Redding gets scant attention in the world of California public policy development. But that changes, at least momentarily, on Wednesday, when representatives of the Caltrans home office in Sacramento come to Redding for a big transportation planning workshop.
The California Interregional Blueprint will be the subject of the meeting, scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17, at the Shasta County library community room, 1100 Parkview Avenue. Still in the very early stages, the interregional blueprint is one part of the state’s ongoing effort to better coordinate planning for all modes of transportation (private vehicles, buses, trains, bicycles, etc.) and land development with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Aside from climate change, the idea of having highway planners, public transit planners and land use planners actually talk to one another makes a great deal of sense – especially if you’re concerned about efficient use of public resources.
The Redding workshop will be the fourth of six on the schedule; the others are in big metropolitan areas. I asked Nathan Smith, chief of Caltrans’ Office of State Planning, how Redding made the calendar.
“We just want to make sure we hear a rural perspective,” Smith told me. “Congestion is not the only issue. Sometimes safety is an issue, or maintaining old systems.”
Another issue for rural areas like ours is goods movement. We’re reminded of that when snow closes I-5 and trucks line up for miles in Shasta Lake and Redding, or when we wait forever for freight trains to pass through downtown. Plus, added Smith, rural areas frequently lack the resources to do high-tech modeling that lets experts see the impacts of potential transportation projects or land development. Caltrans would like to hear what those needs really are, he said.
Wednesday’s meeting is geared toward professionals in the Caltrans district office and local government, but the public is welcome to attend. I’ll warn you that you might not understand much of the intense jargon. A second round of workshops intended for the general public may be scheduled this fall, according to Smith. Plan adoption is a few years off.
You may learn more about the interregional blueprint at the project website. www.californiainterregionalblueprint.org.
• It’s fundraising time for Anderson Explodes, the July 3rd fireworks extravaganza at the Shasta District Fairgrounds. Fireworks organizers have scheduled a bunko night beginning at 5:30 on Friday, March 19, at the fairgrounds. Tickets are $15 and include dinner and all the bunko you can stand. For tickets or more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 365-8095.
• Anderson will see even more fake gambling this Saturday, March 20, when the University Preparatory School Foundation has its second annual auction and dinner at the Gaia Hotel. Tickets are $45 apiece, and advance reservations are required. For details, check out the publicity right here.
• You have until April 15 to apply for a $500 grant for the purpose of promoting and expanding the arts in Tehama County. The Tehama County Arts Council recently received $10,000 from the state arts council, of which $3,000 will be re-granted to locals. The remainder will help fund a grant writer and a local cultural assessment. Schools, organizations and individuals seeking a grant may download an application at www.tehamaarts.org or call 529-0826 for details.
Paul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and co-author of Guide to California Planning, a reference book and college text. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley can be reached at email@example.com.