Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Bike and walking trails by train rails? Say it ain't so!

There was discussion today about rails and trails at the Citizens Port Development meeting today. I heard skepticism of the concept, but it is being done elsewhere. printer version : rails and trails : rails with trails Seems kind of crazy to me to put citizens in high risk peril situations with trains, but I am open to the idea if safety issues can be addressed. I think local trail advocates would just like the removal of the rail ties all together, as most people in the county have given up hope of future rail service. But if Proposition 1B is passed as is likely, there would be a chance to lobby for some of the windfall. Local rail advocate Moss Bittner says the time is now to contact all transportation related government entities and express the desire for monies to be earmarked for future Northern California rail development. So what are you waiting for? Get on the phone and call Spencer Clifton of the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCOAG). That's a good start.


Anonymous said...

Great. Another opportunity to pour tax dollars down the drain.

Can you say boondoggle?

mrsb814 said...

Thanks for your post regarding the Citizens for Port Development meeting at lunch today (Samoa Cookhouse), Richard!
Rails and trails can coexist-we have to lobby HCOAG, our elected officials at all levels so they know we want this...

With the population of California going up another 15 million people in the next 10-15 years, CalTrans is not able to provide enough lanes for that many more cars-and who wants to be San Jose anyway?

Rails and Trails can coexist but there are many safety issues to address-together.

Humboldt County has the ability to obtain the partial monies from the State of California after 1B passes and then we can work on matching funds via federal transportation grants and private foundations. I have a LIST!

All help is appreciated. Negative comments will serve as tasks-just issues to be resolved. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Rails with trails work in the midwest where you have excess right of way next to the tracks. Ain't gonna happen here as not only is there a lack of right of way (wetlands, etc.) but the NCRA will NEVER allow it.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I think that the public is pretty safe from the prospect of getting hit by a train here. Read both the bond language and the state's goods movement report. We don't have a chance for any of that money. It's all going down south.

mrsb814 said...

Let's start small-Think matching funds and private grants to clean up the rails around Humboldt Bay for Marcus Brown's excursion train and Railroad museum.

I can't be the only one (besides Marcus) who would like to see this get going.

From the response at Citizen's for Port Development yesterday and other times I've attended, I would say there is community support. But we could use some enthusiasm!

Anonymous said...

Here's some enthusiasm

Anonymous said...

A couple of points on trails:

1. You need local gov dollars to do the planning and permitting BEFORE you can get the big bucks to do the construction.

2. The Coastal Conservancy is one agency ready to provide the needed trails dollars.

3. The Coastal Conservancy is still at odds with the City of Eureka over the $ 1 million plus they offered the City to rehab PALCO Marsh some 10 or so years ago. The City is just now ever so slowly beginning work. Trail money won't come until PALCO Marsh is completed.

4. Eureka did put up $50k to get the planning and permitting started on the Elk River Access trail project (Del Norte to Herrick). That planning is under way.

5. I heard from a reliable source that Rob Arkley is doing his own study on the viability of the railroad coming back. He wants a final answer as the rail effects his projects.

Anonymous said...

Then there is rail banking. Removing the rails and ties but maintaing the right of way with a trail on top. It leaves the potential for the railroad to come back. The NCRA will hear nothing of it.

Bottom line is the NCRA is the biggest obstacle to trails. They do not want to discuss trails period.

Same for Marcus and his excursion train. Zero support from the NCRA and the Harbor District. I like this idea and have ridden the trolly in Astoria that travels their old train tracks along the Columbia.

But it does take ridership in order to maintain it. Even in Astoria they have a hard time and use an all volunteer staff.

Anonymous said...

12:44 I have an idea that NCRA is having none of it for the same reason we are kicking ourselves over North Coast Water going to Central and Southern California right now.

Didn't somebody sign into law-that we could have our water back if there was a drought and we needed to keep it here?

I don't blame them-Trails Trust can cut their trails someplace else or they can go in with advocates for North Coast rail service. Better together-fighting over it leaves us nowhere.

Anonymous said...

The NCRA will be broke in 5 years. No rail and no trail.

Anonymous said...

You will never get a grant to "clean up the tracks", it will just grow back waiting for something that is very unlikely to happen.

Anonymous said...