County             3
       2. Public Participation Objective                                   4
       3. Active Transportation Objective                                  8
       4. Community Access Objective                                       12
       5. Community Transportation Priorities                              17
       6. State & Federal Constraints & Opportunities                      18
              Existing State & Federal Constraints and Potential Reforms   18
              Other Potential Reforms                                      23

       Title Page photo credit, clockwise from top:
       K/T Net; Local Government Commission; Local Government Commission

       May 2006                                                                 Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                           Table of Contents

  This version edited in March, 2010 to update website references.

       May 2006                                                      Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                          1. Transportation Equity Objectives for Humboldt County

  INTRODUCTION: PURPOSE OF THIS REPORT                                                              TRANSPORTATION EQUITY
       This report is the synthesis of a year of research on practical measures to achieve          Transportation equity means better transportation
       transportation equity in rural regions, particularly Humboldt County, California. The        choices for disadvantaged populations, but all
       intent of this document is to promote:                                                       community members benefit from an equitable
                                                                                                    distribution of transportation investments to ensure
           •      An overall goal and related objectives to improve transportation equity in        equal access to social services, health, economic
                  Humboldt County; and                                                              and educational opportunities.
           •      Potential strategies for implementing policies, programs, projects, protocols
                  and partnerships to meet the proposed goal and objectives.
       This pilot project is intended to be based on relevant available research and national
                                                                                                    As one of a series of reports that are the
       best practices, but grounded in the local realities of rural regions with limited            product of a Caltrans Environmental Justice
       resources.                                                                                   Program-funded grant to the County of Humboldt
                                                                                                    and Redwood Community Action Agency, this and
NEED FOR THIS ANALYSIS                                                                              the following documents can be viewed at
       Evolving public sentiment and policy research findings suggest that decisionmakers need
                                                                                                      Summary of Research: literature review and
       new tools and information to help them plan for changing transportation needs in their         consideration of Humboldt County issues
       communities. These new tools must:                                                             related to the need for a new planning
           •      Allow for a more sophisticated consideration of the social equity and health        paradigm to achieve transportation equity.
                  impacts of transportation investments;                                              Event Summaries: results from gatherings of
           •      Provide improved alternatives to sole reliance on automotive travel, including      transportation, land use, health, social service
                                                                                                      and economic development professionals.
                  convenient and affordable transit service and safe, inviting places to walk and
                  bicycle; and                                                                        Best Practices Report: case studies and lists
                                                                                                      of example programs, projects and policies
           •      Support the integration of transportation and land use planning to promote          achieving these goals –- a ‘Web Resource
                  more accessible, complete neighborhoods and development patterns that               Guide’ provides links to many resources.
                  support community vitality and sustainable economic growth.
                                                                                                      Humboldt County Transportation-
       The goal of this pilot project effort to ‘Plan for Active Transportation and Health’           Disadvantaged Populations Report: new
       (PATH) in a rural region is to provide a replicable model for conducting transportation        information about who and where the greatest
       planning processes that achieve the above outcomes.                                            transport needs are in this county on
                                                                                                      California’s north coast, including maps.
       Civil Rights Act and Environmental Justice (EJ) compliance for Regional                        PATH Guide (and PATH Primer): a compilation
       Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs) and staff of transportation and planning              of ideas, examples and tools to help rural
       departments is a relatively unfamiliar concept in rural regions, partially because current     region governments shift decisionmaking
       guidance is relatively vague and tools are somewhat lacking. The focus of the PATH             perspectives and seek affordable ways to
       effort has been to recommend planning and decisionmaking processes that are equitable          improve transportation equity.

       May 2006                                               1 of 24                                               Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                             1. Transportation Equity Objectives for Humboldt County

       and that the equitability of these processes is trackable. This report provides recommendations to this end.
       At all levels of government (local, state, and federal) and within diverse planning
       disciplines (transportation, land use, public health, and economic development),       “Sustainable transportation planning focuses on
                                                                                              access, which can often be improved with strategies
       there is an increasing awareness that transportation, land use, and economic
                                                                                              that reduce the need to travel altogether, such as land
       development decisions are inextricably linked and that transportation                  use management and improved communications.
       investments affect public health and social equity. As a result, the stage is set
       for new planning and decisionmaking techniques, partnerships and collaborations        There are many specific transportation strategies that
       to plan for community access to services, employment, education and recreation         can help support sustainability, including improved
                                                                                              travel choices, more efficient pricing, and more
       in the 21st century.
                                                                                              efficient land use. Individually such strategies may
       For these reasons, collaborations and partnerships among government                    have modest impacts, but implemented together
       jurisdictions, professional disciplines and community organizations are critical for   they can provide substantial benefits.
       achieving equitable transportation outcomes, especially in times of limited            “Sustainable transportation requires fundamental
       resources. However, good collaborative, partnership-based mechanisms do not            changes in our transportation planning practices. It
       often exist. This document is a review of opportunities for how government             demands more comprehensive analysis of impacts
       agencies and community organizations in Humboldt County can begin new                  (including consideration of indirect and cumulative
                                                                                              impacts) and consideration of a broader range of
       partnerships and strengthen existing ones to work together more effectively to
                                                                                              solutions than usually occurs. It also requires that the
       achieve transportation equity.                                                         public be involved in determining alternatives… and
       Improving access and transportation equity in a community or region requires a         evaluation criteria.
       fresh look at the way we think about transportation services and systems and how       “Sustainable development requires that individual
       we identify and evaluate solutions to transport challenges. As noted in the box to     transport decisions be subordinate to a community’s
       the right, there are many reasons to consider the need for new perspectives in         long-term strategic objectives. Transport planners
       transportation planning.                                                               must recognize that their decisions can create self-
                                                                                              fulfilling prophecies. For example, increasing highway
       Identified opportunities herein are not intended to create more work or burdens        capacity can stimulate automobile-dependent
       for related staff, but rather serve as assistance to achieve increased equitability    transport and land use patterns, while investments in
       and efficiency. Of course, changing any long-established planning system requires      transit, pedestrian and bicycle facilities can help
                                                                                              create multi-modal transportation systems.
       some investment of time, staff, and financial resources. However the project team
                                                                                              Transportation professionals have just as much reason
       feels that because the suggested investments recommended in this document              to object to decisions that create automobile
       emphasize low-cost investments and creative funding arrangements, they are             dependent land use patterns as they would to the
       within the means of the organizations. In addition, many of the recommendations        closure of a highway lane or a reduction in transit
       are documented to produce valuable returns, both in terms of reduced public            service, since all result in reduced access.”
       agency costs and improved economic competitiveness at the local and regional
       level.                                                                                 - Victoria Transport Policy Institute, Reinventing Transportation,

       May 2006                                               2 of 24                                                    Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                         1. Transportation Equity Objectives for Humboldt County

       The current transportation system provides a high level of service to most motorists under most conditions. However, people who for any
       reason cannot drive or own a vehicle often face significant transportation problems. The level of investment in modes that serve the
       approximately 30 percent of the population who do not drive -- those who are not able-bodied, the young, and those who cannot afford to
       own or maintain a vehicle –- is disproportionate to the size of the population in need. Because access challenges are experienced more
       seriously by physically, economically or socially disadvantaged people, deficits in transportation system function must be understood and
       addressed in order to improve social equity. In addition, improving the diversity of transportation options directly benefits even those who
       primarily drive by improving public health, safety, land use and development patterns, and economic opportunity for all residents.
       As the result of the pilot PATH model effort, including the results of the reports described above, an overarching goal that can be included
       in related policy documents and planning efforts is proposed for Humboldt County:
       Residents have equitable access to vital services, employment and educational opportunities because: a) transportation investments
       are equitably distributed and b) all transportation, land use, and public health policies support equitable access.
       Three primary objectives are proposed to help prioritize and focus efforts toward a goal of “equitable access” in Humboldt County:
           • Public participation: improve information about and increase the number and diversity of public and stakeholder groups engaged in
             transportation decisionmaking processes in order to ensure transportation investments reflect actual community needs (Section 2,
             page 5)
           • Active transportation: improve the attractiveness and safety of walking and bicycling by integrating transportation and land use
             planning efforts, implementing collaborative education programs, and improving the safety of facilities with high rates of pedestrian-
             auto and/or bicycle-auto collisions (Section 3, page 9)
           • Community access: increase the ability of transportation-disadvantaged populations to access work, services, education, and
             recreation (Section 4, page 13)
       The next three sections discuss each of these objectives in greater detail. Each section includes a table that describes several proposed
       strategies (a recommended program, project and/or policy) to achieve these objectives. In order to assist government agencies and
       community organizations in Humboldt County to implement the recommend strategies, each “strategy table” includes:
           • Description of the strategy
           • Lead implementing organization/s or government agency and next steps
           • Intended outcome(s) of recommended strategy
           • Next steps to initiate recommended strategy
           • Potential resources necessary to pursue recommended strategy

       May 2006                                               3 of 24                                              Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                         1. Transportation Equity Objectives for Humboldt County

           • Examples below each table, for the most part, are from the PATH Best Practices Report
       The recommended strategies are only some of many opportunities to improve transportation equity in Humboldt County. The project team
       made an effort to keep this list manageable. These strategies were selected to emphasize:
           • Priority issues identified by Management Steering Committee members, roundtable, forum and workshop attendees and other input
             from interviews and meetings with stakeholder group representatives
           • Relative ease of implementation
           • Potential for collaboration
           • Cost-effectiveness of investments
           • Maximum impact of achieving goals based on best practices research and local experience

       Experience nationwide shows that an informed public leads to more equitable transportation investments and cost-effective results.
       Informed community members and organizations are more inclined to participate and collaborate in planning processes. Government
       officials can be sure that their programs are reaching the intended audience, that they are responding to the needs of their community,
       and that the programs will achieve the biggest “bang for the buck.”
       Increasing the visibility and transparency of the planning process will improve the quality and quantity of public participation. In many
       cases, in Humboldt County and beyond, traditional methods of engaging the public such as legal notices of public hearings and evening
       public meetings are not adequate to create an inclusive process.
       In order to engage and inform the public it is necessary to use a diversity of techniques for
                                                                                                                PARTICIPATION TOOL
       outreach, education, and gathering input. Effective public participation techniques improve              Section 5.1 of the PATH Guide
       planning results. Improving access to services for those with the greatest need means including the      includes a set of example
       transportation-disadvantaged populations and organizational or agency representatives who serve          spreadsheet formats to help track
       them and can speak to their needs.                                                                       media outreach, public
                                                                                                                participation efforts and
       There is also a need for greater communication and collaboration between professions that                responses from Humboldt County
       influence or are influenced by multi-faceted transportation access issues. Professional ‘cross-          media and transportation
       pollination’ provides an opportunity to both help land use, health, economic, and social service         stakeholder groups. These tools
       professionals understand transportation planning and to help transportation planners to better           can help local, regional and state
       understand the issues these other disciplines attempt to address.                                        jurisdictions document efforts to
       The following table presents recommended potential strategies to implement the “public                   include a diversity of perspectives
       participation” objective noted above, to ‘inform and engage the public in decisionmaking                 in the planning process.
       processes in order to ensure transportation investments reflect actual community needs.’ These
       strategies generally recommend:

       May 2006                                               4 of 24                                              Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                                                                 2. Public Participation Objective

           • More effectively informing and engaging and a diversity of stakeholders and public -- including providing means for them to form
             partnerships and collaborate
           • Improving public information about and access to transportation decisionmaking processes
           • Promoting professional cross-pollination and information-sharing

           Proposed                       Lead                      Primary Intended                            Next Steps                             Potential Resources
          Strategy/ies                Implementers                      Outcomes                                                                           Necessary
   Proactive Public Outreach & Participation Tools
                                      • Caltrans              • Government entities initiate      • Incorporate media outreach checklists       • Media tracking and contacts list
   Media Outreach                                               more media outreach about           and contact lists and update as needed        (organized by geographic area), adapted
                                      • Humboldt County
      Develop office tools that         Association of          transport planning                • Develop templates for public service          from PATH Guide template
      help make media outreach          Governments           • Public and stakeholder groups       announcements and press releases            • PSA and press release templates
      easier and more trackable;        (HCAOG)                 are more informed about           • At least quarterly, take opportunities to   • Staff time to incorporate into office
      and increase quantity and                                 transportation issues,
                                      • Cities and County                                           release transportation planning               procedures (approximately four
      quality of transportation                                 opportunities for participation
                                      • Humboldt Transit                                                                                          hours/month)
      planning information in local                             and constructive means for
      and regional media.               Authority (HTA)                                                                                         • Staff training in media/public outreach
                                                                input and collaboration
                                                                                                                                                  techniques (every 2-3 years)
                                      •   Caltrans            • Relatively short ‘primer’ of      • Caltrans: seek and use examples to          • Approximately one week of staff time to
   Transport FAQ’s                                              information widely available        create a ‘Transport FAQ’ for Humboldt         develop, plus input from various
                                      •   HCAOG
       Improve transportation                                 • Increased public, stakeholder       County; seek input from and share             agencies
                                      •   Cities and County
       information available to                                 and non-transport professional      product with HCAOG and local                • Printing/copying and distribution costs
       stakeholder groups and         •   HTA                                                       jurisdictions
                                                                (health, social services)
       public.                                                  understanding of transport        • Make FAQ available online, at public
                                                                planning terms, processes and       participation events and to local
                                                                funding                             stakeholder groups
                                      •   Caltrans            • Improve effectiveness and         • Develop stakeholder contacts and            • Spreadsheet development: 1-3 days of
   Participation                                                accountability of community         tracking spreadsheet, adapted from            staff time
                                      •   HCAOG
   Tracking                                                     outreach and public                 PATH Guide                                  • Minimal extra staff time to track outreach
                                      •   Cities and County
       Improve ability to identify/                             participation efforts             • Utilize and update spreadsheet for each       and participation efforts
                                      •   HTA
       involve stakeholders and to                                                                  outreach and participation effort, as
       document outreach/                                                                           needed
       participation efforts.
                                      •   HCAOG               • Information about                 • Find organizations/individuals that will    • Local foundations and organizations that
    Language Access                                             decisionmaking processes and        help translate information or retain          serve non-English speaking community
                                      •   Caltrans
       Improve accessibility of                                 participation opportunities is      translating services.                       • Training for transportation planners to
                                      •   Cities and County
       transportation                                           more accessible to non-           • Provide information printed in multiple       speak non-English languages
       decisionmaking information     •   HTA                   English-speaking residents.         languages, primarily Spanish, but
       to non-English speakers.                                                                     dependent on context.

       May 2006                                                5 of 24                                                                              Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                                                                   2. Public Participation Objective

           Proposed                      Lead                       Primary Intended                            Next Steps                               Potential Resources
          Strategy/ies                Implementer                       Outcomes                                                                             Necessary
   Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA) Public Participation Program
                                     • HCAOG                 • Increased understanding of         • Merge email lists from this project,          • Several days of staff time to develop list-
   Quarterly HCAOG                                             HCAOG (and member entities)          HCAOG, Caltrans and member entity               serv and newsletter format
   Email-Newsletter                                            transportation decisionmaking        files; establish ‘sign-up’ link on website;   • Half-day per quarter to send newsletter
       Send quarterly email                                    efforts and participation            establish list-serv
       newsletters to agencies                                 opportunities.                     • Establish newsletter topics and delivery
       and stakeholders with                                                                        timelines
       transportation interests.                                                                  • Send e-newsletters
   Website                           • HCAOG                 • Increased accessibility of         • Update site to include more information       • Approximately 1-3 hours of staff
                                                               information about planning           about planning activities, links to             time/month to prepare materials and
       Improve and regularly                                   efforts, programs, budgets,          appropriate resources and opportunity to        process input
       update website                                          funding sources and products.        join list-serv                                • Approximately $100-$300/month of
                                                                                                                                                    consultant fees to maintain website
   Televised Board                   • HCAOG                 • Improved understanding of          • HCAOG Board discussion and approval           • Eureka Council Chambers across the
                                                               HCAOG function and                 • Contract with cable company                     hall from existing meeting room is wired
   Meetings                                                    responsibility.                                                                      for public broadcasts. Cable company
                                                                                                  • Adapt Board meeting function to Council
       Move HCAOG Board                                      • Increased participation in                                                           staff report the broadcast would likely be
                                                                                                    Chambers layout
       Meetings to Eureka City                                 HCAOG efforts                                                                        free of cost.
       Council chambers and                                  • Increased member entity                                                            • Several days of staff time to determine
       televise meetings.                                      representatives’ confidence                                                          logistics and establish contract with
                                                               that programs are reaching                                                           cable company
                                                               intended audiences and that                                                        • Potentially several hours of staff time
                                                               they are responding to                                                               every month responding to public input
                                                               community needs.
                                     • HCAOG                 • Increased sharing of current       • Identify 10-20 minutes during meeting         • Look for opportunities to send board and
   ‘Best Practices’                                            information by peers and multi-      agendas when committee or board                 staff members to professional
   Meeting Briefs                                              disciplinary guest professionals     members can share or invite guest               conferences and trainings
       Set a time during Board                                 at HCAOG Committee and               speakers to present best practices or
       and Committee meeting                                   Board meetings                       cross-disciplinary information such as
       agendas and provide                                                                          information about General or
       guidelines for sharing                                                                       Redevelopment Plan Updates
       relevant ‘best practices’

       May 2006                                               6 of 24                                                                                 Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                                                                   2. Public Participation Objective

           Proposed                        Lead                     Primary Intended                              Next Steps                             Potential Resources
          Strategy/ies                  Implementer                     Outcomes                                                                             Necessary
   Context Sensitive Public Participation
    Improve and diversify              • Caltrans            • Consideration of a more              • Develop policy to expand and diversify       • Trained, dedicated staff
    standard regional, corridor        • Cities                diverse range of solutions to          public participation efforts                 • Increased funding for training and
    and project planning public                                access needs                         • Increase public participation training for     consultation
                                       • County Community
    participation techniques to fit      Development:        • Consideration of positive              planning staff in effective, context-        • Increased public participation budgets
    each planning context and            General Plan          and/or negative project                sensitive public participation techniques      (that may reduce project planning costs
    community or region targeted         Circulation           impacts to public/social health,     • Involve consultants with expertise in a        in the long-term)
    and to maximize                      Element               land use and economic                  diversity of public participation
    opportunities for participation,                           development                            techniques
                                       • County Public
    community visioning and                                  • Partnerships that reduce
    multi-disciplinary                                         likelihood of litigation
                                         projects            • Project support from vision to

    Healthy Rural Roads Guide
    Create a ‘guide’ to help rural     • Redwood             • Rural communities can                • Cooperatively develop a proposal and         • $15-40,000 grant, depending on
    communities implement more           Community Action      identify, prioritize and help plan     secure funding to develop guide                complexity of guide, consultants
    non-motorized transport              Agency                roadway segments to increase         • Coordinate development of guide with           involved, geographic applicability,
    projects.                          • County Public         fundability of pedestrian and          creation of complementary cost-share           printing costs, website or DVD
                                         Works                 bicycle improvements                   incentive program/s                            development and relationship with cost-
    (See ‘Active Transportation’                                                                                                                     share funding program
    section below for                  • Caltrans            • Local and state agencies have
    accompanying cost-share                                    better information about                                                            • Potential funding: foundations, Caltrans
    incentive program)                                         community priorities                                                                  CBTP (Community-Based
                                                                                                                                                     Transportation Planning Program)

        Public Participation Examples (from Best Practices Report,
           • Kern Council of Governments proactive media and public communication efforts and televised board meetings:
           • Mendocino Council of Governments (hardcopy) newsletter:
           • Nevada Department of Transportation website:
           • Humboldt County communities of Hoopa, Willow Creek and Manila recently completed successful visioning and charrette-style
             planning exercises that have led or are leading to widely-supported context-sensitive projects.
           • City of Santa Monica ‘Motion by the Ocean’ Circulation Element Update participation effort (see PATH Best Practices Report).

       May 2006                                               7 of 24                                                                                  Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                            3. Active Transportation Objective

       Active, healthy transportation modes, such as walking and bicycling, are the most equitable, cost-effective, and affordable ways of
       getting around because these modes:
           • For the public, are accessible by people of any economic means and most physical abilities
           • For the government, cost relatively less to build new infrastructure and much less to maintain, with fewer external costs
           • For society: provide secondary benefits of improved physical activity, public health and environmental outcomes
       Humboldt County’s urban and rural areas have different needs for improved active transportation opportunities. The County seat and
       population center, Eureka, has significant pedestrian and bicycle safety issues. Most notably these issues are associated with the US 101
       corridor and other relatively high-speed one-way couplets, particularly those that run east-west through town. In rural areas, the
       historical legacy of rural roadways designed and built decades ago have generally not incorporated bike and pedestrian facilities: this
       often precludes safe, convenient travel by non-motorized modes.
       Development patterns (including density and mix of land uses) influence whether non-automobile modes are viable for most community
       residents. For example, whether it’s possible (e.g. reasonably safe and convenient) to walk or bike from home to the nearest grocery
       store depends on whether zoning laws have allowed commercial uses to be integrated with residential uses and allow an adequate density
       of residents to make a neighborhood grocery store commercially viable.
       Improving multi-jurisdictional coordination of planning efforts, funding priorities and design standards –- for instance between cities’
       local land use plans and regional transportation plans -- will also increase the likelihood that non-automobile transportation projects will
       be implemented. Additionally, requiring adequate pedestrian and bicycle facilities for all new development and redevelopment projects
       will also improve non-motorized access and transportation choices.
       Programs that provide training, education, and encouragement are needed both to increase use of non-motorized modes and to raise
       motorist awareness of pedestrian and bicycle travelers (and vice versa). To keep kids safe and healthy, schools are a particularly good
       place to focus on investments in pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure as well as pedestrian and bicycle skills training and safety
       Potential strategies in the following table are suggested methods to implement the “active transportation” objective: to ‘improve the
       attraction and safety of walking and bicycling by integrating planning efforts, implementing collaborative education programs, and
       improving the safety of facilities with high rates of pedestrian- and/or bicycle-auto collisions.’ These strategies generally recommend
       those involved with transportation and community planning processes:
           • Encourage and require that land use patterns and development projects that increase bicycling and walking
           • Promote cycling and walking safety awareness and skill development
           • Address infrastructure improvements for non-motorized transportation safety challenges and known hazards

       May 2006                                               8 of 24                                             Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                                                                 3. Active Transportation Objective

         Proposed                    Lead                  Primary Intended                                          Next Steps                                    Potential Resources
         Strategies              Implementers                  Outcomes                                                                                                Necessary
   Active Humboldt Schools Program
   Safe Routes to               • Humboldt County       • Improved school                  • HumPAL: seek funding to facilitate partnership development          • Liaison between schools
                                  Office of Education     administration                   • Identify motivated school districts and neighborhoods;                and public works staff
   Schools                        and School              understanding of SR2S              establish a transportation contact at each school                   • Funds to provide training,
   Partnership                    Districts               funding program
                                                                                           • Develop a multi-disciplinary partnership including, in addition       develop partnerships,
    Assist schools and          • County & City         • Improved quantity and              to implementers:                                                      conduct walkability or road
    school neighborhoods in       Public Works            quality of SR2S proposals                                                                                safety audits and assist
                                                                                               • After school service/activity providers; social service orgs.
    the identification of and     Departments           • Increased amount of SR2S                                                                                 schools with SR2S plan
                                                                                               • Local law enforcement                                             development
    fundseeking for priority    • Humboldt                funds leveraged in Humboldt
    Safe Routes to Schools        Partnership for         County                               • Bicycle Commuter Assn. Bike Smart Program                       • Increased Public Works and
    (SR2S) projects.              Active Living         • Increased number of                  • County Public Health Dept. and Injury Prevention program          School District staff time to
                                  (HumPAL)                successfully implemented             • Caltrans District 1 Multi-Modal Planning staff (where             address increased interest
                                                          SR2S projects and safer                Caltrans facilities involved)                                     and participation in SR2S
                                                          walking/bicycling conditions                                                                             program
                                                                                               • Other appropriate community organizations
                                                          for area schools                                                                                       • Training for educators and
                                                                                           • Conduct walkability/road safety audits, prioritize needs
                                                                                                                                                                   Public Works staff on SR2S
                                                                                           • Schools prepare SR2S plans with County assistance                     programs
                                                                                           • Engage decisionmakers in SR2S
                                • Humboldt              • Improved walking and             • Seek interested school districts, teachers and parents to pilot     • Potential funding sources:
   Walk & Roll to                 Partnership for         bicycling confidence and           program                                                                 • Foundations
   School                         Active Living           safety skills in youth           • Develop training program for schools and volunteers and                 • Office of Traffic Safety
    Establish a training          (HumPAL)              • Increased number of                establish team for each pilot school                                      and injury prevention
    program for bicycle and     • Humboldt County         children walking and cycling     • Gather baseline data                                                      sources
    pedestrian safety skills      Office of               to school and number of
                                                                                           • Establish link with local law enforcement for event days                • Air Quality District
    by incorporating it into      Education, School       children developing physical
    school curriculum and by      Districts and           activity/active transportation   • Develop outreach materials for community and media                      • SR2S – including funds
    promoting related             PTA/PTOs                habits                           • Develop curriculum                                                        for education
    events.                     • Humboldt County       • Reduced school area                                                                                    • School District staff time -
                                  Health and Human        vehicle congestion                                                                                       integrate into curriculum,
                                  Services Public                                                                                                                  host events
                                                        • Reduced childhood obesity
                                  Health Branch           rates                                                                                                  • Public Health staff time -
                                                                                                                                                                   help create curriculum and
                                                                                                                                                                   work in schools
                                                                                                                                                                 • Law enforcement time

       May 2006                                               9 of 24                                                                                 Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                                                                 3. Active Transportation Objective

         Proposed                     Lead                 Primary Intended                                        Next Steps                                     Potential Resources
         Strategies               Implementers                 Outcomes                                                                                               Necessary
   Integrated Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Facility Improvement Program
   Plan                          • HCAOG                • Improved correlation between       • County General Plan Circulation Element:                            • Standard plan update
                                 • County & City          priorities and implementation          • Work with County Public Works Department to address               processes
   Synchronicity &                 Community              measures identified in planning          priorities; seek input from Health/Economic Dev’t Depts.        • Perhaps funding could be
   Effectiveness                   Development/Plan       documents                              • Identify regional priority zones and corridors for ped/bike       available from Air Quality
    Integrate transportation       ning Departments     • Local land use plans and                 safety improvements using community input, collision              District to help prioritize
    and land use planning        • County & City          codes refer to Regional or City          data, information about concentrations of disadvantaged           multimodal transportation
                                   Public Works           Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan              populations, key destinations and transit routes.                 improvements
                                   Departments            project priorities and design          • Incorporate bike/ped facility (and transit) connections to
                                                          standards                                and around proposed new residential or commercial
                                 • Caltrans                                                        development areas.
                                                        • Planning and Public Works
                                                          staff work together to identify        • Incorporate the objective to plan for access versus mobility
                                                          and implement priorities using           (see PATH Guide).
                                                          employ standard designs                • Prioritize land use density and mix that promotes
                                                                                                   multimodal transportation options
                                                        • Public/private project
                                                          developers have clear regional     • Transportation Plan Updates:
                                                          network/s and priority project/s       • Seek input from Planning Depts. And County Health &
                                                          guidance                                 Economic Development Departments
                                                                                                 • Identify regional priority zones and corridors for ped/bike
                                                                                                   safety improvements using community input, collision
                                                                                                   data, information about concentrations of disadvantaged
                                                                                                   populations, key destinations, and transit routes.
   Context                       • HCAOG                • Community and agency staff         • HCAOG: coordinate development of design standards with a            • Seek funding for HCAOG
                                 • County & City          agrees on preferable bike/ped        consultant team and all Humboldt County agencies                      to coordinate effort (could
   Sensitive Design                Community              facility designs                   • Develop standard pedestrian and bicycle designs that fit a            be a multi-county effort)
   Standards                       Dvlpmt./Planning &   • Developers have clear design         variety of contexts, from small cities to very rural conditions
    Develop rural-                 Public Works           standard guidance                    and that allow for community-level creativity
    appropriate design             Departments          • Project planning and cost
    standards for multimodal     • Caltrans               estimating is more efficient
   Development                   • HCAOG                • More multimodal facilities are     • HCAOG is proposing to create an impact fee system as part of        • HCAOG planning funds
                                 • County & City          completed by private                 its ’06-’07 Overall Work Program                                    • Staff of respective local
   Impact Fees                     Community              developments                       • Identify nexus and establish fee levels                               governments to
    Clarify project priorities     Development/Plan     • Clear identification of priority                                                                           incorporate and
                                                                                             • Develop or reference priority project list/s
    and design standards;          ning and Public        projects and preferred designs;                                                                            implement impact fee
    implement an impact fee                                                                  • Assess development impact fees to fund priority projects
                                   Works                  incentive to build high quality                                                                            programs once created
    system providing for                                                                       identified in appropriate planning documents
                                   Departments            facilities
    multimodal facilities.

       May 2006                                              10 of 24                                                                                Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                                                             3. Active Transportation Objective

         Proposed                    Lead                   Primary Intended                                       Next Steps                                  Potential Resources
         Strategies              Implementers                   Outcomes                                                                                           Necessary
   Healthy Rural Roads Program
     Establish a cost-share     • Caltrans              • Rural area non-motorized         • Develop funding program at each jurisdiction level to provide     • Funding to develop
     program to increase        • Humboldt County         projects are more successfully     matching funds to communities that prioritize and raise some        community ‘how-to guide’
     incentive for rural          Public Works and        delivered by leveraging            level of in-kind support and/or funding for priority road           and establish cost-share
     communities to assist        Community               community participation and        segments that need pedestrian and bicycle improvements              incentives account
     with priority non-           Development             resources                          (consistent with existing Humboldt County Public Works effort     • Staff time to assist rural
     motorized project            Departments                                                to develop a ‘self help ordinance’)                                 communities in project
     identification, planning   • City Public Works                                        • Provide guides and program information to communities;              development
     and implementation.          and Community                                              possibly develop web page with helpful information and
    ( ‘Public Participation’      Development                                                resources
    section above addresses       Departments                                              • Select at least one project per year to focus assistance and
    accompanying ‘guide’)                                                                    resources

   Eureka Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Program
   Facility                     • City of Eureka        • Reduced number of bicycle        • Conduct research based on PATH mapping results to clarify         • Significant staff and
                                • Caltrans                and pedestrian collisions in       causes of collisions and identify priority cluster locations        consultant time
   Improvements                                           Eureka                             (opportunity to involve local students)                           • Potential funding sources:
     Identify causes of high                            • Increased use of non-            • Seek input and involvement of stakeholder groups and public        • Caltrans’ CBTP
     ped- and bike-auto                                   motorized modes for daily          to further assist with identification of safety concerns, site
                                                                                                                                                                • Surface Transportation
     collision rates and                                  transportation                     prioritization and potential designs
                                                                                                                                                                  Improvement Program
     address with appropriate                                                              • Prepare project descriptions and gather collaborating
     facility improvements.                                                                                                                                     • Office of Traffic Safety
                                                                                             organizations to maximize funding resources
                                                                                                                                                                • SR2S
                                                                                           • Prepare proposals and fund priority projects
   Education                    • City of Eureka        • Reduced number of bicycle        • Apply research about collision causes to craft messages and       • Significant staff and
                                • Caltrans                and pedestrian collisions in       identify target audiences and their information sources             consultant time
   Campaign                                               Eureka                           • Reduce and/or increase enforcement of speed limits on one-        • Potential funding sources:
                                • Other supporting
     Develop a public             organizations         • Increased use of non-              way couplets and US 101                                            • Caltrans’ CBTP
     education campaign to                                motorized modes for daily        • Institute an ‘I Drive 25’ campaign in Eureka                       • Local foundations
     reduce vehicle speeds                                transportation
                                                                                           • Launch targeted and/or multi-media education campaign/s            • Office of Traffic Safety
     and raise awareness of
     peds, cyclists and                                                                    • Monitor results (conduct pre- and post-campaign surveys)           • Air Quality District

       May 2006                                              11 of 24                                                                             Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                                                              4. Community Access Objective

         Proposed                    Lead                   Primary Intended                                      Next Steps                                 Potential Resources
         Strategies              Implementers                   Outcomes                                                                                         Necessary
   Eureka Transit Service Bike Racks
    Install bike-on-bus racks   • Eureka Transit        • Increase functionality of bus   • Work with the Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters’ Association        • Staff time to secure and
    on ETS buses to               Service                 travel for cyclists               to assist with rack design selection and public outreach           install racks
    encourage multimodal                                • Increase travel choices for     • Seek funding for purchase and installation of racks              • Potential sources of
    travel in Eureka.                                     Eureka residents and those      • Host a press conference and provide press releases to              funding: Air Quality
                                                          traveling to Eureka for           promote availability of new racks and inform residents how to      Management District AB
                                                          employment, health and social     use them                                                           2766 funds

           • Safe Routes: Marin County Safe Routes to Schools program:; Texas 'SuperCyclist' Certification for P.E.
           • Rural road ped designs for formerly rural roadways: ‘Guidelines for Pathways & Stairs’:
           • See Table 1 in Section 4.1 of the PATH Guide for a comparison of development impact fee systems in various California jurisdictions
           • Education campaigns: Wheeling Walks –; ‘Mental Speed Bumps’ and ‘Traffic Tamers’ programs –
           • Bike-on-bus racks: ‘trilogy’ rack design for three bicycles available at

       Transportation planning and decisionmaking, at all levels, is typically geared toward facilitating “mobility.” With an emerging shift in
       transportation planning toward planning for equitable access to services, employment, education and recreation, communities need a
       new planning and decisionmaking framework.
       As the sidebar to the right suggests, it is important to distinguish between “mobility” and “access.” Transportation planning has
       typically emphasized strategies and investments to enhance mobility, such as investments that increase the number of vehicle or person
       trips, or the number of vehicle/person miles traveled. Examples include widening a highway in order to accommodate more auto trips
       without any increase in travel time delays.

       May 2006                                              12 of 24                                                                           Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                                 4. Community Access Objective

       Increasingly, transportation and land use decisionmakers are focusing on strategies and investments that increase “accessibility” by
       facilitating people’s ability to access goods, services, and opportunities necessary to satisfy their daily household needs. Examples may
       include traditional transportation investments (e.g. a new road, new transit route, new bike or pedestrian facility), but can also include
       strategies typically not considered by transportation planners, such as new zoning guidelines which required mixed-use, complete
       neighborhoods with diverse array of services close to where people live. In other words, promoting “accessibility” is starting to replace
       “mobility” as a goal for transportation planners, with enhanced mobility simply one method for increasing people’s access to needed
       goods, services, and educational/employment opportunities.
       As reported in the Humboldt County Transportation-Disadvantaged Populations Report
                                                                                                        Think Access
       produced as part of this project, organizations that serve disadvantaged populations noted       It is important to distinguish between
       shared priorities for better transit service in order to help improve their constituencies'      “mobility” and “accessibility.”
       access to health services and economic opportunities. In fact, this was the clearest and         Mobility – Facilitating physical
       most consistent input received during the project, and was voiced by organizations serving       movement (e.g. widening a highway to
       constituencies both near and far from the Humboldt Bay that is the region’s service and          increase ‘level of service’ and reduce
       employment center. These stakeholders noted priorities that included:                            commute times).
           • Improved coordination of the transportation initiatives by health/social service           Accessibility – Facilitating people’s
             providers located near Humboldt Bay                                                        ability to obtain desired goods, services,
                                                                                                        and activities (e.g. coordinating location
           • Increased coordination and resource support for rural transit services serving parts of    of health services and transit routes to
             the region further away from the Humboldt Bay                                              improve access to health care).
           • Better marketing of both existing and pilot transit services                               See the PATH Guide for more about
           • Increased frequency and weekend and evening service, issues that commonly arise            planning for access. The Victoria
             during Unmet Transit Needs hearings, but that transit providers cannot currently           Transport Policy Institute provides a
             afford to do without reducing other service                                                helpful ‘step-by-step’ section on how to
                                                                                                        plan for access at:
       Humboldt County is subject to the same self-fulfilling cycle that most other communities in
       North America have experienced: by planning for auto travel and land uses that require
       everyone to drive, and by subsequently investing primarily in auto-related infrastructure,
       with the result is a transportation system that accommodates cars fairly well but makes it less attractive, functional, and safe to walk,
       bicycle, and take transit.
       Potential strategies in the table below are suggested methods to implement the “community access” objective: ‘increase the ability of
       transportation-disadvantaged populations to access work, services, education, and recreation.’ These strategies generally recommend
       that those involved in the transportation planning process do the following:
           • Support better funding, coordination, and marketing of community-based transit efforts
           • Enact planning reforms that promote more accessible, complete neighborhoods and streets that ensure affordable housing near
             existing jobs and services
           • Enhance access to health/social services, goods and employment by multiple modes, rather than simply mobility via auto travel

       May 2006                                              13 of 24                                              Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                                                                    4. Community Access Objective

         Proposed                     Lead                Primary Intended                                           Next Steps                                  Potential Resources
         Strategies               Implementers                Outcomes                                                                                               Necessary
   Community-Based Transportation Coordination Program
   Transportation                 • HCAR              • A mechanism for coordination        • Seek Community Transportation Association funding to attend        • Caltrans’ State Transit
                                  • HTA                 of social, health and other           coordination training and development program                        Planning Technical
   Coordination                                         community service programs’         • Identify lead agency/organization to seek and establish              Assistance Grant
                                  • Area 1 Agency
   Plan                             on Aging
                                                        transport service efforts and         (internal, grant and/or partnership) funding, hire consultants       Program
                                                        connection of such a program          and oversee Coordination Plan development.                         • Local/regional foundations
     Study the feasibility of     • HCAOG               to public transit systems is
     social, health and other                                                               • Consider appropriate mechanism for coordination, including:        • New Freedom, Area
                                                        identified, funded and
     community service                                                                           • Coordinated Transportation Service Authority (CTSA)             Agency on Aging (AAA)
     programs improving                                                                                                                                            contributions
                                                      • Residents have seamless                  • Transportation Management Association/Authority
     coordination of
     transport service                                  transfers between transit                • Humboldt Transit Authority
     resources, vehicles,                               routes linking different parts of        • Non-profit or for-profit venture?
     drivers, insurance and                             the county and linking long-
                                                                                                 • Separate efforts for service- and employment-based
     scheduling to provide                              distance trips to local trips
                                                                                                   transport programs?
     improved access.                                   within the Humboldt Bay
                                                        region.                                  • Umbrella or clearinghouse organization?
     (See Section 5:                                                                             • More than one of the above
     Transportation Priorities)                                                             • Identify functional examples, the range of service possibilities
                                                                                              and demand for those services
                                                                                            • Identify and pursue funding sources for implementation
   Welfare-to-Work                • Economic          • Specific strategies and             • Provide businesses in specified districts with the option to       • State and federal welfare
                                    development         priorities for increasing access      support a non-profit organization that helps develop                 to work funds
   Transportation                   agencies            to employment and job training        transportation initiatives, such as to provide specialized         • Federal Jobs Access
   Plan                           • County              opportunities for                     transportation services, gauge employee needs, advocate for          Reverse Commute
                                    CalWorks            transportation-disadvantaged          improved transit service to business districts, inform               (JARC) Program
     Develop a plan to
                                                        populations                           employers about tax incentives and advocate for improved
     improve unemployed           • HCAR                                                                                                                         • Employer contributions
                                                      • Ability to leverage increased         ped/bike facilities.
     and under employed           • HCAOG                                                                                                                        • State and federal
     transport-                                         funding for transportation          • Use Plan results to seek funding to:
                                                                                                                                                                   economic development
     disadvantaged                                      services that promote                   • Increase public transit service during times and days            grant funds
     populations with job                               employment access                         necessary for entry-level and low-income employment
     training and                                                                                 (e.g. evenings and weekends)
     employment                                                                                 • Contribute to employer vanpool, carpool and/or associated
     opportunities.                                                                               Transportation Management Association services

       May 2006                                               14 of 24                                                                                Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                                                                    4. Community Access Objective

        Proposed                   Lead                  Primary Intended                                           Next Steps                                   Potential Resources
        Strategies             Implementers                  Outcomes                                                                                                Necessary
   Social Service Transportation Advisory Committee Revitalization
     Expand membership         • HCAOG              • Improved SSTAC function and          • Stakeholder organizations providing transport services interested   • Agency staff time to recruit,
     in and improve            • Humboldt             effectiveness results in increased     in collaboratively increasing transportation options assist           confirm, and
     coordination and            Community            cooperation between service            recruiting, supporting committee members                              support/educate new
     collaboration function      Access &             providers                            • New committee members are oriented and trained                        committee appointees
     of SSTAC.                   Resource Center    • More organizations providing         • Committee undertakes a strategic planning effort to determine
                                 (HCAR)               transport services active in SSTAC     opportunities, constraints and two-year goals, objectives and
                                                    • Humboldt County is able to             strategies
                                                      leverage greater resources and       • SSTAC helps pursue Community-Based Transportation Initiative,
                                                      support for community-based            above
                                                      transportation efforts

   Transit Marketing Partnership
     Improve information       • Humboldt Transit   • Humboldt County residents and        • Work with stakeholder groups to identify needs and potential        • Cost-shares from partner
     available to public         Authority and        visitors have easy ‘one-stop’          resources for improved printed, online and marketing materials to     stakeholder organizations
     about transit services.     member entities      access to schedule, fare and           increase information about available transit services
                               • Humboldt             connection information for all       • Improve transit information materials to include:
                                 Community            transit services
                                                                                               • Universal symbols/language
                                 Access &           • More non-English speaking
                                                                                               • Humboldt County Transit Map
                                 Resource Center      residents understand and use
                                 (HCAR)               public transport services                • Non-English speaking materials
                               • HCAOG              • New transit services are more            • Visual impairment materials
                                                      thoroughly advertised and                • Longer-running, more thorough advertisement of new
                                                      understood                                 services
                                                    • More people use existing transit     • Stakeholder groups assist transit agencies with creation,
                                                      services                               outreach and funding of marketing campaign(s)

   Small Community Vitalization
     Develop programs to       • Humboldt County    • Small community and                  • Inventory neighborhood and small community commercial areas         • Funding and leadership for
     ensure that                 Community            neighborhood stores can function       and determine the challenges they face to continue to provide         this effort
     neighborhood markets        Development          economically.                          goods and services                                                  • Staff time to conduct
     and other essential         Department         • Rural residents and neighborhoods    • Identify programmatic approaches to maintaining these                 inventory and work with
     commercial services                              have less need for travel to major     commercial operations such as: small business loans, assistance       partner organizations to
     remain in business.                              commercial centers.                    with infrastructure (e.g. septic system) upgrades and access to       develop solutions
                                                                                             fresh food inventory

       May 2006                                               15 of 24                                                                                Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                                                                   4. Community Access Objective

        Proposed                  Lead                   Primary Intended                                          Next Steps                                   Potential Resources
        Strategies            Implementer/s                  Outcomes                                                                                               Necessary
   PATH Audit of Land Use Policies
    Review existing and       • County and City       • Existing and proposed policies    • Address equal access in development of County General               • Incorporate effort as part
    proposed land use           Community               and regulations promote             Plan, particularly Circulation Element, as well as in local plans     of current County General
    policies and                Development/            equitable access to work,           and zoning codes                                                      Plan (and Circulation
    regulations to ensure       Planning                services, education and           • Address access need relationship to compact, mixed use,               Element) Update process
    they promote                Departments             recreation                          neighborhood development patterns and proximity of affordable       • Ongoing part of updates
    equitable access to                                                                     housing to employment centers                                         to plans and codes
    work, services,                                                                       • Develop local CEQA significance criteria and mitigation
    education and                                                                           measures
                                                                                          • Develop Transportation Demand Management program/s and
                                                                                            policies applied as part of land use approvals process
                                                                                          • Coordinate with HCAOG RTP goals, objectives, policies

   Peer Training for Tribal Transportation Staff
    Strengthen and build      • All local             • Increased capacity of region to   • These efforts currently exist informally to date and could be       • Staff time as needed:
    new collaborative           jurisdictions           leverage Indian Reservation         increased and more assertively pursued                                Caltrans, HCAOG,
    partnerships between      • Caltrans                Roads Program funds for           • Review, provide input to, assist, and share information with          County, Cities
    tribal governments and                              Tribal, County and State            staff from Yurok, Hoopa, Karuk, Blue Lake, Cher-Ae, Wiyot           • Staff of Tribes and
                              • HCAOG
    COG member entities;                                transportation facilities.          and Bear River Tribes and Rancherias. This effort could               Rancherias
    assist tribal                                                                           include discussion/training at HCAOG TAC meetings, field
    governments with                                                                        tours/project development training, and/or one-on-one input to
    project readiness and                                                                   project development efforts.
    fundseeking efforts.

       Community Access Examples
           • See extensive examples of creative transportation programs in Section 5 of the PATH Best Practices Report: Rural Region Access To
           • Transportation Management Association: Ride On in San Luis Obispo –
           • Rural Towns & Corridors Project, Puget Sound Regional Council:

       May 2006                                              16 of 24                                                                                Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                         5. Community Transportation Priorities

       Approximately 30 community stakeholders, transportation decisionmakers and project team members attended a two-hour workshop in
       early May, 2006 to focus on one of the primary findings of the Humboldt County Transportation-Disadvantaged Populations Report: a need
       for improved transportation services that facilitate access to services and employment for transportation-disadvantaged populations.
       Workshop attendees developed a list of priorities to improve community access to medical providers, social services and employment,
           • Overall priority: Research and work toward development of a ‘clearinghouse’ or ‘umbrella’ transportation services program or
             organization (either through an existing or new organization) that can provide:
                  o Coordination of transportation services for health and social services organizations
                  o Provision of employee vanpool and carpool services
                  o Provision (potentially) of other transportation services (similar to San Luis Obispo’s ‘Ride On’ program)
                  o Education, marketing and other services that promote non-automobile transportation
           • Conduct research with key major employers regarding their interest in and demand for transport services
           • Revitalize the Social Service Technical Advisory Committee (SSTAC)
           • Transit services should be better marketed, particularly to those that do not know of them:
                  o Universal symbols/language
                  o Humboldt County Transit Map
                  o Non-English speaking materials
                  o Visual impairment materials
           • Many community members cannot use transportation services at any price:
                  o Develop a debit or “swipe” card to be used as a monthly pass for transport vouchers.
                  o Expand upon the HSU pass to include non-students.
                  o Develop a Social Services card (similar to Electronic Balance Transfer card) for transport that is useable for different transit
           • Establish a carpooling system for night and weekend employment access
           • Develop an easier process for organizations to get transit vouchers from multiple transit providers.
                  o One challenge is the hardware (swipe card), which costs thousands of dollars to install on individual buses
           • Humboldt Community Switchboard has the basis of a database for stakeholder groups and organizations that provide transportation
             assistance or services; they will need to add that level of information to their database

       May 2006                                              17 of 24                                              Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                   6. State & Federal Constraints & Opportunities

       As this report of Opportunities and other PATH documents like the Best Practice Report and the Guide have made clear, there is much
       that local and regional governments are doing in California and throughout the United States to address the need for improved
       transportation equity. In some instances the state and federal governments are active partners in these efforts, for example, by making
       transportation funding programs more flexible to address local multimodal priorities and by creating financial incentives for local
       governments to integrate transportation and land use planning.
       Despite these emerging partnerships with state and federal governments, there are many important and necessary reforms to the
       existing transportation planning and funding mechanisms that local and regional governments cannot accomplish due to existing state
       and federal constraints. These constraints are often due to state and federal regulations that prevent local innovation, inflexible funding
       programs that do not meet local needs, and inertia that slows the development and acceptance of multimodal transportation performance
       measures and design standards. At the state and federal level, policymakers need to consider the impacts of policies, analytical methods
       and funding mechanisms that inadvertently create disincentives to improve transportation equity in local communities.
       Staff planning and managing transportation programs in rural regions generally have a looming constraint: funding levels and processes
       generally mandate a ‘crisis management’-oriented, reactive, maintenance focus. This constraint often makes proactive, advanced and
       collaborative planning in the realm of a lofty, unattainable goal. For this reason, state and federal partnerships, supportive policies, and
       flexible funding programs are essential to enable local and regional governments in rural regions attempting to improve transportation
       This section addresses existing state and federal constraints that reduce the flexibility of new approaches to promoting access and
       increasing the equitability of transportation investments and opportunities to advocate for reforms of state and federal regulations and
       funding restrictions that prevent local and regional governments from better addressing local transportation needs.
       There are many opportunities for the state and federal government to audit their internal planning, funding, and research and
       development systems that may be a legacy from a previous era that inhibits the efforts of local and regional governments to fully
       pursue multimodal transportation equity (one opportunity might be to fund a project dedicated to such an ‘audit’ effort).Some specific
       opportunities are briefly discussed below.

       The section is divided into three main focus areas related to needs of local governments in rural regions:
           • Increased funding flexibility to meet rural transportation needs
           • Reforms that increase the ability of local and regional governments to address transportation equity
           • Improved multimodal performance measures for rural transportation systems
           • Context-sensitive rural roadway design standards
       Increased Funding Flexibility to Meet Rural Transportation Needs

       May 2006                                              18 of 24                                               Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                 6. State & Federal Constraints & Opportunities

       The primary source of transportation funding that comes to rural RTPAs is the Surface Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). STIP
       funds are limited to a relatively narrow range of capital project solutions such street and highway capacity enhancement. This constraint
       reduces the incentive to explore transportation demand management solutions, programmatic approaches, and non-capital solutions that
       may be more appropriate or cost-effective.
       Federal funding for transit services comes primarily from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5307 and 5311 programs for
       urban and rural areas, respectively. Another FTA program, the 5310 program, specifically focuses on capital investments for non-profit
       agencies that serve seniors and persons with disabilities. These funds, coupled with local allocation of state Transportation Development
       Account (TDA) funds which are meant for transit and bike and pedestrian projects, are typically not adequate to serve all of the
       transportation needs in a given community. TDA funds can be used for maintenance of local streets and roads through the local “Unmet
       Needs” process.
       In addition, some state and federal funding sources require that selected projects satisfy only one funding category (such as either
       ‘safety,’ ‘enhancement,’ or ‘maintenance’), meaning that the funded projects can become missed opportunities to address a more holistic
       community access issue. Furthermore, transportation decision-makers too often focus on congestion relief for work trips, instead of
       accessibility for all trips and mobility and safety for all modes. Finally, the Congressional earmarking process makes federal transportation
       funding less predictable and more dependent on political power than on project merits.
       When existing state and funding programs are not adequate to meet local needs, another question to ask is “Are there other federal funds
       that could be tapped into?” A major potential source of funding for senior transportation lies in the Medicare and Medicaid Grant
       Program. However, there are major constraints in securing these complex funds. Currently, Medicare funding for transportation is limited
       to ambulance care or emergency medical transportation. Medicaid is a complex federal–state partnership that hasn’t realized its full
       potential for funding transportation services.
       In order to enable these existing state and federal funds to be used in a more flexible and practical way to fund community transportation
       services, Humboldt County will need to work with other counties, the California Transit Association, the Community Transportation
       Association of America (CTAA), and other community-based organizations in advocating for the relaxation of the prohibitive
       requirements that constrain these programs. For example, as the elderly population increases and more retired people move into
       Humboldt County and current residents “age in place,” there will be an increasing need to reform Medicare to fund non-emergency
       The state can support another opportunity for local and regional governments in rural areas to address the need for additional funding
       flexibility by encouraging development of local funding sources that provide the flexibility necessary to meet local needs. For example,
       urban areas in California typically get much more of their transportation funding from local sources; in the San Francisco Bay Area, local &
       regional sources provide two-thirds of all transportation money, while state and federal sources are each approximately one-sixth of the
       total. To the extent that local and regional governments in rural areas can develop locally-generated and locally-controlled transportation
       funding sources, they will be much better positioned too fund the type of strategies recommended in these documents.
       Another area ripe for reform is the current are tax-preferential commuter incentive programs. Current federal law allows employers to
       provide employees with up to $100/month to in pre-tax income to pay for the employee’s transit or vanpool costs for commuting to work -
       - which is an incentive that does not apply to many rural regions. This law enables employers to offer a “commuter benefit” to their

       May 2006                                              19 of 24                                             Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                 6. State & Federal Constraints & Opportunities

       employees who take transit or vanpool, and reduces employees’ out-of-pocket commuting costs (since the benefit is paid for using pre-tax
       income). One reform that would encourage increased use of transit and other alternative modes for commuting is to change the existing
       federal law to increase the pre-tax amount employees are able to use for commuting costs on a tax-free basis. In addition, this tax benefit
       should be extended to cover the commuter costs for employees who walk or bike. While this reform would not result in a direct
       increase in the amount of state or federal funding for improved transit service or local bike/pedestrian infrastructure, it does provides an
       incentive to commuters who take transit, bike, or walk to work, and as a result, it increases commuting by transit (which results in
       increased fare revenue for transit operators), by bike, and on foot.
       As local, regional, state and federal governments begin to invest more in multimodal transportation and successfully diversify
       transportation options, research suggests that they will likely see a corresponding reduction in the use of single-occupancy-vehicles and a
       related reduction in associated revenues; in anticipation of this, new potential revenue sources for transportation programs will need to
       be in place.

       Improved Multimodal Performance Measures for Rural Transportation Systems
       Federal and state environmental regulations can often constrain local government’s ability to cost-effectively invest in multimodal
       transportation investments that are proven to improve environmental quality as well as accomplish other safety, public health, and equity
       goals. For example, the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) require analysis
       of the environmental impacts of government and private-sector actions, such as a transportation project or a new development. While this
       analysis can be useful, there are several methodological problems with the conventional process used for NEPA and CEQA analysis. For
       example, with the conventional analysis, mitigating traffic and parking congestion equates with better environmental compliance, so that
       new development can always be considered better for the environment if it proposes to widen roads, increase auto parking, and reduce
       density. In addition, regional impacts are not considered (so ‘greenfield sprawl’ development is easier to do than infill development that
       promotes complete neighborhoods) and induced trips are rarely considered (so roadway widenings that accommodate increased vehicle
       trips are considered to improve air quality).
       A major problem with NEPA and CEQA analysis is it overreliance on auto ‘Level of Service’ (LOS), a performance measure that counts
       seconds of delay for cars that would result as a result of new development or a transportation project where an auto lane is converted to a
       two-way bike lane. However, LOS is an inadequate performance measure of environmental impacts. This is because LOS analysis assumes
       that accommodation of increased vehicle trips automatically equates with improved environmental outcomes, which is a demonstrably
       false assumption.
       LOS methodology is also an inadequate measure of the performance of the transportation system because it typically only focuses on
       only one dimension of travel (time in seconds of delay) for only one mode (automobiles) at one point in the transportation system (a single
       intersection or road segment). In addition, the “improvements” often required to address estimated reductions in auto LOS (e.g. widening
       roads and intersections) oftentimes have negative impacts on transportation system safety and convenience for pedestrians, bicyclists, and
       transit users. For these reasons, auto LOS is an inferior analytical tool for measuring how well the transportation system is functioning for
       all modes at a system-wide level.

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Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                      6. State & Federal Constraints & Opportunities

       A preferable approach is to develop multimodal quality of service (or
       QOS) performance measures deployed at a network- or area-wide level.
       Multimodal performance measures can be developed to measure person
                                                                                         Rural Performance Measures
       delay (rather than just auto delay) and to incorporate measurements of            An emerging opportunity for rural regions to implement
       system efficiency, safety, and comfort for transit riders, bicyclists, and        better transportation performance measures is an ongoing
       pedestrians. Such a methodology allows communities to direct their scarce         Caltrans-funded project called “Performance Measures for
       transportation resources towards projects and programs that help them             Rural Transportation Systems.” This is an effort to identify
       achieve local priorities -- such as safety for all modes -- rather than funding   how to measure existing and potential transportation
       transportation investments in projects that may reduce delays for autos but       outcomes in order to identify “performance outcomes
       potentially degrade conditions for all other modes.                               appropriate for each region” in the state.
                                                                                         The project mission statement declares that Caltrans “supports
       Many cities and counties in California assume that they are required to use
                                                                                         the use of performance measures for all transportation systems
       LOS methodologies to measure the environmental impacts of vehicle trips           in the state, beyond those directly under Caltrans jurisdiction”
       projected for new development under the state CEQA law. However, CEQA             but that “to date there is no set of definitive measures
       does not require LOS to be used as a performance measure, and it gives            specifically developed for rural areas.”
       local jurisdictions significant latitude as to what transportation impacts
       they measure as part of their environmental analysis, how they determine          This project proposes to address that deficit, so that “urban,
       if the impacts are significant enough to require mitigation (e.g. an offset to    rural, local and regional needs will determine the choice of
       compensate for the impact), and what kinds of mitigations they can                measures and which ones will be emphasized in each area.”
       require. In addition to reforming their local CEQA screening criteria,            In addition, the mission statement promises that
                                                                                         “[t]hroughout the project, cooperation and input will be
       significance thresholds, and impact methodologies, local and regional
                                                                                         sought from representatives of rural regions.”
       governments can simply adopt a “statement of overriding considerations”
       for projects that accomplish larger community goals. For example, while           Transportation decisionmakers and community groups in
       completing bike lane network might result in some increase in parking and         Humboldt County and other rural regions should take the
       traffic congestion in some areas at certain times, doing a full                   opportunity to get involved in this ongoing project. The
       environmental review and mitigation would likely cost more than the total         project has the potential to assist rural regions with
       cost to implement all the bike lanes; in this situation, adopting a statement     implementation of the PATH recommendation to 1) develop
       of overriding considerations is an appropriate way for local and regional         local multimodal performance measures that assess
       governments with limited resources to both meet local transportation              outcomes at a system-wide level (rather than a localized
       needs and improve environmental outcomes.                                         intersection or short corridor), 2) measure person delay
                                                                                         (rather than just auto delay), and 3) incorporate
       Local jurisdictions can also avoid the analytical bias of auto LOS as a           measurements of system efficiency, safety, and comfort for
       transportation or environmental performance measure by requiring                  transit riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians. For more info see
       mitigations of safety or congestion impacts that reduce estimated vehicle
       trips rather than simply accommodate them. An increasing number of
       California cities and counties are requiring new development to mitigate projected vehicle trips by providing incentives and facilities that
       encourage occupants and visitors to take transit, bike, and walk. Instead of requiring new development to widen roads or intersections to
       accommodate a maximum number of projected vehicle trips, these localities are requiring implementation of proven methods for reducing
       vehicle trips. Refer to the PATH Guide Section 2.1 ‘Shifting from Mobility to Accessibility’ for more information.

       May 2006                                              21 of 24                                                  Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                  6. State & Federal Constraints & Opportunities

       Context-Sensitive Rural Roadway Design Standards
                                                                                            Keeping Rural California Rural: No
       Many positive advances have been made during the last decade to promote              Sidewalks in Our Neighborhood
       streetscape and community designs that encourage non-automobile travel and
       improve the safety and convenience of walking, bicycling, and taking transit in      The City of Arcata actually lost an awarded grant
       urban areas. These designs often do not translate well to rural regions for a        because they could not come to agreement with the
       number of reasons, including:                                                        community of Bayside over the design of proposed
                                                                                            pedestrian facilities.
           • Rural residents do not want their communities to ‘look’ or ‘feel’ urban
                                                                                            Though they value pedestrian safety, residents of this
           • Urban streetscape designs are often more expensive than those rural            rural community opposed all facility designs put
             communities and small cities can realistically afford                          forward by City Public Works staff because they felt
           • Urban-oriented infrastructure is often not appropriate for or does not fit     that the designs compromised a strong historic
             with rural infrastructure systems (e.g. stormwater management)                 preservation interest related to the rural agricultural
                                                                                            landscape. Sidewalks were vehemently opposed and
       It is assumed that there is value and interest in maintaining the character of       even roadway-adjacent multi-use trails. The monies
       rural areas, both in California and nationally. Therefore state and federal          reverted to the funder before an agreeable design
       transportation officials need to be active partners with local governments in        could be identified.
       rural regions to develop streetscape design ‘best practices’ for rural areas.
       When a rural community ‘Main Street’ also serves as a state highway,                 Highway Main Street Resources
       communities must strike a balance between a) the needs of pedestrians,
       shoppers, employees, business owners, and residents with b) the needs of             Civilizing Downtown Highways: Putting New
       through auto and freight traffic to move safely and efficiently over longer          Urbanism to Work on California’s Highways. 2002.
       distances. Application of state or federal highway design standards -- wide lanes,   Congress for the New Urbanism, Local Government
       long-banked turns, divided medians, and protected shoulders which encourage          Commission, and the Surface Transportation Policy
       high speeds -- to these corridors can result in designs that are inappropriate to    Project.
       the context, endanger pedestrians and bicyclists, and reduce community vitality
       and economic development opportunities. Caltrans has policy to allow for             res=1280
       ‘flexibility in design and operations’ where highways serve as main streets.         Main Street…When a Highway Runs Through It: A
                                                                                            Handbook for Oregon Communities. 1999. Oregon
        One challenge in applying these flexible design standards is that many small,       Department of Transportation and Oregon
       rural communities with highway main streets do not have the resources to             Department of Land Conservation and Development.
       initiate planning or design efforts that could result in streetscape improvements
       to benefit the community. Some of the larger, more organized of these                main-street
       communities have been applying for Caltrans grants to make these changes.
       There is room, however, for more proactive consideration of these communities’       Main Streets: Flexibility In Design & Operations.
       needs for improved multimodal safety.                                                2005. California Department of Transportation.
       On locally-controlled roads, a similar situation is created by state fire codes,     flexibility-in-design.pdf
       which often require excessively wide streets, much wider than is needed to

       May 2006                                              22 of 24                                              Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                  6. State & Federal Constraints & Opportunities

       provide access for fire trucks and other life safety vehicles. These state fire codes
       often make it illegal to build narrow streets that are proven to be safer, more
       comfortable to walk and bicycle and reduce speeds in residential neighborhoods.         Useful (Urban) Design Solutions
       This street width requirement is particularly poignant because nationally, traffic      The Institute for Transportation Engineers (ITE)
       collisions injure more than 100 times more people and kill more than 10 times more      recently published a manual for urban roadways
       people per year than fires do.                                                          called Context Sensitive Solutions for Designing
                                                                                               Major Urban Thoroughfares for Walkable
       Even when local and regional governments want to implement more context-                Communities. These guidelines recommend reducing
       sensitive road design standards, concerns about litigation if the jurisdiction’s        lane widths, tightening corner radii, and improving
       standards vary from conventional road design standards often prevents them from         pedestrian and bicycling facilities as the roadway
       doing so. This is because conventional road design standards are sometimes viewed       context becomes more urbanized, in recognition of
       by the legal system as accepted national practice, even if the standards are            the fact that where increasing numbers of
       outdated and dangerous from a multimodal perspective.                                   pedestrians and bicyclists are present, design tools
                                                                                               that reduce peak motor vehicle speeds tend to have
       Local and regional governments have an opportunity to address this constraint by        the strongest effect on reducing injuries.
       working with state transportation departments to develop rural roadway design
       standards that are sensitive to the surrounding rural landscape and culture,            While this manual is specifically targeted for urban
       accommodate all roadway users, and help meet both transportation needs and              areas, roadway design standards can be useful to
                                                                                               rural regions in two ways: 1) as reference for
       accomplish other goals for public health, economic development, and equitable
                                                                                               designing major streets and 2) to assist local traffic
       access. Such ‘rural-appropriate’ standards will make it easier for rural region
                                                                                               engineers make the transition from rural-highway-
       governments to institute some of the suggestions proposed herein and in the PATH        oriented design to more multimodal design.
       Guide, such as Development Impact Fees. In the meantime, urban designs will
       continue to have to be modified on a case-by-case basis to fit rural needs (see         The manual is currently a "proposed recommended
       “Useful (Urban) Design Solutions” box).                                                 practice” through the end of 2006 (during which
                                                                                               time comments can be submitted) at which time it
OTHER POTENTIAL REFORMS                                                                        will likely be revised and adopted as a recommended
                                                                                               practice. Once it is officially adopted as
       More specific Civil Rights Act and Environmental Justice (EJ) compliance tools are      recommended practice by ITE, it can help local
       needed for Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs) and staff of               communities easily adopt design standards in the
                                                                                               document as local street design guidelines, while
       transportation and planning departments. Because current guidance is relatively
                                                                                               reducing concerns about legal liability. At the same
       vague and tools are somewhat lacking, the focus of the PATH effort has been to
                                                                                               time, transportation decisionmakers in rural regions
       recommend planning and decisionmaking processes that are equitable and that the         should work with state transportation officials to
       equitability of these processes is trackable. The Desk Guide: Environmental Justice     develop a similar manual specifically focused on
       in Transportation Planning and Investments (ICF Consulting for Caltrans, 2003) is an    roadway design standards for rural regions.
       excellent resource for transportation decisionmakers and should be widely
                                                                                               This resource is available at
       circulated among RTPAs and transportation departments. Even better, Caltrans
       could offer regional EJ trainings on the practical elements of the Desk Guide. An
       organization like the International City/County Management Association
       ( would be a good resource for such trainings. Also, the Nevada

       May 2006                                              23 of 24                                              Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA
Opportunities to Improve Transportation Equity in Humboldt County                                                  6. State & Federal Constraints & Opportunities

       Department of Transportation has a good public participation program model (

       As they are currently mandated, Regional Transportation Planning processes are not necessarily strategic. The required format tends to
       produce policies and lists of projects that are not well linked. One potential method to address this issue is to incorporate strategic,
       accountable planning for transportation equity and community access into Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) Update processes by
       establishing a phased, annual system to replace the traditional bi-annual update process:
           • Year 1: Conduct public participation and develop related goals and objectives; review effectiveness of previous year’s
             implementation efforts toward meeting goals and objectives
           • Year 2: Identify strategies (policies, programs and projects) to achieve goals and objectives and a system for investing in priority

       ‘Multi-disciplinary planning considerations’ in the PATH Guide could be used to inform RTP project development and ranking criteria.

       Coordinated Transportation Service Authorities (CTSAs) can sometimes be limited from achieving their full potential, particularly in
       regions with limited resources. It can be difficult for CTSAs to move beyond dialog and toward the capture, function, administration or
       delivery of services. CTSAs do not have discretionary abilities to capture funding from myriad and varied funding sources, including those
       from the Departments of Rehabilitation, Education and Aging. This reality inhibits their ability to function effectively as a coordinator or
       consolidator of services. An analogy of a preferable situation is how creative public school programs can be with different funding sources
       to achieve an objective - for instance, one staff member can be funded by a multitude of funding programs to serve a variety of functions.

       The Transportation Development Act (TDA) drives CTSA structure and is a key contributor to the function or dysfunction of those systems.
       The TDA structure also creates an annual conflict between transit and non-transit uses. TDA, through the ‘Unmet Transit Needs’ hearing
       process, sets up what can be a disappointing chain of events for the public -- it is set up as an unmet needs assessment, but it is a very
       narrow assessment for TDA purposes only, which is difficult for the public and even for relatively informed stakeholders to understand.
       In addition, there are many opportunities for the state and federal government to audit internal, legacy systems that inhibit the efforts
       of local and regional governments to fully pursue transportation equity, some of which are briefly discussed below (one opportunity
       might be to fund just such an ‘audit’).
       At a statewide level, there is also an opportunity for increasing the role of public education in the effort to enhance understanding about
       community and transportation planning and decisionmaking. Citizens are generally at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding and
       effectively participating in community and transportation planning efforts. Unless an individual has specific and sustained interaction with
       the process, there is actually no reason why they would understand it or how to effectively participate. One major reason for this is likely
       the fact that middle and high school civics courses focus completely on the most basic of federal and state level government process: there
       is very little standard education or training about local or regional government process and the role of the general public or information
       about effective strategies for participation. An example is the Urban Land Institute Plan curriculum that involves high school youth in real
       estate development and land use planning issues
       ( Some of the participation outreach
       examples/techniques in the PATH Best Practices Report have a youth focus, and these could be the building blocks for a local module.

       May 2006                                              24 of 24                                              Natural Resources Services Division, RCAA

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