Manilans to probe the future

Jack Durham
Mad River Union

MANILA – There are three upcoming meetings in Manila that could lead to projects with the potential of transforming the sandy outpost. One meeting deals with pedestrian and bicycle improvements for the peninsula town, while the other two are about coming up with a facebook-like-button“vision” for the Manila Community Center.

Caltrans Open House

The first meeting is on Wednesday, April 8 and will give residents an opportunity to give the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) input on the types of pedestrian and bicycle improvements they want in town.

A TOWN DIVIDED State Route 255 slices through the middle of Manila, splitting the town into two sides – the bay side and the ocean side. Caltrans is seeking public input on proposed bicycle and pedestrian improvements.          JD | Union

A TOWN DIVIDED State Route 255 slices through the middle of Manila, splitting the town into two sides – the bay side and the ocean side. Caltrans is seeking public input on proposed bicycle and pedestrian improvements. JD | Union

Caltrans will hold an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Manila Community Center, 1611 Peninsula Dr., Manila, to hear the public’s thoughts on non-motorized transportation improvements.

Caltrans has teamed up with Humboldt County Public Works to apply for a grant to pay for improvements. During a Feb. 18 meeting of the Manila Community Services District (Manila CSD), a Caltrans representative discussed some of the proposed projects. One idea is to have a Class 1 pathway, separated from traffic like the Hammond Trail, through town on the west side of State Highway 255. Other ideas include installing colorized bicycle lanes on either side of the highway and lighting at key intersections.

The input received at the open house will be considered when Caltrans applies for a state Active Transportation Grant. If Caltrans is facebook-like-buttonsuccessful, funding for the improvements may be available by the end of the year.

Manila Visioning

The unincorporated town’s long-awaited “visioning” process kicks off with two meetings, one on Sunday, April 12 and the other on Sunday, April 26. Both will be held from 1 to 5:30 p.m. at the Manila Community Center.

“Lately the Manila district has been asked to consider various planning scenarios, given the chang es going on in Manila and the burgeoning changes in Samoa,” stated Manila Community Services District (Manila CSD) President John Woolley. “All this has caused many to talk about and discuss issues peninsula wide. The ‘visioning process’ for Manila is a good first step in tapping into those thoughts, getting them to be recorded and using them to consider what future planning for Manila may entail.”

The visioning is focused on, but not limited to, the Manila Community Center, owned by the Manila CSD. At the first meeting, participants will be asked to come up with ideas for the center’s future. The results of the first meeting will be reviewed at the second meeting.

Those who want to share their ideas for the center must attend the first meeting.

During the first hour of the meeting, the history of the Manila CSD  will be discussed and there will be presentations from the Manila Family Resource Center and Redwood Coast Montessori, both housed at the center.

Attendees will then break into small groups to discuss their ideas for the center. By 3:15 p.m., the small groups are scheduled to make presentations on their ideas. At 5 p.m. attendees will start planning for the April 26 meeting.
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