Category Archives: News

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.

Report: How to Make Downtown Redding More Walkable

The May 1 workshop, Best Foot Forward: Downtown Redding was a wonderful opportunity to gather people from across the community to discuss opportunities and solutions that could make a real difference in our community.

The California Walks and SafeTREC team developed a report to synthesize the conversations and recommendations.  We want to share the report with you.  It’s available here:

Report – Recommendations to Improve Pedestrian Safety in Downtown Redding

Workshop Presentation – Working Toward a Safe, Vibrant and Walkable Community

Redding Injury & Collision Data –  Data for Redding

California Pedestrian Injury Data – California Injuries Data

The City of Redding was identified as a focus community for a Community Pedestrian Safety Training, in collaboration with Shasta Living Streets, based on resident interest in pedestrian safety and walkability, as well as recent and planned active transportation improvements in and around the downtown core.

Summary of the May 1 Workshop

Redding community members requested a workshop to 1) provide City staff, community organizations, and residents with a toolkit for promoting pedestrian safety and walkability to inform future comprehensive active transportation planning and improvement efforts; 2) foster an open and collaborative relationship between community groups, residents, and City agencies; and 3) develop consensus for pedestrian safety priorities and actionable next steps in downtown Redding.

The workshop was attended by 25 individuals representing a wide range of organizations and disciplines, as well as the community-at-large, including:

  • Francie Sullivan, Mayor, City of Redding
  • Missy McArthur, Vice Mayor, City of Redding; Board Member, Shasta Regional Transportation Agency; Redding Area Bus Authority Representative
  • Kristen Schreder, Council Member, City of Redding; Board Member, Shasta Regional Transportation Agency
  • Redding Department of Public Works
  • Redding Police Department
  • Downtown Redding Property Owners
  • Downtown Redding Transportation Planning Consultants
  • Shasta Living Streets
  • Shasta County Department of Public Works
  • Shasta County Regional Transportation Agency
  • Shasta County Public Health / Healthy Shasta
  • Shasta County Safe Routes to School Program
  • Caltrans District 2
  • Caltrans Headquarters
  • Shasta Historical Society
  • Downtown Business Owners
  • Developers
  • Trilogy Architecture
  • Community Residents

Participant Recommendations

The group reached broad consensus on the following recommendations:

Establish Pedestrian-Friendly Speeds through Traffic Signal Timing:   Participants unanimously agreed that traffic speeds in downtown Redding needed to be re-evaluated and retimed in order to achieve lower, pedestrian-friendly speeds (between 23-25 MPH)—particularly for California, Market, and Pine streets.

Create Safer Intersections with Curb Extensions & Pedestrian Signal Adjustments:   Participants identified several low-cost priority strategies to improve safety for people walking and crossing at intersections, including: building curb extensions—including temporary ones—to reduce crossing distances and slow turning vehicles; improving pedestrian signal timing with automatic pedestrian recall adjustments and leading pedestrian intervals at peak hours at downtown intersections; and adopting a “daylighting” policy to restrict parking at intersections and near crosswalks. Participants supported temporary curb extensions that could be rolled out in the near-term to achieve significant pedestrian safety gains, with Market/Placer, Placer/California, and Pine/Yuba as high-need initial installation sites. Participants noted, however, that the City should also plan for the systematic conversion of any temporary curb extensions to permanent concrete curb extensions in the future.

Ensure Market Street Remains a Pedestrian-Priority Street: Participants broadly supported re- opening Market Street to vehicles with the caveat that Market Street must remain a pedestrian- priority street. Participants identified extremely low vehicle speeds (15 MPH or less) and providing pedestrian-scale amenities (seating, shade, etc.) as key strategies for maintaining Market Street’s commitment to being a pedestrian-oriented space. One group suggested opening cross streets across the Promenade as an alternative approach to re-establishing vehicle traffic on Market Street itself.

Provide Shade throughout Downtown:  Participants identified the lack of shade as a large barrier for people walking and recommended that the City systematically plant additional shade trees and/or install shade structures throughout downtown and especially for the Market Street Promenade.

Explore Options for Downtown Parking Policy:  Participants expressed interest in working with the City to reexamine the downtown area’s parking policy in order to encourage increased turnover through strategies such as variable pricing of on- and off-street parking; creation of a parking benefits district where collected parking fees would be reinvested in streetscape and safety improvements in the area where the fees are collected; and the establishment of a “park once” strategy for downtown.

Improve Downtown Walkability through Parklets, Wayfinding, & Lighting:   Participants identified several strategies to improve downtown’s walkability, including exploring the establishment of temporary, voluntary “parklet” program; installing additional pedestrian-scale lighting; implementing pedestrian-scale wayfinding and signage throughout the downtown area; and improving the lighting and/or painting the ceiling of the central parking garage white to encourage more utilization of off-street parking as a park-once district strategy in the short- term.

MORE INFORMATION — See the report for an overview of safety conditions in downtown, complete input by the group, recommendations by the California Walks and SafeTREC team – and a complete list of all the people, businesses and organizations who contributed to this workshop and report.

Thank You to the many participants who gave their time, energy and expertise for this project.   Thank You to the workshop presenters and facilitators:  The California Walks and SafeTREC team and Cheryl Brinkman from San Francisco MTA.  

And a very special Thank You! to Shasta Living Streets members, business sponsors and supporters whose contributions make projects like this possible.   Thank You to the Northern C’s Cal Alumni Club our community partner for this project.

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Redding is the Feature Story! Caltrans Report

Caltrans announces a new people and community-friendly direction that will help transform communities across California – and Downtown Redding is the Feature Story!

We have set course on a new mission, established a new vision and adopted new goals to ensure that California has a transportation system that meets the complex needs of the coming century.    Caltrans Director, Malcolm Dougherty

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This new direction was announced in Caltrans Performance Report, June 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

We are excited to see the feature article in this important publication – Redding, California:  New Road Diet Improves Downtown Business!  

  • I was initially concerned and not happy about the idea to go from three lanes to two on California Street. But now I love it – the foot traffic at our business [corner of California & Placer] has increased threefold! It’s fantastic.” – James Mazzotta, Enjoy Store

Thank You and congratulations to our many members and supporters who made this project possible in the first place.  Your letters and phone calls supporting this project made the difference.

Read the article:  Mile Marker: Redding, CA. New Road Diet Improves Downtown Business

Goals:  Triple Bicycling, Double Walking and Transit

Caltrans is committed to supporting an increase of bike trips to 4.5 percent of all trips in California in the next five years, plus increasing walk trips to 33 percent and transit to almost 9 percent of all trips.   Read more about this:  Streetsblog: Caltrans goals triple bicycling, double walking and transit by 2020

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In 2015 Caltrans announced an ambitious new direction.

 

 

MISSION

Provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability

GOALS

  • Safety and Health
  • Stewardship and Efficiency
  • Sustainability, Livability and Economy   Make long-lasting, smart mobility decisions that improve the environment, support a vibrant economy, and build communities, not sprawl.
  • System Performance
  • Organizational Excellence

Kudos to staff and leadership at Caltrans District 2 and staff of the City of Redding  for the vision, design and planning to implement the California Street project quickly for the benefit of downtown businesses and local people who want to see a more inviting and safe downtown district.

We look forward to further improvements on California Street and downtown Redding for walking, biking, public spaces, parking and driving – though the current planning processes and future project implementations.

keepcalm_caltrans2

 

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Further Refinements to California Street

When the California Street right-sizing was initially completed,  a large empty area was left on the east side of California Street to the left of the yellow line. We felt this was a less than optimal choice, because we were concerned the wide, empty area would be used as a travel lane or encourage speeding.

Happily. Caltrans recently returned and striped about a dozen on-street parking spaces along the east side of California Street. In addition to adding to downtown Redding’s already generous parking capacity, this has the effect of calming traffic: parked vehicles prevent motorists from using the area as an additional travel lane, the parked vehicles act as a buffer between traveling vehicles and pedestrians on the sidewalk, and the act of on-street parking discourages other motorists from speeding.

This is a win-win: more parking for motorists and safer streets for everyone!

More Refinements on the Way

A process is currently underway to develop a plan for Parking, Circulation, and Transportation in Downtown Redding.   Share your thoughts on these important community development issues:  contact information here –  Downtown Redding Transportation Plan

Mark your Calendar!  The first Community Workshop will be Wednesday, March 25 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, in the Atrium at the south end of the Market Street Promenade.   We hope you can attend this workshop to learn more about planning activities – and ways you can provide your input and ideas for improvements to downtown transportation.  Your voice counts.

Want to learn a little more about the history and development of Downtown Redding?   From the beginning of Redding’s history until today, it’s fascinating!  View it here:  Downtown Redding: A Timeline

Bike-Walk-Trails-Transit Create Local Prosperity

We are excited to be participating in the PROSPERITY project, led by Northern California United Way.   It’s part of our continuing effort to work with groups across the community to achieve reliable routes for people walking, biking and taking transit.

WealthWorks

Reliable Routes for people walking biking and taking transit will help us achieve economic vitality

  • Attract the Talent that Makes a Region Thrive
  • Meet the Needs of Employers and Employees
  • Increase Business in Local Shopping Districts
  • Secure Sustainable Communities Funding for Re-Development
  • Relieve Traffic Congestion (and Cut Public Works Costs)
  • Save Money for Thousands of Households
  • Boost Our Health (and Cut Regional Medical Costs)
  • Meet the Needs of Our Community’s Aging Generations
  • Meet the Needs of Younger Generations
  • Make a Difference in Economic and Racial Inequality
  • Drive the Real Estate Market by Offering Active Living People Want
  • Cash in on the Power of Clusters
  • Increase Public Safety – Eliminate Major Injury Collisions
  • Boost the Academic Performance of Students

Let’s Join the National Movement

  • Americans made 10.7 billion trips on public transportation in 2013– a 37 percent transit increase since 1995.
  • Bike commuting is up 60 percent over the past decade, according to census figures.
  • People are walking 6 percent more than in 2005, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • The number of miles Americans travel in cars and trucks per capita has dropped nine percent since 2005. 

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Prosperity is a cross-sector collaboration of organizations in the Shasta County interested in creating lasting solutions to multi-generational poverty issues and the effects of those issues in our local community.  The vision of Prosperity is to create a connected and vibrant community with a thriving economy that benefits all residents.   More:  United Way Northern California Prosperity

Community Level Goals & Outcome for Website

More Information – Recent Articles

11 Reasons Why Transit, Bikes & Walking Are Moving Us To A Brighter Future.   BeyondChron,   January 21, 2015

New policies and funding to build transit (bus, bike, ped) and other needed infrastructure.  Streetsblog, January 21, 2015

New California policies and funding for affordable housing plus transit (bus, bike, ped).  CaliforniaEconomy.org, March 9, 2015

Invest to create a community where everyone lives well.

Help us make a difference in our community by creating reliable routes and safe spaces:  Bike – Walk – Trails – Transit – &  Vibrant Public Places!   Become a Member Today!

DOWNTOWN REDDING IS ON THE MOVE!

A process is currently underway to develop a plan for Parking, Circulation, and Transportation in Downtown Redding.   Share your thoughts on these important community development issues:  contact information here –  Downtown Redding Transportation Plan

The second Community Workshop will be in September, TBA.

A Short History of Downtown Redding Development.  Want to learn a little more about the history and development of Downtown Redding?   From the beginning of Redding’s history until today, it’s fascinating!  View it here:  Downtown Redding: A Timeline

There are many things to celebrate about the recent street improvements in Downtown Redding:

It’s not just about the bike lanes.  This project benefits pedestrians, drivers, businesses, and property owners too.

Downtown is more comfortable for people walking.  Everyone walks.  Every trip downtown begins and ends with walking. This is why the most important thing to do to create a vibrant downtown is to make it comfortable, convenient, and downright fun to walk!   California Street is much easier for people to walk across now and. calmer traffic on Pine makes people feel more comfortable walking along the sidewalk.

Improvements created calmer traffic that businesses and residents have hoped for and is in the general plan.  Drivers behave more predictably as they drive through downtown.  Far fewer erratic lane changes, less speeding.

This project conforms to recommendations from the Downtown Specific Plan as well as the 2000=2020 General Plan regarding bicycle facilities, circulation, and linkages between downtown and other areas.

Calmer street traffic creates better visibility for businesses.  Business owners like calmer street traffic; it’s easier for people to notice their businesses as they drive by.

Better for people parking and getting in and out of cars.  Businesses have already commented that customers are finding it easier see to park, enter, and exit their cars.  The buffer lane gives people space to open their doors and get in/out  safely without disturbing passing cars.

Improved flow for driving.  Drivers report the changes to California Street have improved the ease of driving from California Street through the intersection with Cypress Avenue, and/or South Market Street.

Better turn lanes on California.  California Street has better turn lanes, especially noticeable at Placer Street. The improvements are especially noticeable for turning by trucks.

No added cost: it’s all just paint.  The asphalt and striping project was already planned and budgeted. The changes to striping have added a minimal amount of extra cost for paint.

It was a highway, and now we don’t need a highway downtown.  The streets were originally configured for traffic that is no longer there. Prior to this project, the streets had not changed since they were part of Highway 99, the primary north/south highway through the state before I-5. Traffic on California Street has dropped 27% from 2002 to 2012. Traffic on Pine Street has dropped nearly 20% during the same time.  We heard a business owner say:  We have six lanes of traffic moving through Redding along I-5; we don’t need that downtown!

Peak traffic is only 40 minutes per day, 5 days a week.  Living Streets are used by everyone. Peak auto traffic might exist for 40 minutes a day for 5 days a week or less, but people move, work, and live on these streets for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

It’s safe.  The projects are expected to decrease accidents for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.   Studies of similar traffic calming and bicycle lanes show reduced crashes and increased safety.

Increase retail sales and raise property values.  Studies of similar traffic calming and bicycle lanes show increases in retail sales.

It sets the stage for the future of Downtown Redding.     Caltrans will be monitoring results and considering further improvements to be made in five years.

Results from these improvements will inform the planning efforts underway now to build a better future for a vibrant downtown.

We are grateful to Caltrans District 2 and the City of Redding for making these improvements to benefit businesses and our community.

keepcalm_caltrans2

 

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Three Feet to Save Lives

Why is this a Big Deal?

Bicycling is good for our community, for families and businesses.  This is just one of the steps to make it easy for people to choose a bicycle for some of their daily trips.  Bicycling is fun, economical and healthy, and this law helps remind all drivers to think about passing safely.

 “The CHP says there’s really no excuse for breaking the upcoming three foot rule.  “If you can’t give them three feet, slow down, reduce your speed and only pass when it’s safe to do so”,  CHP Officer Edgar Figueroa said.    http://abc7.com/news/ca-law-requires-3-feet-buffer-between-drivers-bicyclists/292322/

When drivers give bicyclists more space as they pass, a leading cause of deadly collisions is minimized and more people feel comfortable about choosing to ride their bikes, which in turn promotes a more livable and economically viable community for us all.

The law now requires motorists to give at least three feet of clearance when passing a bike in the same lane.  If not enough space is available, the motorist must slow down and pass when no danger is present to the bicyclist.  This is one step in a comprehensive set of actions local communities and the state are taking to make bicycling safe for people of all abilities.

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The three foot law goes into effect in California September 16th, 2014.

A person traveling by bicycle on a street is vulnerable.   Similarly, road construction crews are vulnerable.   As are pedestrians – nearly 4,300 people died when hit by cars in 2010, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.

Slow down and think about passing safely

What you can do:  Pass people on bicycles safely when you drive, giving at least a three foot buffer zone between your car and a person on a bicycle.  Tap your brakes, slow down, and think about passing safely.

Help your friends and family understand that by doing so they help prevent crashes that kill more adult bicyclists than any other cause in California and the US.

A car obviously weighs several thousand pounds and a pedestrian or bicyclist, as a result, will lose in any collision.

What if you can’t give three feet?

The law requires drivers to slow down and wait until it’s possible to pass with a minimum of three feet. The key is to slow down and wait and decide how to pass safely.

Two short videos to help understand the law visually

Driver and bicyclist illustrating how far 3’ is with a measuring tape.   Watch video – click here

Driver passing  bicyclist  giving  at  least  three  feet  of  room.  Watch video – click here

Some key points

  • California embraces and is encouraging bike use.  This law is one of the elements in that campaign.
  • By California law, bicycles are legal vehicles on the street.
  • 24 other states already have this law.
  • Three feet is the minimum.
  • Does the law prohibit a bike from passing a car closer than three feet, for example in a downtown area?  No.
  • Research has proven that with more people riding bikes the safety environment improves for all users as both motorists and bicyclists become more accustomed to sharing the road safely.

More information and links at the bottom of this page.

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