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  • October 06, 2015 5:59 PM | Holly Starley (Administrator)

    Last week, a Santa Barbara High School student and member of SBici, the school’s bicycle club, was involved in a car-bike collision en route to school. While she is home now, the sixteen-year old student was in the hospital for forty-

    eight hours.

    Tomorrow, Wednesday October 7, is International Walk to School Day. This means many students, parents, and teachers in our community will be walking and biking to and from school.

    We urge everyone to be aware of the expected increase in pedestrians and bicycles, especially along school routes. And, as always, please be safe and predictable and visible no matter what transportation choice you make.

  • September 17, 2015 1:22 PM | Ed France (Administrator)

    An article today from Streetsblog CA reports "Caltrans received 617 applications this year, requesting over $1 billion in funds. With only $360 million available over the three-year cycle, that meant some hard decisions had to be made." 

    Now is the best time contact our representatives in Sacramento who are currently considering ABX-123, an assembly bill which would double the amount of funding in the ATP Program, which funds bicycling and walking infrastructure statewide. The form to contact your rep can be found here.

  • September 17, 2015 11:41 AM | Ed France (Administrator)

    Santa Barbara boasts some of the most beautiful and well visited sections of our coast and coastal trail. SBBIKE and Bici Centro's work to make this important route more accessible is featured in two videos within a KCET series by rigler creative. 

    KCET completes part 1 of Digital Field Guide to The California Coastal Trail Spanning 

    Six Counties Along the State Coastline.

    Burbank, Calif. - KCET, the nation's largest independent public television station, completed stage 1 of CALIFORNIA COASTAL TRAIL, a robust digital field guide which aims to raise awareness about the 

    California Coastal Trail; its past, its present, and future through a series of videos, online guides, and historical 


    The online exclusive series explores the trail in 30 short films portraying communities within sight, sound, or smell of 

    the ocean along the state's coast between the Mexican and Oregon borders.

    Here a link to the series video page.

  • September 17, 2015 11:15 AM | Ed France (Administrator)

    It was the end of the line. After some 12 miles of Class 1 separated Bikeway from Hope Ranch to the far west end of Isla Vista, the pathway abruptly stops at Storke road, but not for long. 

    What was once a golf course and is now the North Campus Open Space, part of the UCSB campus has been awarded state funding to host a needed extension of the bikeway from Storke  westward into Ellwood.  This will help bridge a gap to another key Class 1 protected bikeway along Hollister Avenue to reach Ellwood School from Pacific Oaks road.

    Kudos go to the UCSB project team led by Lisa Stratton of the Cheadle Center forBiodiversity and and Ecological Restoration. The Bike and Ped 'Multi-modal' pathway has been awarded $2.45 million dollars to connect very dense student housing, residential neighborhoods, and schools, all along the Coastal Route and restored wetland habitat.

    Here is a letter of support from SBBIKE for the project:

    In response to the application by the UC Regents for the UC Santa Barbara

    (UCSB), North Campus Open Space Multi-modal Trail Project, the Santa Barbara 

    Bicycle Coalition (SBBIKE) would like to give our strongest endorsement for its 


    This UCSB Campus community is a target-rich environment that includes both the 

    highest bicycle mode share in the state, and this gap in the bikeway network. New 

    campus and private development in the area is just one block past the end of the robust 

    UCSB network of Class 1 protected bikeways responsible for the high rates of 

    bicycling. This multi-use trail segment will extend that network to serve thousands 

    of new student and staff dwellings with destinations at UCSB, in addition to new bike 

    commuters from existing dwellings. It will also connect a missing portion of the California 

    Coastal Route. The multi-use trail - bordering dense residential neighborhoods, directly 

    between a major commercial center and the Campus -can easily generate thousands 

    of new daily bicycle trips.

    The North Campus Open Space Multi-modal Trail will make numerous significant 

    connections. Elementary schools to housing; connections for children and adults to 

    the nature preserve and its opportunities for recreation and learning; connecting 

    bike routes along the California Coastal Trail/Bike Route, which encourage active 

    transportation choices for residents and which fill the gaps in the bikeways network. 

    There's also an opportunity to mitigate congestion at the Starke/Hollister 

    intersection, which is a focus of the City of Goleta. Increased connectivity to trails to 

    the beach will open more public access to the coastline. Lastly, this trail is an 

    opportunity to connect .regional transportation  plans and Active Transportation Plans 

    of surrounding jurisdictions with UCSB's Bike Plan.

    As all five jurisdictions of Santa Barbara County’s South Coast, from Goleta to 

    Carpinteria, are currently updating or creating new bicycle master plans, we are at a 

    critical moment with a unique opportunity. UCSB plans to complete its Bicycle 

    Master Plan to prioritize bikeway connectivity for its students, faculty and staff 

    traveling onto and off campus. Now is the time to coordinate local and regional 

    plans, and this project is a key connector through a former barrier for significant 

    increases in the active transportation capacity of the surrounding communities, 

    promoting a coherent, connected, multi-modal transportation network.

    Two new UCSB housing developments currently under construction will provide 

    1,515 beds for undergraduates and 36 family units by 2016. We are thrilled that this 

    trail will give future inhabitants of these residences easy and safe access to the 

    trail and bicycle network and ensure that trips to the Camino Real 

    Marketplace or to the UCSB campus, all well within cycling distance, are safe, 

    convenient and inviting without use of a car.

  • September 03, 2015 3:00 PM | Holly Starley (Administrator)


    Claudia Henrie has a dream. To see every one of her seven children biking safely and confidently. “I want to get nine out of nine of us riding, eventually.”

    With kids ranging in age from 7 months to 14 years, it looks to be a long journey. But a recent event at her children’s elementary school gave Henrie a little help along the way.

    On August 24, Vieja Valley Elementary kicked off the new school year with Bici Familia. A team effort by SBBIKE, COAST, and a slew of volunteers, the family bike night proved to be a fun and educational evening for all.

    The evening began with bike valet and tune-ups. Children munched on pizza in the auditorium and watched a cartoon on bike safety, while SBBIKE volunteers cranked away outside.

    Even SBBIKE executive director Ed France got his hands greasy wrenching the pint-sized bikes. “We’re really looking for the basic things, tires that need air, loose brakes, things that don’t pass the ABC check.”

    Meanwhile, the children were being quizzed by SBBIKE’s education director Christine Bourgeois and COAST’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Kim Stanley-Zimmerman.

    “What do you do at a stop sign?”

    The auditorium responded in youthful unison, “Stop!”

    After the safety talk, participants were invited out to the blacktop where they rode through an obstacle course composed of sidewalk chalk, mini road signs, wooden cutouts, and lots of adult helpers.

    The bike night was an attempt to address concerns after two boys were involved in a collision last school year. The students, who were hit by a car exiting a parking lot, were not seriously injured, but the accident highlighted a need for improved safety. Hope School District Superintendent Daniel Cooperman said, “We wanted to do everything we could to improve safety for our children.”

    Out on the blacktop the young cyclists practiced signaling, steering around each other, and avoiding being doored by a mom-manned cardboard car.

    Students ten years and older were invited to leave the confines of the playground and hit the open road with new principal Juan Ricoy. Donning bright yellow Bici Centro vests, they made their way down the street practicing the skills they had learned.

    As the evening drew to a close, Henrie watched her boys take another lap. “This is fantastic. This is preparation for all of the variety of real life that will come, the doors that pop open, the stop signs. And it’s fun.”

    Standing in the glow of the setting sun, she mentioned early bedtimes, but it was clear that no one was ready to head home just yet.

    “When we moved here from Pennsylvania a year ago, the first thing I said was, “We’re all getting bikes!”

    Now she’s dreaming of the day her entire family can ride them together.

    With the help of another successful Bici Familia event, they are well on their way.

    Photo Captions: 1. Students practice looking both ways before pedaling. 2. Simeon Henrie makes a sharp turn during a hand signal drill. ANDIE BRIDGES

  • August 06, 2015 2:44 PM | Ed France (Administrator)

    Starting tomorrow, August 7th, There will be bike path work at multiple locations on the UCSB campus. There are no detours and riders will be expected to get off their bikes and walk. Creatively timed to confuse Fiesta Cruiser runners? we may never know. 

    Beginning on Friday, August 7, the bike paths by Bren Circle and Engineering 1 (Parking Lot 1) and Military Science (Parking Lot 11) will be repaired with new asphalt.  Striping on these two areas will occur on Monday, August 10.  Please refer to the two maps attached.


    Although there will be no detours, we are encouraging bike traffic to walk around these locations.  Thank you for your cooperation.

  • July 30, 2015 2:53 PM | Joey Juhasz-Lukomski (Administrator)

    Last week a new bicycle roundabout was opened on the UCSB Campus. The SAASB roundabout is designed to address a 3 way bike path intersection where Rec Center, Campbell Hall and the Bus Loop meet. This project was a huge priority for the UCSB A.S. Bike Committee who worked hard to organize support and funding for the project. Construction began last month in June. The project is now officially completed and will be ready to greet students in the fall when the new school year starts. Check out the picture above, this Youtube video or roll on over to UCSB for the full experience! 

  • July 23, 2015 1:04 PM | Holly Starley (Administrator)

    Tuesday evening’s two and half-hour council session on the city’s Bike Master Plan (BMP) was characterized by a welcome sentiment from the bench (and perhaps an unlikely source). Councilman Frank Hotchkiss, who in the past has expressed skepticism related to bicycle facilities, said at least one of his concerns has not come to fruition. A confrontational element he’s witnessed in the past, pitting bicycle riders against non-bicycle riders, has not been a part of ongoing discussions of the plan that will guide the city’s bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure developments for the next decade and beyond. “It doesn’t feel like us versus them,” he said.

    Perhaps because of that past Hotchkiss is referring to, this is precisely the message the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition (SBBIKE) has been striving to convey. The issue isn’t confrontational. Not only do constituents overwhelmingly support improved cycling facilities, as evidenced by results of the city’s public engagement process to determine what the community wants, well-designed bicycling infrastructure is good for the city as a whole. Safe, connected bikeways bring improvements to all, regardless of how they get around. Those benefits were elaborated by over a dozen supporters—including representatives from COAST, City Watch, the Transportation and Circulation Committee (TCC), and the Community Environmental Council (CEC); business owners; and other residents—who spoke during public comment periods.

    Successfully having established a harmonious foundation where all parties can work together is a great step. But the BMP was on the council’s agenda Tuesday night to answer an important question—is the plan on the right track? As city employees and the two groups the city hired to guide the development of the BMP (LA-based urban planners, Melendrez, and transportation consultants, Fehr & Peers) move toward finalizing the plan, what adjustments should they make? Now is the time to make any changes, as a final plan is slated for this November (though council heard a number of suggestions to extend that deadline).

    The answers clearly depend on one’s point of view. Here, after a brief look at the plan as presented Tuesday evening, are a few of the concerns and suggestions planners heard.

    Basic Outline of BMP in progress

    I. The network – Two components will make up the network of cycling infrastructure in Santa Barbara as proposed by the consultants. First, the “spine,” a core connected route that is safe and highly visible (think green paint), will get cyclists from one side of town to the next. Second, groupings of connectors will lead to different areas in town; these are grouped as coastal connections, Uptown connectors, Eastside routes, and Westside routes. What these routes will look like—green lanes, sharrows, one-way couplets, bike boulevards, or protected lanes—has not been nailed down. (It’s noteworthy, though, that not many of the latter are in consideration—a concern SBBIKE’s new advocacy coordinator, Eve Sanford, brought to the table.)

    The options being considered in each area are far too many to list, but you can view them yourself on the maps at the city's BMP website.

    II. Policy? – The proposed network projects, as SBBIKE Executive Director Ed France put it, “are the blood and guts” of the BMP. Noticeably absent from the presentation thus far is an overarching vision and goals—language that says why the plan is being implemented and what it hopes to achieve. A number of Tuesday’s public commenters urged council to include such policy-oriented language. That portion of the plan is imperative, not only as a guide and way to clearly measure achievements now, but because language that makes clear the goals will serve as a road-map over the next fifteen years through administrative and elected changes.

    For example, CEC’s Cameron Gray urged a vision that would define specific goals to decrease the number of miles traveled by automobiles. Gray pointed to other cities, such as San Luis Obispo, which set 20 percent as its mode share goal and, thus, committed 20 percent of its transportation general fund to bicycling infrastructure.

    III. Other components – The consultant group did mention additional components of the BMP are in the works. That list includes enforcement, education, intersection improvements, bike parking, and a bike share program. None of these were discussed in detail.

    Concerns from the Bench

    Tradeoffs, parking, and Micheltorena – Remember the list of types of infrastructure that could be used to connect the network (each very different)? Often, which will be used will depend on how Council guides the consultants in terms of tradeoffs. Fehr & Peers Matt Benjamin made it clear Council will need to decide to what extent, if any, tradeoffs will be acceptable as planners narrow down the nitty-gritty details. Not surprisingly, a loss of parking is a tradeoff some councilmembers don’t seem likely to consider.

    France spoke to the concern directly, explaining that biking can actually create more parking. He even suggested making a goal to free up parking spaces a part of the BMP's goals. “Let’s set a specific number—500, 1,000,” he suggested. “I would love if the people who are interested in riding bikes more are able to free up parking for those who aren’t.” Councilwoman Cathy Murillo later championed his point. “I can tell you,” she said, “that when people choose to ride a bike, they don’t bring a car downtown.”

    Adding in a green lane to make Micheltorena Street a downtown connector to the Westside, which would require the removal of four blocks of parking, is one option that may not see the light of day because of parking concerns. A couple of the councilmembers spoke against it, and Mayor Helene Schneider said she’d need to see mitigation plans before considering it. Councilman Dale Francisco suggested the Anapamu footbridge (a pedestrian path) as the alternative (and wants to use the Ortega and Junipero footbridges in the same way). Not mentioned in Tuesday’s meeting was an alternative option to make Sola the connector.

    Outreach – Councilmen Francisco and Hotchkiss were, apparently, less than pleased with the public outreach engagement their consultants made. This concern was based, it seems, on the results of the outreach. Survey findings showed that more than 90 percent of survey takers, 50 percent of whom identified cars as their primary mode of transportation and 30 percent who say they primarily bike, want improved bicycling infrastructure. Francisco and Hotchkiss don’t believe this is representative of the community. They directed consultants to conduct more outreach. What that would like wasn’t discussed.

    A few community speakers weren’t happy that they’d only recently learned of the discussion. (This group did support bicycling infrastructure improvements, as long as they have a say in where.) One told councilmembers, “When all of you run for elected office, I know about it. I have two doorways, and I get it [mailers] at both entrances.”

    Safety loss in numbers? – Hotchkiss voiced a concern he’s raised throughout the process. He believes that more bicycle riders on the streets will inevitably result in more accidents. The solution, he believes, is “encouraging/discouraging”—routing cyclists to and away from certain streets.

    No one mentioned data showing the opposite of his concern is true. A Google search of “safety in numbers” will quickly net reports on a well-documented non-linear relationship between the number of bikers and walkers and the number of incidents. These reports show that, across the board in terms of community size and type, collision rates decline as the number of people riding bicycles and walking increases.

    Concerns from the Floor

    Vision – Local business owner Jeff Rawlings elaborated on a much-touted message—bicycling is good for business. “We’re most of the way to creating a startup mecca in our town,” he said, pointing to features of Santa Barbara, like schools and weather, that attract a new, young workforce and the businesses that employ that workforce. “One thing we’ve not yet mastered,” he continued, “is transportation flexibility.”

    Rawlings went on to voice a concern that has been growing among supporters of a robust BMP. “I would love to see a truly visionary plan,” he told council. “This is not it.” Rather, he says, the plan is “conservative but imminently achievable.”

    This raises two questions. Is conservative but imminently achievable good enough? If not, how do we move toward a more visionary plan and what would that plan look like?

    Councilman Randy Rowse said he’d like the ability to create ad hoc solutions for particular areas as they arise, rather than adopting an overarching philosophy. Would that ability pave the way for visionary solutions as funding and need arise?

    Community desires ignored? – As noted earlier, SBBIKE’s advocacy coordinator expressed disappointment in one particular aspect of the BMP as it currently stands. Sanford noted that, while survey results show respondents overwhelmingly asked for buffered and protected bikeways wherever feasible, very few of these types of bikeways are even under consideration in the current plan. “We all bike and drive in a world where people make mistakes,” she said. “A few feet can make a huge difference.” She urged Council to direct planners to consider more bikeways that physically separate bikes and cars.

    Planners have pointed to the city’s narrow streets and built-up grid system as the primary factor for the absence of that type of infrastructure.

    By far the least popular route type among survey takers was sharrows. SBBIKE board member Robert Caiza pointed out a meeting earlier this month that shared lanes confuse both people on bikes and in cars, and those already existing are underused. Yet some sharrows are part of the plan. Though sharrows weren’t heavily discussed on Tuesday, Mayor Schneider noted that she supports green lanes but doesn’t understand sharrows.

    Westside speaks out

    A group of Westside residents, nine to be precise, spoke strongly against a route the city was considering that would convert Chino and San Andres Streets into a one-way couplet, similar to Bath and Castillo. The speakers fear the change would increase auto speed on a road where many residents walk their children to and from school and strongly urged another option. A few pointed to Gillespie as a good alternative.

    Your Concerns?

    What do you think? Is the BMP on the right track? Planners will be working toward finalizing the plan over the next few months. What would you like to see them focus on—both in terms of the “blood and guts” of the proposed routes and infrastructure types and the overarching goals and vision?

    This is your plan. It will guide your future. As an organization representing over 1,000 members, SBBIKE wants to ensure it advocates for what you want. Check out the map for route details. Weigh in here.    

  • July 21, 2015 1:48 PM | Holly Starley (Administrator)

    Early this month, Santa Barbara’s Interim Mobility Coordinator Peter Brown met with a group at the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition (SBBIKE) home to discuss the progress of the city’s proposed update to its Bicycle Master Plan (BMP) following a period of public outreach. Tonight, at 6 p.m., the same discussion is on the agenda of the Santa Barbara City Council meeting.

    Councilmembers will hear the results of the public outreach efforts and weigh in on the proposed BMP updates thus far. Those efforts sought to answer a straightforward question: Does the community want a connected, accessible bike network? “It’s something the city is crying out for in my opinion,” Brown said. Testament to that, 1,440 people had already taken the survey at the end of June. Brown noted that no other similar public outreach effort in much larger cities, such as LA and Long Beach, have netted this much participation.

    What’s more, more than half of survey takers listed cars as their primary mode of transportation. Why is this important? The answer is simple. Safe, accessible bikeway systems aren’t just good for people who choose to travel by bike; they’re good for a city as a whole.

    The survey results make it clear Santa Barbarans know that. And it’s the message SBBIKE hopes to drive, ride, and walk home to Mayor Helene Schneider and the SB City Council this evening. Well-designed, safe bikeways are good for business—they allow easy access to local businesses, and they attract talented employees and, thus, employers to an area. Bike networks that enable people to take some or all of their trips by bikes free up impacted parking spaces and congested roads. Good bike infrastructure makes roads safer for all who drive, cycle, or walk them.

    Brown pointed to one survey question in particular—should it be a goal for the city to accommodate more bikes? Of all participants (those who identified their primary transportation modes as cars and bikes alike), 91 percent answered yes. He noted the unlikelihood of getting such a clear consensus for any question.

    Also making clear the overwhelming consensus among Santa Barbarans for improved, progressive cycling networks were the packed community summits, where residents gathered to pour over maps and offer specific suggestions for bikeway improvements. Brown noted that no controversy—no us versus them mentality—was present at these gatherings, as some in the city had suggested there might be.

    This solidarity is what SBBIKE expects from supporters at tonight’s meeting. Overwhelmingly, supporters of improved bikeway infrastructure in the city want improvements that meet the needs of everyone who uses the city’s roadways. Overwhelming, people in Santa Barbara are supporters of improved bike networks. To offer your support, attend tonight’s meeting in the Council Chambers at City Hall at 735 Anacapa Street.

    You can also write the mayor and your local councilmembers. And now is the time do do so Tell them you’re a resident of whatever district you live and vote in and how long you’ve lived there. Tell them you’re a business owner, taxpayer, parent, student, member of a local organization, community member. Tell them why bike infrastructure is good for the city as a whole. Ask them to make implementing this infrastructure a priority—to adopt a strong BMP for our future and the future of our children.

    Here’s how you can reach your representatives by e-mail:

    Mayor Helene Schneider,

    Councilman Randy Rowse,

    Councilman Gregg Hart,

    Councilman Dale Francisco,

    Councilman Bendy White,

    Councilwoman Cathy Murillo,

    Councilman Frank Hotchkiss,

    Current Plan Priorities

    Brown summarized the priorities as the city moves toward creating a BMP draft as (1) closing the gaps in the current network and (2) improving on existing infrastructure. Twenty priority projects are in the works, with the city divided into four areas—Eastside, Westside, Uptown, and Mesa. An interactive map on the website shows the specific proposed projects for each area and allows users to provide feedback.


    While Brown compared the current situation to “sitting on the edge of a trout pond that just got stocked,” new infrastructure supporters expressed a few concerns. Among these were that the proposed plan didn’t seem to take into account the specific suggestions users had made. A few participants at the meeting pointed out that the proposed projects include a number of green lanes and sharrows, not high among the preferences of those who participated in the public outreach process.

    Brown countered that the city’s narrow grid network make sharrows (lanes shared by people in cars and on bikes) an easy, cost-effective solution.  He advocated strongly for green lanes for similar reasons, noting that green lanes resulted in a 75 percent decrease in accidents on Market Street in San Francisco.

    Available funding was another concern voiced. Meeting participants asked about the plausibility of projects, especially the higher-dollar projects, getting tabled for lack of funds. While Brown said he doesn’t foresee the city coming into a pot of gold, “I’m ready to make the case that we’re as ready as any community in the state.” He added that ensuring the plan is adopted is the first step toward getting the funding.

    One participant, who has previous planning experience, spoke to the importance of strong, clear language in the plan—language that will leave no question as to the plan’s intent into the future.

    Tonight's meeting will offer a glimpse of what the language of the proposed plan and the projects it will encompass will look like.

  • July 20, 2015 4:06 PM | Holly Starley (Administrator)

    A brilliant sunset on the beach gives way to the lighting of a giant screen displaying entertaining, inspiring short films. Crowds lay back on blankets and settle into chairs, a cool breeze gently swaying nearby palms and tickling spectators’ faces as they sip tasty beers, ranging from tried-and-true New Belgium staples like Fat Tire to tongue-tantalizing craft beers, such as the pear ginger summer beer and a mole-inspired stout.

    You know your organization is doing something right when that describes your second largest fundraiser of the year. For the second year in a row, New Belgium

    Clips Beer & Film Tour supported the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition last weekend. During the event, SBBIKE sold nearly $11,000 in beer, bringing in a net profit of a little over $8,800. This makes Clips SBBIKE’s second largest annual fundraiser of the year, second only to the century. Through its partnership with New Belgium, the coalition buys the beer and merchandise sold at the event. And 100 percent of the profit goes to the coalition—specifically this year to SBBIKE’s Connecting Our Community campaign to make our roads from Carp to Goleta safe and accessible to people of all ages who chose to bike.

    And what tells you even more clearly that your organization has a good thing going on is when a host of volunteers is ready to ensure an event of this scale runs as smoothly as a pour from a freshly tapped keg of pale ale. “My favorite part was seeing over sixty volunteers, familiar and unfamiliar, come out and do a bang-up job staffing this event,” says SBBIKE Volunteer Coordinator Juhasz-Lukomski. “I owe them all a big thank you.”

    Topping off the night with perfection was the opportunity to see the Bici Centro movie up on the big screen. Produced by Michael Montenegro, the short film featured Bici Centro, SBBIKE’s DIY bike shop and home for the cycling community. “That was definitely the highlight,” says Juhasz-Lukomski.

    SBBIKE sends a shout and a pitcher full of gratitude out to the volunteers, to Montenegro, and to Paul Kingsley, whose photos of the event are featured here. The coalition enjoys its partnership with New Belgium and looks forward to next year.

    Photos by PAUL KINGSLEY

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Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, PO Box 92047, Santa Barbara, CA 93190
located at 506 E. Haley Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Phone: 805 845-8955

Bici Centro is located at 434 Olive Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Phone: 805 617-3255

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