All posts by DodgeCarr

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Downtown Can Save America

What makes towns and cities thrive:  walkability.

People in the Parkview and Garden tract neighborhoods can walk to downtown Redding in 15 minutes, but today they rarely do.   The River Trail hosts many tourists looking for a place to eat lunch, but they have a hard time getting to local restaurants ten minutes away.   People in our community regularly report they want to walk or ride a bicycle to local destinations but they do not feel safe because of traffic.   Why is that?   And what can we do about it?

What is a walkable, bicycle-friendly downtown – and how do we get one?

We are asking that question, sharing methods and examples about how towns can and do change, and hosting conversations across the community to build understanding and develop ideas about how to support improvements in our community.

Join us for discussion – Thursdays at Vintners Cellar at California and Placer.    Four weeks:  March 13,  20,  27, April 3

Would you like to join one of our discussions?    Come on by, or contact Anne at athomas@shastalivingstreets.org to plan another time to talk with your group.

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Walkable City:  How Downtown Can Save America One Step at A Time.  by Jeff Speck.

Jeff Speck is an urban planner who has dedicated his career to determining what makes cities thrive.  And he has boiled it down to one key factor:  walkability.    His book does not describe a new approach, rather it is a readable overview of what has been known for over thirty years.   What’s needed is:  understanding, decision-making, and action to put good ideas into place.

 

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Women on Bicycles: Rich Local History, Exciting Future

The North State has a rich local history of cycling that starts in the 1880s and continues until today.

Research and photos from the turn of the century and since are being collected, curated and written about by Shasta Living Streets volunteers, in  a collaborative effort with the Shasta Historical Society, the Shasta Wheelman and local bicycling shops.

Learn about North State Cycling History

  • Visit the ongoing exhibit of cycling history at the Historical Society offices in the downtown Redding Promenade.
  • Request a presentation for your local group by Shasta Living Streets.   Learn about the past – and the exciting future of cycling in our area and how you can get involved.

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Add your voice, work together virtually, minimize meetings and maximize impact

Volunteer with Shasta Living Streets

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You have energy, expertise, a desire to learn more and contribute to your community in a real and meaningful way.

We have a strong, local organization with a great reputation and an ever-growing list of opportunities to make a difference in this community.  We have a group of talented people who contribute time and expertise to provide tangible products, services and events.

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We need your help.   We are already making a difference – but the opportunity is great.  Let us help you find a way to connect to this movement.   Our goal is to have powerful impact with what we do – and have fun while we do it.

Upcoming opportunities include:

    • Be a part of the hackathon to develop and launch our new website
    • Join the team putting together our first BIKE WALK SHASTA COMMUTER GUIDE
    • Help us gather sponsorships for the next Cascade Theatre event
    • and more!

 

Contact us today to find out how your skills and expertise can make a difference.  Volunteer a little of your time:  add your voice, work together virtually, minimize meetings and maximize impact.

Thank you!

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Anne Wallach Thomas

I look forward to talking with you.  Contact me at athomas@shastalivingstreets.org

 

Shasta Living Streets is evolving to function as the grassroots backbone support organization to facilitate collective impact by a number of individuals and groups in our community who want to see our region become a more livable place.  It’s about business, families and health.  And brings more joy to everyone’s lives.

 

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Join Shasta Living Streets—Become A Member Today

We are pleased to invite you to help us build Shasta County’s superior regional advantage in lifestyle and active living through excellence in livable communities, active transportation, and sustainable development.  Be a voice for excellence.

We have challenges.  Our community needs a strong, local non-governmental partner to help get our community to say “YES” to important projects and local infrastructure that make a difference in daily lives for everyone.

We hear too many things like, “I want to get out more with my kids but the streets are not safe for us”; “For some reason the city had things lined up, and then it just didn’t happen”;  “The county had the money for that project, and then returned it”;  “Too late now, those goals and ideas needed to be included in the project from the beginning”;  or “I vote ‘No,’ only 200 cyclists will benefit from connecting the river trail to downtown.”  We want to fix that. 



More than challenges—we have opportunities.  

We now have a golden opportunity to rethink the way we develop our cities and towns in the North State.  It is time for decision-makers at all levels to take advantage of changing contexts and provide the mix of flexible transportation and lifestyle options that local people of all generations, but especially young people, now crave in our community.

We need you to become a member and join us.  Help us build on our strong reputation, talented volunteers, and current alliances across the community.  Help us to brainstorm ideas, gather opinions, and share voices.  We will sponsor events, deliver services, and partner with local businesses and municipalities on initiatives and projects.

  • Individual Supporter…. $20
  • Family Supporter…. $30
  • Champion……………. $60
  • Innovator………….. $250
  • Student Supporter……. $10

Mail your membership and contact information to us at:  
Shasta Living Streets, P.O. Box 941, Palo Cedro, CA  96073.

Encourage your friends and favorite businesses to become members today!  Local businesses will receive exclusive promotional benefits.

Your membership and donation to Shasta Living Streets is tax-deductible.  Questions?  Contact Anne.

Thank you!

Caring supporters like you ensure donated funds are used locally and help build excellence in our community.

The Railyard

All Aboard! Exciting Potential Development Coming To Downtown Redding?

Shasta Living Streets has been talking with the Shasta Historical Society and other stakeholders in the discussion about the historic Wells Fargo building on Yuba Street and the long underused Union Pacific railroad reservation on which it sits. The current proposal would transform the site into “The Railyard,” a permanent home to the farmers’ market and a major multimodal transportation crossroads in downtown Redding!

Take a look at the preliminary Master Plan, put together with input from many stakeholders by the talented team at Trilogy.

This is an important opportunity to improve the walking and bicycling experience in downtown for three groups with significant purchasing power that will help make this downtown site a success:

Local shoppers:  People who will be more easily able to walk or bicycle from the many neighborhoods within two miles;

River trail tourists: There’s tremendous untapped potential for spending that will naturally come downtown once we build better bicycle and walking connections to our trail system;

Adventure-cycling enthusiasts bringing their bicycles to town by Amtrak’s Bicycle Tourism Route.  Read more about what Amtrak is doing to encourage and support tourists traveling with their bicycles.

Shasta Living Streets is working with the other stakeholders in this project to ensure that the infrastructure and facilities to support these groups (and their spending downtown) are included in the project scope.

If you have any ideas or other input you want to see included, or just want to talk about the project, please contact Anne.

Bikestation 

One of the facilities we are advocating for the Railyard project is a Bikestation that would serve people coming to Redding through the transit crossroads and as well as those using the Railyard for the farmers’ market and other activities.

Bikestations are being installed in many places around the country and each one is customized to meet the needs of the community. They serve as a convenient place for secure bicycle parking and can offer affordable services and amenities for travelers, commuters, and casual cyclists such as:

  • Bicycle self-repair stations
  • Bike rentals & repairs
  • Retail sales & bicycle accessories
  • Restrooms, showers and/or changing rooms
  • Day-use lockers
  • Electric vehicle charging stations
  • Access to environmentally-clean vehicle-sharing
  • Easy access to public transportation
  • Information to plan your commute trips

Learn more about Bikestations across the country.

A New Direction – Rails-With-Trails

This report gives examples across the country of public places and trails near railways.

Rails-With-Trails Are Safe and Increasing

Inspiration - An Image is Worth A Thousand Words  

The Downtown Redding Railyard project needs ideas and support from all of us across the community.  There is much we can do to build a livable community and a vibrant downtown in Redding.

The photo below is from a project in Rockville, MD.

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From Better Cities.

What We Hope to See in this Mixed-Use Site

More ideas and details will come as we help develop the concept with stakeholders.  For now, here are five key things that we think are necessary to make this project a success.

  • Bikestation to provide services and information for people using a bicycle to get around Downtown Redding and beyond.
  • Bike corral or bicycle lockers for shoppers at the Farmers Market and visiting the historical site and other attractions.
  • Roll-on bicycle service at Amtrack – Infrastructure to ensure convenient travel for people with bicycles
  • Local neighborhood connections – Infrastructure to ensure reliable connections to neighborhoods and attractions within 2 miles of the Railyard
  • Reliable, convenient connection to the River Trail – Infrastructure to ensure reliable connections between the River Trail and the Railyard
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Redding Trails Article

Are you looking for a copy of the recent article about Redding trails?

We met a number of people at today’s event on the Diestelhorst Bridge who had not had a chance to read this article.  Feel free to share with anyone you think would be interested.

There are two versions of the article, a shorter version for the print magazine, a longer version online. Both are available at the top of our Media page

IMG-20131116-00284 Yep, that’s an eagle enjoying the trail with us.

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Bicycle trips by people in small towns far outnumber those of urban areas (double!)

We have a tremendous opportunity to transform the cities, county towns and rural areas in our region to be places that are safe and inviting for people to walk and bicycle in their daily routine.

So, don’t believe the myth that it can only happen in urban areas.  With a little work to design and implement superior bicycle and pedestrian facilities, we can quickly create great places to live, work and play right here at home:

  • People in small towns want to bike too, it’s not just an urban phenomenon:  The share of work trips made by bicycle in small towns is nearly double that of urban centers.
  • Significant funding is available:  Transportation Enhancements has provided twice the funding per capita in rural America than in big cities.  And is the nation’s largest funding source for trails, walking and bicycling.  Also, this year the State of California increased the amount dedicated to biking and walking transportation projects, to the highest level ever.  And there is a priority on spending these funds in cities and towns like those in our region.
  • People in small towns prioritize active transportation facilities over auto-related projects:  Among a list of transportation priorities—including major roads and long-distance travel—rural Americans selected sidewalks as “important” more often than any other transportation need.

Active Transpiration Beyond Urban Centers: Walking and Bicycling in Small Towns and Rural America.  Report by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

Available here:  www.railstotrails.org/BeyondUrbanCenters

Related articles:

We have to stop building transportation through communities and instead build communities through transportation.’ Unfortunately, as logical as this may sound, Departments of Transportation and Public Works don’t often follow this path.

Article here:  A small town rightsizing success story

The problem with the suburbs isn’t that they are not the city. The problem with the suburbs is the same problem as the city: they had a bad 5 or 6 decades of urban design.

Article here:   Suburbs are not the problem its bad 20th Century design 

Octoberfest, Saturday Oct 12

Beer saved the world, Bicycles are next!

Hang out with friends, eat, have a beer or two, enjoy the live music—and support better bicycling in our community while you’re at it!  

You don’t need to ride a bike but it’s a great opportunity to ride downtown for a fun evening with other people who love to cycle and are working to make our community a more livable place.

Beerandbikes_thumbnaiPortions of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to Shasta Living Streets.

Beer Saved the World:   Egyptian texts contain 100 medical prescriptions calling for beer. * Since beer went through fermentation the alcohol present effectively made it cleaner than water. * Beer saved millions from giardia and worse. * Midwives created ultra-strong beer to ease the pain of labor. * Louis Pasteur studied beer and it led him to invent pasteurization and discover the existence of bacteria, which led to treatments for smallpox and polio.  More information:  Beer Facts And How It Saved The World

Bicycles are Saving the World:  

  • An opportunity for regional world-class advantage in active living
  • Local business, tourism, and strengthening our regional economy
  • A lifestyle choice for young people and their families
  • Improvements in individual health and lower community health costs
  • Safer road conditions for everyone – driving, walking and riding
  • Easy, fast commute times that leave you feeling energized
  • Friendlier communities and business districts
  • Reducing costs of maintaining our road and transportation network
  • Independence, confidence, and better school performance for children and teens who ride to school and for errands
  • Adding joy to life
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Thirty-five Percent Boost In State Funding For Bicycling And Walking!

This is a truly impressive level of support for individuals, families and businesses across the state who will benefit from improvements to safe bicycling and walking in neighborhoods, business districts, and between towns and cities.

Great News from State Government:  California went rapidly from deficit to surplus, and then with a reorganization to improve effectiveness we now have a new Transportation Agency with increased funding to active transportation for better health, greater community interaction, stronger businesses, less pollution and more joy.

Walking and bicycling projects will receive a 35 percent boost in state funding through legislation signed by Governor Jerry Brown last week. The bill establishes a new Active Transportation Program funded by $130 million in the first year. 

Thank you!   It wouldn’t have happened without actions from people all across the state – writing letters, making phone calls, and ongoing membership and support of their local organizations.  Let’s work together to help our communities ensure increased funding is applied in our region to improve the ability for people to bicycle and walk.

This milestone follows months of negotiations between the administration, legislature, and an ad hoc coalition coordinated by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership including California WALKS, California Bicycle Coalition, Rails to Trails Conservancy, PolicyLink, TransForm, Prevention Institute, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, and the Public Health Institute. 

Still, $130 million is about one percent of California’s transportation budget and barely a drop in the bucket compared to the need.

Read more on what this achievement means for the future of California:

  • See the joint statement issued by the statewide coalition of active transportation leaders.

People and business in our region would benefit greatly from improvements to street infrastructure for biking and walking.

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Redding Trails Make Top 10 List

Rails to Trails Conservancy is featuring the trails of California this September with articles and posts about activities across the state.  Redding trails make the Top 10 list – and are the subject of the featured article!  Check out the articles and share them with your friends:

Top 10 Trails in California

Sacramento River Trail was chosen as one of the top ten trails across our great state!

A Thousand Wonders – Plus More!

You’ve read about it in Rails to Trails magazine, now get the full story about the Sacramento River Trail system in the extended story with additional details and travel facts!

This article on the wonderful systems of trails in Redding first appeared in the Fall 2013 edition of Rails to Trails magazine. Due to space restraints, Bryan Goebel’s original piece was edited down quite a bit for the print product.

Rails to Trails Conservancy has made the full article available online, with many additional travel facts and descriptions of the Sacramento River Trails.