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McKinleyville Planning To Urbanize

County Of Hunboldt
As part of a new town center, the County is re-designing Central Ave. north of Hiller Road. County planners say they’ll work with public works officials to incorporate diagonal parking on Central Ave.

Developing a Town Center

Humboldt’s “bedroom community” is trying to rebrand itself as a destination by building bicycling and pedestrian transportation amenities accompanying a Town Center.

In this story, we look at how the downtown core could add dense housing, walking trails, and new opportunities for socializing and shopping:

Part I

Following the broadcast of that story, the McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee met on September 1. MckMAC members asked county planners to incorporate small parks and preserve open space in the downtown core.

Eric Black
As part of the Town Center, this underused section of Hiller Rd. off Central Ave could host at least 200 units of housing, stores, and sidewalks.

County planners also presented sketches showing diagonal on-street parking on both sides of Central Ave. north of Hiller Road. Humboldt County Planning and Building Director John Ford said diagonal on-street parking “creates a much different kind of environment where the driver can no longer just focus on going at a high rate of speed and just staying in their lane. They have to be aware that people could be backing out, they have to be aware of pedestrians...and so it causes traffic to slow down.”

Eric Black
Despite this message at it’s southern gateway, most of Mckinleyville’s transportation infrastructure is designed exclusively for cars.

MckMAC chair Maya Conrad said that adding on-street parking would benefit pedestrian and bicycle traffic as well local businesses.

“I think without the traffic calming measures, it will be hard to really develop a sense of place and a heart because right’s just a thoroughfare that people blast through,” she said. “And I think it will allow us to consider moving much differently through the space and staying in the space.”

Eric Black
Because there are no sidewalks, pedestrians visiting Hiller Park must walk in the street.

Because Central Ave. has two lanes of traffic traveling in each direction, County Public Works opposes diagonal on-street parking. County planners said they’ll collaborate with Public Works to resolve that concern and will present a draft Town Center ordinance to the MckMAC by the end of October.

Making McKinleyville’s Streets Safer 

As part of the Town Center transformation, the county will likely also install sidewalks on Hiller Road just off Central Ave. In this story, we look at other active transportation amenities that would facilitate walking, biking, skating, and rolling throughout McKinleyville.

Part II

Eric Black
The bike shoulder ends where Central Ave. meets the101 South on-ramp.

Stakeholders can subscribe to the McKinleyville Multi-Modal Connections Project page to receive updates on how to help planners design a safer McKinleyville.

In reporting for KHSU, Eric Black focuses on the challenges and controversies surrounding development projects.