Bridges Named After Slain Local Bicyclist
Bicyclist John Mello, a long time McKinleyville resident, lost his life on February 24, 2013, as the result of injuries suffered after being struck by a pickup truck on Highway 101 Southbound, between Big Lagoon and Patricks Point Drive. At the time of the collision, John was lawfully riding his bicycle along the shoulder of the highway when the driver of the pickup negligently allowed his vehicle to cross over the fog line and strike John at an estimated 60 mph. John died at the scene. John was an avid recreational bicyclist and a regular participant in the Tour of the Unkmown Coast 100 mile cycling event held annually in May.
Pursuant to John’s family’s request, and with widespread community support on both local and statewide levels, and following approval by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, sponsorship by State Senator Noreen Evans and co-authored by State Assembly Member Wesley Chesbro, approval by the Transportation Committees in the State Assembly and Senate, and the approval of both Houses of the State Legislature, SCR 113 was officially Chaptered by the Secretary of State on August 13, 2014. As a result, each of the Mad River Bridges on State Highway Route 101, in the County of Humboldt, is now designated as the Bicyclist John Mello Memorial Bridge. Memorial signage is scheduled for installation this week.
On Saturday, April 11, 2015, at 10:00AM, there will be a formal dedication of the Bicyclist John Mello Memorial Bridge. The dedication will be held in front of the California Welcome Center, 1635 Heindon Rd. (near the Toni’s Restaurant parking lot just south of Giuntoli Lane) Arcata. The public is invited to attend and pay tribute to the memory of John Mello and to show support for continued efforts to educate motorists of the dangers of distracted driving. Supporters also hope to raise public awareness of the recently enacted Three Feet for Safety Act, which requires motorists passing bicyclists from behind to allow at least three feet clearance, and if that is not possible due to traffic or road conditions, requires the motorist to slow down and wait to pass only when it is safe to do so. There will be short presentations by the California Highway Patrol, CalTrans and others.
See also the Senate resolution.