Soon, this path will continue all the way from the skatepark to Valley West. | Photo by Jett Williams

New trail to connect Sunset Ave. and Valley West

The proposed path will link with the Humboldt Bay Trail, and could eventually lead from Eureka to Blue Lake

The proposed path will link with the Humboldt Bay Trail, and could eventually lead from Eureka to Blue Lake

Pedestrians, cyclists and commuters will soon have a safer time getting around as a variety of changes are coming to northern Arcata which were showcased in a pop-up demo in front of the Arcata Skatepark on Monday.

The main improvement is a proposed trail continuing the North Humboldt Bay Trail along defunct train tracks from the skate park across Highway 101 to the industrial park by Valley West.

This trail would link up with the proposed Annie & Mary trail and could eventually lead all the way from Eureka to Blue Lake.

The proposed trail would follow the train tracks, inside the red circle. | Photo by Jett Williams

Natalie Arroyo is the senior planner for the Redwood Community Action Agency (RCAA) and said they performed a walkability assessment in Valley West looking for pedestrian challenges in that area.

“West End road is a major challenge for people walking or biking with the truck traffic and the narrow nature of the road,” Arroyo said. “Valley West is cut off from most of the city, with 101 and 299 limiting pedestrian access.”

After the last trains ran in 1997 the steel rails were pulled up and scrapped. The remains of the tracks have turned into an unsanctioned trail, but it’s skinny and rough with limited lines of sight and zero handicapped accessibility. The proposed trail would be paved, leveled and accessible by wheelchair as well as cleared out for safe lines of sight.

Funding for this project came from a Caltrans grant and money from the “Friends of the Annie & Mary Trail” will be used for the portion built outside of city limits.

Arroyo said that they began applying for the project two or three years ago and they could see a trail being built within the next five years.

Delo Freitas lives near the proposed trail and liked the idea of having a safe way to get to the industrial park off of Valley West.

“I’m excited to see Arcata thinking clearly about making all the pieces of the city fit together,” Freitas said. “I’d encourage all students to go to city council meetings, as that’s where the decisions get made.”

RCAA Senior Planner Natalie Arroyo (green helmet) discusses the plans with Sarah West, as Delo Freitas studies the maps. | Photo by Jett Williams

Other plans including a bus stop in front of the skatepark, a roundabout at the Sunset and LK Wood intersection and a new bike lane layout would improve cyclist safety and were also showcased at the demo.

Emily Sinkhorn is the director of RCAA’s natural resources services division, and said the idea behind the demo was to collect community input on the multitude of proposed pedestrian safety improvements.

“We conducted a survey with over 400 responses. Many students in the area said they were excited for a bus stop and lights on the pedestrian walkways over the freeway,” Sinkhorn said. “We haven’t really heard much opposition for this trail.”

The final plan won’t be brought to the city until mid-summer, so there’s still time to make your opinion heard on these projects.

Contact RCAA on their website or go to the Trail Summit being held May 4 in the Kate Buchanan Room on campus to get involved.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

More Stories

Photo by Abraham Navarro | Cowboy Daddy's Drummer and Keyboard player Conner West, 25, and guitarist Skye Freitas, 24, jam out at the Gutswurrak Student Activity Center on April 28.

Local bands rock the Gutswurrak

by Ione Dellos Band members wait in front of the bathrooms, eyes anxiously fluttering from the stage to the growing audience in the Gutswurrak Student Activities Center. After the deepest sigh one could possibly take, they make their way to

Travis Allen pole vaults at the Green and Gold Track Event on Feb. 12 Photo by Morgan Hancock.

Athlete’s outperform at decathlon

by Carlos Pedraza The Cal Poly Humboldt Track and Field team participated in the Stanislaus State Multi-Event from Thursday April 7 to Saturday April 9. The team participated in over 10 different events, all of which were multi-day involving different

Photo by Morgan Hancock | Izzy Star hits a home run in final softball game of the season at the Bear River Recreation Center in Loleta, California on Saturday, April 30.

Cal Poly Humboldt plays its last softball game of the series

by Eddie Carpenter On April 30, Cal Poly Humboldt Softball played the last two games of their series against Cal State San Marcos. Due to weather conditions, the softball games had to be relocated to the Bear River Recreation Center

One Comment

  1. Meme Meme Wednesday, April 24, 2019

    The outline of the trail looks like a chalk outline at a homicide. Perfect for the new trail to help the transients get around easier!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: