There's good news and bad news from the City of Eureka. The good news is that the City is applying for grant funds to improve the southern section of the Broadway Corridor to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety.
The bad news is that rather than fix the existing roadway north of Truesdale Street, staff is recommending that these problems be put off until new roads can be built west of Broadway. On Thursday, Oct. 29 at 5pm, the City Council will hold a special hearing to hear the staff presentation and make recommendations.
These proposed roads (called "couplets") would divert southbound traffic through wetlands west of Broadway, including the Palco Marsh and Balloon Track, which will take years and an estimated $50 million dollars to clean up.
Building these proposed roads would take many years, but we need to address this dangerous roadway as soon as possible. Four people have been killed while walking or biking on Broadway since this Corridor planning process started about a year ago - including one just last weekend. The City should address this dangerous roadway as soon as possible.
In 2005, the Coastal Commission wrote a letter asking the city to stop spending resources on a similar proposal called Waterfront Drive Extension. From 2005 to 2009, the city of Eureka spent more than $1.2 million on that project despite being told it was unapprovable. And in 2012, the City Council voted to scrap this proposal because it was “unapprovable.” Councilwoman Linda Atkins said the project had too many obstacles, and the money would be better spent on other transportation projects.
The same is true today. The City should focus its resources on fixing the problems with South Broadway as soon as possible. To read joint comments submitted by Baykeeper, EPIC, Coalition for Responsible Transportation Planning. and the NEC, click here and here.