County Residents Overwhelmingly Support Changes to Local Streets, Says CRTP
This is a press release from the Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities:
COVID-19 Survey Information & Countywide Results
The Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities has released the results of a survey of Humboldt County residents about how they are moving around their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what changes they want to see on the street in response.
· 70% of respondents reported biking or walking the same amount or more since stay-at-home orders were issued, while 94% reported driving the same amount or less. This represents a significant and fundamental shift in the way local residents are using the streets.
· 37% of respondents reported that they experienced moderate to extreme difficulty maintaining social distance while using the street. While the majority of respondents reported little to no difficulty social distancing, these results demonstrate that a significant portion of the county’s population is having trouble complying with this public health mandate. Many respondents identified specific locations where they had trouble social distancing.
· 80% of respondents support implementing Slow Streets programs in their communities. Slow Streets are neighborhood streets where through traffic is discouraged, so that people can walk, bike and even play in the streets more safely while social distancing. Many respondents suggested specific locations for Slow Streets in their communities.
· 72% of respondents support programing traffic signals to give automatic “walk” signs, so that people walking can avoid touching buttons and other “high-touch surfaces.”
· 90% of respondents support relaxing parking requirements to allow businesses to conduct outdoor dining and retail. Humboldt County and the cities of Eureka and Arcata are each already implementing versions of this measure. However, most of the efforts to date have focused on sidewalk dining, which interferes with pedestrian traffic much more than parking-space dining.
Given the urgent need for ongoing public health measures in response to the pandemic, as well as the broad public support demonstrated here, the Coalition is asking jurisdictions throughout the county to implement each of these measures as soon as possible. The Coalition will be providing local officials with lists of potential Slow Streets in their jurisdictions as suggested by respondents, as well as a list of streets and other locations where respondents report difficulty social distancing. The Coalition also notes—as did several respondents—that when implementing these and other measures, it is critical to ensure convenient access for people with various mobility limitations.
The Coalition hosted the online survey from June 5 through June 25, 2020. The survey was promoted through email, social media including Facebook and Nextdoor, and local news outlets. 201 Humboldt County residents responded.
For more information about the Coalition, visit www.transportationpriorities.org.
COVID-19 Survey - Eureka Results
COVID-19 Survey - Arcata Results
COVID-19 Survey - Unincorporated County Results