Friday, August 19, 2016

UPDATED: Bay Billboards No More

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 10:16 AM

click to enlarge billboard.jpg

UPDATE:
The Humboldt County Association of Governments just issued a press release noting that removal of the 10 billboards won’t just be good for scenery enthusiasts, but also for the Humboldt Bay Trail and the Safety Corridor Improvement Project. See the press release copied below, along with a billboard map.

PREVIOUSLY:
Motorists on the Safety Corridor will soon have a clear view of the bay.

Caltrans announced this morning that it has reached an agreement with Outfront Media, formerly known as CBS Outdoor, to remove the 10 billboards the company owns along U.S. Highway 101 between Eureka and Arcata. The billboards are slated to come down by the end of the year, according to Caltrans, which would bring an end to years of wrangling that, at one time, saw a billboard bandit take matters into his or her own hands by sawing down several of the signs.

See the full release from Caltrans copied below:

BILLBOARDS TO BE REMOVED ALONG U.S. HIGHWAY 101
BETWEEN EUREKA AND ARCATA
 
EUREKA – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has come to an agreement with OUTFRONT Media (formerly CBS Outdoor) to remove ten billboards along U.S. Highway 101 between Eureka and Arcata by the end of the year.
 
The negotiations were initiated as part of the development and eventual permitting of the Eureka-Arcata Corridor Improvement project.  More information about this project is available at www.dot.ca.gov/dist1/d1projects/eureka_arcata/.
From HCAOG:
click to enlarge billboard-graphic_web.jpg
The Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG) is pleased to learn that the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has reached an agreement with OUTFRONT Media (formerly CBS Outdoor) to remove ten billboards along U.S. Highway 101 between Eureka and Arcata by the end of the year. Removal of these billboards will help Caltrans meet one of the California Coastal Commission’s conditions for permitting the Eureka-Arcata Route 101 Corridor Improvement Project. The Eureka-Arcata Route 101 Corridor Improvement Project is a safety project to reduce collisions at intersections on Route 101 and has been a regional priority for over ten years. The Coastal Commission,
in its Consistency Certification, required removing billboards in the Coastal Zone, to the maximum extent feasible, to mitigate the proposed project’s visual impacts at Indianola Cutoff. Some of the billboards to be removed are located on publicly owned land, without permission of the underlying landowner.

This agreement will also benefit the Humboldt Bay Trail, as some of the billboards subject to this agreement conflict with the location of the proposed trail. The Humboldt Bay Trail is an active transportation and “complete streets” project to build a safe, multi-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists, ADA accessible, and separated from cars and trucks. The City of Arcata plans to begin constructing the northern segment of the Humboldt Bay Trail in 2017. The County of Humboldt has initiated the engineering and permitting phase for the southern segment; there is as yet no funding secured for the construction phase.

The Eureka-Arcata Route 101 Corridor Improvement Project also remains in the engineering and permitting phase. Construction funding has been authorized by the California Transportation Commission, but construction will likely not begin for at least three to four years.

The Humboldt Bay Trail is being collaboratively developed by HCAOG, County of Humboldt, City of Arcata, City of Eureka, Caltrans, State Coastal Conservancy, North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA), and a variety of other agencies and organizations. For more information on trails, see the “State of the Trails Report: Expanding Regional and Local Trail in Humboldt County” (June 2016) at hcaog.net.

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