September 2011


VOL. 30 NO. 5

 September 2011

Newsletter of the Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association
P. O. Box 9054 Eureka CA 95502


New Members:

  • Patti Pedigo, Eureka

Renewed Members:

  • Ali Lee, Arcata**
  • Barbara Howe & Chris Collins, Eureka***
  • Edward & Judith Webb, McKinleyville**
  • Steve & Lynn Jones, Arcata***

Those with a ** have made additional donations to the HBBCA. Those with *** have made donations of $25 or more. Thank you for your generous donations to the HBBCA.

Thank you for your generous donations to the HBBCA. If you have not renewed your membership for 2011, please do so by filling out the application at the end of this newsletter.

The Next Regular Meeting will be held on September 26th in Eureka

The next regular HBBCA meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., Monday, September 26th, at Chapala’s Restaurant, 2nd and C Streets, in Eureka.   Dinner is optional.   Agenda items may be suggested by emailing Rick Knapp at

Victory is Sweet!!  Bike Lanes Going in on Harris Street in Eureka

After a few months of effort, approval of bike lanes on Harris from I Street to U Street occurred at the City Council meeting of August 17th.   Several members of the HBBCA, the Transportation Safety Commission and the general public spoke in support of the bike lanes.   There was not one person spoke in opposition except Council member Marian Brady who relied on her own research instead of that presented by the City Engineering staff.   Her issue was the fact that the project will be accomplished by narrowing traffic lanes from 12 feet to 10 feet, the same as on Harris easterly of Harrison, and on Myrtle Avenue, the northerly portion of bike lanes on Walnut Drive and those on 6th and 7th Street.  Brady wanted “sharrows,” instead for the entire segment (See below for description of sharrows.) 

The City staff’s research showed that the proposed configuration is being used successfully across the nation.   One of the benefits is the resulting calming of traffic as a result of the narrower lane widths. 

The bike lanes will go in this summer/fall in conjunction with a rehabilitation project.   In addition, stripping will be renewed on the rest of Harris Street and “sharrows” will be added for the portion of Harris between U Street and Harrison.   The 10 foot lanes were deemed too narrow to include bike lanes for this portion due to the adverse vertical and horizontal alignment.   The “sharrows” include pavement markings to indicate that motorists and bicyclists are to share the roadway. 

Parking will be maintained for the entire length.   Originally, City staff had proposed removal of about half of the parking to accommodate standard lanes and bike lanes.   That proposal became very controversial as soon as it was aired before the City’s Parking Place Commission. 

The City’s Engineering staff, including the City’s Director of Public Work, Mike Knight, and his staff, Sheila Parrott and Dan Moody are to be commended for their outstanding research and presentation to the City Council.   Everyone was extremely impressed with their efforts. 

Tour of the Unknown Coast (TUC) Association Donates $500 to the HBBCA

For the third year in a row, the TUC has made a major donation to the HBBCA.   Again, we were happy to help the TUC put on another successful event.   Particular help was provided by Buzz Webb and Tim Daniels.

H Street Pedestrian Improvement Project Beginning in Arcata

The Arcata H Street Pedestrian Improvement Project begins Tuesday, September 6th. This 6 to 9 week project will replace aging water and sewage infrastructure, and enhance the pedestrian experience by widening the sidewalks from 5 to 8 feet.  Because there is only a finite amount of Right of Way (space) between the buildings, and competing interests and needs, the bike lane will be removed between 11th and 9th Street. The Class II Bike Lane will become a Class III Bike Route in this slightly downhill section. Traffic calming measures will encourage through motorists to use the left lane, making the right lane a "multi-purpose" lane, according to Doby Class, Director of Public Works. The right lane will have "Bike Sharrows" and a colored path to indicate where bicyclists should ride. Approaching both 11th and 10th Streets the right lane becomes a "Right Turn Only" lane for motor vehicles. The idea is for bicyclists to ride in the colored path, staying out of the "Door Zone", sharing the right lane with motor vehicles, and overtaking right turning motorists on the left. For more information please go to the City of Arcata's website at:  The HBBCA Board has expressed some concerns with project details, including a proposed concrete planter to be placed in the right lane, some of the proposed pavement markings and non-standard signing.   We have recommended some changes to the project.  We have been told that many of our suggestions will be reflected in the final project.

Update on the Samoa Boulevard Gateway Project

Have you noticed the construction occurring in Arcata along Samoa Boulevard? It's the City of Arcata's Samoa Boulevard Gateway Project. The purpose of this project, funded mostly by Federal Transportation Enhancement (TE) and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, a.k.a "Economic Stimulus") funds, is to reconfigure this transportation corridor to better serve the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as improve the aesthetics for all users. Bike lanes will be added where none existed before. Pedestrian enhancements include "refuges", which are islands that create a safer space for pedestrians and allow them to only cross one to two traffic lanes at a time. The project is scheduled to be completed in the Summer of 2012. For more information, please go to the City of Arcata's website:

Bike Racks Donated by the HBBCA Installed by Eureka City Staff

Eureka City staff recently installed the ten “pole-mount” bike racks purchased by the HBBCA.   Racks were placed in Henderson Center and Old Town.   They were located near the Post Office, banks, coffee shops, restaurants and other areas frequented by cyclists.   Thanks to the members of the HBBCA who donated funds in addition to their regular membership dues to allow the Board to allocate $1,000 to augment bike racks in the City.  While it can take a few years to generate that much money, it is very rewarding to see our money go to direct improvements for cyclists. 

The HBBCA Board is also working with the City of Arcata to augment its bike parking.   During August, Rick Knapp and Melanie Williams rode throughout the downtown core to identify a need for approximately 35 additional racks.   Doby Class, Director of Public Works, has indicated that the City has some funds it can use to acquire more racks.

HBBCA Requests More Bike Parking in Arcata

Director of Public Works, Doby Class, indicated that the City has some funding to add additional bike racks in the City.   In early August, Melanie Williams and Rick Knapp rode the greater downtown area of the City to identify locations where more bike racks are needed to accommodate those who use their bikes for transportation.   Melanie also solicited input from Green Wheels on recommended locations. 

On September 4, a letter was sent to the City, requesting 36 additional bike racks be installed.   It was further recommended that the proposal be placed on the agenda for the Transportation Safety Committee, scheduled for September 20.   For those concerned about the need for bike racks, you may wish to attend that meeting.

Don’t Park in Bike Lanes in Lithuania

A popular YouTube video shows Mayor Arturas Zuokas of the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius driving a rubber- tired tank over the top of a Mercedes that was illegally parked in a bike lane.   After the vehicle was destroyed the owner of the car came running out from across the street and was told by Zuokas: “Next time, park your car legally.”   It is not likely that that car will be parked anywhere anytime soon, unless at a junk yard.

Arcata Kids Wearing Helmets to Get Rewarded

Arcata Police will offer rewards to kids wearing helmets while riding their bikes and skateboards and will provide helmets for those who can’t afford them.  The new program will go from August 29 to September 4 and September 25 to October 1.  Kids can receive gift certificates for ice cream, pizza and sandwiches.  The Police Department’s goal is to promote safe riding practices, educate kids on safety equipment laws and give them an opportunity to get to know Arcata’s officers.  Several local businesses are donating to the program.  For more information or to donate to the cause, contact Lt. Ryan Peterson at 825-2566.

Update from Chris Whitworth, Department of Public Works, Humboldt County

Chris Whitworth provided the following update regarding projects that relate to cyclists: 

Our bicycle improvement projects are largely contained within our State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) projects, which are indefinitely on hold. They include improvements on Humboldt Hill, Central Avenue and Union Street, among others. It is unknown when that funding source will free up again. 

We are currently designing improvements on Walnut Drive between Fern and Hemlock within which we are trying to squeeze in bike lanes. 

We have undertaken a multi-phase project on School Road in McKinleyville which will result in sidewalks and bike lanes from Central to Route 101.  Completion will not occur for two years, however. 

On a two year horizon will be the repaving of Myrtle Avenue from Three Corners to near Pigeon Point. Striping of the road will result in wider shoulders, as the traffic lanes currently are wider than necessary. The configuration will mimic that on the other sections of newly completed roadway with 11 ft travel lanes and five foot shoulders. 

We completed some improvements to the Hammond Trail Bridge over the Mad to eke out a few more years of service. 

We are working on the acquisition of Transportation Enhancement funds to design structural improvements for the Annie & Mary bridge over the Mad River to secure it for the future potential trail.

HBBCA Board of Directors

President-------------------- Rick Knapp

445-1097(h) email:

Vice-President------------- vacant

Secretary/Treasurer--- Gail Popham, 444-3316(h); 445-5204(w)

Director of Publicity----- vacant

Director of Planning----- Brett Gronemeyer 845-2117(h); 441-5770(w)

If anyone is interested in filling a Board seat, or becoming more involved, please call one of the Board members above.

Who To Call When You See a Safety Concern (Revised 1/09)

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, or the need to clear vegetation encroaching on a shoulder, call the responsible agency/person listed below.

Of course, if you see a condition that requires immediate emergency action, call 9-1-1.  For other conditions, the following 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. 822-2424

City of Eureka

Pearl Mendoza

Public Works Administrative Assistant


Abandoned Vehicles:

Mary Kirby



The HBBCA is working to improve and encourage bicycle commuting.  Help make it happen by joining now or renewing your membership for 2011.  Your $5.00 annual dues, paid on a calendar year basis, will help pay for youth helmets, this newsletter, our website, promotions, postage, etc.   And, it will help demonstrate your commitment to our goal.

With your membership card, 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 Pro Sport Center, 10% at the Outdoor Store and 15% at Sport and Cycle.

Please click here to download our Membership Application.