September 2013

WHEEL PEOPLE            Vol. 32  No.  5               September 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 and/or 2014.
New members
Scott/Traveras and Jennifer Hagerty, McKinleyville
Scott Riley & Katrina Wright, McKinleyville***
Liz Souza, Eureka**
Renewed Members
Frank Schmidt, Arcata**
Bob & Susan Ornelas, Arcata**
Emily Sinkhorn, Eureka***
Carman Gentile, Arcata**
Carl  & Judy Cooper, Bayside**
Gordon Inkles, Bayside
Wally West, Redway
Steve Sipma & Noreen O’Brien**
Those with a ** next to their name gave an additional donation.   Those with *** gave 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 September 23rd in Eureka with Focus on Enforcement
The next regular HBBCA meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., Monday, September 23rd, at Chapala’s Café, 2nd and C Streets in Eureka.  Dinner is optional.  
Eureka Police Department Officer, Gary Whitmer, will be in attendance to address enforcement issues in the City—unless he receives a higher calling for that night.   Bring your concerns about enforcement and your experiences and frustrations regarding enforcement or lack thereof.
Please send other agenda items to Rick Knapp at, or call him at 707-445-1097.
Coastal Commission Hearing on the Eureka-Arcata Corridor Project Scheduled for September 12th in Eureka
The California Coastal Commission will hold its hearing on the Caltrans Eureka-Arcata Corridor Improvement Project on September 12th (Day 2), 8:30 a.m.  at the Wharfinger Building, #1 Marina Way in Eureka.  To review a staff report and recommendations, check the Commission’s website at  Among other recommendations, Commission staff is recommending that the project not be approved without provision for a separated bike path. 
If you wish to check out the items on the Commission’s website, note that it is the 3rd item from the bottom.  Who knows when it will come up.   Sometimes they move items up to recognize substantial attendance on an item.  A maximum of 5 minutes is allowed for public testimony, but often it is reduced depending on the number of people wanting to testify or agenda time issues.
At its July HBBCA meeting in Eureka, one of the best attended meetings ever, Kim Floyd, Project Manager for Caltrans, made an excellent presentation of the project.   She also answered all the questions posed by attendees.   Bob Ornelas, former Mayor and City Councilman for Arcata attended and said, “This is the best meeting I have ever attended relative to the Eureka-Arcata Corridor project.”  Marcela Clem, Executive Director of the Humboldt County Association of Governments was also in attendance.  They are both trying very hard to get the project through, but in a way that is accepted by the public, including the cycling community.  In the September 5th edition of the North Coast Journal, Marcela Clem was quoted as wanting the trail included in the project.
At a special meeting of the Eureka City Council, on Friday morning, September 6th, the Council voted unanimously to authorize the Mayor to send a letter to the Coastal Commission calling for the project to include a separate bike trail parallel to the highway.
City of Arcata does not Receive TIGER grant for Humboldt Bay Trail
The City of Arcata, despite support from both United States Senators, and our Congressman, did not receive grant funding from the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program.   The project would have resulted in a multipurpose trail between Arcata and Bracut, the first segment of a Humboldt Bay Trail between Eureka and Arcata.  The application was for $2.7 million.  The recipients were announced on September 6th.
City of Eureka Submits Application for “Bicycle Friendly” Status
The City of Eureka has applied to the League of American Bicyclists for “Bicycle Friendly” designation to the League of American Bicyclists (LAB).  The LAB has an exhaustive application process, and includes evaluators that are knowledgeable on factors that indicate the degree that the City is deemed friendly toward bicyclists.   It includes extensive criteria, including facilities, policies and actions relative to cycling in the community.  Leadership of the HBBCA and Greenwheels are among those who have submitted evaluations of the application.  We are both hopeful that the City will receive a Bronze or Silver designation.  If so, a ceremony and roadway signs will follow later this year.
The only other City in the region to receive designation is the City of Arcata, originally bronze and upgraded to Silver last year.
Reconstruction of Valley East and Valley West Boulevard Underway with “Buffered Bike Lanes”
By Doby Class, Director of Public Works
The City of Arcata has a project underway to reconstruct the entire roadway and restripe on Valley East and Valley West Boulevard from Guintoli lane to Guintoli Lane (yes it’s a u shape).
Currently, the roadway is 60’ in width and conventionally stripped with parking on both sides, bike lanes, two travel lanes and a center turn lane.  We are going to restripe the project after we complete the reconstruction with parking on both or a single side, place two 10’-11’ travel lanes and center turn lane, left turn area only on Valley West Boulevard in front of the shopping center and hotel areas.  Valley East will not have a center turn lane any longer.
What is unique is we will be restriping the bike lanes as buffered bike lanes.  Buffered bike lanes are bike lanes paired with a designated buffer space separating the bike lane from the travelled way or parking area.  It is allowed as per Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices guidelines for buffered preferential lanes.  Basically, we are taking 8’ of the roadway and stripping out 3’ in a hatched pattern to create some space for bikes to move left if a parked car door opened and to allow some space between large vehicles and the bikes.  We are giving up some parking where required and the double  left turn lane on Valley East to allow the extra stripped area.  There are a few locations where the buffer tapers out to a conventional 5’ bike lane to accommodate new bus stops and  the 5 mid-block crossings being installed to improve pedestrian crossings on the east and west sides of the shopping center. 
The sidewalk work is currently in progress with paving scheduled for early October and striping a week later or so, weather pending.   
The project costs $300,000 and is funded from Arcata’s Measure G Program.
“Give Me 3” Legislation Making its Way Through the Legislature Again
According to the CalBike Report of August 28, 2013 from the California Bicycle Coalition, “The third time could be the charm for the 3-foot passing law for California bicyclists.”  In late August, AB 1371 passed the California State Senate and only needs the signature of the Governor to be law.   But, that is a big hurdle since he vetoed the last two bills of its type.   Each time, the legislation gets softened and becomes increasingly harmless to those who would violate it.   Nevertheless, cyclists hope that California will join the many other states that have taken similar steps in support of cyclist safety.
Dear Rick,
Thank you for the great bike safety class you and Patricia-Anne gave for my grandchildren and me. They have a great foundation.
Keep up the good work.
Liz Souza, Eureka
Also included were cards from both children:
“Thanks for the Bike Class Rick!  Safety first!”
Rick, Thank you a lot for the helmet!
“Click and Clack” Address the Motorist That Feels Turn Signals Should Only Be Used When Absolutely Necessary
In the August 30th edition of the San Francisco Chronicle, the infamous “Click and Clack,” the Magliozzi brothers, received a letter from someone who could only be from Eureka, which states in part:
“I happen to believe that there are only so many “blinks” in a blinker.   Therefore, I turn mine on only when absolutely necessary to signal another driver……”  “Am I right in my hypothesis, or do I need professional help?  Randy (city not mentioned)
Here are some of the brothers’ responses:
Tom: I would lean toward the latter, Randy.
Ray: Of course all mechanical parts eventually wear out.  But you have to consider the risk/reward equation for what you’re doing.
Tom: On the reward side, you might save a few bucks on light bulbs in the life of the car.  You might.
Ray: If the car happens to last 190,000 miles, you might have to replace bulbs three times (either way).
Tom: And the risk you’re assuming is way out of proportion to the possible reward.  If failing to signal a turn causes some distracted driver to rear-end you, or some oncoming driver to not realize you’re making a left turn you could be out hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention a couple of vertebrae.
Tom: The lives of bulbs are shortened much more by going over bumps and rattling the filaments than by blinking.
Ray: So if you’re really concerned about minimizing costs, don’t drive, Randy.  We know for a fact that you’ll save money if your car spends its life sitting in your driveway.
Tom: Relax a bit.  That won’t be easy, I’m sure, because you say that just thinking about wasting blinks makes you crazy.   But try.   We’re all for being gentle and non-wasteful with mechanical parts, and we admire you for that instinct.  But try to keep it just this side of the loony bin, Randy.

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 2014 (Rev. 9/2013)
The HBBCA is working to improve and encourage bicycle commuting.  Help make it happen by joining now or renewing your membership for 2013 and 2014. 
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