As historian David McCullough so succinctly put it, “History is who we are and why we are the way we are.”
What better way to understand the present and future of Redding than by looking at its past? To that end, we’ve put together a brief timeline of what we consider to be key events in the history of Redding’s development.
Yes, hindsight is always 20/20, but that’s not a bad thing. By studying the past we can build a brighter future.
– Thank you to Michael Kuker for research and production of this timeline and to the Shasta Historical Society for use of their research library and historic photos.
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.
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 email@example.com RIGHT NOWand 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 hugedifference in the walkability and bikeability of downtown Redding in the near term. We need your help!
What might California Street look like?
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.
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.
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!
Do you sometimes enjoy biking to work? Thinking about it but need some encouragement?
Join us for Happy Hour and the Bike Commute Festival on Friday. Please join us whether you ride on this day or not …. Come meet people who ride locally and swap ideas, tips and stories. Learn about programs and how you can get involved in the movement to create better bikeways and walkable cities and towns in our region.
And enjoy Shasta Living Streets Better Bikeway Brew, a blond ale from Deschutes Brewery!
Our beer celebrates the Better Bikeways Campaign for Shasta County. Photos available on Instagram: Better Bikeways Photos
Then – Later that evening, head over to the Bike-In Movie in the Downtown Promenade. At about 8:30pm. More information: FREE Bike-in Movie Night
Klunkerz: A Film About Mountain Bikes – documents mountain bike history during its formative years in Northern California and examines the relationships of the Marin County teens, athletes, and entrepreneurs who were directly responsible for popularizing off-road cycling. The film includes many interviews with those present during the embryonic stages of the sport, including Gary Fisher, Charlie Kelly, Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey, Mike Sinyard, and Otis Guy, and covers “the treacherous old Repack races.”
The film was written, produced, and directed by independent California filmmaker Billy Savage and released on October 8, 2006.
Join friends from Shasta Living Streets and The Shasta Wheelman as we ride in the parade to help our community understand that we ride too!Help spread the word about people on bicycles in our community and enjoy the beautiful day and riding in the parade – it’s really fun!
Yep, We ride too!
Saturday, May 17th, 2014. Meet on California Street between Shasta and Eureka Way at 8:30 am.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Bikestationto provide services and information for people using a bicycle to get around Downtown Redding and beyond.
Bike corral or bicycle lockers for shoppersat the Farmers Market and visiting the historical site and other attractions.
Roll-on bicycle service at Amtrack – Infrastructureto ensure convenient travel for people with bicycles
Local neighborhood connections – Infrastructureto 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
If you have any ideas or other input you want to see included, or just want to talk about the project, please contact Anne.
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:
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:
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.
Some of you may have noticed there’s been a lot of roadwork going on Parkview Avenue, just south of the Redding Civic Center. The City of Redding has resurfaced the street with a nice, fresh overlay and taken the opportunity to put Parkview Avenue on what’s commonly known as a “road diet.”
The term road diet can be misleading, conjuring images of sacrifice, frustration, and scarcity. We prefer the term “rightsizing.” The goal is to reallocate resources in a more useful way that reflects the current needs of the community and to make streets more livable for everyone.
Rightsizing is typically applied to streets with excess capacity, most commonly two-way streets with two lanes in each direction. Rightsizing usually reconfigures the street to one lane in either direction, and the freed-up space is then used to improve the street’s facilities.
Rightsizing Changes To Parkview Avenue
In Parkview Avenue’s case, a well-marked bike lane has been added in either direction along with a center turn lane. Parkview Avenue has actually gained a lane—going from four lanes to five—one in each direction for motorists, one in each direction for cyclists, and a center turn lane for safer turns!
The city has also added bulb-outs at several intersections. Bulb-outs are features where the sidewalk is extended into the street at corners, making a bulblike shape. Bulb-outs make streets much more pedestrian friendly because they shorten the distance to cross from sidewalk to sidewalk—which is great for families with small children, the elderly, and the differently abled. Bulb-outs also encourage cars to slow down in order to safely navigate the turn onto the cross street.
Benefits of a Rightsizing a Street
Decreases vehicle travel lanes for pedestrians to cross, therefore reducing the multiple‐threat crash (when one vehicle stops for a pedestrian in a travel lane on a multi‐lane road, but the motorist in the next lane does not, resulting in a crash) for pedestrians.
Improves safety for bicyclists when bike lanes are added (such lanes also create a buffer space between pedestrians and vehicles).
Provides the opportunity for on-street parking (also a buffer between pedestrians and vehicles).
Reduces rear-end and side-swipe crashes.
Improves speed limit compliance and decreases crash severity when crashes do occur.
When modified from four travel lanes to two travel lanes with a two-way left-turn lane, roadways have experienced a 29 percent reduction in all roadway crashes.
Rightsizing is endorsed by the Federal Highway Administration as a proven safety countermeasure that benefits motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.
A 2007 City of Redding speed study (the most current posted to the City of Redding website) indicates Parkview Avenue carries an average daily traffic of 4,600 vehicles. The FHA notes that “it has been shown that roads with 15,000 ADT or less had very good results in the areas of safety, operations, and livability [when rightsizing has been applied.]”
Furthermore, The 2000-2020 City of Redding General Plan designated Parkview as a focus area and called for the city to “establish public open-space and pedestrian/bicycle links between the river and parks, activity centers, schools, and other major open-space areas such as stream corridors” and to “provide for a pattern of development that encourages walking, bicycling, and transit use.” Parkview Avenue was also named as proposed Class II bikeway facility in the transportation element of the general plan.
The residents of Parkview are thrilled with the rightsizing. In a recent email to our organization, Heather Phillips, president of Parkview Neighborhood
Association, writes, “I am so thrilled with the Parkview Avenue project currently underway… and I want to assure everyone that it is noticed and LOVED and welcomed.”
A Minor Quibble
There are still some areas for improvement and issues brought up by local residents that have not yet been addressed. For example, there is a section of sidewalk that was not completed and crucial improvements are still needed to help people walk and bicycle safely cross the A.C.I.D. canal. We encourage the city to address these as soon as is possible so that Parkview Avenue can truly be considered a complete street.
That said, the improvements that have been made terrific. It’s great to see the City of Redding focus on Redding’s core and impressive to see how far Parkview Avenue has come in the past decade!