November 2013

WHEEL PEOPLE            Vol. 32  No.  6               November 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 new and renewed members have become members for 2014.
New Members
Renewed Members
Robert Berg, Bayside***
Tim (last name withheld)***
Beth Abels, Arcata***
Mark Mueller, Eureka***
Jennifer Johnson, owner, Adventure’s Edge***
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 those who have given additional donations to support our many causes.
Time to Renew Your Membership
All memberships expire on December 31 unless you have already renewed your membership.   Please try to send in your renewals by the first of the year.   We sincerely appreciate your continued support.
The Next Regular Meeting will be Held on November 25th in Arcata
The next regular HBBCA meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., Monday, November 25th, at Carmela’s Mexican  Restaurant, 13th and G Streets in Arcata. Dinner is optional. Oona Smith, planner for the Humboldt County Association of Governments will be on hand to give us an update on the status of the new Regional Transportation Plan.  Additional agenda items may be suggested by emailing Rick Knapp at or phoning him at 707-445-1097.     
Cyclists Looking Forward to Completion of the Eureka-Arcata Corridor Paving Project
After months of suffering from shoulder grinding, debris, a 5” vertical jump for highway crossings, cyclists are finally starting to see an end to the obstacles of riding safely in the corridor.   As of the last week of October, much of the northbound shoulder has been paved and hopefully the ramps and southbound shoulders will soon be paved, too.  
The HBBCA has been hearing horror stories of having to walk bikes through areas with deep grindings, negotiating shovel-fulls of loose asphalt scattered on the shoulder, and more.  Things are starting to get better.  All along, the HBBCA has been raising these issues to Caltrans in an attempt to get them resolved as soon as possible.  Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to get a contractor to do what needs to be done in a timely manner.  This has been one of those times. Caltrans said that the contractor was getting different equipment so that future grindings would be shallower and smoother for cyclists.
The top lift of the pavement is to be “open-graded,” (for improved traction and performance in wet weather) and normally cannot be placed when temperatures get colder, so it may be that the last lift won’t be done until next spring.   Ultimately, the 10 foot shoulder (previously 8 feet), will be dyed brick red to better delineate the area occupied by cyclists.
Caltrans “Arrive Alive” Campaign to Start in November
The six “Arrive Alive” ads that were produced earlier this year by Caltrans with the help of HBBCA and others will begin to “arrive” on November 4th and continue airing through March, 2014.   There are six different ads, and will be released on television, radio and in movie theaters.   See You Tube versions at:
City of Eureka to Receive “Bronze” Designation as a Bicycle Friendly City
The City of Eureka has received unofficial information indicating that the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) will be awarding it the “Bronze” designation as a Bicycle Friendly City.  It will be joining the City of Arcata with Bicycle Friendly status.   Arcata was upgraded to “Silver” last year from its former Bronze status. 
City staff will be working with the Traffic Safety Commission to plan an event to announce the achievement and unveil the signs that will be erected.  We look forward to even more efforts on the part of the City to make the community even friendlier toward bicyclists.   This will take efforts of city staff, elected officials, advocacy groups, and motorists and cyclists alike.
Tour of the Unknown Coast Gives Major Donation to the HBBCA
For the last several years, the Tour of the Unknown Coast (TUC) organization has made a major donation to the HBBCA from proceeds from their annual TUC rides.   This year, it has donated $300 to the HBBCA.   These funds will be used to purchase helmets for youth participating in the BikeSmart program and for local bike racks.
The HBBCA Helps Fund Bike Rack for the Banana Hut at 5th and G/H in Eureka
Ken, the owner of the Banana Hut gladly agreed to pay half the cost of a bike rack that will be installed in front of his business by the City.   The HBBCA is paying the other half, and the City has agreed to install the rack.   This is consistent with how two racks were installed at Chapala’s earlier this year.  The year before, the HBBCA acquired 12 of the pole-mount racks that the City installed. 
This partnership approach can be pursued at other locations in local cities.   If you know of a place where a rack is needed, ask the owner if he/she would be willing to pay half for the installation.   Then, call Rick Knapp to discuss it.   Racks recently installed cost between $100 (pole mount) and $250 for the “paper clip” standing rack.   They are dipped so they won’t rust for the next 10 years or so.
EPD Officer, Gary Whitmer, Speaks to the HBBCA
At its regular meeting of September 23rd at Chapala’s Café, Gary Whitmer, Eureka Police Department’s Senior Traffic Officer, spoke to the membership.  Several questions and concerns were brought to his attention in advance.   He addressed them all.  As most are aware, the City of Eureka ranks among the worst in traffic collision, injuries and fatalities for a city of its size in California.
One of the most serious concerns is distracted driving (i.e., phone use and texting).   He said over 700 citations for distracted driving had been issued between January and August of 2013.   While that seems like a lot, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that it is getting less prevalent.   He said he gave two tickets to the same person in the Eureka-Arcata corridor within one week.   He said, officers see less of it than we do, as motorists will often change behavior when they see a police unit approaching.
Whitmer said that the majority of serious bike collisions are due to wrong-way riding.  
Other issues discussed included speeding, red light running, and passing too close to cyclists.   The new “3-foot” law may help to educate motorists over time of the dangers of passing too close.  It was suggested that signs indicating the cost of a red light violation be placed at various locations in the City.   He said that such a proposal is currently being considered.
The High Price of a Traffic Ticket in California
By Rick Knapp
It is too bad that more people don’t realize the price of a traffic ticket these days—maybe they would be a little more responsible.   An October 1, 2013 article in the San Francisco Chronicle detailed the cost of a traffic ticket.   The price is set by State law, and keeps going up as the Legislature passes laws to fund new and existing “related” programs.   In the article, it listed the 11 elements of a fine for running a red light:
Base fine for running a red light is                           $100
State penalty assessment                                           100
County penalty assessment                                         70
DNA identification card                                                   50
Court construction                                                           50
State surcharge                                                               20
Emergency medical services                                       20
Emergency medical air transportation                         4
Court operations                                                             40 
Conviction assessment                                                35
Night court                                                                         1
Total ticket                                                                $490
Please tell everyone you can about the costs of these citations.   We’d rather people stopped violating the law now, not having to wait until after they find out that a $35 cell phone fine is really $200 or more.  
Comments Solicited on the City of Eureka’s Draft Transportation Safety Action Plan                                        
The City of Eureka has just released a Draft Transportation Safety Action Plan for review and comment.   According to the website, the Transportation Safety Commission has completed a draft of the Transportation Safety Action Plan & brochure and is asking for public input and comments. This plan was developed to provide local neighborhoods opportunities to resolve their traffic safety concerns through use of traffic calming countermeasures.
Please submit comments through the Engineering email at through December 31, 2013.

Annual Bike Calendar Included in this Newsletter
The annual bike calendar is included in this newsletter.   Use it to keep track of your mileage by day, week, month and year.   By using it, you will not be guessing how many miles you ride each year, and will be less apt to slack off from one year to the next.   It can be a motivator.  Rick Knapp has been using one since the first year he started riding as a commuter, in 1974.   By keeping track, he knows that he will soon reach 100,000 miles by bicycle.   And since his retirement, he has been riding over 3,000 miles a year.   The downside is that with his speed less than it was 20 years ago, he has to spend more time in the saddle each year to maintain his miles.   This also means he spends more time looking for more comfortable saddles.   If you know of an awesome saddle, please let him know.
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  [New contact 2/2013]
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 2014  (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 2014. Your $5.00 annual dues, paid on a calendar year basis, will help pay for youth helmets, bike racks, this newsletter, the 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