Category Archives: Call To Action

Share your biking and walking safety concerns by Mon July 24

Do you want safer streets for walking and bicycling? 

Would you like the Redding City Council to continue to prioritize efforts to improve the safety and accessibility of streets and neighborhoods? 

Your voice counts.  The Redding City Council is asking for input.
Help ensure this serious safety issue continues to be a priority for the City of Redding.  Contact information below.

The Challenge

Traffic deaths and life-altering injuries from collisions are preventable.  For too long we’ve considered traffic deaths and severe injuries to be inevitable side effects of modern life.  We face a crisis on our streets — with traffic violence taking too many lives, both from collisions and from sedentary lifestyles.

The significant loss of life exacts a tragic toll, extending beyond personal loss to deep community impacts, including: personal economic costs and emotional trauma to those suffering; and significant taxpayer spending on emergency response and long-term healthcare costs. And because so many fear for their safety on our streets, there is no real transportation choice for our families — no right to choose to walk or bike — and, as a result, we compromise our public health with increasing rates of sedentary diseases, higher transportation costs, traffic congestion and pollution.

The Vision

We can save lives, prevent life-altering injuries, increase physical activity, reduce the high cost of transportation for local families, and improve the livability of our community and the strength of our local economy.

People in Redding from all walks of life -staff in the City of Redding and Shasta Regional Transportation, as well as businesses, developers and community groups are attempting to address this problem.  We want to ensure that their work to make streets safer for all modes of transportation continues to be a priority so they can move forward with reliable data, resources, and political support.

How you can help

Two opportunities for public participation are available:

First, Share your thoughts in an email  

City Council wants to know what safety issues concern you – and what solutions you would like to see addressed.  Please send a respectful email with your concerns for safe bicycling and walking in Redding, generally, on with specific detail.  We want to register the communities interest to continue addressing this serious safety issue.

Email here:  publicsafetyforum@cityofredding.org
All emails are due by 5 p.m. Monday, July 24  

  • Emails and will be provided to the City Council prior to the forum.
  • Email questions will be addressed at the forum as time allows, and may be addressed in subsequent materials.

And/or attend the forum and share your thoughts in person

Community Forum
Thursday. July 27
4 to 7 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 777 Cypress Avenue

In addition to the City Council, Redding Police officials will attend, as well representatives of Shasta County public safety agencies. The forum will include background information on what the City has done, and is able to do, to combat crime, including a rundown on ordinances the City has enacted to protect the public.

STAY INFORMED

Each year, more than 30,000 people — the population of a small city — are needlessly killed on American streets and thousands more are injured.  We call this suffering traffic “accidents” — but, in reality, we have the power to prevent traffic collisions.
Learn more at visionzeronetwork.org

 

Beach Bus! Great things happen when we work together

SRTA, RABA, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and Redding Recreation are joining together to make the Beach Bus a reality.

This program comes directly from feedback given in recent unmet needs surveys that show strong interest in summer service to the lake.  This was validated as a priority by the nine member Social Services Transportation Advisory Council  (Reminder:  We are lucky to have Margie McAleer represents us on this council, on behalf of Shasta Living Streets members and mission.)

ACTION ALERT:  Join us at the RABA meeting next Monday to show support for this program!   

  • Monday June 20, 5:15pm at Redding City Council Chambers.  You’ll find us in the right side seating / towards the front.

Local agencies are responding quickly to your voices on the transit unmet-needs surveys. Thank you to everyone for taking a little time to make comments.

Beach Bus

Great things happen when we work together!

Let’s continue to show our support for improvements to transit that build excellence and support active lifestyles in Shasta County!

It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way

Yesterday, a person on bicycle was killed in Redding.

At Shasta Living Streets, we believe that most collisions are preventable by reducing dangerous behaviors and building streets that work for everyone.

In America, over 30,000 people die every year on our streets and highways; somehow, we have become inured to these daily tragedies and accept them as inevitable. Programs like Vision Zero say, “Wait a minute, these deaths are preventable. We don’t have to accept this—better infrastructure and better policies can stop the slaughter.” What’s more, Vision Zero programs have been shown to work.

Better infrastructure like protected bike lanes are the cornerstone of any Vision Zero program. Make no mistake, protected bike lanes work:

And better infrastructure doesn’t benefit just people on bikes:

  • When protected bike lanes are installed in New York City, injury crashes for all road users (drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists) typically drop by 40 percent and by more than 50 percent in some locations. [source: Memorandum on Bike Lanes, City of New York, Office of the Mayor, 21 March 2011]

Better bicycle infrastructure also has many proven economic benefits, but we will discuss that another time. The fact is that we can do better. We should do better.

Let’s not shy away from excellence. Let’s not turn our back on the deaths. Let’s work together to built streets that work better for people who walk, bike, and drive.

Help us extend the river trail network and enhance river access

Flyshop

fishes_boatingtrail_water

Shasta Living Streets, The Fly Shop, The Civic Auditorium, Turtle Bay have teamed up to support The City of Redding to scope and implement improvements along the riverfront west of the Sundial Bridge.   

We are asking our members and customers, partners and friends to join us and take a simple step to build a community-contribution fund that will support City of Redding trail and boat ramp improvement project.

This fund will be used to develop improvements that build on our current assets, address specific challenges, and make improvements today that will benefit families and businesses in the near term, while also creating a legacy for our community into the future.

You can help extend the river trail network and enhance river access

More information HERE

Scholarship Available: Join the local team at the California Bicycle Coalition Summit

The 2015 California Bicycle Summit will take place Sunday, October 25th through Wednesday, October 28th in San Diego

Join the local team at the conference –  Shasta Living Streets and Chico Velo have formed a local delegation of individuals to attend the summit and build synergy by learning and networking together.

SCHOLARSHIP AVAILABLE.   Healthy Shasta will provide one scholarship for a Shasta County resident to attend the  2015 California Bicycle Summit

  • The deadline to apply for a Professional Development Scholarship through Healthy Shasta is Tuesday, September 8, 2015, at 5 pm.
  • Info on how to apply:  2015 Scholarship Bike Summit Application
  • Contact Amy at  bike@healthyshasta.org  for more information about this scholarship opportunity.

What is the California Bicycle Summit?

The California Bicycle Summit is hosted by the California Bicycle Coalition and includes three days of interactive panels, inspiring presentations, bike tours, sessions to share best practices and build skills, and networking – all oriented toward creating healthier, safer, and more prosperous communities.

Note: Shasta Living Streets and our members are one of 16 partner affiliates of the California Bicycle Coalition, representing regions across the state.

Details are at California Bicycle Summit 2015

Equity is the theme of this year’s Summit. Tracks include:

  • Open Streets —how to create or improve Open Streets events.
  • Building Better Bikeways — latest and best practice in (re-)designing streets and paths to create networks of low-stress bikeways connecting destinations, sponsored by Alta Planning + Design.
  • Movement Building — learn from the best among California’s bicycle advocates how to strengthen your voice for more bicycle-friendly communities.
  • Prosperity — biking is good business, and good for the economy.
  • Education — best practices in educating drivers and bicyclists about safe sharing of the roads.
  • Enforcement — what role does enforcement play in promoting safer bicycling?
  • Communications — using new and traditional media to reach all Californians effectively.

URGENT Call to Action: Rightsizing on California Street

An article (subscription required) in Saturday’s Record-Searchlight makes it clear that there is still discussion about whether 2 lanes for auto traffic with the addition of a Better Bikeway would better serve downtown businesses and local families than the current configuration of three lanes for auto traffic only.

As Caltrans talks bikes lanes in downtown Redding, push to reduce lanes on California St. emerges. … “discussion on Wednesday is shaping up to be over whether the less-congested California Street should be reduced from three lanes to two.”   Your voice is necessary to make a difference.  Please send your input—it’s easy!  Here’s why we feel these improvements are so essential:

  • This is a rare opportunity to improve the flow of movement in downtown Redding in the immediate future.
  • It would be the first step to replacing the aging highway conditions in downtown Redding and building an urban avenue featuring better bikeways, greenways, and improved crosswalks.
  • It would improve the movement and connections between the Westside neighborhoods (and important upcoming improvements there) and the Promenade and Pine Street areas.
  • It would provide the opportunity for a Better Bikeway connecting the popular Sacramento River Trail to downtown businesses. This would keep bicycle travel out of the dangerous “door zone” and separated from auto traffic.
  • It will make downtown walking safer and more convenient and improve the foot traffic that is essential for healthy businesses.
  • It will calm traffic moving through downtown without causing congestion.
  • It aligns to improvements that are planned in the longer term.
  • It is the type of improvement called for in the current General Plan.
  • Its a great opportunity to do more with less:  Less cost to the taxpayer and bigger benefits to businesses and families.

This is exactly the kind of real change that will boost the viability of downtown by helping make downtown Redding a place people want to be.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

We need you to email the Caltrans District 2 Public Information Office at d2pio@dot.ca.gov RIGHT NOW and tell them you support rightsizing California Street to two lanes and adding a buffered bikeway.  Get your friends and family to email as well!  We don’t have much time, Caltrans will be making their decision this Wednesday, May 28.  Make no mistake –  this improvement will not happen without strong public support.

Caltrans and the City of Redding have been tremendous supporters of our cause and have been eager to listen to our suggestions; that’s why it’s absolutely critical that we show there is a demand for this kind of quality downtown boulevard and bicycling facility in Redding.

Here’s a suggestion for what you can say:

I support rightsizing of California Street with two lanes for auto traffic and a Better Bikeway on California Street.  I think this is a good idea for downtown business and local families because [choose any of the benefits outlined above and add your own].  I am a [business owner, parent, professional ….] and I thank Caltrans and the City of Redding for your willingness to make these improvements in the near team to support the health and vitality of downtown Redding which will benefit local businesses, families and our regional economy.”

This is our chance to make a huge difference in the walkability and bikeability of downtown Redding in the near term.  We need your help!

What might California Street look like?

The proposed restriping of California Street.
The potential restriping of California Street.

Caltrans will be making a pavement overlay on California Street in downtown Redding this summer as part of $3 million dollar project.  There is potential to rightsize California Street to two lanes and add a Better Bikeway with buffers along the bike lane—providing safer movement for all users of the roadway.

Our Analysis

Why should we rightsize the lanes on California Street?

Road diets result in safer streets for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. Researchers have found that road diets can be expected to reduce overall crash frequency by anywhere from 19% to 43%, with the higher crash reductions occurring in small urban areas than in metropolitan areas. A recent rightsizing of a one-way NYC street from three lanes to two resulted in a reduction of the percentage of vehicles on the street breaking the speed limit from 74% to 20% and the percentage of cyclists riding on the sidewalk decreased from 46% to 3%.

If California Street were rightsized, pedestrians would have one less lane of motor traffic to cross, motorists would be less prone to switch from lane to lane erratically, and there would be more room for cyclists.

The difference a road diet will make in the street life of California Street is incalculable. Peak traffic might exist for 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week or less, but people move on these streets for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Won’t going from three lanes to two increase congestion?

No. The FHA has determined that road diets do not cause congestion on roads that carry under 20,000 ADTS (Average Daily Trips). California Street carried an estimated 9,200 ADTS in 2012.  That’s maybe 1/3 more than Parkview Avenue carried that year.  Parkview Avenue recently rightsized to 1 lane in each direction—noticed any congestion on Parkview lately? Neither have we.

In discussing road diets, the FHA states:   “It has been shown that roads with 15,000 ADT or less had very good results in the areas of safety, operations, and livability.”

Furthermore, the data shows automobile traffic for California Street has been trending downwards over recent years, reflecting the national trend for less driving overall.

Shouldn’t we just leave the streets alone? They’ve been fine like this for a long time.

No, they haven’t been fine.

The streets are currently designed to move the maximum amount of traffic through downtown at a high amount of speed.  This makes downtown more unpleasant and uncomfortable for pedestrians and bicyclists, and is bad for business.

The current general plan, in place for many years, makes clear that this type of goal has drawbacks for local business and calls for changes like the one now being discussed: “moving traffic through Downtown without delay detracts from efforts to establish an active, pedestrian-friendly area” and the plan allows for “‘tolerable delays’ for the Downtown area where vitality, activity, and pedestrian and transit use are primary goals.” The plan has a stated policy to “restrict speed limits in residential neighborhoods, Downtown, and other areas of the City where pedestrian activities are strongly encouraged to reduce the potential for pedestrian injuries and fatalities.”

If we rightsized California Street, what would we do with all that space?

Glad you asked! We’re like to see a buffered bikeway! After all, the City of Redding 2000-2020 General Plan has a stated goal of making it easier and safer for people to travel by bicycle, to be effected by “incorporat[ing] facilities suitable for bicycle use in the design of interchanges, intersections, and other street-improvement/maintenance projects. ”  This type of Better Bikeway can easily be implemented within the limited scope of the current overlay project.

What’s a buffered bikeway?

NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) defines a buffered bikeway as “conventional bicycle lanes paired with a designated buffer space separating the bicycle lane from the adjacent motor vehicle travel lane and/or parking lane.” Simply put, it’s a normal bike lane with a little extra space just like the image at the top of this post.

Is a buffered bikeway on California Street a good idea?

YES. Yes, yes, unequivocally, yes!

It’s good for business: 

    • Portland State University researchers found that customers who arrive by bike spend 24% more per month than those who arrive by car.

    • Traveling by bike encourages more frequent stops than a car. In a study of Toronto merchants, patrons arriving by foot and bicycle visit the most often and spend the most money per month.

    • New York City found that protected green lanes had a significant positive impact on local business strength. After the construction of a protected bike lane on 9th Avenue, local businesses saw a 49 percent increase in retail sales. In comparison, local businesses throughout Manhattan only saw a 3 percent increase in retail sales.

It’s good for everyone:

    • Even drivers who never ride bikes themselves overwhelmingly report greater comfort around physically separated bike lanes.

    • After Chicago’s Kinzie Street green lane was installed, a travel time study found little to no effect on automobile traffic: – Eastbound morning rush hour travel time from Milwaukee Avenue to Wells Street increased by less than one minute. – Westbound morning rush hour travel times from Wells Street to Milwaukee Avenue slightly improved. – Evening rush hour travel time in both directions slightly improved.

    • After New York City installed a protected green bike lane on Columbus Avenue, bicycling increased 56% on weekdays, crashes decreased 34%, speeding decreased, sidewalk riding decreased, traffic flow remained similar, and commercial loading hours/space increased 475%

If you build it, people will ride:

    • After buffered green lanes were installed on Philadelphia’s Spruce and Pine streets, bike traffic increased 95% and the number of bicyclists riding on the sidewalks decreased by up to 75%
    • After a green lane was installed on Chicago’s Kinzie Street: Bicycle ridership on increased 55 percent, according to morning rush hour counts; Forty-one percent of respondents changed their usual route to take advantage of the new protected green lane.

    • NYC’s Prospect Park West protected green lane saw a 190 percent increase in weekday ridership, with 32 percent of those biking under age 12.

It’s what people want:

    • 94% of respondents to a recent Shasta Living Streets survey agreed or strongly agreed that if there were better bicycle (like buffered or protected bike lanes) facilities and pedestrian facilities in town, they would ride their bicycle or walk more often.
    • 93% of respondents to a recent Shasta Living Streets survey agreed or strongly agreed that a buffered or protected bike lane would make them feel more comfortable riding their bicycle on city streets.
    • Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Americans who don’t bicycle say they would like to ride more often.

Citations for these and many more statistics can be found at People for Bikes’ website.

Why should my tax money be used on a bicycle lane?

  • Most bicyclists also own a car and pay taxes and registration like everyone else.
  • In 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation that requires cities and counties, when updating the part of a local general plan that addresses roadways and traffic flows, to ensure that those plans account for the needs of all roadway users—not just motorists.
  • More people on bicycles means less auto traffic for the remaining motorists on the road, and it reduces city costs for maintaining roads since bicycles do not cause the same wear and tear on road surfaces as heavier cars and trucks.

Is this an ambitious enough proposal?

This is just an overlay project and has a very limited budget and scope. A buffered bikeway can be put into place with just a few gallons of paint. Any more significant changes to downtown circulation would be more expensive and would have to wait for a future project. In this case, the perfect is the enemy of the good and we should applaud Caltrans and the City of Redding for attempting to do more with less!