Rural Transportation and Access Partnership (RTAP)

In 2010, with 1,207 miles of roads to maintain, with demands for trails, sidewalks and safer routes to school, and not enough money to do it all, Humboldt County Public Works Director Tom Mattson and Redwood Community Action Agency's Natural Resources Division Co-Director Jen Rice were ready for creative solutions to tackle these challenges. With a grant from the Caltrans Environmental Justice Program, the County and Redwood Community Action Agency went to work to develop another tool to help communities overcome unfunded transportation needs and improve access to markets, services, jobs, school, and public lands by all modes of surface travel.

The Rural Transportation & Access Partnership (RTAP) is a program that enables the County to match their support with community-driven initiative for projects located within County right-of-way (and have willing landowner support if adjacent property is involved). The types of projects eligible for RTAP could include street or road improvements, pedestrian and bicycle projects, safer routes to schools or transit, fixing drainage problems, all kinds of things we can’t get to with current funding constraints. This program is intended to speed up the process of getting projects built on the ground in a can-do collaborative way with the community.

The RTAP requires a ‘match’ provided by residents or community organizations in unincorporated areas of Humboldt County. The match can encompass a range of options including supplying materials like gravel or asphalt, donations, and planning or engineering services, and would depend on the specifics of each project and how much support the County has available to see the project through to completion ­– usually in the form of staff and equipment time.

The RTAP also helps the County be more competitive for grant programs by showing that there is strong community support and commitment.

The RTAP program works in several phases, starting with an application submitted by a community organization or resident/s. If the application is accepted, and after some consultation about design with Public Works staff, a full proposal will be solicited by County staff. Each year, Public Works reviews the pool of RTAP applications and determines which project can be implemented in the next fiscal year, depending on available County support. The program is designed to allow a flexible approach tailored to the needs of each community and project as well as to existing or available resources.

The RTAP Brochure and Application can be downloaded here: 

RTAP Brochure and Application (07-29-2022) [1.2 MB]