Stephanie McGeary / @ 11:27 a.m. / Agendizer

MORE ARCATA ROUNDABOUTS?! Arcata City Council to Vote on ‘Sunset Avenue Interchange Improvement Project’ During Tonight’s Meeting

Design plans for the Sunset Interchange Improvement Project in Arcata | Images from the City of Arcata

Arcata may soon be getting two more roundabouts to add to its collection!

During its Wednesday night meeting, the Arcata City Council will consider approving the Sunset Avenue Interchange Improvement Project, which would add two roundabouts to somewhat nightmarish intersections on Sunset Ave. – one at the corner of H Street and G Streets, and the other at the intersection of LK Wood Boulevard. 

According to the staff report, the City of Arcata has been looking at ways to improve safety and traffic flow in this part of town for more than a decade. After conducting a traffic study in 2017, staff determined that roundabouts would be a suitable solution and the City put out a request for proposals for design of the project in 2022. The engineering firm selected, GHD, has completed 30 percent of the design and the design is expected to be finished in the coming months. 

The project will add a five-leg roundabout at the intersection of Sunset, LK Wood and the northbound 101 ramps and a four-leg roundabout at the intersection of Sunset, G and H Streets and the southbound 101 ramps. The project would also include improvements to bicycle lanes and crosswalks, new signage, additional lighting and landscaping. After conducting a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance review, GHD determined that the project is exempt from the CEQA process because it wouldn’t have a significant impact on the environment. 

Above: plans for the intersection of Sunset and G/H Streets. Below: Plans for the intersection of Sunset and LK Wood

Design plans for a roundabout at Sunset and LK Wood in Arcata | Images from the City of Arcata

If the council approves the project, it would likely still take several years before construction is complete. GHD wrote in its review that “construction before 2026 is not anticipated” and that construction will take up to 18 months. Whenever construction does begin, it may also require periodic closures of the existing highway on and off ramps, though GHD says that closures would take place at night time during off-peak hours. 


Before the roundabout talk, the Arcata City Council will again discuss the City’s General Plan Update, this time paying special attention to everyone’s favorite planning-related subject – parking! 

As many readers likely know, parking has been one of the most contentious topics surrounding Arcata’s plans to facilitate more high-density housing through its General Plan and Gateway Area Plan. And while city staff are pushing for less required off-street parking for new developments and a bigger focus on promoting alternative modes of transportation, many community members have expressed concerns that creating more housing without enough parking will make it difficult for anyone to find parking in some of Arcata’s higher-traffic neighborhoods. 

Tonight the council will receive a report on the proposed changes to the parking standards in the General Plan and consider recommendations from the Planning Commission and members of the public before moving forward with any amendments. If you have strong feelings about parking in Arcata (and we know many of you do) you’ll want to attend this meeting to make your opinion known! 

The Arcata City Council meets tonight (Wednesday, Feb. 21) at 6 p.m. at Arcata City Hall – 736 F Street. Check out directions on how to view and participate in the meeting at this link, and scroll down for the full agenda and more information below. 

Arcata City Council
Feb. 21, 2024, 6 p.m.




A. Roll Call


A. Proclamation Recognizing February 27, 2024, as Spay Day USA.

B. Proclamation in Recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness.



7. N/A


A. Minutes of Feb 7, 2024 6:00 PM

B. 4363 : Bi-Weekly Report on Disbursements.

The Finance Director is recommending that the City Council approve the list of payments made from January 27, 2024, to February 9, 2024. The payments were made in accordance with the budget approved by the City Council. The list of payments is attached to the report.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a Brazilian carnival song!

Na reunião da Câmara Municipal
O relatório financeiro agora é vital
A recomendação é aprovada
Para os pagamentos serem realizados sem demora

Os cheques e pagamentos eletrônicos
Foram feitos conforme o orçamento
Certificados pelo Diretor Financeiro
Em conformidade com o regulamento

Os pagamentos estão em dia
Com a ajuda do Diretor de Finanças
Agora é hora de celebrar
Com um carnaval cheio de esperanças

Vamos dançar e cantar
Nas ruas de nossa cidade
Alegria e diversão
Na festa da felicidade

Que o samba e a batucada
Nos levem à emoção
Vamos festejar juntos
Neste carnaval de coração

Aprovado pela Câmara Municipal
Os pagamentos estão em ordem
Agora é só celebrar
Neste carnaval que nos transforma em força e amor!

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportA. Cash Disbursements 1.27.24 to 2.9.24

C. 4368 : Adopt Ordinance No. 1567, An Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Arcata Amending the Arcata Municipal Code to Make Minor and Non-Substantive Corrections, Updates, and Clarifications; Waive Reading of the Text and Consent to Read by Title Only.

The city council is recommending the adoption of Ordinance No. 1567 to make minor corrections and updates to the Arcata Municipal Code. The changes are non-substantive and do not affect existing policies or programs. The revisions include updates to align with current laws, reflect structural changes within the city, correct codification errors, and make miscellaneous corrections. There are no policy implications or fiscal impact. The ordinance is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a Bollywood song!

(Verse 1)
In the city of Arcata, where the Council meets,
They’re making changes, to keep things neat,
Minor corrections, updates and more,
It’s all in Ordinance No. 1567, we adore.

Waive reading of the text, consent to read by title only,
It’s time for change, the future’s bright and holy,
City Clerk Bridget Dory, she’s got it all under control,
Let’s adopt this ordinance, and reach our goal.

(Verse 2)
Updating laws, and clarifying terms,
It’s all in a day’s work, making sure it’s firm,
No policy implications, just a few corrections,
In the Arcata Municipal Code, to avoid any objections.

Waive reading of the text, consent to read by title only,
It’s time for change, the future’s bright and holy,
City Clerk Bridget Dory, she’s got it all under control,
Let’s adopt this ordinance, and reach our goal.

From the City Manager to the City Engineer,
Everyone’s on board, there’s no need to fear,
The environment’s safe, no CEQA needed,
Let’s embrace these changes, and proceed.

Waive reading of the text, consent to read by title only,
It’s time for change, the future’s bright and holy,
City Clerk Bridget Dory, she’s got it all under control,
Let’s adopt this ordinance, and reach our goal.

So let’s sing this Bollywood song, loud and clear,
The City Council’s working hard, no need to fear,
Ordinance No. 1567, let’s make it official,
For the city of Arcata, progress is pivotal.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportA. Proposed Ordinance No. 1567

D. 4365 : Approve the Purchase of Three 2025 Ford Police Interceptors and Award Contract to Harper Motors in the Amount of $173,634.11, Including Tax; and Authorize the City Manager to Execute All Applicable Documents.

The city council is being asked to approve the purchase of three Ford Police Interceptors from Harper Motors for a total of $173,634.11, including tax. These vehicles are needed for the Arcata Police Department and were chosen after researching different options. The cost of the vehicles and setup is within the budget for this fiscal year. The recommendation is to go ahead with the purchase and authorize the City Manager to sign the necessary documents.

— LoCOBot

… or, as an Elizabethan sonnet!

Upon the dais, the Council doth convene
To ponder on the matter of car purchase,
For APD, three Fords must be brought henceforth,
To keep our streets safe, to protect and search.

Director Sinkhorn doth recommend with care,
Three Interceptors from Harper Motors’ lot,
Their quotes the lowest, their service proven fair,
To keep our city safe, this purchase we’ve got.

Electric and hybrid options explored,
Yet gas Interceptors are the choice clear,
For public safety, gas cars are adored,
To keep our officers ever near.

So let us approve this purchase today,
To keep our city safe, in every way.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportA. Harper Ford 2025 Police Interceptor Quote

E. 4364 : Adopt Resolution No. 234-33 Amending Resolution No. 156-09 Designating One-Way Streets and Alleys.

The City Engineer is recommending that the City Council adopt a resolution to change the designations of one-way streets and alleys in Arcata. This project aims to make the streets safer and more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists. Funding for this project was granted in 2020 and construction is expected to be completed soon. The project has been reviewed and approved for environmental impact. There will be no additional cost to the current budget.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a right-wing radio talk show hosted by Merv "The Beast" Tarkington!

Merv “The Beast” Tarkington here, host of the most hard-hitting, truth-telling radio show in the city. Today, we are diving into the latest city council meeting report, and folks, let me tell you, it is a doozy.

The City Engineer, Netra Khatri, is recommending that the City Council adopt Resolution No. 234-33 amending Resolution No. 156-09 designating one-way streets and alleys. What does this mean for us hard-working, tax-paying citizens? It means more government interference in our daily lives, that’s what.

They want to convert two-way streets into one-way streets to supposedly make more room for cyclists and pedestrians. But let me ask you this, how many cyclists are out there using these streets? And why should hard-working drivers have to suffer because of a few entitled cyclists?

This project was funded by a grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development, meaning our tax dollars are being wasted on unnecessary projects that only benefit a small percentage of the population.

And let’s not forget the environmental impact this will have. They claim it’s exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act, but I don’t buy it. Converting streets and alleys will disrupt traffic flow and create more congestion, leading to increased emissions from idling cars. How is that good for the environment?

Don’t let the City Council pull the wool over your eyes, folks. Stand up and fight back against these unnecessary and wasteful projects. Call your council members, attend city meetings, and make your voice heard. We won’t stand for this government overreach any longer.

This is Merv “The Beast” Tarkington signing off, reminding you to stay vigilant and never back down in the face of tyranny. Thank you for tuning in, and God bless America.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportA. Resolution No. 234-33



A. 4367 : Consider Parking Standards as Outlined in the General Plan Update.

The city council is considering changing parking standards in the city to encourage more people to use alternative modes of transportation like walking, biking, and public transit. These changes are part of a larger plan to promote sustainable development and reduce reliance on cars. The council will receive a report on the proposed changes and consider recommendations from the Planning Commission and the public. The changes aim to make transportation more equitable, promote healthier lifestyles, and protect the environment.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a bildungsroman!

Title: The Growth of a City: A Bildungsroman

Chapter 1: The Beginning

As a young and eager college graduate, Sarah had been excited to begin her career as a planner in her hometown. She attended the city council meeting on February 21, 2024, where the topic of discussion was parking standards in the General Plan update. Sarah listened intently as the Director of Community Development presented the recommendations and policies aimed at promoting alternative transportation and reducing the emphasis on infrastructure for cars.

Chapter 2: The Learning Curve

Over the following months, Sarah dove headfirst into her work, absorbing everything she could about smart growth policies, infill development, and alternative transportation. She attended meetings, read reports, and sought out mentors who could help her navigate the complex world of urban planning. As she delved deeper into the policies outlined in the General Plan, she began to see the potential for real change in her city.

Chapter 3: Challenges and Obstacles

Despite her enthusiasm, Sarah faced challenges along the way. Some members of the community were resistant to the idea of reducing parking requirements and promoting alternative modes of transportation. There were concerns about potential impacts on parking availability and accessibility for residents. Sarah found herself caught in the middle, trying to find a balance between the needs of the community and the goals of the General Plan.

Chapter 4: Growth and Progress

As time passed, Sarah began to see signs of progress. More developers were embracing the new parking standards and incorporating alternative transportation infrastructure into their projects. The city council approved amendments to the General Plan that supported the vision of a more walkable, bike-friendly city. Sarah felt a sense of pride in the work she had done to help shape the future of her community.

Chapter 5: A Bright Future

As the General Plan was finalized and implemented, Sarah reflected on her journey. She had grown from a young, inexperienced planner to a confident advocate for sustainable development. The city was on track to become a model for other communities, setting an example for how smart growth policies could create a more livable, equitable, and environmentally friendly city. Sarah knew that her work was far from over, but she was excited to continue learning, growing, and making a positive impact on the world around her.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportA. General Plan Amendments Post Dec 12


A. 4366 : Approve the U.S. 101 and Sunset Avenue Interchange Project and Direct the Staff to File a California Environmental Quality Act Document Declaration as a Notice of Exemption with the Humboldt County Recorder’s Office for the Project.

The City Engineer is recommending that the City Council approve a project to improve the U.S. 101 and Sunset Avenue Interchange by creating two roundabouts. This project has been in the works for over a decade and aims to increase safety for all modes of transportation, improve traffic flow, and provide better access to Cal Poly Humboldt. The project has gone through environmental reviews and is not expected to have any significant negative impacts. The budget for this phase of the project has already been allocated. The Council is being asked to approve the project and file necessary paperwork with the County Recorder’s Office.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a Socratic dialogue!

Socrates: Greetings, dear Netra. I see that you are proposing the U.S. 101 and Sunset Avenue Interchange Project to the City Council. Could you enlighten me on the details of this proposed project?

Netra: Greetings, Socrates. The U.S. 101 and Sunset Avenue Interchange Project aims to consolidate three existing stop-controlled intersections into two new roundabouts. This will simplify vehicle movements and provide safer bicycle and pedestrian facilities through the interchange.

Socrates: It seems like this project is highly important for the Arcata community. Could you elaborate on why this project is considered a high priority?

Netra: Certainly, Socrates. The project has been identified in long-range plans for over a decade and is crucial for increasing safety for all modes of transportation. Additionally, it aims to improve traffic operations at a significant bottleneck in the local and regional transportation network and provide affordable transportation options for students and residents accessing Cal Poly Humboldt.

Socrates: It is evident that a lot of planning and research has gone into this project. I noticed that the project qualifies for Class 1, 2, and 3 California Environmental Quality Act Categorical Exemptions. Could you explain why this is the case?

Netra: The project qualifies for these exemptions as it meets the criteria set forth in Sections 15301, 15302, and 15303 of the CEQA Guidelines. The environmental review and documentation reports did not identify any significant effects that would occur from the project, and the exceptions listed in the CEQA Guidelines were found not to apply.

Socrates: It seems that the project is well-researched and in line with environmental regulations. I trust that the City Council will consider these factors when making their decision. Thank you for enlightening me on this project, Netra.

Netra: You’re welcome, Socrates. Thank you for engaging in this dialogue.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportA. City Review Arcata Sunset LK Wood CEQA Exemption MemoB. Sunset Interchange Landscape Concepts




A. Set a Date for a Study Session with City Committee and Commission Chairpersons.




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