Eureka accidents wreck locals’ confidence

By Oliver Cory
Flapjack Chronicle

According to the City of Eureka Transportation Safety Action Plan, the city of Eureka has seen an increase in vehicle accidents in the past five years. Because of this increase, some citizens have grown concerned about the city’s method of dealing with this issue.

“These people around here drive like shit,” Tim Chabot said. “They don’t stop at the cross walks like their supposed to.”

Chabot, a San Antonio native who has lived in Eureka for four years, said the he was particularly concerned with the turn before the intersection at 5th and O streets.

“That’s a car wreck waiting to happen right there,” Chabot said. “The city does nothing to fix it, just leaves it the way it is.”

Chabot plans to become a Humboldt Transit Authority bus driver, but he said that in order to do so he would have learn how to drive defensively.

“Somebody should do something about the crappy traffic and the crappy driving here in town, before there’s, you know, unnecessary deaths and more graves getting dug to bury those bodies,” Chabot said.

According to the City of Eureka Transportation Safety Action Plan, the City of Eureka had 846 vehicle accidents which resulted in 378 injuries and five deaths in 2013.

Kelvin Stanhope, a Kansas City native, said that he has seen multiple accidents on Broadway in which vehicles have driven through stop stoplights and rear ended other vehicles. However, he said that he hasn’t had any issues with the traffic in Eureka, and he feels that the drivers are courteous.

“Traffic’s pretty good,” Kelvin Stanhope said. “It’s kind of dangerous to ride on Broadway.”

According to the City of Eureka Transportation Safety Action Plan: “The primary collision factors for injury crashes between 2008 and 2012 were auto right-of-way violations, unsafe speed (including following too close) and traffic sign and signal violations.”

“The city of Eureka really has no coordinated effort to create a safe walkable city or neighborhoods,” Eureka resident Kathy Srabian said. “The city of Eureka’s engineer, his job by definition is to maintain traffic flow. This does not speak to safety at all.”

Srabian grew concerned enough with the matter that she started her own group called Safe Streets Eureka. The goal of Safe Streets Eureka is to educate the public about transportation safety in Eureka and present ideas of how the city can create a safer environment for its inhabitants.

“Eureka Transportation Safety is a dance between, the driving culture, the education, mindset and discipline of the drivers, street engineering, and law enforcement,” Srabian said.

In 2013, the City of Eureka released a plan to reduce collisions by twenty percent by 2024. Srabian said that it should be taken care of before then.

To learn more about Safe Streets Eureka visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Safe-Streets-Eureka/300379216760346

To view the City of Eureka Transportation Safety Action Plan visit: http://www.ci.eureka.ca.gov/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=9172

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