North Coast Railroad Authority meeting July 11, 2012. 10:30 A.M.

From the Bay [T]rail Initiative Group,

Dear Friends and Allies,

First, thank you for your wonderful support at the recent Board of Supervisors meeting.  The strong community presence was instrumental in the ultimate passage of the resolution to send the letter to the Board of the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) asking the NCRA to establish a working group to explore railbanking and other options to protect the right-of-way from Eureka to Samoa.

At their meeting on Wednesday, July 11th, this request will come before the NCRA Board.  This is the next step in support of the Bay [T]rail Initiative that is advocating for a rail-to-trail conversion of the Eureka to Arcata section of the railroad and the use of the Arcata to Samoa section of the railroad for a tourist train (with an adjacent trail).  This NCRA working group would be expected to report back to the NCRA Board at its November meeting.

We need to pack the house on the 11th with supporters of this effort who will speak (or just show your support) in favor of the creation of this working group.  The NCRA Directors from the other counties need to understand just how important this is to the citizens of Humboldt County. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors Chambers (825 Fifth Street, Room 111, Eureka).  This topic is the focal point of the agenda. 

If you are unable to join us on Wednesday, the second best option is to send us a note of support for the initiative that we can share at the NCRA meeting and, if you have not done so already,indicate your support on the website (as soon as possible):   Please help us spread the word.

The Talking Points have been modified from the Board of Supervisors and include:

1) The railroad prism is deteriorating rapidly on the stretch from Eureka to Arcata.  The potential for continued breaches endangers 101.  It is irresponsible to do nothing.

2) We do understand that once there is a viable freight line, the right-of-way will be used for that purpose.  We understand that is the purpose of railbanking.

3) While the freight option is developed, there are other uses for the right-of-way with significant community pay-off such as a multi-modal trail and a tourist train.

4) A multi-modal trail between Eureka and Arcata, the two biggest populations centers around the Bay, can be used safely by walkers, bike commuters, recreational cyclists, joggers, etc.  

5) A multi-modal trail has proven health benefits because it encourages individuals to get out, to exercise, to bike commute, etc.

Thanks for your ongoing support and involvement.  Together let’s make this happen!

Dennis Rael, Don Banducci, Judy Hodgson, and Rees Hughes

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