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  • July 30, 2014 12:54 PM | Omari Fuller (Administrator)

    The long-time bicyclist and data maestro leads one last effort to track cycling trends in our community.


    Even to many bicycling enthusiasts, a bike count may seem an obscure and tedious undertaking.  To Ralph Fertig, it was a more momentous and effective action for change than any critical mass or fundraising century ride.  Data on bicycling was to Ralph the air an advocacy campaign needs — the numbers, oxygen fueling its ascent toward better bikeways.  And key among that data was the bike count - a monumental survey requiring dedication and people power that he deftly took on time after time with just as much zeal the last time as the first.


    With Ralph’s passing, we reflect here on the final bike count of his remarkable life in June of 2014, what his efforts accomplished, and what it means for all of us moving forward.


    Why do bike counts matter?

    Cities regularly conduct traffic counts that focus on motor vehicles and don’t keep track of bicycle traffic. But many people do transport themselves by bicycle, and Ralph made sure that their trips were counted as well.  Thanks to his leadership, for over a decade the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition has been the only organization that's consistently conducted bicycle counts. Ralph did the first bicycle count in 1997 and would conduct 11 more, setting the stage for recording regional jumps in levels of cycling.  Many public jurisdictions such as the City of Santa Barbara and UCSB have relied on his data to support analysis and grant applications for bike-friendly projects.

     

    The 2014 Bike Count

    In our 12th bike count in the organization’s history, 28 volunteers counted bicyclists at 34 intersections across Santa Barbara County’s South Coast over two weeks in mid June.  This year we added intersections in Goleta, Isla Vista near UCSB, and Carpinteria that have never been counted before, to collect baseline data in these areas.


    Ralph worked with dogged determination on the 2014 bike count.  He drove the agenda and built consensus to conduct the count; selected the intersections, modified the survey instrument and instructions, sent out invitations to his loyal colleagues and supporters to join the effort, and calculated the results and analysis that appear below.  All told, this year’s bike count certainly wouldn’t have happened without him.  


    Ralph also personally went out twice last month to count cyclists for 2-hour stints at the busy roundabouts on Milpas St in Santa Barbara’s Eastside neighborhood and on Coast Village Rd at Hot Springs Rd.  Many of the volunteers who helped conduct the count commented on the unique experience of sitting and watching people get where they’re going. One volunteer said, “It’s really quite a fascinating experience... like watching human nature unfold in front of you!”  


    The counts also provided interesting anecdotal observations behind the numbers.  For example, a volunteer observed that the traffic signal did not change for cyclists on Berkeley Rd crossing Fairview Ave along the North Goleta bike route.  The volunteer saw one bicyclist wait until a car across the street from him triggered the light, but when that car did not yield the right of way and made a left turn in front of him, the light changed to red again and he was forced to dismount and go push the "walk" button before he could cross Fairview on the bike route.  After that the volunteer began pushing the button whenever a cyclist showed up at that intersection: a small gesture to help bicycles that ideally happen automatically throughout our transportation system.


    Some observations weren’t directly related to bikes at all, but instead pointed at systemic biases in favor of car traffic.  At Hollister Ave at Fairview Ave (the entrance to Old Town Goleta) for example, a pedestrian commented that the “walk” button to cross the intersection was hidden beneath some bushes.  She then compared glut of cars at the intersection to a herd of wildebeests, complete with horns (side mirrors)!  Another pedestrian described crossing the same intersection as "playing frogger," in reference to the 1980s era video game where an electronic frog dodges cars to cross the street.  


    This sort of information alongside the statistics gives us at least some chance of figuring out how bicycles are fitting into our transportation system, and some clue as to how it could be improved to serve people using all forms transportation, especially bicycles.


    2014 Bike Count Results and Analysis

    A perplexing result emerged from the 2014 Santa Barbara South Coast bike count.  The conclusions section below will discuss some key questions these results raise as well as possible explanations, but the bottom line is that the number of bicyclists counted was lower in many places across the South Coast than in previous years.  This is a discrepancy from what was expected, since previous counts as well as US Census Bike-to-Work data have shown an upward trend in bicycle ridership.  As usual, Ralph Fertig summarized the results best in his matter-of-fact way:


    I have received count sheets for 34 South Coast intersections, 20 of which had been counted previously, so we have numbers to compare with our new counts.  The earliest returns showed significant declines in bicyclists, but some later, busier intersections had increases.  The overall result for all 20 is a net decrease of 3.7%.  Since the bike to work numbers have been increasing, I expected our counts to increase as well.


    Here is the raw data from all intersections in the 2014 bike count compared to previous years.




    Ralph was concerned about the decrease, so he buckled down and tirelessly crunched the numbers to figure out what was happening.  He created plots between our bike count data over the years and the US Census data on people biking to work, and looked for trends that might help make sense of the discrepancy.  As has been widely reported, the US Census found that bicycling to work in our region nearly doubled in the past decade to nearly 7 percent of all work trips. Meanwhile the 2014 bike count showed the total number of cyclists counted at intersections across our region up only 2 percent from a decade ago, and down almost 10 percent from the peak in 2009.

    In addition to solving that data puzzle, Ralph was interested in how the perceived safety of our streets is reflected in the breakdown of riders’ gender and tendency to bike on sidewalks.  To that end he proposed tracking gender for the bike count instead of wrong-way riding.  He also eliminated tracking whether bicyclists were wearing helmets, since helmet use had remained steady at 25% of riders over the years of bike counts.


    Results of the # of female & on-sidewalk bicyclists for the 3 South Coast regions:

    SB City.  19% female,  15% on sidewalk

    West of SB.  29% female,  5% on sidewalk

    East of SB.  16% female,  17% on sidewalk


    Key takeaways from the 2014 bike count results:

    • The overall count at previously counted sites in the City of Santa Barbara was down by 3.7%.
    • This contradicts the data from the Census.
    • We don’t know what is responsible for the difference.  We won’t know if this is a trend in ridership in the City of Santa Barbara and surrounding areas until either another count is done, or until repeated automated counts are taken throughout the City.
    • We now have baseline data for other regional sites.
    • We know that women in the region are under-represented on bicycles; a finding consistent with national data. The findings for gender at intersections in the three regions along the South Coast were different.

    Conclusions

    Our challenge is to use all that information to help us understand what is happening on our streets and in our collective experience.  This 2014 bike count also offered a new opportunity to compare cycling trends across our region.  As Ralph put it before the count, “This is going to be fascinating to see how other South Coast bicycling differs from SB city.”


    Happily, Ralph lived to see at least one clear regional trend: areas west of the City of Santa Barbara are attracting more women riders and have fewer people riding on the sidewalk.  This is likely thanks to the high levels of ridership to and from UCSB, reflecting how when more people are riding, the safer everyone feels taking to the streets by bicycle.


    Beyond that, this year's bike count presents more questions than answers.  Some of the most salient ones are:

    • Could people be shifting their routes to avoid ‘perceived danger’ at certain intersections?
    • Does people’s behavior actually match what they report on the US Census survey?
    • Could a change in school schedules this year be behind the difference? SB City College was closed during the count, as well as SB Unified School District (K-12), and UCSB was in finals week.  However, more research is needed to determine whether schedules were different in 2009 and previous count years.
    • Could there be statistical accuracy limitations that prevent the data from being as accurate as the Census?  For example, is it too small of a sample size to show trends?
    • Where do we go from here in terms of using ridership data to push advocacy and bikeway improvements?

    Although we may not yet know for certain the answers to those questions, there are things we can say for sure.  First of all, we can celebrate how our volunteer-led effort mobilized to get the bike count done.  As a result, we have new baseline data from sites in the Goleta Valley and Summerland-Carpinteria that extend the range of our knowledge of bicycling trends throughout the South Coast.


    We can also say that our volunteer-powered efforts, even when lead by a one of a kind dynamo like Ralph, are resource and time intensive. In order for this to be sustainable, our local governments need to follow the lead of other jurisdictions around the country that have prioritized bicycling, and invest in and adopt available technologies that will automate collecting bike count data so that we can make the same informed decisions about the level of service for bicycles on our public streets as we currently do for cars.  Ultimately we want to follow Ralph’s lead in taking a clear-eyed look at the data trends to light the way toward better bicycling for all in our community.







    Ralph donated this piece of neon bike art to the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition in early July 2014. He had displayed it in his home for many years.
  • July 19, 2014 9:52 AM | Howard Booth (Administrator)


    A Memorial: Ralph Fertig


    On Friday, July 18 our community lost longtime bicycle advocate and SB Bike’s President Emeritus Ralph Fertig when he passed away due to complications from his battle with cancer.

    Below is an excerpt from the Santa Barbara Independent’s July 21 article by Nick Welsh. Complete article HERE

    Ralph Fertig, a longtime bicycle advocate in Santa Barbara of such consistency,
    durability, and selflessness that his presence had achieved an almost geologic aspect.

    Quiet, unassuming, and absolutely dogged, Fertig made it his mission for more than 20 years to attend any and every transportation planning meeting undefined no matter how arcane and obscure undefined to bear witness to the need for more space on the roads for bicycles.

    Respectful in style, there was nothing flashy or confrontational about Fertig; he was decidedly not the counter-cultural road warrior. The chances of finding Fertig pedaling along in a Critical Mass ride, shutting down traffic in an act of civil disobedience, hovered between none and nil. With Fertig, the ego was sublimated entirely to the cause, to the work. This undefined coupled with the intellectual honesty with which he made his case undefined made it impossible for decision makers to dismiss him out of hand even when it would been exceedingly convenient for them to have done so.

    To an uncommon extent, Fertig understood the complicated anatomy of transportation pork; he knew where the money was hidden, what it had been set aside for, and far better than most, he understood the rules and regulations guiding the expenditure of such funds. As undramatic as he may have been, Fertig became the human crowbar, constantly prying money and considerations undefined even if it was only a seat at the table undefined out of generations of public works directors and transportation bureaucrats for whom cycling was a recreational pastime and at best an intrusive afterthought
    .

    Services, Rides and Tributes Honoring Ralph

    • The memorial service for Ralph is Friday, July 25th at 2pm in the McDermott-Crockett mortuary chapel at 2020 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara.

    • August 2, 9:30 am – Memorial Ride for Ralph (normally Newcomers Ride led

    by Doris Phinney, President of the Goleta Cycling Club). Meet at Goleta Beach for an easy paced ride around Goleta. Please come with a memory of Ralph you would like to share.

    Remembering Ralph

    Very sad news. For many years, Ralph was a lynch-pin of bicycle activism in the Santa Barbara and statewide. He raised the profile of bicycling in Santa Barbara and was responsible for bringing the 1998 ProBike conference to Santa Barbara. Ralph also served as the Regional Director of CABO for the Central Coast for many years and graciously hosted the CABO Board and members when we met in Santa Barbara. –Al Farkosh

    ​Very sad. I probably first met Ralph at the first ProBike I attended –1990 in Wash., DC. Great guy. He was always a go-to guy with a wealth of info and experience. He was probably at every bike conf. I attended and was a great contributor to advocacy for bicyclists. -David Takemoto-Weerts (Bicycle Program Coordinator at UC Davis)

    We cyclists owe so much to Ralph for all of his many years of continuing devotion to improving the cycling environment for all of us. –Doris Phinney (President, Goleta Valley Cycling Club)

    I'm so sorry to hear of Ralph's passing. I met Ralph fifteen years ago or more, and since then I always looked to him as the kind of advocate to aspire to be. He always impressed me by how knowledgeable he was: laws, regulations, statistics, groups, government procedures, current events, he just seemed to know everything. He was an excellent communicator, both as a speaker and with his writing and visual presentations. Just look at any of the Bicycle Coalition newsletters he published---they're effective and beautiful. He was absolutely tireless! Did he ever stop working for the bicycling cause? And through it all he was invariably smiling and friendly. He never came across as strident, but rather, as simply enthusiastic about cycling. Which,of course, he was, as he amply demonstrated with the way he lived his life. Thanks,Ralph. –Greg Janee (COAST board member)

    I remember riding up Harris Grade with Ralph on a People Powered Ride ... first time I had ever spoken to him. A very nice guy and a great inspiration, sad to hear he's gone.

    –Jim Balter

    Others have spoken very eloquently on Ralph’s respectful and consistent advocacy, grasp of government planning, statistical adeptness, and remarkable communication skills. I'd like to add that his long and committed tenure at the Bicycle Coalition set the framework for the explosive growth we've seen at the Coalition and with bicycling in Santa Barbara County.

    It is very bittersweet to note that Ralph passed on closing day of our escrow for the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition headquarters. We miss and honor Ralph and his dedication to the Coalition. I'm sure he is smiling knowing that the Coalition now has secured our future with our own building and ever expanding advocacy efforts and programs. –Michael Chiacos (SB Bike Board President)

    I haven’t ridden a bike since I was a teenager – but I knew Ralph as an activist on
    behalf of bicyclists, pedestrians, and all who want a more sustainable way of life. We will miss him greatly. -Mickey Flacks (

    Ralph had a big heart and tirelessly represented the interests of people who believe you should be able to get around town without a car. I shall miss him! –Das Williams  (California State Assembly member)

    The last time Ralph and I had a long conversation was at Cottage Hospital in between his chemotherapy treatments. It was on a sunny day and he was feeling up for a visit out on the deck looking up to the mountains so we bundled him up and out we went. It was a quiet time to talk about life, his travels, family. Through the painful side effects of his treatments, he still warmly smiled and had a positive outlook. That's what I will always remember about our Ralph. -Deborah Schwartz (City of Santa Barbara Planning Commission)

    I am still in shock that our gentle bicycle godfather Ralph has passed. Somehow I felt like he would always be with us to fight the good fight with grace. I feel a big absence and heartache knowing that I won't see his genuine smiling face across the table at meetings. I am hoping he truly knew just how appreciated and loved he was by our community.

    Farewell Ralph. May your journey continue in a new form and your legacy inspire us to bring wisdom calm and persistence to our work on this planet. -Kent Epperson (Director of Traffic Solutions at SBCAG)

    Ralph was class-act providing me with someone to emulate. Goodbye Ralph. –Jim Baross (Spokesperson at San Diego County Bicycle Coalition)

    Ralph lives on in all the gifts he gave to our community. We will miss you Ralph. -Mary Byrd (Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District)

    Ralph was respectful, positive and persistent. He was the first local bicycle advocate to consistently assess and provide public comment on the needs of the bicycling community. I had the pleasure of coordinating with him since the 80's while I was working on long range plans and programs as a County Planner, and later as we worked together as alternatives advocates for Caltrans proposals and the City' s Circulation Element. He educated the planners, the commissions, the elected officials and the community. His work institutionalized the role of bicycles in our plans, our vocabulary, and into the community lifestyle. –June Pujo (retired Planner for Santa Barbara County)

    I am so grateful for the positive force Ralph was to our bicycling community. He will be missed. –Rebecca Waid (Project Director at COAST)

    When Lee let us know of Ralph's passing, I thought how, in his calm, understated
    way, this smart and thoughtful bicycle enthusiast had made a profound difference in our community. He was a role model as one who kept his sense of humor even as he was eminently prepared to take on half truths masquerading as the final word. Ralph will forever be part of a remarkable extended family joined by a passion for a healthy, sustainable, wholesome lifestyle - one worth fighting for. I will miss him dearly but he really has not gone anywhere. He's beside little kids as they pedal to school. He is present as the space where a car would have been had its owner not chosen to ride a bike to work that day. His civility and gentle spirit are present when a traffic light responds to you, all wrapped up in your arm warmers and helmet late on a chilly winter's eve when no cars are around. I see his smile and hear his compelling and reassuring voice encouraging us to carry on.

    I am grateful for Ralph and the wonderful life he shared with us all! –Grant House
    (former Santa Barbara City Council member)

    Ralph was the SB Bicycle Coalition. He was the eyes and the ears for bicyclists for nearly twenty years in Santa Barbara county. Too many cyclists may not have been aware of his impact, but they have ridden on routes he successfully advocated for. Ralph- you contribution will always be valued, you will always be appreciated and the example you set will be strived for. Ed France, SBBIKE Executive Director.

    All of us at SBBIKE will miss Ralph and his many contributions to Santa Barbara, cycling and the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition.

  • July 18, 2014 1:18 PM | Ed France (Administrator)

    SB Bicycle Coalition is new owner of 506 E. Haley! - A major milestone as we build the future of bicycling in Santa Barbara.


    A lot is changing along the Haley Corridor, but the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition Community Center and DIY bike repair shop, Bici Centro, isn't going anywhere. The space is strategically located just five blocks off of State street and five blocks from Milpas. The facility offers its office and meeting space entrance at 506 E. Haley street and it's Bici Centro DIY bicycle repair shop entrance at 434 Olive (across from the back corner of ACE Home Improvement Center). When the facility came up for sale this May, the Coalition's board quickly realized they had a major decision to make.

    The Community Cycling Center takes space, and lots of it. From refurbishing bikes, to community events, classes, offices, and as central central command for bike education and events throughout the county, a functional space to serve these needs has proven make or break for the organization. "We are a hands on type of operation" quips Ed France, SBBIKE's executive director, " We interact face to face with well over 5,000 people a year, generally with a bike in tow." The Bici Centro shop space incubated for it's first five years at the Casa de la Raza Cesar Chavez Center, but quickly outgrew the limitations of the space. "Our Haley facility has parking for our trailers, industrial type work space, interior shop and classroom space, and is even outfitted with offices. I can't start to express our gratitude to this community for the outpouring of support to acquire this facility and secure our operation into the future" reflects Mr. France.

    Indeed, over just the last six weeks over 80 community members have contributed over $320,000 to help SBBIKE raise a downpayment. Other philanthropists have engaged in a 'program related investment' or PRI, finance the building. The group is still looking for $250,000 either as PRI long term loans or donations in order to preclude the need for short term loans and to create a modest maintenance fund to keep the building in good shape.
     
    From a lemonade stand-esque  operation in 2007 offering bike repair help has grown a thriving, multi-armed Community Cycling Center in Santa Barbara. From its store-front headquarters on Haley Street, SBBIKE is constantly expanding and innovating to get the bikes, skillsets, and safety equipment to those who need them and to improve infrastructure. Its DIY repair shop/bike store is booming, saving seven hundred  bicycles annually and offering nearly twice that number of cyclists a place to gather and fix their bikes at low cost.


  • July 16, 2014 1:58 AM | Howard Booth (Administrator)






    For a month leading up to the Clips Tour on August 15th, New Belgium will sponsor a Drink 2 Donate program and 4 Happy Hour events at local Santa Barbara and South Coast bars. New Belgium will donate .50 cents for every beer sold to SBBIKE's Connecting Our Community campaign.


    So after a bike ride or when you are out with friends and cyclists make sure to stop at one of these local bars; Union Ale, American Ale, James Joyce, O'Malley's, Old Kings Road, Arch Rock, Mercury Lounge, Eureka, Zodos, Boathouse, Sandbar, Woodstock IV, Sam's To Go IV, Baja Sharkeez and the Brauthouse.


    The New Belgium's Clips and Brews Tour is coming to Chase Palm Park on Friday, August 15th from 6:30-10 PM at Chase Palm Park. The Clips Tour will share tastes of over 20 of New Belgium's unique beers and showcase short clips of videos submitted by film enthusiasts from across the U.S.


    All proceeds from beer tokens sold will benefit the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition and the Connecting Our Community Campaign. SBBIKE’s goal is to create safe, connected, continuous bicycle routes for cyclists ages 8 to 80 throughout Santa Barbara's South Coast. 



  • July 09, 2014 6:47 AM | Howard Booth (Administrator)




    Picture yourself pedaling to the beach or the Farmers Market on this awesome New Belgium cruiser!

    Buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win this custom New Belgium Fat Tire cruiser by Felt Bicycles. Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and available for purchase at Bici Centro and other SBBIKE events.

    100% of the proceeds from this raffle will go to support SBBIKE’s Connecting Our Community campaign to make cycling on the South Coast safe and accessible for everyone ages 8 to 80.

    You can purchase cruiser raffle tickets or beer tokens here:

    NB Clips Film & Beer Tour-Ber Tokens and Raffle Tickets

    The raffle drawing will be held during the New Belgium Clips Beer & Film Tour on Friday, August 15th at Chase Palm Park from 6:30 to 10:00PM.  

    New Belgium's Clips Tour is coming to Santa Barbara to share tastes of their unique beers and showcase short clips of videos submitted by film enthusiasts from across the U.S.  Don't miss this family friendly evening of movies, beer, food trucks and a Santa Barbara sunset!

    Winner need not be present.  More details soon!

  • June 20, 2014 6:50 AM | Howard Booth (Administrator)



    New Belgium Beer, Movies and SBBIKE! 


    Mark your calendars and spread the word about a very exciting event on Friday, August 15th from 7-10 PM at Chase Palm park - New Belgium's Clips and Brews 21 City tour is coming to town to share tastes of their unique beers and showcase short clips of videos submitted by film enthusiasts from across the U.S.

    All proceeds from beer tokens sold will benefit the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition and the ​​Connecting Our Community Campaign. SB Bicycle Coalition's goal is to create safe, connected, continuous bicycle routes for ages 8 to 80 throughout Santa Barbara's South Coast.

    A New Belgium Bike will be raffled at the event. Raffle tickets and beer tokens will be sold in advance and during the event by designated SBBIKE Coalition staff and volunteers. 


    There is no entry fee, and only those 21 and over may enter. So bring your lawn chair or blanket and come out and enjoy!

  • June 08, 2014 2:13 PM | Holly Starley (Administrator)

    Bici Centro, SBBIKE’s DIY repair and bicycle shop, has a brand-new layout. With new bikes, more and higher-end donations, an easy-to-use organization, and a host of enthusiastic volunteers, Bici is ready to serve the cycling community’s needs.

     

     

    “A lot of people are stoked on it,” says Shawn von Biela, Bici’s shop manager extraordinaire, of the new layout. “The sales floor looks like a bike shop now. Everything’s labeled. Bicycles are the center point; they’re really showcased.”

    Von Biela welcomes all to the building he enthusiastically calls “a meeting space, a hub, a hangout, a community gathering place, and a store front.”

    SBBIKE’s headquarters, home of Bici, is up for sale. And to secure the future of both the shop and the coalition’s advocacy, outreach, and education arms, SBBIKE is gathering the funds to purchase the building. Help be a part of securing the future by donating here: http://bicicentro.org/donate.

    Open shop hours, where cyclists can rent a stand for just $5 an hour and receive guidance from volunteer bike mechanics, are Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. 

      

  • June 03, 2014 4:29 PM | Holly Starley (Administrator)

    “Cleaner air, happier citizens,” “to see wildlife,” “so my daughter can walk or bike to school more safely,” “less fossil fuel use,” “for my health”--these are just a few of the reasons cited by South Coast residents asking for better infrastructure to accommodate their alternative transportation choices.

     

    This Saturday, the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition (SBBIKE) and Traffic Solutions teamed up to bring that request to elected officials. They hosted “Connecting Our Communities in Tandem,” a thirty-seven-mile tandem bike ride along the Coastal Bike Route from Goleta to Rincon at the Ventura County line. The ride was broken into segments of two to four miles, and at each segment, an elected official or other dignitary climbed aboard the back of a tandem as it passed through the various jurisdictions along the route.

     

    As demonstrated by nearly three hundred handwritten postcards, the constituents of these jurisdictions are choosing alternative transportation, particularly bicycling, in rapidly growing numbers. And they’re asking for the infrastructure to keep up. The tandem ride brought together a number of strides (or pedal strokes as it were) toward filling in the gaps along the coastal bikeways. Sam Franklin, co-leader of SBBIKE’s Connecting Our Community campaign (Connect), says the event symbolized the need for all the jurisdictions to work “in tandem” to plan well-connected and safe bike routes.

     

    Along the ride, the tandem bikes were joined by a constant stream of enthusiasts, residents and SBBIKE members both adults and kids, some of whom rode the entire route. All in all, the “peloton” was some sixty strong. SBBIKE director Ed France says that showing of support is important. “I think our elected representatives generally get the importance of bike routes,” he says. “But most of them are surprised by how common bicycling is as a form of transportation and how important it is to have that infrastructure be coherent and complete.”

     

     

    France points to another benefit of connected bikeways. He hopes the ride helped the officials see “what a resource these routes are not just for our residents but for visitors--for our tourism industry.”

     

    One of the highlights of the ride was a press event at the Chromatic Arch, where Congresswoman Lois Capps, First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, Assembly Member Das Williams, and Santa Barbara Councilmembers Gregg Hart and Cathy Murillo “had some real discussion around our giant map” (Connect’s eighteen-foot long, interactive map of the South Coast on which community members drew in their routes and highlighted trouble areas during last month’s CycleMAYnia events), “pointing out sections and discussing financing,” says Franklin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 

    Omari Fuller, Franklin’s CC co-leader,presented to the representatives the 278 postcards, also collected during CycleMAYnia. Community members wrote about why they’re choosing alternative transportation--less pollution, promoting kids’ independence, enjoyment, and exercise just a few of the reasons--and why they want officials to take action and update the routes. Among the constituents’ requests were more dedicated, marked bike paths; greater visibility; fenced and locked bike areas near schools; road improvements; and more off-street bike paths. ” One parent wrote about a desire to “feel more comfortable riding on the road with my children.” Another person hopes better bikeways will “delete road rage.” And another asked the representatives “to promote environmentally friendly commuting.”

     

     

    During the press conference, Fuller, and City of Santa Barbara Transportation Engineer Derrick Bailey discussed both the feedback from the community and potential ways of addressing improvements for bikeways around the city.

     

    Elected officials and dignitaries who joined the ride, along with Carbajal, Williams, Hart, and Murillo, were Goleta Councilmembers Paula Perotte and Jim Farr, Goleta Planning Commissioner Meg West, and Goleta Mayor Michael Bennett; UCSB representatives Dennis Whelan and Stephen Conner; Assistant Santa Barbara County CEO Dennis Bozanich; Carpinteria Councilmember Gregg Carty; and Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett.

     

    In addition, several city staff officials joined the ride, including Bailey, Teresa Lopes from Goleta, Rebecca Bjork and Rob Dayton from Santa Barbara, and Jim Kemp from the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments. Also along was a group from the county’s Air Pollution Control District, including Executive Director Dave Van Mullem, Joel Cordes, Chris Hewes, Mary Byrd, Ben Ellenberger, Molly Pearson, and Dave Harris.

     

    France says the event was an idea borrowed from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “We want to thank Peter Brown for coming to the CycleMAYnia group and challenging us to do this kind of event,” he says.

     

    Each elected official was interviewed at the end of his or her segment, and Traffic Solution’s Daniel Girard is making a video that will be available next week. Dennis Coffman, owner of Rincon Cycles, joined on a tandem and helped with the camera team.

     

     Photo Captions: (R) CC co-leader Omari Fuller and SB Councilmember Cathy Murillo; (L) Congresswoman Lois Capps at the Chromatic Arch
Photos by Christine Bourgeois

  • May 29, 2014 4:43 PM | Holly Starley (Administrator)
     

    If you head from the West Side to City Hall these days, you just might see a familiar, friendly face waving from her new bike. Santa Barbara City Councilwoman Cathy Murillo has recently chosen to commute to City Hall by bicycle, following a dream to be among the growing numbers choosing alternative forms of transportation (alternative for now anyway). So she headed to the Bici Centro shop to find a recycled ride that would suit her. “Bici Centro set me up,” she says of her cream-colored Schwinn, complete with front basket and rear rack.

     

    Murillo’s decision to ride was inspired by a number of things, environmental responsibility atop the list. “We are seeing the effects of climate change,” she says. And she decided, “I’m tired of feeling guilty that I’m using my car when I could be on a bike.”

     

    Look for a full interview with Murillo in the summer issue of the Quick Release, where she talks about enjoying the benefits and overcoming the challenges of riding, her inspirations, the future of Santa Barbara’s bikeways, and the importance of making environmentally responsible choices.

  • May 27, 2014 11:52 AM | Ed France (Administrator)
    It's not everyday that a Santa Barbara startup social enterprise is recognized nationally as an example to follow. Read on to see the discussion of Bici Centro- just an idea created here seven years ago- as an example of bi-lingual resource and skill share through a Community Cycling Center.
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Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, PO Box 92047, Santa Barbara, CA 93190
Bici Centro, PO Box 91222, Santa Barbara, CA 93190
located at 506 E. Haley St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Phone: 805 617-3255
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