Home > Humboldt County General Plan Update > Complete Streets redux

Complete Streets redux

[Text and photos by Jen Rice.]
To get back to the Complete Streets issue, I’m glad that the community is having a conversation about what this means for our small towns and rural communities — I hope it can continue in a more constructive and informed manner. After working toward complete streets goals in this rural region for fifteen years at RCAA, I will say it is absolutely erroneous to assume that complete streets means sidewalks or any other ‘urban’ form of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. You can read the text of the 2008 Complete Streets Act here. it specifically calls for providing a “multimodal transportation network… suitable to the rural, suburban and urban context”.

The photo of Bayside above shows an example of what ‘rural’ complete streets can look like and a few other photos I took in Weott:Carlotta: and Hoopa: showing what kinds of safety issues we’re faced with every day in our rural communities. I have hundreds more like these. Kids’ safety walking to schools on rural roads, families being able to push strollers without traffic conflicts, people getting to the store on horseback because they don’t own a car — these are not political issues, they are basic needs that can be addressed with infrastructure improvements in many rural communities and small towns. In many places, I’m sure rural roads will stay just like they are… to say that ‘complete streets’ means sidewalks in places like Blocksburg or Whitethorn would be crazy: no one has ever suggested any such thing to my knowledge.

Complete Streets Humboldt Style could mean a gravel path for pedestrians on the shoulder of Red Cap Road; a multi-use trail adjacent to the Avenue of the Giants, between Arcata and Blue Lake, from Elk Meadow through Orick to the Redwood National Park Interpretive Center; between Willow Creek and the Elementary School or between Redway and Garberville; wider road shoulders and a little traffic calming on Westhaven Drive; a downtown Willow Creek-style treatment for any number of our small towns; or bike lanes and sidewalks on School Road from the shopping center to the Hammond Trail. These visions vary in cost and complexity and have been heard loud and clear around the county for decades from communities of every shape and size. They have not only safety benefits, but economic development, health and environmental impact benefits. We can achieve these goals if we work together, regardless of our politics (!), and put our ingenious, creative and community-loving hearts and souls into making them reality.

Jen Rice, Co-Director of the Natural Resources Services Division
Redwood Community Action Agency

  1. Mark Sailors
    April 13, 2011 at 6:12 am

    I am sorry, but the picture of kids walking down the road, one on the white line, is not a picture of SAFE use. I would not let my child walk to anywhere if the road was like that. The picture of the horse and rider is also a picture of UNSAFE use. One car horn blows and spooks the horse and the rider gets thrown over the bridge.

    Safe sidewalks for every community!!!

  2. Plain Jane
    April 13, 2011 at 6:48 am

    At least the horse is on the correct side of the road for equestrians, facing traffic to reduce the risk of the horse being startled by sudden noise.

  3. Quick Question
    April 13, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Mark, wasn’t the point of the pictures from Weott, Carlotta and Hoopa to show that these roads are unsafe for anyone not in a car?

  4. Jimmi jimmi
    April 13, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Mark, only the first photo is referred to as safe. She shows the others as examples of unsafe roads.

  5. Anonymous
    April 13, 2011 at 7:20 am

    It would be nice to co-ordinate these efforts with underground wiring efforts. Safer yet!

  6. Mark Sailors
    April 13, 2011 at 7:23 am

    “After working toward complete streets goals in this rural region for fifteen years at RCAA, I will say it is absolutely erroneous to assume that complete streets means sidewalks or any other ‘urban’ form of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. ”

    Looks to me like that sentence says that sidewalks are incompatible with rural roads. If not my mistake.

    Also, horses must ride with traffic not against traffic according to CVC 21050.

    CVC 21050 states ” Every person riding or driving an animal upon a highway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division and Division 10 (commencing with ?20000), except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.”

  7. Mitch
    April 13, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Jen,

    Thank you to you and everyone who has been working towards making our streets safer for those not in cars.

    It’s important work, and not nearly as acknowledged as it should be.

  8. Plain Jane
    April 13, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Wow, Mark. I’m so surprised by that. As a kid riding horses (long ago) we were always told to ride against traffic so that sudden noises from behind were further away. Hopefully equestrians work diligently to insure their horses don’t panic from loud noises before they take them out in public.

  9. jackdurham
    April 13, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Right on Jen! And yes, both horses and bikes need to ride with traffic, not against it. Also, I wish my fellow bikers wouldn’t ride side-by-side along rural roads. Ride single file. Please!

  10. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 13, 2011 at 7:51 am

    That first photo is a joke because that section of roadway easement area has always been under-developed….and that path was there before the paving was done…so b-s use of a picture. Furthermore, that street part….ya, the part that implies “complete streets”….well, go drive a car or truck on that street and tell me the street is complete….that is one of the worst paved road sections in ARCATA…great choice to manipulate though. Additionally, if you spend a whole day in a lawn chair and look at how many users use the path…..not very many! The landscaping futher up was shoddy grant work, the road paving further up was shoddy grant work, the maintenance of the landscape is a failure, the round-a-bout further up is adjoined to terrible elevated crosswalk designs (unsafe to pedestrians as well) and rough road sections (swerving vehicles poses a threat to pedestrians closer to roadway, etc…. The top picture above is a terrible example of a “complete street”.

    another picture – who is the parent of the young girl walking on the white line when there is enough room to NOT WALK ON THE WHITE LINE? Stupid is as stupid does!

    The D/I – that is more of a concern than where the kids ave room to walk on grass – well, that does it, lawns and grass are uncomfortable to walk on.

    Hey, I am all about safety, actual safety and not some political group trying to “manufacture evidence” that is clearly not “good enough” evidence. Yet, it is the typical don’t follow existing rules and don’t enforce existing rules so that groups and insider individuals can try and “push” feel good options that can’t be funded currently and probably not for a long time – funding is not raising a federal debt ceiling either in my mind.

    Back to the over-population problems with humans that won’t follow simple rules and respects for masses of humanoids to co-exist peacefully.

    In a perfect “complete streets” world, the public works departments all over would develop the full ROW – from one edge to the other. Then, the street is complete, period!

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  11. skippy
    April 13, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Hearing RCAA Jen Rice’s oral presentation at a recent meeting, yours truly thought Complete Streets was a good idea.

    Seeing her illustrative pictures here for the first time drove the point home more than a thousand words could describe: it’s a great idea. Proper and good planning should incorporate adequate safety corridors– even a simple gravel path as needed– for pedestrians, school kids, bicyclists, dog walkers, and the like, in all contexts.

  12. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 13, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Jack, I’d rather have side by side rural riding than side-by-side “urban” riding in marked bike lanes with swinging sign people encroaching within that bike lane. I know, you like to ride, as I do too. Urban riding is harder and less safe than rural riding.

    When bikes were designed and marketed as a consumer goodie, was not one of the sales pitches about that which WHERE a bike can go that cars can’t and that people could, but slower….besides the health pitches?

    JL

  13. Mitch
    April 13, 2011 at 8:07 am

    jackdurham,

    The reason a younger me always rode side-by-side on rural roads was that riding single file invited drivers to zoom past us within inches.

    Riding side by side caused the driver to slow down enough that, usually, when we switched momentarily to single file, they would pass with a decent amount of space.

    Yes, that exposes you to the risk that a driver either won’t slow down behind you or will go into a rage. That was an educated risk I always wanted to take.

    In my experience, the typical driver is completely unaware of the impact they have on bicyclists by being oblivious. It’s a shame there’s no way to include an hour of bike riding on hostile roads as part of driver training.

  14. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 13, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Skippy,

    Yep, great idea, but the pictures are not the best evidence in arguing anything except that the non-vehicle users are the users being unsafe. So, is it about flooding the roadways with unsafe uses (by and through these types of encouragements) so as to pose a greater risk to force the appropriations hand of government to fund “fuller ROW developments”.

    Seems to me, legal uses of modal transport are recognized by the State, so if there is something on that list that is lacking, it would be good to understand.

    Yes, it would be excellent to have “safe areas for all types of ROW users”. It takes money and time just as much as it does enforcement of “existing rules of the road”. Lack of enforcement is not to be used as justification to render some political policy makings later – this is sabotage of responsibilities, ethics, morals, respondet superior, etc…. Kinda like America’s engagements in wars and battles…based on social sabatoges.

    JL

  15. April 13, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Thanks for calling attention to this Ms. Rice. Your picture of the horse on the bridge looks like they have a complete lane to themselves compared to the bridge connecting South Hoopa to North Hoopa. The sidewalk on that bridge is so narrow that a stroller, with an approximately 18″ wheel base is too wide. and there is about 6″ between the white line and the 14″ high curb. It looks like the bridge was designed to kill anyone stupid enough to walk across it. Of course I realize that was not the intent. But c’mon, how many billions of dollars would it have cost to make the sidewalk along the bridge wide enough for a stroller, or an electric wheelchair.
    Who knows if the “Complete Streets” is being done for the right reasons, but if it saves one single life, then it’s worth it.

  16. April 13, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Wait! that is the Hoopa bridge. Well, ok its more than 6″, but you get the point. Thanks Jen Rice.

  17. Teacher
    April 13, 2011 at 8:55 am

    The picture of the road in Bayside is a great example of what our rural commmunity could look like. I love it and think this is the type of thing that can be supported across political lines.

    Mitch, I live on the Hammond trail. When I’m driving home, I routinely encounter bicyclists riding down the middle of the road and blocking me from going around them. Last night on my way home from work, I rode behind three such bicyclists, riding side by side, for about half a mile. I didn’t want to honk and startle them, so I just calmly rode behind them. However, I believe the bicyclists are being inconsiderate of traffic when they ride side by side as you said. I’ve encountered the same problem coming down Kneeland. I rode behind two bicyclists from the post office to Freshwater. I didn’t want to make an unsafe pass so I burned my brakes the entire way down the hill trying to let these guys pull over when they had a chance. They never pulled over. I’m normally a pretty calm guy but I do think this kind of bicycle riding creates potential problems with motorists.

  18. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 13, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Moviedad @ 8:38 am,

    “Complete Streets” can be worth it if it uses “bullet proof” evidence, while, at the same time, can rational to those in the power to fund such projects to “1) maintain the infrastructure and 2) enforce all the rules of that particular road section”. It is like current “paved” bike lanes and sidewalks – what the hell good are they when users are being trifling, circumventing the “known use and/or application of” that modal form of transport by riding opposite direction in the bike lane, riding on broken car crash debris, riding on shoddy workmanship debris from Davey Tree or some other tree cutting outfit, riding in areas and bike lanes where the public works department is not maintaining enough, if at all (funding), people doing business that encroaches in the ROW use of any form of modal transport, riding on the sidewalk, horse manuer pooped within bike lane or sidewalk, business signs laying face over in middle of sidewalk or bike lane or sometimes both, simultaneously, etc…. FLAWS in enough instances that the non-users who pitch as users and favor “complete streets type of ideas (not naming the group, just saying ideology” or rah rah for that sorta stuff) could never know….or, could know, but would never say anything to make it appear as if any efforts were not “working out as intended”.

    Back to enforcement – local public works CAN fine, but rarely do because since the community is so small, politically, the back lash hits home harder; whereas, in a metropolis, it is sooooo big, nothing is really personal, so fine away those businesses, have those cop bikers fine the illegal biker violations, etc….. all for funding purposes, taxation for specific uses and abuses (novel concept to punish the abusers, wow).

    Up here in Humboldt, it has become clear that publicly funded projects are to be done just to be done, then let the project, after completion, go to pot through lack of maintenances and enforcements of standards, policies, mitigations, etc… to do it all again, government job style wasting tax dollars, especially those thrown at kickback projects for the local buddy, buddy, gal, gal network of public/private quasi tax funded or process related relationships.

    JL

  19. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 13, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Teacher, the Bayside picture is not that good. The path has long been there, created by path users eons ago. Then, the shoddy paved pathway that I guarantee is not as thick as the paved pathway (roadway) that cars and trucks are driving on – notice the patchworks??? Then, ever see a mom walking her stroller across that pedestrian “hump” crosswalk near the round-a-bout lose control of her stroller? Down the baby goes, ouch!

    Just sayin those who witness the flaws are not easily fooled. Pictures look nice and all, but use the road section and you’ll understand more funded work needs to be done in that section that is claimed as being a good example when it is just really better than nothing at all, but with spots less safe than others not shown as an example in the same stretch of road that is being used as a good example.

    I like the safe streets/uses pitch, but the pictures can be broken down in argument.

    JL

  20. Anonymous
    April 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

    You are mistaken, Mark. Jen is saying sidewalks are not the ONLY way. Further down she clarifies with this: Complete Streets Humboldt Style could mean a gravel path for pedestrians on the shoulder of Red Cap Road; a multi-use trail adjacent to the Avenue of the Giants, between Arcata and Blue Lake, from Elk Meadow through Orick to the Redwood National Park Interpretive Center; between Willow Creek and the Elementary School or between Redway and Garberville; wider road shoulders and a little traffic calming on Westhaven Drive; a downtown Willow Creek-style treatment for any number of our small towns; or bike lanes and sidewalks on School Road from the shopping center to the Hammond Trail. These visions vary in cost and complexity and have been heard loud and clear around the county for decades from communities of every shape and size.

    Jen is right, of course. These communities are safer and more livable with complete streets.

  21. Mark Sailors
    April 13, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Safe side walks with curbs really are the only safe answer.I would not feel safe walking down Kneeland road or riding a bike on Old Arcata rd.

    Just because it is rural doesn’t mean it deserves less.

  22. Goldie
    April 13, 2011 at 9:55 am

    It seems to me that Complete Streets is asking that roads be created and maintained with more than cars in mind and that this end can be achieved many different ways depending on the neighborhood. The simplest solution would be to slow the cars down but in today’s world this is unthinkable.
    A line in the road is safer than no line in the road. Wider roads are safer than narrow roads.
    In a world where obesity and isolation are major problems Complete Streets is more than a transportation issue. It addresses quality of life and the general health of our population.

  23. Anonymous
    April 13, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Mark I think you’re missing the point here. No one is suggesting that rural people should walk down the road. Jen is saying that paths and trails next to roads are safer than what exists and sidewalks are not the only way to go. Sidewalks are much more expensive and in many cases not practical.

  24. Fool On Hill
    April 13, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Jen’s piece makes a nice counter argument to the pathetic attempt to discredit the program by Arkley via Sunshine for Humboldt blurbs running frequently on KINS. In a perverted version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, the SN bunch links Complete Streets to Healthy Humboldt, which is associated with the NEC, which is tied to a polluted piece of property, and so before even thinking about adopting the program, “make them clean up their own toxic mess!” Have you heard it? It’s a hoot!

  25. Plain Jane
    April 13, 2011 at 10:01 am

    It’s so hard to play that game on the radio where you can’t use a chalkboard, but they tried. Beck would be proud.

  26. Mitch
    April 13, 2011 at 10:03 am

    I’m glad you are a generous driver, “Teacher”.

    But bike riders are unfortunately exposed to other drivers as well. If only one driver out of a hundred comes too close to a cyclist, that is more than enough to leave cyclists feeling the need to ride side by side for protection.

    It’s a shame. If the local law enforcement agencies started ticketing drivers for the near-assaults they probably don’t even know they’re committing, the roads would be much safer for all.

  27. Random Guy
    April 13, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Creating a problem where there isn’t one. Complete Streets won’t bring in the bulldozers to fix all those roads. For one thing, there’s no money to just up and do that, for another thing, there won’t be, and for yet another thing, that’s not what Complete Streets is about. Complete Streets revolves around NEW infrastructure outward. New roads would be safely accomodated ANYWAY.

    What part of that don’t you get?

    Complete Streets is about State and Federal Involvement in the local planning process, period. We don’t need a govt. organization to build bike lanes etc. They would, however, suade local developers around more national models of planning and infrastructure. Personal, one on one PR, like they do to school boards, private industry regulation etc. all over the nation. Don’t be fooled by the name and the campaign.

  28. No middle men
    April 13, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Why is RCAA the middle man for the county? I don’t
    know what kind of grant money is used for these complete
    streets. Why isn’t the county planning department
    doing this? What does it cost for RCAA to be the
    middle man? They get salaries, health ins. and
    profit sharing. I’d rather see the money go directly
    to the county for these road improvements.

  29. April 13, 2011 at 10:27 am

    On a positive note:
    Cal-trans has done an excellent job of making HWY 299 safer by far in many places. Wherever they’ve done their “Re-Alignment” they’ve put in a nice size bike-lane. I find that very commendable.
    Like I’ve said before, On 299, Cal-trans are our heroes.

  30. Anonymous
    April 13, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Industry’s M.O. is to fight until they’re forced to incorporate Complete Streets into all new developments…then, once they rediscover how quality-of-life attracts capital investments, the development community will take full credit for installing these life-saving improvements.

    Just like the auto industry’s battle against seat belts, air bags, etc, needlessly costing thousands of lives! “These new regulations will bankrupt us, we don’t need more government telling Americans what to do”.

    Humboldt’s tradition of “government for the ol’ boys” has left a horrendous legacy. How is it that a rural city like Eureka has record-high pedestrian, cyclist and motorist injuries and fatalities?

    The big-shots of South Eureka were allowed to build their mini-mansion subdivisions and merely install placards warning pedestrians and bikes to go elsewhere!

    Heaven forbid government should interfere with speculator’s “God-given right” to extract every dollar possible on the millions made off of great-granddaddy’s land.

  31. Teacher
    April 13, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I doubt if your “record high” statement is correct, but if it is, I wonder how many of those injuries are related to the “record high” number of tweakers walking around Broadway and 5th and not necessarily unsafe streets in the suburbs.

  32. KINS listener
    April 13, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Screw the pedestrians. I hope when the STAA trucks go barreling down Eureka’s streets that every G*d Damned environmentalist on a bike or person stupid or poor enough to walk instead of driving a big gas guzzler gets creamed. Serves em right, thinking they can take over our county.

    Screw the kids walking home from school! What the hell – now they want us to give a shit about their safety? We’re supposed to pay more so kids can walk to school safely? No way! That’s social engineering! Damned socialists!

  33. April 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Nice job Jen.

    It is a commentary on our state of politics that good sense gets labeled as some sort of of LIBERAL left wing agenda.

    Why Arkley, HELP, Humboldt Sunshine, the Realtors and the Home Builders line up to oppose even common sense regulation is that it could shave a few pennies off of the profit margins of the developers and the speculators. Then anyone opposed to some sort of regulation joins forces with those opposed to all regulations which is the case with HumCPR.

    It’s crazy to put in any new roads or bridges that don’t provide for pedestrians and cyclists. I still can’t believe that they built the 255 to Somoa without ped and cycle lanes, but that was fifty years ago. Hopefully they would not do that today! Any new subdivisions should require sidewalks and foot trails are a great solution for rural roads.

    I live in Sunny Brae and just around the corner, Elizabeth St has no sidewalk on either side and when cars are parked on both sides of the street, there is no safe way to walk from Charles Ave down to Chester, and if you have a dog or grandchild with you it is even more dangerous. I’m still hoping that Arcata will try to find a safe solutions for our most dangerous streets.

  34. Mark Sailors
    April 13, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Richard,
    Right now Arcata can’t figure out who is allowed to speak at meetings, what makes you think they could accomplish safe streets?
    Just sayin’

  35. Anonymous
    April 13, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I think Richard is onto something.

    We need to patiently and thoroughly inventory the outrageous shortsighted developments littering our neighborhoods, estimate their costs and drive-home the conservative principle that livable, walkable, in-fill housing attracts capital investment and higher paying
    JOBS!!!

    Jen? Jan? Greenwheels??

    How about it?

  36. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 13, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Middle men and Middle women are put into place to give tax dollars toward and call it a job. Why? Apparantly, due to world over-populations, there exists no legitimate way to employ everyone. So, steal from Peter to pay-off Paul. Now, who deserves those tax dollars turned into jobs? Yes, time to debate who is receiving the funds in return for their vote! Afterall, I can’t think of many public employees who would vote for anyone but those who will continue the overpaid public positions and the unfunded, but guaranteed public retirement perks and benefits for all those things that most tax payers don’t get covered themselves.

    JL

  37. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Moviedad,

    You make an excellent point about how much better HWY 299 has become over the years – it is such a beautiful drive too going east.

    JL

  38. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    April 13, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Teacher @ 2:03,

    Spot on accurate. Also, the low-life wads who pre-meditate walking out in front of a car already moving @ 30 mph+. Those darned uncontrolled intersections that pedestrians take advantage of. Further, it is not as if Eureka’s Streets are designed well. In fact, some of Eureka’s “layout” is quite messed up, even new sections of work done near Burre Center over to 4th and 5th – really a dingle berry design for flows of modal transports. When new work is immediately re-worked, then you know the project designers partly failed and over-charged the taxpayers for their wages.

    JL

  39. Mr. Nice
    April 13, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Equestrian sure you’re right

    What’s happening in that picture is one side of the road is concrete so the rider took the side against traffic because concrete fucks horses up and I know asphalt is bad too but at least no slips happen. A path would make that safer and faster cause ain’t no way to make good time like that.

    Don’t ride against traffic just because your horse shies when noises are coming up beside them. Don’t ride a nervous horse like that on the road at all, get off and walk.

    Luckily for the rest of us y’all ain’t really riding horses, just giving shit advice.

  40. FoxStudio
    April 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    It would sure be nice if Dow’s Prairie Road could be made walker/bike/horse friendly. It’s such a nice country road. Sunday morning is the only time we’re willing to risk it, for the most part, since we’re towards the northern end which has some curvy parts with no shoulder.

  41. Mark Sailors
    April 13, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    “Equestrian sure you’re right

    What’s happening in that picture is one side of the road is concrete so the rider took the side against traffic because concrete fucks horses up and I know asphalt is bad too but at least no slips happen. A path would make that safer and faster cause ain’t no way to make good time like that.

    Don’t ride against traffic just because your horse shies when noises are coming up beside them. Don’t ride a nervous horse like that on the road at all, get off and walk.

    Luckily for the rest of us y’all ain’t really riding horses, just giving shit advice.”

    It is your job as the driver of a car not to spook a horse.

    CVC 21759.

    The driver of any vehicle approaching any horse drawn vehicle, any ridden animal, or any livestock shall exercise proper control of his vehicle and shall reduce speed or stop as may appear necessary or as may be signalled or otherwise requested by any person driving, riding or in charge of the animal or livestock in order to avoid frightening and to safeguard the animal or livestock and to insure the safety of any person driving or riding the animal or in charge of the livestock.

  42. Random Guy
    April 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    …and if the subject comes up, everybody here would agree how absurd it is that contractual fine prints and the like are a hundred times longer than they were 30 years ago, and that litigation has become an expected part of the norm, that rules and regulations burden our activities, that our neighbors are growing more and more anonymous among eachother, that kids are being tazed by cops at school instead of sent home with their parents…

    In-fucking-sanity. MORE laws, MORE agencies, MORE beaurocracy, MORE government hand-holding.

    As if I’m conspiracy minded about this? As if Arkley or Pierson or Danco or Maya or Granite or Caltrans or etc. etc. etc. don’t give a shit about common sense like this in their projects. Richard, you wrote a great blip a few days ago, only to follow up with this one. Yes, 255 was built when traffic on that road was not only a trickle, there were no seatbelt laws, no helmet laws, etc. Weren’t those “the good ol’ days”? Didn’t you just write about city heads muscling in on close community mindset? Call the cops on your neighbors about the slightest thing, before even talking to them etc. So why bring in Uncle Sam to lean over the shoulder (and whisper in the ear) of YOUR NEIGHBORS regarding common sense like making new streets safe? And don’t you all recognize the idiocy of the just-proposed Citizen Advisory Committees regarding city planning? WTF, PEOPLE?

    I hear sayings flying around regarding age…30 is the new 20…childhood begins at 40…as I get older I’m getting more and more convinced they have to do with the dumbing down of the nation more than anything.

  43. Random Guy
    April 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Used to be one 16 year old kid and a pickup truck was all it took to provide trasportation for all his friends. The streets were not covered with blood. I went to LA in the back of a pickup. I rode my first motorcycle the last year before the helmet law. I sat beside my dad…in the front seat of the car, even!…while he smoked cigarettes. WHO GAVE A FUCK.

    …until paranoid, brainwashed idiots listen to the profiteering lobbyists and litigators. Write a law around common sense that you can get every soccer mom and PTA group to rally around…cops will jump right on the bandwagon…fantastic way to get your name in the books. Make people feel like they’re doing something constructive for society. Create pages of constitutionesque babble, rake in income from fines and fees…insanity.

    Can YOU think for yourself while driving or riding a bike or walking down the street? Everybody I see in the pics above are confident they can. Go strike some fear into them. Maybe those kids will thank you next time they see you if they get a ticket for doing that.

  44. tra
    April 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I think the overall idea of providing safer spaces for walking and biking is entirely commendable. Maybe I’m missing something, but I just don’t see any downside, either for walkers/bikers or for motorists. Seems like a classic win-win to me. Let’s go for it!

    As far as the issue of bicyclists riding side-by-side, or even a lone bicyclist “taking the lane” rather than hugging a shoulder that is too narrow to be safe, well that is a completely reasonable and legal safety choice on the part of the bicyclist in certain circumstances.

    Legally, a bicyclist has every right to occupy the main driving lane (except on the freeway) if they so choose, and drivers can only legally pass them as they would pass an automobile or motiorcycle in the same situation — in a legal passing zone, and when it’s safe to go all the way around them. Drivers have no legal right to “force” a bicyclist to crowd over to the shoulder, and it’s wrong and dangerous for them to do so, especially when the shoulder is non-existent (white line crumbling off the side of the road, as we see on some of our narrow roads), too narrow, or full of gravel, sand, leaves, or other obstacles.

    That being said, I do think bicycists should move to the right and let cars pass whenever that’s safe to do. That gets the car out in front of you and you out of danger from an attempted pass at a less safe point, and it’s also just common courtesy to take the other person into consideration and allow them to pass you and get on their way at a better speed.

    Just as when you’re in a slower-moving motor vehicle, for example a truck going uphill, and there is a “pullout” available to allow you to pull over and let faster traffic by, well by golly you should do it. A little bit of courtesy and consideration — on both sides — would go a long way toward improving interactions between bicyclists and motorists.

    And, back the subject of this post, providing a separate bike/pedestrian path, or a marked bicycle lane and separate sidewalk, or even just wider shoulders, all these things are helpful and should be included in any major road repaving/rebuilding projects, and done as stand-alone projects in specific cases where bike/pedestrian traffic is especially heavy and current accomodations are particularly unsafe.

    And of course the specific approach will depend on the context. The nice sidewalk shown in Bayside photo is cost-effective and apprpriate for areas like that (that section from Bayside to Sunny Brae is really a lot more suburban than rural at this point, and there’s heavy pedestrian and foot traffic, including a lot of schoolkids, due to nearby Jacoby Creek School).

    Obviously a sidewalk going all the way from Ferndale to Petrolia, along the Mattole Road (also known as “the Wildcat”) wouldn’t be cost effective given the low number of pedestrians, and the same probably holds true for a bike lane (much as I would love that!). But a little widening of the shoulder would help out the bicyclists who do brave that road, and make it safer for them to pull ot the side and let cars past more easily and safely. It may be too expensive to make a whole stand-alone project to widen the shoulders on a road that gets relatively light bike use, but it could be done incrementally over the course of a few decades, whenever there is re-paving or other major work on a particular section.

    Anyway, as a bicyclist, a pedestrian, as well as a motorist, my thanks to those who are advocating for these kinds of improvements. Keep up the good work!

  45. Random Guy
    April 13, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    “Let’s go for it!”

    HOORAY!

    “my thanks to those who are advocating for these kinds of improvements.”

    You mean mandating it.

    Foreign countries have a lot of problems, but there’s a reason they all stereotype americans as dumb. I see it as brainwashed. And in fear of words like “brainwash” and “propaganda”…despite everybody agreeing there’s ape shit commercialism and rampant corruption in every aspect of our governed lives.

  46. Mark Sailors
    April 14, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Tra,
    You should get a copy of the drivers handbook.

  47. tra
    April 14, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Mark,

    Care to elaborate?

    If the driver’s handbook contradicts something I said in my 10:15 comment, perhaps you could offer a clue about where I (supposedly) went wrong.

  48. Anonymous
    April 15, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Yeah the county has money to make the county a rural bike and ped paradise. That top photo will likely never be repeated. Why? No right of way. Most county roads are on narrow or nonexistent (prescriptive) right of ways, good luck getting adjoining owners to give up their property for a trail.

  49. RT
    April 15, 2011 at 11:34 am

    In our neighborhood, Azalea Avenue is the UNSAFE street that the County has ignored for years as sub-division after sub-divsion has occurred. There’s barely room for two vehicles to safety pass, let alone accomendating walkers and cyclists. Another fine example of the County’s incompetance is on Sutter Road, the only section that lacks a sidewalk is the curved section where a driver’s vision is limited that puts pedestrians at risk. Getting the County and developers to implement meaningful sections of the McKinleyville General Plan is a friggin’ pain in the arse.

    In response to 7:35AM, along Azalea there is county easement, but over the years, some residents have developed their landscaping into the county’s easement which creates some issues since some folks seem to think this property is theirs.

  50. April 16, 2011 at 2:02 am

    This is actualy a good idea, towns like Weott and Myers Flat would looks great and be alot safer if they put in proper sidewalks and helped remake what the town looked like similar to projects in laytonville or similar towns that have had new updated done to its downtown.

  51. Mr. Nice
    April 17, 2011 at 11:40 am

    It is your job as the driver of a car not to spook a horse.

    CVC 21759.

    The driver of any vehicle approaching any horse drawn vehicle, any ridden animal, or any livestock shall exercise proper control of his vehicle and shall reduce speed or stop as may appear necessary or as may be signalled or otherwise requested by any person driving, riding or in charge of the animal or livestock in order to avoid frightening and to safeguard the animal or livestock and to insure the safety of any person driving or riding the animal or in charge of the livestock.

    Horses need separate trails in this modern car-happy society. It’s just the way shit is.

    Look at what happened with the bullshit Eureka horse carriage. When that shit came out, I commented that it was cruel to horses no matter how nice the owner is and it was a fucking accident just waiting to happen. And what happened? Fucking accident.

    Who cares if a car is legally supposed to watch shit? So many horses are afraid of mud flaps. What is a trucker supposed to do, park and remove their mud flaps? Seriously, the dmv is bullshit when it comes to common sense like avoid the road with your horse.

    Bottom line being riders need to walk their horses and trails are an excellent idea. Especially in Weott, they got all those beautiful horse trails in the woods there with posts with screw eyes and all that shit… extend that type of shit out to the road.

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