Saturday, July 19, 2014

New Bike And Pedestrian Trails Taking Shape Between Arcata And Eureka On US 101

Although it's just the beginning of improvements proposed for the US Route 101 Corridor between Arcata and Eureka, photos show that new bike and pedestrian trails are starting to become evident.

Caltrans has reduced the left lanes of the corridor from 12 feet wide to 11 feet. The additional foot is being added to the shoulder and is considered a traffic calming measure. Along with the extra foot taken from the left lane of auto traffic, a rock bed was added to the edge of the shoulder which allowed and extra foot of pavement on the very edge of the roadway. This additional 1 foot on each side means that the new bike trails will be 10 feet wide instead of only 8.

Also noticeable is the dark red color added to the trail part of the pavement which is designed to further visually distinguish the trail from the roadway and further enhance traffic calming.

Bikes and pedestrians still have to cross traffic at every intersection and perpendicular road way but that problem will be addressed in the future if both Caltrans and trail advocates have their way. The current improvements are designed to reduce traffic collisions at the intersections. The red bike lane color is absent from the intersection crossings to raise awareness for both motorized vehicles and non motorized vehicles when in and near the intersections.

In the long run, Caltrans wants to build bridges and interchanges to eliminate cross traffic in the corridor but that proposal keeps running into opposition. You can read more about the US 101 Corridor improvement projects here.


  1. That gravel is absolute stupidity. It does not compact and stay in place. Ask any bicyclist if they enjoy riding over rocks.

  2. Everyone complains Fernbridge is too narrow, with it's 11 foot lanes... So Caltrans does what? Narrows part of 101 to same width as scares the bejeezerus outta everyone and calls it "calming." Oh, and red... see "red to a bull" for calming ... Caltrans district one is such an embarrassment. First the "never-ending barrier on 101 south" which will keep any emergency vehicles from responding quickly - and of course no barrier at all north of Eureka - that makes a lot of sense right? Big barrier in low traffic area, none in the high traffic ones.

    Don't get me started, but that red gravel crap is horrible to ride a bike on and worse when it embeds in your elbows after a fall.


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