Caltrans Proposed Project in Richardson Grove Is ‘senseless, wasteful and damaging’, Says Letter Writer

Richardson Grove

Richardson Grove [Photo by MARELBU via Wikimedia Commons]

Welcome to our letters to the editor/opinion section. To submit yours for consideration, please send to mskymkemp@gmail.com. Please consider including an image to be used–either a photograph of you or something applicable to the letter. However, an image is not necessary for publication. Remember opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of Redheaded Blackbelt nor have we checked the letters for accuracy.

Greetings … hopefully you have been keeping an eye on local media and have seen that yes indeed the opponents of the Caltrans project have filed another lawsuit in the on-going effort to stop this senseless, wasteful and damaging project [in Richardson Grove].  This most recent lawsuit is the Federal companion to a State Court action filed several months ago.  The Federal suit alleges violations of NEPA  – the Federal environmental protection statute and the State action alleges violations of CEQA the California environmental protection statute.  These companion lawsuits resulted from Caltrans’ renewed authorization of its project on the basis of no significant environmental impact.

The objective of the project has not changed – it is to allow passage of Interstate-size big-rigs through the Grove to the detriment of other users of the road such as Park visitors, bicyclists, passenger vehicles and most importantly to the detriment of the health of the ancient old-growth trees that the Park is supposed to be protecting.

Caltrans has not presented any scientific evidence that uprooting the pavement and tearing into the root structure of the ancient trees will not result in harm to the trees, let alone acknowledged the effects of increased truck traffic.  In fact, their proposal flies straight into the body of evidence that holds that the redwoods are shallow rooted and that pressure on the roots will harm the trees.  Recently it was announced that a boardwalk is being constructed in the Grove of Titans in Jedediah Smith State Park to protect the ancient redwoods there from the pressure of sightseeing tourists wandering on foot about the Grove! If foot traffic is so harmful how can you justify increased truck traffic?

Now that we are paying an extra 12 cents per gallon on fuel tax for road repair you may be interested to note that Caltrans has upped the cost of the project from a mere $10 million when the project was announced in 2007 to a hefty $25 million now.  Any bets on a final number?  Caltrans is notorious at underestimating the cost of its projects.  Remember the $6 BILLION overage on the Bay Bridge?  Closer to home the infamous Willits by-pass topped its estimated $300 million cost and is now nearing at last estimate almost $500 million and still counting for the cost of mitigation.

The so-called justification for this project varies depending on which side of its mouth Caltrans choses to speak from.  Sometimes it is safety and then sometimes it is economic growth – both arguments are specious and not supported by either facts or common sense.

More, larger big-rigs will pay havoc with our local roads and Caltrans does not provide maintenance dollars for local roads.  Big-rig trucks are not only the most polluting vehicles on the road but also the most dangerous as the recent spate of big-rig accidents on our local roads can attest.

Their laughable argument that allowing access by Interstate-size trucks will save the Humboldt consumers money on everyday purchases is totally unsupported by any objective measure.

Currently the action is in the Courts but those concerned can take action individually in a number of ways.  Letters to the editor, letters to elected representatives and donations to help with Court costs and literature are appreciated.  EPIC (the Environmental Protection Information Center) is one of the plaintiffs and donations can be made at wildcalifornia.org – please specify that your donation is for Richardson Grove.

Thank you for your continued interest in this struggle and we’ll keep you posted as the Court cases grind on.  Thanks also to our community members who serve as individual plaintiffs as well as to EPIC, CBD (the Center for Biological Diversity) and CATS (Californians for Alternatives to Toxics) and to our devoted, hardworking attorneys.  With respect, Barbara Kennedy

DOCUMENT: https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/public_lands/forests/saving_Richardson_Grove/pdfs/Richardson_Grove_Complaint.pdf

Kennedy also provided the following information showing a number of big rig accidents that she says supports her contention that big rigs are unsafe.

10-19-17

[UPDATE 10:10 a.m.] Big Rig Smashed Through Guardrail North of Hooker Creek on Hwy 101

October 19, 2017 Kym Kemp 37 comments

http://kymkemp.com/2017/10/19/big-rig-smashed-through-guardrail-north-of-hooker-creek-on-hwy-101/

10-17-17

[UPDATE 4 a.m.] Zenia Bluff Road Closed After Semi Gets Stuck…Again

October 17, 2017 Kym Kemp 12 comments

http://kymkemp.com/2017/10/17/zenia-bluff-road-closed-after-semi-gets-stuck-again/

8-18-17

[UPDATE 7:50 a.m.] Big Rig Accident Near Chapman’s Gem Shop on Hwy 101; One Lane Blocked

August 18, 2017 Kym Kemp 21 comments

http://kymkemp.com/2017/08/18/big-rig-accident-near-chapmans-gem-shop-on-hwy-101-one-lane-blocked/

8-9-17

http://kymkemp.com/2017/08/09/semi-jackknifed-blocking-zenia-road/

Semi Jackknifed Blocking Zenia Road

August 9, 2017 Kym Kemp 23 comments

8-8-17

Big rig‑pickup collision blocks Highway 101 in Hopland

RANDI ROSSMANN THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | August 8, 2017, 1:33PM

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/7286583-181/big-rigpickup-collision-blocks-highway?artslide=0

8-3-17

Family mourns mother and daughter killed in big rig crash

Posted 10:47 AM, August 3, 2017, by City News Service and Sharon Chen, Updated at 09:22AM, August 4, 2017

http://fox5sandiego.com/2017/08/03/family-mourns-death-of-mother-and-daughter-killed-in-big-rig-crash/

7-5-17

[UPDATE 7:11 a.m.] Head-on Crash Between Big Rig and Passenger Vehicle

July 5, 2017 Kym Kemp 8 comments

http://kymkemp.com/2017/07/05/head-on-crash-between-big-rig-and-passenger-vehicle/ 

6-30-17

Trucking Industry Split on Push Toward Heavier Trucks

***NOTE IN THIS ARTICLE TOWARD THE END IT ADMITS THAT BIG RIG TRUCK ACCIDENTS HAVE INCREASED, ETC.

Clarissa Hawes

June 30, 2017

Editor’s Picks, Financial

https://www.trucks.com/2017/06/30/trucking-industry-push-toward-heavier-trucks/

5-22-17

http://kymkemp.com/2017/05/22/logging-truck-accident-on-299-medevack-called-for-logs-in-westbound-lanes/

UPDATE 5:40 p.m.] Logging Truck Accident on 299; Medevack Called For; Logs in Westbound Lanes

http://kymkemp.com/2017/05/22/semi-overturned-on-hwy-36-both-lanes-blocked/

[UPDATE 5:38 p.m.] Semi Overturned on Hwy 36; Both Lanes Blocked

May 22, 2017 Kym Kemp 10 comments

5-15-17

 

Trailer of Big Rig Overturned on Hwy 299 Spreading Fertilizer and Blocking One Lane

http://kymkemp.com/2017/05/15/trailer-of-big-rig-overturned-on-hwy-299-spreading-fertilizer-and-blocking-one-lane/

4-23-17

http://kymkemp.com/2017/04/23/47000-pounds-of-beer-on-the-road-take-one-down-pass-it-around/

47,000 Pounds of Beer on the Road; Take One Down, Pass It Around?

April 23, 2017 Kym Kemp 38 comments

3-17-17 Semi crashes into Hopland tap house

https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2017/mar/17/semi-crashes-hopland-tap-house-after-driver-report/

3-4-17 Big Rig on Redwood Drive collides with pedestrian walking in the opposite direction

https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2017/mar/6/pedestrian-struck-big-rig-killed-while-walking-tra/

2-18-17 Two more big rig accidents today: 

http://kymkemp.com/2017/02/18/traffic-impacted-between-leggett-and-richardson-grove-with-two-different-semi-accidents/

Traffic Impacted Between Leggett and Richardson Grove With Two Different Semi Accidents

1-23-17 – A fatality and arrest

 http://kymkemp.com/2017/01/23/101-closed-between-laytonville-and-leggett/

 

http://www.willitsnews.com/general-news/20170123/semi-truck-crash-on-101-leads-to-arrest

 

UPDATE 6:03 p.m.] 101 Closed Between Laytonville and Leggett

January 23, 2017 Kym Kemp 29 comments

Thursday 1-19-17

https://lostcoastoutpost.com/chpwatch/2017/jan/19/00036/

(UPDATE) Semi Truck Overturns Near Highway 101 Off-Ramp, Blocks Both Lanes of Route 271 in Piercy

10-18-16 https://lostcoastoutpost.com/chpwatch/2016/oct/18/00056/

(UPDATING) Highway 101 Fully Closed after Truck Crashes, Leaks Fluid Onto Roadway

9-7-16 Gas Truck Crashed

 http://kymkemp.com/2016/09/08/gas-truck-crashed-on-hwy-101-near-salmon-creek-yesterday-cleanup-today-will-restrict-traffic/

Gas Truck Crashed on Hwy 101 Near Salmon Creek Yesterday; Cleanup Today Will Restrict Traffic

1-20-16 Another Big Rig turned over with fertilizer Highway 101 North of Weott; unrelated to Big Rig Crash north of Orick.

Lost Coast Outpost

https://lostcoastoutpost.com/chpwatch/2016/jan/20/00009/

(UPDATE) Overturned Big Rig Spills Fertilizer All Over Highway 101

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53 comments

  • Can’t expect the cost to stay down when they have to go to court over it constantly and get delayed by the public while people are on the clock,if you don’t want it to cost so much…..step aside, they are going to put it in anyway your squandering your time fighting it and wasting taxpayers money

    • That is not why the project went way over cost.

      • Then why did it? They haven’t done any labor, but they’ve had to file 5 EIPs and mantain a massive legal team to squash these complaints. Where else is the money going if they can’t even spend it building the road?

    • Trying to communicate to our government cannot EVER be a waste of time…or “taxpayers money.” An attitude like that one is what morphed our country into Trump Land. Our United States’ system of government DEMANDS our participation.

  • Victor G. Flashman

    The project is ridiculous, and trucking pure crap up the coast needs to end. The nightly parade of trucks on the 101 is disgusting, and the potting soil, the plastic water tanks, the used cars, and the complete garbage for target and wal-mart is just not necessary. The rigs are destroying what is left of 101, and the constant wrecks are highly suspect and disturbing.

    On the other hand, the Willits bypass was necessary, and quite overdue. Not having to drive through Willits improves MY life immensly. Nearly nobody really wants to go to Willits anyway…

    Caltrans should build a bypass of Richardson Grove entirely, or send ALL TRUCKS over 299. If there is a slide, then a limited number of rigs ONLY, could go up through the grove TEMPORARILY!

    Too bad if the truckers don’t like it, or YOU don’t want to pay for it!

    101 is crumbling, and the future depends upon the development of efficient and modern transportaion. The population on the north coast is growing rapidly! Caltrans needs a REAL plan to fix 101.

    The section between Ukiah and Willits is about due to slide down the hill completely, and is just about the most dangerous and poorly maintained piece of highway North of SF!

    Focus your complaints on the Governor’s office. YOU are paying for these projects with gas taxes, so let Uncle Jerry know your thoughts!

    Gee, driven the 210 from Redlands lately? Some Californians have good roads!

    • I agree, all trucks over 299.

      • Obviously you don’t live off 299 and know what it is like to follow these trucks after Caltrans took out most of the places you could pass because according to California it is unsafe to pass on a mountain road. Every year there are slides and falling rocks on 299. We do not need more trucks on 299.

    • I LIVED IN RICHARDSON GROVE FROM 1941-1950. THERE WAS A STUDY YEARS AGO TO PLACE A BYPASS
      A CROSS THE RIVER AND COME BACK NEAR HEARTSOOK RESORT. THE PLAN WAS MADE SOME 50 YEARS
      AGO BUT STILL MAY BEST WAY TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

      • Totally the way to go. The engineering and everything for this project were in place decades ago. No bridges needed and Richardson Grove an off the highway stop. Trees happy – tourists happy.

      • So your saying they should enact eminent domain and take people’s land on the other side instead of widen the existing one??????!Im aware of the alternative, my point is do you really think your going to stop them,i guerentee that no matter how much you fight it all your going to do is up the cost to the tax payer,so go fight that fight and cost yourself in the long run more, ask willits how that worked for them.The avenue of the Giants has had pavement right up to huge old growth since it was put in,I drive it everyday and I don’t see any dead r dying trees because of it.Thank god they put it in when they did or we wouldn’t have the scenic avenue to drive down.I suggest you start trying to get the avenue of the giants returned to nature and remove the road, that fight would be equally as futile.I really do love the trees but I’m not ignorant enough to believe it’s going to hurt them any more then they already are, like I said take a drive down the avenue and use you eyes, no problems to be seen,except it could use widening 😂 Lol

    • The section of 101 between Ukiah and Willits falls apart every year. It’s called Job Security.

      • It’s not job security. It’s highly unstable land, just like Last Chance Grade or any of the thousands of unstable on our roads.

    • I object to your characterization of Willits. I don’t live there. It’s a town; it has its good and bad points. What’s so terrible?

      I frequently drive through, or around, Willits, and have been doing so about twice a month for nearly 20 years. Only a few times have I ever encountered serious traffic that forced me to spend more than 10 minutes driving through town, and those times were holiday weekends — once during Reggae weekend. I’ve often timed the drive through town from the first speed zone to the last — a distance of about 4 miles; even when I hit the red lights it never takes more than 10 minutes and averages around 7 minutes (except when they were working on the bypass, of course — talk about delays!). Now I can cruise along the freeway, about the same distance from the first on-ramp to the last off-ramp, in about 4 minutes. BFD!!!! Well worth the gazillions spent on it, don’t you think? And even at more than 60 mph, impatient drivers are on my butt. Where the @#$% are y’all going in such a hurry? What’s the big deal? The freeway is very scenic, however; I like that.

      • One of the goals is to not send an ever growing population that travels 101 straight through a city,much safer when the majority of thru traffic doesn’t pass through streets with kids and shoppers.I have been delayed more times then I can count, rare few times up to an hour going through willits before the bypass,1 bypass might not save loads of time or change accident statistics in towns but several make a huge difference.

  • Remember millions of people think building a wall at a cost of billions?, will solve all our problems. (“And Mexico will pay for it!”…remember that one?) Dear God we are a stupid species.

  • This community needs alternatives to what is currently available. This change could create jobs which in turn can improve the local infrastructure. This constant fighting against change just keeps this county stuck in mud spinning its wheels.
    As for the escalating costs – going to court fighting this and asking for more studies costs money and guess what it’s the tax payer who foots the bill.
    The accidents related to trucking highlight unsafe practices within that industry which I to drive for long periods with limited rest to keep costs down.
    It is unrealistic that the needs of the few would be allowed to overshadow the needs of the many.

    • “It is unrealistic that the needs of the few would be allowed to overshadow the needs of the many.”

      That is exactly why this project should not happen.

  • It is not hard to see this letter writters real problem with this project, which is growth. While claiming to be either for the grove or public safety, the underlining message and terms used expose their true feelings, which is they would like to keep this county limited in routes to force growth outside of the county.

  • Victor G. Flashman

    Whoever’s needs beat out whoever’s, we need a REAL HIGHWAY, not a short run “quick fix”. Our trees deserve to live, our park deserves to be quiet, and too much traffic deserves an adequate roadway. If we protest, an alternative will come to light.

    • That hasn’t worked yet. As far as I can tell doing anything anywhere is a problem. The land’s unstable, the mountains tend to slide, winter has lots of closures, there are rivers all over the place and there are NIMBYs in every square inch of it.

    • And protest vigorously we shall!

  • Not all those accidents were in Richardson Grove winding road,which has been there a long long long time.SLOW DOWN THRU THERE IT’S NOT A RACE TRACK. SLOW DOWN.Have you ever really stopped and looked around there? It’s so amazingly gorgeous,we are so lucky to live here!!

  • I go though that area and the ” Big Rigs ” are not the problem. It is the folks with RVs and campers that have problems going though Richardson Grove. The truck drivers have good training and a low accident rate per/mile for the most part.

  • Environmentalist here.

    People blindly opposing this project without knowing the facts are pawns. They’re pawns helping a tiny group of community members keep their organizations afloat. While these organizations do some good work, the Richardson Grove project opposition is smoke and mirrors to keep membership steady as they wait for something more reasonable and attention-grabbing to oppose.

    How do I know? Because at one time I strongly considered becoming a member. I went to their events. And I’ve researched the project. I’ve read the arborist report that details every single tree that would be touched. I was amazed when I found out they’re using special tools on tree roots so that no old growth redwoods will be taken down or weakened. The project is only on a few curves along what will be seconds of a still beautiful car ride. Something like 99.7 percent of the State Park won’t even be touched. No root structure will be torn into, as this pawn letter writer wrote. She also fails to mention why things have gotten so much more expensive: People keep using the courts to cost taxpayers more money to fight something that isn’t harmful. They’ve gone from taking measures not to harm any old growth to double taking measures not to harm any old growth. It’s ridiculous.

    I don’t give a hoot about big trucks getting here, though I know a lot of economy-minded people do. When I think about the potential of two bigger trucks that mistakenly go in there in opposite directions (it happens a lot) and the massive wreck that could cause, it makes me sad. It’s a real possibility every day and innocent lives could be lost. Don’t you see all the scrapes on the trees on the narrow sections? Doing a tiny amount of widening to those few sections could make things safer for bicycle riders like me. Or for people walking along the road there.

    Oh, and here’s something. These big trucks are already here. They just have to cough up extra money to hold up traffic or put stuff on smaller big trucks at Richardson Grove, all at a cost to us. This project really does make things safer and better for business, with no impact to the environment.

    Lets focus on the real environmental problem here: Illegal marijuana grows that divert water and kill wildlife.

    • Ad Hominem arguments are most definitely a bad strategy. I’m not a member of EPIC, and you are calling me a pawn? I read the arborist report too – it is well written, but it is only one part of the multiple claims Caltrans is making – above all, the report is not peer reviewed by other tree experts. It is, essentially, a very weak argument. Caltrans is making work and blowing hot air. Oh, and here is something – they are not talking about the big trucks that are already here, they are talking about the big trucks that haul three very long trailers, as allowed in other states with straight roads. Oh, and here is something else, the County is busting illegal pot grows left and right – this issue is currently being focused on and addressed.

      • So… “The immensely educated arborist who has three decades of experience and has testified over 35 times in court as an expert is wrong, a falsity about trucks here, and a poorly researched anecdote minimizing the severity of environmentally damaging pot grows.” Okay.

        • Educated, smeducated – people of any educational level will do ANYTHING for the right $ amount. Quite naïve of you to even make that statement and then accuse me of saying the arborist is wrong. I’m talking about the report- which needs a second or third opinion to verify what it contains. And, BTW: back up your claim that the County is not pursuing illegal pot grows. You want numbers? Go ask the Board of Supervisors, or even contact the Community Development Director – they got numbers, and many of those don’t end up in the newspaper. But, you sound like one of those who believes everything they find that suits their desired answer. Are you inside the halls of the County offices, and do you see and hear what is going on? Me thinks not.

          • Didn’t say the county isn’t working on minimizing environmental damage at grow sites.

            When someone gets picked up for meth on Broadway does that mean meth is going away here?

            I’m saying the problem is so huge that maybe EPIC should focus more efforts on helping the county with that instead of focusing on ghost problems and misinformation about trees being harmed.

  • I have to tell you Barbara, it’s hard for me to support you, i.e. after reading the letter of support you sent the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors for the Southern Humboldt Community Park rezone, land use changes and private development plans to 405 acres of prime farmland & prime ag soils for year round commercial outdoor concerts, festivals, private events, camping, sports tournaments with increased daily attendance, traffic, public safety concerns, noise, increased water use, artificial night lighting, parking, new sewer/septic systems, displace and degrade wildlife habitat! What a waste of water from the South Fork Eel River, fish & wildlife habitat and tax payer funding. I cannot understand how you can be so hypocritical, given what you have stated above. Do as I say, not as I do…?

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1OIjQFH3Vpc_dWsclsX5TTQdAkagePZ5U

    I don’t like what Caltrans is doing either, but I will not support you or the organization(s) you are promoting, soliciting or representing. You don’t get to cherry pick what you want to save. The South Fork Eel is a state and federally listed Wild & Scenic River, from the headwaters to the confluence, including the threatened and endangered species, i.e. Coho, Chinook and Steelhead. Development doesn’t just affect some of it, it affects all of it…

  • I don’t care if they have to divert 101 to Oklahoma to get around Richardson Grove.

    NOT. ONE. MORE. TREE.

    Have some damn respect, humans.

    EVEN consider turning Eureka back into a real port before you EVER cut down another ancestor.

    You guys do NOT want the ordeal of trying to unchain a naked old lady from a redwood some weasel thinks is in the way. No. Really. It will NOT be pretty.

  • The economic argument of CalTrans’ proposal amounts to nothing but speculative risk and the cost is very high. I do not want my tax dollars spent in ways that destroy the environment. Richardson Grove is perfect the exact way it is. The road is smooth and scenic – there is nowhere else in the world like it! A big rig can get through the curves just fine, and especially if it is hauling double trailers. There is no need to allow longer/larger truck loads through this area. Hold the truckers accountable if they are too unskilled to safely navigate through the curves. Humboldt already has enough trucking resources to import the shipments of needed consumer goods, if the must come up Hwy 101, and export the shipments of locally sourced consumer goods, if they must travels south on Hwy 101. The argument about cheaper prices of consumer goods in Humboldt is flawed – the prices here are not staggeringly more expensive than any other are developed similarly to other areas of coastal California. Based on all the areas I’ve lived in, in California, Humboldt is well stocked with a selection of consumer goods that are either made locally or shipped in from far away sources. We have a huge selection of everything we need here, and at competitive prices. Additionally, there are alternatives to entering and exiting this County, and all the major wholesale and cold storage distribution centers in NorCal are all along Hwy. 5 and Hwy 99 – with direct access to Humboldt via 299. There are zero distribution centers along Hwy. 101 – zero! Why? Because no logistics company will ever locate their distribution center along Hwy 101 (pretty much anywhere in California) because the price of rents/land is too expensive along this corridor! Caltrans is simply making work for themselves, on the tax payer’s dime, and they are throwing flawed analysis at us, until they can make enough friends of the decision makers (i.e. Board of Supervisors, Senators, and Chambers of Commerce, and others who can be influenced of false and speculative claims of efficiency and economic development). I propose that the citizens of Humboldt who want to protect the unique and endangered natural resources of Mother Nature, not only shine the light of critical thinking on CalTrans, but also shine the light of critical thinking on those who are pushing the Caltrans rhetoric and speculation. Attack this from all angles, not just protection of the environment, but also protection of tax payer dollars, and local business. The Redwood Curtain is just that – let us keep it that way.

    • Please look into the actual environmental impact of the project, the trucks that are already here, and the price of necessities here in comparison to similarly populated areas.

      • I have looked at the OVERALL enviro impact of the project, not just the trees, and it is very weak and shortsighted. It is in the best interest of Caltrans to spin their rhetoric in the study. Don’t you know…they have communications experts editing the documents after their scientists and engineers have completed their writing tasks. The overarching goal of Caltrans is to spin it, so they can hold on tight to their political and economic clout in the world’s 6th largest economy, California. They need the average everyday Joe Sixpack to be friends with them, giving all those Joe Sixpacks plenty of unrealistic notions about more jobs and cheaper prices. The trucks that are already here are doing a fine job of bringing in a huge selection of consumer goods, and I’ve not noticed any price difference from other places in California I’ve lived. Trucking companies in Sonoma, Mendocino, and Humboldt Counties serve the population here just fine, in addition to creating many local jobs. Personally, I think anyone who believes the Caltrans analysis without demanding verification by other experts who have no financial interest in their proposal, is batshit crazy.

        • You can throw out adjectives all you want but I still see no cited proof that this project will do anything other than heat you up to a boiling screech.

          Read the documents, people. They are, well, “thorough” is a nice word but they are long and full of scientific analysis backed by a renowned arborist, legal experts, biologists, and environmental experts at the state and national level. If these hundreds of pages of documents were “spun,” whoever did the spinning needs a lesson in condensing information. I’m so glad I checked them out to be able to point out the bad information when I see it.

          So… anyway, go on, TQM, continue to speak of the utopia this county already is. PS: I thought you were above ad hominem? See “batshit crazy” above.

      • http://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/

        Eureka is similar in geographical location to many places, such as Vallejo. Only, there is a helluva lot more $$$$ here – old money. Much of it earned from the timber industry. Eureka beats Vallejo when it comes to comparing cost of living.

        https://www.niche.com/places-to-live/search/counties-with-the-lowest-cost-of-living/s/california/

        Humboldt gets a D+ which is worse than other way rural counties in California – but who in the fuck wants to live in Shasta, Inyo, or Tehama counties after living in Humboldt?

        We got it good here, and our trees need to stay intact. They are part of what contributes to stable property values. I challenge you to look for others yourself – and prove yourself or me wrong!

  • If semi can haul 20 % more load, from a 40 footer to a 60 footer. Then cut the trees down! Save me money on consumer goods, Fuel what ever else comes that way. Trees will grow back. Where were all the tree huggers when the Salmon were wasted? Where were they? when loggers were cutting down old growth all over the county? Now they care? Cannot stand in the way of progress! There are over 2million acres of protected old growth in the Tongass National Forest for tree huggers! But you will never drive to it or see it in your lifetime cause the loggers never made roads into it, No way to see it except by air or sea.

  • We need to concentrate on places like “last chance grade” before it’s gone.

  • It is understandable that people get emotional about redwoods but how can people not get that this is a minimalist project that has been demagogued by the activist community. The proposed changes to the roadway are small and the digging around the trees is like one foot deep and done with arborist tools leaving the roots intact. No oldgrowth is getting cut.

  • How can people not get that this is unnecessary? This is the only place on 101 that people can drive through an ancient redwood grove. This is the gateway to the redwoods! People come from all over the world to see this. As a tourist based community, this is cutting our own throats. Most professional drivers have no problem with it. If you can’t drive through Richardson Grove, perhaps your license should be revoked. Statistically, there are far fewer accidents here, than at multiple nearby sites. (Jct 101 and 1, Standish-Hickey to name two.) Let’s fix those before we start potentially, ruining an irreplaceable ancient forest grove.

    Let’s use our heads, folks!

    • Anyone who involved in activities requiring trucking from out of the area can tell you this project is needed. That number of businesses is small but significant.
      Yes, let us use our heads and do this small project.

  • I wish killing a redwood was that easy, I’ve been trying to kill one in my yard for over a decade. It’s still winning.

  • What is laughable in this letter to the editor, is their claim that there are no facts to to support that there is no current financial impact to the region with Richardson’s Grove as it is now. YOU ARE SO WRONG! Our family’s business was directly impacted by the fact that no large transport vehicles could go through Richardson’s Grove. Transporter’s either refused to deliver to the area or had to use longer and more costly alternate routes. Citing accidents on 101 is moot, useless, and are a distraction from the problem. Let’s talk about big rig accidents on 199, 299 or even 36 when they are forced to use those routes. Come down from the hills, and come up with a viable solution.

  • That part of the road is dangerous and it should have been improved long ago. I seldom believe a word a “activist” says & I sure don’t agree with the obstruct & delay agenda for improving our roads.

    No wonder people are moving out of California!

  • >” they are not talking about the big trucks that are already here, they are talking about the big trucks that haul three very long trailers”

    No. You are wrong. Trucks with 3 trailers are only allowed on the Interstates… and in limited areas.
    This allows ‘normal-long’ 53′ truck/trailers on that road.
    Richardson Grove is the only chunk of 101 that is ‘restricted’ on the entire West Coast.

    >”I agree, all trucks over 299.”

    Environmental cost/monetary costs are way high.
    Trucks out of the Bay Area (or so) that will add 200 (or so) miles of extra ‘travel’ to get to Humboldt County,
    and that’s for 1 way trip. Double that mileage when the trucks need to go back.

    >”If you can’t drive through Richardson Grove, perhaps your license should be revoked.”

    >”A big rig can get through the curves just fine, and especially if it is hauling double trailers. There is no need to allow longer/larger truck loads through this area. Hold the truckers accountable if they are too unskilled to safely navigate through the curves. ”

    California laws and CHP prohibit you from driving a standard long truck through there.
    IMHO: No doubt most truck drivers could do it. Truck driving laws are basically in line with the
    DOT (federal) laws. Good luck on changing them.

    >”There are zero distribution centers along Hwy. 101 – zero! Why? Because no logistics company will ever locate their distribution center along Hwy 101 (pretty much anywhere in California) because the price of rents/land is too expensive along this corridor! ”

    Lots of distribution centers and Port Access are in the Bay Area.
    Other main distribution centers are also located along I-5.

    (Sighs) Redwood trees are ‘not forever’. Sooner or later the big trees will die or fall down.
    Want to save Redwood trees ? Get CalTrans to buy 100 acres of land… and go plant trees on it.
    They will be around long after you are gone.

  • I agree that Caltrans may be behind the curve in all this. There is every reason to believe that in the future, products from places like Amazon will be shipped into the county in dribs and drabs aboard small van-like vehicles, many with autonomous features. Big trucks like big box stores are becoming a thing of the past. We will not need them. We have wasted a fortune in tax-payer dollars widening the roads, besides all the incontinences it has caused to the local community, all under the false flag of safety. Unfortunately, the roads will be much less safe with the big trucks. Hopefully, Caltrans will wise up and forgo the Richardson Grove project. What a shame to damage those ancient trees for no reason.

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