September 2012


VOL. 31 NO. 5

 September 2012

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

Thanks to the New and Renewed Members for 2012

Renewed Members:

Buzz and Judy Webb, McKinleyville**

Those marked with a ** gave an additional donation.   Those with a *** gave at least a $25 donation.  Thanks to all of you for your generous support of the HBBCA.   

If you have not yet renewed your membership for 2012, please do so by using the membership application at the end of the newsletter.                                                                                                       

The Next Regular Meeting will be held on September 17th in Eureka

The next regular HBBCA meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., Monday, September 17th, at Chapala’s Café, 2nd and C Streets in Eureka.  Dinner is optional.   Agenda items may be suggested by emailing Rick Knapp at

HBBCA Turns 30!!!

With little fanfare, the HBBCA has turned 30 years old.  

A lot has happened to be proud of during those 30 years—everything from getting bikes on buses (our first undertaking) to city bike master plans, bikeways, bike parking, successful grant applications, improved street maintenance, traffic signals that recognize bikes, and safety programs for the youth of Humboldt Bay.   The HBBCA can truly say that much of what has happened for cyclists in the Humboldt Bay region would not have happened without its assistance, encouragement and vigilant attention.    And, the HBBCA has been a leader in initiating and pursuing action at the national level, too.  An example follows in the next article.  There is much more to be done, and you can help.   Sign up now for 2012 and get 2013 free.   See application at the end of this newsletter.   It will be $5.00 well spent!

Throughout its 30 years, the HBBCA has taken pride in the fact that it has always tried to work positively with local and State government, not in an adversarial way.   As a result, the HBBCA is often consulted rather than avoided when issues affecting cyclists are raised by others.  As an example, Caltrans sought advice from the HBBCA when considering projects to install rumble strips on State highways.   Cities and the County have consulted with the HBBCA when considering bikeway projects, and have made changes in projects when issues have been raised by the HBBCA.

SB 1464 Gets Through the State Assembly

According to the California Bicycle Coalition, Senate Bill 1464, also known as the “3-foot passing bill,” has been approved by the Assembly in a 50-16 vote.   The next steps include a vote—largely procedural—in the Senate to formally concur with technical amendments made to the bill by the Assembly.   Then it goes to the Governor for his signature, probably right after Labor Day.  Based on his comments last year when he vetoed the previous bill, it is believed this version will hold up against his scrutiny.

Once again, the HBBCA has made its support known to our local Assemblyman, Wesley Chesbro.   We knew he had supported this bill, even in its earlier version last year, so firmly expected his continued support.   See his response in our “Letters,” in this newsletter.

SB 1464 gives clear guidance on how to pass bicyclists and over time should help provide for increased cyclist safety.

New Bike Lanes Added in Cutten

Bike lanes have been added as part of a reconfiguration of the roadway in the commercial section of Walnut Drive in Cutten.  The T-intersection at Walnut and Hemlock has been redone, including addition of a 3-way stop.  In the past, traffic coming from Dolbeer toward Walnut caused long back-ups at Walnut.   Now, with everyone stopping, traffic should move through with less conflict.

On the Walnut Drive portion of the project, a center turn lane has been added in addition to bike lanes for this ¼ mile section of roadway.  To accomplish this, parking was removed from the east side of Walnut Drive.

Thanks to Humboldt County for this additional section of bike lanes.   Now, only the ½ mile section from Holly Street to Fern Street  is without bike lanes.   This short section would also require removal of parking on one side, as there is insufficient room without removing some of the parking.

The HBBCA Supports Rail Banking Before the NCRA Board

By Rick Knapp, President

At its meeting of July 11, the North Coast Railroad Authority rejected any suggestion that it should “railbank” the Eureka/Arcata/Samoa corridor to allow pursuit of plans and funding for a multipurpose trail.   While they agreed to form a committee, the name of the committee will not have the word “railbanking” associated with it.   At the meeting, it was clear that the Board looks at pursuit of railbanking, or even the consideration of it, the ultimate death sentence to the railroad.  

The HBBCA, along with another 30 or so persons and groups supported a proposed study as defined by the County Supervisors to study railbanking as an option. This is an effort pursued by a group called Bay T(rail) Plan Advocates.  But, the County proposal requested the NCRA establish the committee.

  The NCRA Board, while voting to establish a committee, emphasized preservation of the infrastructure, instead of railbanking.  The Committee supported by the NCRA would be called “The Humboldt Bay Rail Corridor Committee,” that “will evaluate the creation of trails, look at rail bed restoration and the restoration of rail service consistent with NCRA trail policy.”  That NCRA trail policy does not address the concept of “railbanking.”  As such, all the NCRA did was to agree to form a committee, but not the one solicited.   It is not known what will happen from this point.

There was some support from NCRA Board members for the sought-after Committee, but not a majority.  At the meeting, rail supporters also made their position known, generally not supporting railbanking or pursuit of rail options.   They want to preserve the railroad, which has not operated for 15 years, and many even spoke of wanting to pursue the east-west rail corridor.   No one said what interest there is for shipping in such a corridor, which might cost $billions.

To help get a feel for what happened at the meeting:

Board Member Hemphill asked that the “restoration of rail service” be placed on the next meeting agenda.

Board Member McKowen said he couldn’t support the motion to establish the railbanking committee effort because “EPIC is bleeding our finances dry.”

John Williams, Northwestern Railroad Company, says “I have an exclusive right to operate this railroad.  Railbanking is inconsistent with my contract.”  It was pointed out that he paid “0” dollars for this exclusive contract.

Marcus Brown, Timber Heritage President said, “There is a great trail option east of 101.”  Once a trail is built, it won’t ever be restored as a railroad.”

John Meyer, local resident, said, “It isn’t a tradeoff of rail for trail.   It is either a trail or nothing for the foreseeable future.”


Regarding SB 1464, the “3-foot Passing Bill:”

Dear Mr. Knapp:
As you know, this measure would establish the “Three Feet for Safety Act” by creating standards for vehicles attempting to pass bicycles on a highway and penalty amounts for violations.
I, too, support this bill and voted for it on the Assembly floor. It is now awaiting concurrence in the Senate. As a bicyclist myself, I am very aware of the dangerous conditions that riders often face on California's streets and roads. This measure is a step toward implementation of the California Complete Streets Act passed in 2008 that requires roadways to be designed to safely accommodate all users, including bicyclists. I am pleased that we agree on this issue.

Please be assured that I will continue to monitor this important measure as it moves through the legislative process. If you would like to track the progress of SB 1464, you may do so by logging onto

Thank you again for your correspondence. If I can be of any assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Assembly member, 1st District

Three National Bike Advocacy Groups Remain Separate

After months of steady dialogue and face-to-face meetings, the leaders of the Alliance for Biking & Walking, Bikes Belong, and the League of American Bicyclists have decided not to pursue full unification at this time.  According to a joint press release on August 16th, the groups indicate they will “continue to operate independently, in close collaboration, to make bicycling safer and more enjoyable for all Americans.”

HBBCA T-Shirts Available

More T-shirts have been made up and are available for $10, our cost.   They are bright yellow.   We have both men’s and women’s.   The women’s are stretchy ribbed cotton with scoop neck.   They have “Please Share the Road” on the back.   The men’s are standard T-shirts, some with “One Less Car” on the back, others with “Please Share the Road.   Contact Rick Knapp if you’d like to get one.   Get ready for summer!!!

HBBCA Board of Directors (Rev. 1/2012)

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

445-1097(h) email:

Vice-President---------------- Brett Gronemeyer

845-2117(h); 441-5770(w)

Secretary/Treasurer---------Gail Popham,


Director of Publicity………… vacant

Director of Planning----- vacant

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 (Rev. 1/5/2012)

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 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

Pearl Mendoza
Public Works Administrative Assistant
with cc:

Abandoned Vehicles: Mary Kirby, 268-5232

Please Join or Renew Your Membership for 2012 (Rev. 1/2012)

The HBBCA is working to improve and encourage bicycle commuting.  Help make it happen by joining now or renewing your membership for 2012. 

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 Pro Sport Center, 10% at the Outdoor Store and 15% at Sport and

Cycle.  [Starting February 2011, membership cards began including stickers on the back showing discounts offered by the various 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