ARCATA - You’ll soon be seeing changes in Arcata. From adding a four way stop, to ways to redirect bicyclists, the Bicycle Boulevard Project is almost underway. It’s all part of the Arcata Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. The project has been in the works for seven years and is funded by a remaining grant that came from a Caltrans Bicycle Transportation Account. The purpose is to promote bicycle awareness through signage and striping and increase bicycle use as an alternative to driving.The city wants to focus on the safety of it’s residents and help redirect bicyclists to side streets that have less vehicular traffic.
“11th and I will be a four way stop. We'll have special signage out there and maybe some blinking signs saying, Hey it's a four way stop now. Because we want the bicyclists to have a better chance of getting across that intersection and coming down into town,” said Arcata Public Works Director, Doby Class.
The city is also going to add some creative additions to road.
“10th and I there’s going to be a small circle, placed into the center of the intersection that's going to look like a hub and spoke configuration, something like a bike wheel. It will be fully mountable and then additionally on Q Street there will be sidewalk,” said Class.
After the project is complete, it will then be up to Arcata residents to share the road.
“Yeah I'd say the onus and the most important determining factor would be the behavior of the bicyclist, driving or riding defensively. Just like the term applies to motorists, it applies much more so, to bicyclists, because the cyclist is more vulnerable," said Arcata Bicyclist, Stefen Solat.
It’s clear to say, Arcata is paving the way for bicyclist and pedestrian safety.
Class says, “I’m sure you'll see other bike boulevard projects. Not only in Arcata, but county wide. It's a trend that seems to be taking on some mass and I think you'll see them more.