Friday, February 14, 2014

Science Fiction or Bike Now?

Here in Humboldt County our politicians are in the 23rd consecutive year of discussing a five mile bike path to connect the cities of Eureka and Arcata. It would run along Arcata Bay, the most beautiful waterway in California. It would get bikes off five miles of Route 101, the only Freeway in our county. It would become an instant tourist attraction, thus stimulating the economy and helping to pay for itself. And it would give thousands of Arcata commuters and Humboldt State University students a way to live car-free in nearby--and more economical--Eureka.

A daily ten mile bike ride wouldn't hurt anyone's health around here. My recent commuter flight from SFO was delayed due to "weight issues:" a passenger who wasn't able to fit in a single seat.

About ten years ago the city hired expert consultants from Sacramento who set up a community meeting at Arcata City Hall. Local cyclists drew ideas and "input" on a large white board. We discussed options, we planned routes, we estimated costs. All this would be incorporated into a study, a necessary "final step," we were assured. To cap off the evening we admired photos of a new bike path in Sedona, Arizona. Then the consultants went back to Sacramento and billed the city a million bucks.

Recently, we had a breakthrough in the discussions: everyone agrees that we are going to have a bike path and more discussions will be scheduled soon.

Meanwhile, in Eindhoven, Holland, where I began my adult biking back in the early 80's, this:

What's it like for bicycle commuters where you live?

A tip of the helmet to Roland Wostl for this incredible video.