Annie & Mary Trail Connectivity Project

Conceptual at Frank Martin Ct

Annie & Mary Trail Project Report



Project Summary

In 2021 the City of Arcata received a $5.3 million grant award from the state Active Transportation Program for design, environmental compliance and construction of this 3.3 mile Class I trail between the Arcata Skatepark, northern Arcata neighborhoods, and the Mad River. The preliminary design and environmental compliance phase will commence in fall 2021 with a project team including the City of Arcata, County of Humboldt, Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District, Caltrans, and a consultant team of GHD, SHN, DZC Archaeology & Cultural Resource Management. Stay tuned for updates on the project progress and community input opportunities. 

Between 2018-2019 the City utilized funding from the Caltrans Sustainable Communities Program to plan the next section of multi-use trail in Arcata, which will connect the Sunset Avenue/Larson Park area to Valley West, West End Road area and Aldergrove Industrial Park. The grant supported public outreach and planning activities to identify potential alignments, improve safety over the Sunset Avenue and Giuntoli overpasses, and connections to the trail from neighborhoods and business areas. The community outreach activities included walking tours of the area, working closely with schools and families, interactive public workshops, and support from a team of knowledgeable engineers and planners throughout the planning process.

The Arcata Annie & Mary Trail Connectivity Project involved an assessment of current opportunities and constraints for walking and biking between downtown Arcata, the Valley West neighborhood, and Humboldt State University; robust public participation; and development of concept design alternatives for a trail and/or on-street facilities for safe walking and biking connectivity between these important community destinations. The final report of this study included: 

  • Three concept alternatives for walking and biking connectivity within the project area
  • Avenues for potential future funding for the project implementation
  • Support for the City’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase mode share by walking and biking consistent with the City’s Bike and Pedestrian Plan, Humboldt Regional Bicycle Plan, and the Humboldt County Association of Government’s Regional Transportation Plan VROOM (2014), and ensure equity in transportation

Resident, student, and local business participation was integral to the success of this project. The project team of the City of Arcata, Redwood Community Action Agency, TrailPeople and SHN conducted public outreach efforts to engage the community and received input to understand the diverse needs of the community and solicited input on the development of the alternatives.

City of Arcata Project Area Map

Link to PDF of Project Area Map

Overall Project Objective

Completion of an Arcata Annie & Mary Trail Connectivity Plan to identify options for enhanced safety and connectivity for walking and biking between Valley West, Humboldt State University, downtown Arcata, and to the future Annie & Mary Trail.

Project Goals

  1. Enhanced Safety & Connectivity
    • Enhanced safety for all modes traveling between Valley West, West End Road, Aldergrove Industrial Park, downtown and Humboldt State University
  2. Robust Community Engagement
    • Robust engagement of diverse Arcata residents, students, businesses and community organizations through public workshops, small group walking tours, one-on-one engagement, visual preference surveys and online engagement
    • Consideration of environmental justice in the planning process so that all residents have an opportunity for meaningful involvement with respect to the environment and community health outcomes
    • Involvement of school-aged youth in providing input and feedback on pedestrian and cyclist needs (e.g. Laurel Tree Charter School, Six Rivers Montessori)
  3. Environmental & Community Benefits
    • Reduction of greenhouse gases through improved safety for and encouragement of non-motorized transportation modes
    • Increased commuting by walking and bicycling within the City
  4. Enhanced Trail Design
    • Identification of three conceptual design alternatives for walking and biking connectivity within the project area
    • Utilization of best practices in context-sensitive "complete streets" design for small town streetscapes
    • Application of low-impact development design features where possible
    • Identification of priority project components for further study and implementation
  5. Preparation for Trail Implementation
    • Identification of potential implementation funding sources
    • Preparation of design plans ready for final engineering