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  • 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, hschneider@santabarbaraca.gov

    Councilman Randy Rowse, rrowse@santabarbaraca.gov

    Councilman Gregg Hart, ghart@santabarbaraca.gov

    Councilman Dale Francisco, dfrancisco@santabarbaraca.gov

    Councilman Bendy White, hwhite@santabarbaraca.gov

    Councilwoman Cathy Murillo, cmurillo@santabarbaraca.gov

    Councilman Frank Hotchkiss, fhotchkiss@santabarbaraca.gov


    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.


    Concerns

    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

  • June 29, 2015 8:47 AM | Howard Booth (Administrator)



    We hope you’re planning on joining the California Bicycle Coalition this fall for the California Dream Ride.


    This intimate 5-day fundraising ride from Santa Barbara to San Diego takes you behind the scenes in the bike advocacy world. Join us this fall (Oct. 31 to Nov. 4) and experience some of Southern California’s most beautiful bikeways. You’ll ride 265 miles over 5 days, make friends with people who care about bicycling as much as you do, and support our campaign for better bikeways.


    If you sign up by July 15th, we’ll throw your name in the hat for a gorgeous PUBLIC Bikes bicycle, hand-painted by San Francisco artist Mona Caron.


    Check out a video of last years CalBike Ride

  • June 21, 2015 5:43 AM | Howard Booth (Administrator)


    New Belgium Beer, short inspirational films, food trucks and a beautiful Santa Barbara evening!


    SBBIKE is partnering with New Belgium to bring you the Clips Beer and Film Tour stop scheduled to occur at Chase Palm Park on July. 10, 2015.  


    We'll be raffling off this one-of-a-kind custom New Belgium Fat Tire Cruiser by Felt on August 15th at the Clips Film & Beer Tour at Chase Palm Park.

    Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and can be purchased online, at Bici Centro or at the event.  If you purchase online we'll send you a photo of your raffle tickets.


    Purchase NB Clips Bike Raffle Tickets


    Winner need not be present.  All proceeds benefit SBBIKE's campaign  to make cycling safe and accessible for all.

  • June 11, 2015 1:45 PM | Ed France (Administrator)

    Crossing bridges in goleta on a bike can be stressful, the city lacks bike/ped only 101 crossings. Now riders crossing 101 at Los Carneros have a little extra visibility: a green lane at the 101 on ramps.


    Goleta came in first with a green lane at Cathedral Oaks. Next, Buellton went big with green lanes the entire stretch of Avenue of the Flags. Now Goleta is stepping in with their second green lane striping for enhanced cyclist visibility.


    When will the City of SB catch up? These and many other improvements are all possible as part of the bicycle master plan process now underway at the City of SB, and other area cities. Get involved!


    Photo credit: Carlos Soto (RIP)

  • June 04, 2015 1:13 PM | Holly Starley (Administrator)

    Thursday, May 28, started out normal for Jason Medina and his family. But after arriving at work, Medina got a call that makes a parent’s heart stop. His son, Isaac, 10, who regularly rides his bike to school, was hit by a car on the way to Vieja Valley Elementary School. The driver stopped briefly but then took off. Isaac and the friend he was riding with, who had also been clipped by the car, didn’t know what to do. Though bruised and scared and with Isaac’s damaged bike in tow, the two boys continued on to school.

     

    So it was the school nurse who called the boys’ parents. Medina was unable to leave work, but his wife rushed to the school and took Isaac to Urgent Care. His injuries appeared not to have been serious, thankfully, though he woke the next morning with a sore neck. Fortunately, another parent from school had seen the car hit the boys, and she snapped a picture when the woman driver drove away. California Highway Patrol, once alerted, came to the scene and took a report.

     

    The incident highlights a problem in the bikeway network that affects all the children who ride to school along the route Isaac and his friend were on. The boys were heading westbound along Calle Real and then onto State/Hollister. After the spot where the route crosses the 154 Bridge, Medina explains, the right side of the street is narrow and the cars fly past. So the kids all ride on the sidewalk on the other side, which is wide and where there are stores.

     

    Medina has always taught his boys (Isaac’s eight-year old brother would normally have been riding with him) how to handle this situation. When coming to driveways, he has drilled them, make eye contact with the driver. Isaac had this in mind when he headed down a hill. He slowed down when a car pulled up to the exit from Eller’s Donuts. The driver, Isaac recalls, looked only left and then pulled out, hitting Isaac and the back end of his bike and clipping the front end of his friend's bike behind him. Isaac was jolted forward, while his bike was pulled under the car’s bumper.

     

    Isaac remembers the woman behind the wheel getting out and asking him and his friend if they were okay. Isaac was bleeding from his elbow and hip and, his dad points out, full of adrenaline and scared his dad would be mad. So he said, “Yeah.” The woman told the boys she was going to back the car up so Isaac could get the bike out from underneath it. Once Isaac had moved the bike, she left without another word.

     

    According to the police report, Medina says, it wasn’t until nearly two hours later, at 9:48 a.m. (this incident would have happened around 8:00) that the driver phoned the police department. Medina is having a hard time wrapping his head around the driver’s decisions, and the emotion in his voice is clear when he asks how she could think it was okay not to call the police—not to call someone. How could she not wait till a paramedic arrived and said the boys were okay? “They’re children,” he says. Medina adds that, when he thinks about what happened, he feels “lost, frustrated, and hurt.”

     

    He’s noticed too that Isaac’s eyes widen, and he stares at the spot where the incident happened whenever they’ve passed it since. Isaac hasn’t ridden since the accident, primarily because of the condition of his bike. The back frame and wheel were bent. He’ll be able to roll again after a visit to Bici Centro yesterday.

     

    But Medina’s wary of letting Isaac ride to school again. After a pause in which his internal debate is almost audible, he adds, “I know he’ll get back on his bike, though. I know too it’ll probably bother him to ride that way.”

     

    Medina plans to go out with Isaac this weekend and ride the route a couple of times.

  • May 25, 2015 10:09 AM | Howard Booth (Administrator)



    2015 marks the 6th fabulous year of New Belgium’s Clips Beer & Film Tour. You'll get to try New Belgium’s most esoteric beer offerings and pair them with inspiring short films created by fans.


    The best part is that 100% of the proceeds benefit The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition's Connecting Our Community campaign to make our roads from Carpinteria to Goleta safe and accessible to people of all ages who choose to bicycle.  


    So bring a blanket, your puppy, kids, a picnic and enjoy music, games and contests and food trucks and beer. After a beautiful Santa Barbara sunset, the films start rolling and you get to cozy up on your blanket or chairs and enjoy the show.  


    There will be lots of bike racks available so bring a lock.


    The Clips Beer & Film Tour has raised more than $520,000 for local organizations, and 75,000 people have sampled beer and watched films.

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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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