Rails to Trail not Rails to Road

No matter the obvious importance of this rare non-motorized pathway, the City of Arcata, in its Gateway planning documents, is proposing to eliminate the open spaces bordering the Arcata Rails with Trail Pathway and convert it into a truck route. For several reasons, we believe that Arcata’s L Street corridor should be designated as a permanent Linear Park and not be degraded into a truck route.

Located on L Street between Alliance Road south to Samoa Blvd, the L Street corridor is home to the Arcata Rails with Trail Pathway. This Path runs alongside residences, businesses, the Arcata Creamery Building, and undeveloped open spaces. The core of it lies within the Creamery District. North and south of the Creamery, open spaces are understated, peaceful, and complement this existing trail. The wetlands and grassland can be preserved and enhanced to serve as future active and passive recreation of a Linear Park.

Across the nation, rail banking has served to create a vast, active transportation network.  Today, many US cities are seeking out existing undeveloped corridors to establish Linear Parks. The L Street path is the heart of a non-motorized transportation artery from Cal Poly south to the trail network of Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. Arcata’s L Street Rails with Trails corridor is a vital segment of the Humboldt Bay Trail, the link between the future Great Redwood Trail and the Annie and Mary Trail, which runs from Arcata to Blue Lake.  L Street is a diamond in the rough, consisting of the pathway and a right of way which is already established. The overall footprint can be increased by Railbanking the existing rail right of way. The Great Redwood Trail, a work in progress, in conjunction with the California Coastal Trail, will connect over 1,500 miles of non-motorized routes the length of California. As a Greenway passing through future infill, the corridor will serve as the linkage from nearby walkable neighborhoods to destinations throughout Arcata and beyond. As a hub for numerous users the along the pathway, L Street is an Ideal location for a Linear Park.

Arcata planners have a much different vision of the future for our city. In the current draft of the Gateway Area Plan, the City of Arcata proposes rail banking of the existing North Coast Rail Line, not for trail enhancements, but instead for road expansion, turning L street into a southbound truck route. This road expansion would pave over the existing open spaces and wetlands, permanently altering the existing landscape. South of Eighth Street, the balance of the L Street Corridor is in the Coastal Zone.  The Sierra Club Redwood Chapter North Group recognizes the value of these open spaces and endorses the designation of the L Street corridor as a Linear Park. Paving over coastal wetlands is governed by the California Coastal Act, requires a tremendous amount of scrutiny and alternative solutions. The City of Arcata has offered no alternative for the entire proposed L Street truck route.

The preservation of the open space along the L Street corridor offers an opportunity for enhancement of natural features that can serve for both active and passive recreation. Paving over these open spaces will permanently eliminate the Greenway Corridor through the heart of the Creamery District. Please encourage the City of Arcata to preserve and designate the existing L Street Corridor as a Linear Park.


James Becker

Join over 1000 who have already signed the Petition for the of the L Street Rails with Trail Corridor to be designated as a Linear Park and to protect its open space from being paved over with a truck route.

Petition for the L street Pathway to Become a Permanent Linear Park – Arcata L Street Linear Park (arcatalinearpark.org)

What are we trying to preserve?

About Us – Arcata L Street Linear Park (arcatalinearpark.org)


What will be permanently altered if the open spaces are paved over.

Photos – Arcata L Street Linear Park (arcatalinearpark.org)


Let decision makers know you support an preserving the open spaces of the L Street Corridor, abandoning the L Street Truck route and designating L Street as a Linear Park

Contact Decision Makers – Arcata L Street Linear Park (arcatalinearpark.org)