May 2013

WHEEL PEOPLE            Vol. 32  No.  3               May 2013

Newsletter of the Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association

P.O. Box 9054 Eureka CA  95502                                                                                         

New and Renewed Members of the HBBCA
The following individuals have joined or renewed their memberships for 2013.
New members
Sylvia Fontaine, Eureka
Jason Roso, McKinleyville
Renewed Members
David & Jean Durbin, McKinleyville**
Scott Kelly, Portland OR**
Justin Brown, Revolution Bicycle Repair, Arcata**
Sherry Myers, McKinleyville**
Robert Thoman, McKinleyville**
Those with a ** next to their name gave an additional donation.   Those with *** have given a $25 or greater donation.   Thanks to all those who have joined or renewed their commitment, and who have given additional donations to support the HBBCA’s many causes.
The Next Regular Meeting will be Held on May 20th in Eureka
The next regular HBBCA meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., Monday, May 20th, at Chapala’s Café, 2nd and C Streets in Eureka.  Dinner is optional.  Please send agenda items to Rick Knapp at, or call him at 707-445-1097.
May is Humboldt Bike Month!!
Please Participate in the Many Events
A total of 17 events have been scheduled for Humboldt Bike Month.   Check out the details in the Calendar of Events provided with this newsletter, or go to  
Bike to Work Days are May 9th in Arcata and May 16th in Eureka.  Each day begins with the Energizer Stations at the respective North Coast Co-Ops at 7 to 9 a.m.  Not only can you get food and drinks courtesy of the Co-Op, but you can get that  last minute minor tune-up if your bike needs it, courtesy of Adventure’s Edge.
At noon, Bike to Work Day rallies will be held—the Arcata rally at the Plaza and the Eureka rally at the Old Town Gazebo.  Food and drinks will be provided courtesy of Eureka Natural Foods.   Mini-tune-ups will be provided by Pacific Outfitters and Henderson Center Bicycles.
Many prizes will be given out, courtesy of the HBBCA and local bike shops.   Prizes will be awarded to the longest one-way bike commute and the best commuter bicycle (as decided by participants at the rally).  Recognition certificates will be given to the business with the most participants at each rally.   So, sign up fellow employees at work and get them to participate with you.
City of Eureka Considering Converting H & I Streets to Two Lane One-Way Streets
By Rick Knapp, President
At its meeting of March 12, 2013, the City of Eureka’s Transportation Safety Commission (TSC) heard a presentation by Sheila Parrott, Traffic Department.   In her presentation she presented options for giving H and I Streets a “road diet.”  Rick Knapp has been advocating conversion of the 3-lane streets to two lanes with bike lanes for at least three years.   Now, the TSC asked that City staff present options to the Commission. 
In her presentation, she indicated that traffic volumes on the street vary from 9,000 to 11,000 per day.   This is about 1/3 of the volumes that the other three lane one-way streets in Eureka carry—that is, Fourth and Fifth Streets, each of which carries over 30,000 vehicles per day in addition to a high volume of trucks.   It is clear that H & I Streets could easily handle all the traffic that the streets carry, which hasn’t increased in recent years.   What it would do is slow down speeds somewhat due to the fact that motorists would find it harder to move from one lane to another as they are trying to pass other vehicles ahead of them.  
The action would make H and I Streets more livable for residents who are becoming more and more upset with high speed motorists and the resulting hazards.  Many local residents report that their vehicles have been hit when parked in front of their homes.   It would also make it much easier for pedestrians to cross these streets, in particular students going to and from Eureka High School every morning and afternoon.   Currently, one must be able to judge traffic speeds and gaps and run to cross these streets.   What if you are disabled or in a wheel chair?
In addition, the improvements would provide another north/south option for cyclists.   Currently, only J Street has bike lanes.   And, J Street is not overly desirable as a bike route, as there are many stop signs and frequently motorists are parked in the bike lane near the school to drop students off or to wait for them to get out of school.
In the near future, we can expect a presentation to the City Council.   We’re already hearing concerns about emergency vehicles being impacted.   It’s hard to imagine that emergency vehicles would have difficulty negotiating the street.   After all, the width of the street width will be unchanged and emergency vehicles aren’t dissuaded by bike lanes and buffer striping.   No physical barriers are proposed.   Hopefully, in the future, we will see action that could substantially reduce the number of motorists traveling through the H and I neighborhoods at 40 mph and above and give students and other pedestrians a fair chance at crossing these streets safely.
Melanie Williams is New Chair of the Arcata Traffic Safety Committee
Bicycle commuters have a friend in the new Chair of the Arcata Traffic Safety Committee (TSC), Melanie Williams.   The TSC provides advice to the Arcata City Council and the Public Works Department.
Melanie is a long time member of Green Wheels and the HBBCA.   She is also a League of American Bicyclists’ Certified Instructor (known as an LCI).  She is the owner of a business called  In that capacity, Melanie is often seen assisting others in the conduct of bike rodeos and in developing safe routes to schools.  She also serves as a member of the Humboldt Bike Month Coalition that works to bring the many events scheduled for May in Humboldt County.   
About 18 months ago, Melanie and Rick Knapp rode bikes throughout the City of Arcata to determine where bike racks were needed.   They also provided suggested designs to be used at each location.   The HBBCA is still waiting for implementation.   Doby Class, Director of Public Works, promised a year ago that the City would proceed with a project to respond to the request.   So far, nothing has happened as far as we know.   Maybe, Melanie will have a chance to help bring the project to light along with other projects in support of the needs of bicycle commuters.  In any case, we can be sure that bicycle interests will be fully considered when projects of all types are heard by the TSC.
Community Bike Kitchen Grand Opening on Saturday, June1
By Emily Sinkhorn
A new Community Bike Kitchen is opening at Jefferson School in Eureka!  Do you have interest in learning bicycle repair and maintenance skills? Want to get involved in the bike kitchen to help increase transportation security and safe cycling in Eureka?   The Community Bike Kitchen will offer all the necessary “ingredients” for community members to “cook up” bikes, including tools, used bikes and parts, and knowledgeable mechanics. The bike kitchen will also host educational workshops  to teach skills in bike maintenance and safe cycling.
Current bike kitchen “chefs” are passionate community members including staff of Redwood Community Action Agency.   We are always looking for more people to get involved and support the Community Bike Kitchen’s efforts to get affordable bikes in the hands of people who need them. There are many ways to support the Community Bike Kitchen, including volunteering at the Kitchen, helping with outreach, and donating tools, bike parts, or used bikes. If you are interested in learning more about ways to support or participate in the Community Bike Kitchen, contact Emily Sinkhorn at  (707) 269-2061 or  And, come out to our Grand Opening on Saturday, June 1 at Jefferson Community Center (1000 B St, Eureka).
Letter to the Editor
Rick -
Just wanted to thank you for writing that excellent opinion piece in last Saturday's Times-Standard.  I see so many individuals using  their cell phones while driving on Arcata streets. (I'm on my bike or walking.)

It's good to keep the momentum building about addressing the dangers  on our city streets, especially with all of the "devices" people seem 
to find a necessity.

Thank you again.  You are a very fine asset in our community!
Betty Jain, Arcata

Who to Call When You See a Safety Concern (Rev. 2/9/2013)
The HBBCA checked with agencies in the Humboldt Bay region to determine appropriate contact personnel to respond to bike-related issues.  If you see a condition that needs to be corrected in order to improve safety or convenience for cyclists such as a pothole in a bike lane, accumulated debris on a roadway shoulder, the need to re-stripe a bike lane, the need to clear vegetation encroaching on a shoulder, or a street light that is out, call the responsible agency/person listed below.
Of course, if you see a condition that requires immediate attention, like a stop sign knocked down, call 9-1-1.  For non-emergency conditions, the following contact information is provided:
Mark Suchanek, Deputy District Director
County of Humboldt
Wendy Meeks, Dispatcher
Abandoned Vehicles: Wally Williams,
County Sheriff’s Office, 268-3629
City of Arcata
Monica Campbell,
Public Works Administrative Assistant
Abandoned Vehicles:
Arcata Police Dept. at 822-2424
City of Eureka
Kristen Ireland
Public Works Administrative Assistant
with cc:
Abandoned Vehicles: Mary Kirby, 268-5232
HBBCA Board of Directors (Rev. 1/2012)
President---------------------- Rick Knapp
445-1097(h) email:
Vice-President---------------- Brett Gronemeyer
845-2117(h); 445-5390(w)
Secretary/Treasurer---Gail Popham,
Director of Publicity………… vacant
Director of Planning----- vacant
Please Join or Renew Your Membership for 2013 (Rev. 1/2013)
The HBBCA is working to improve and encourage bicycle commuting.  Help make it happen by joining now or renewing your membership for 2013. 
Your $5.00 annual dues, paid on a calendar year basis, will help pay for youth helmets, this newsletter, our website, BikeSmart promotions, Bike Month activities and prizes, postage, etc.   And, it will help demonstrate your commitment to our goal.
With your membership card, you may request the following discounts on bike parts and accessories: 10% (or more) at Henderson Center Bicycles; 10% at Revolution Bicycle Repair; 15% at Adventure’s Edge; 10% at Pacific Outfitters and 15% at Sport and Cycle.  Membership cards include stickers on the back showing discounts offered by the various bike shops.
Enclosed: $_____dues    $_____donation
____I’d rather receive my newsletter by email.   This is my neatly printed email address:
Mail to HBBCA, P.O. Box 9054 Eureka CA 95502-9054