• Recent News All Articles

    Bike the Vote 2017: Our Next Mayor on Santa Barbara Streets!

    bikethevote.png

     

    SBBIKE runs Bike the Vote as part of an effort to better get to know our candidates perspectives, goals and vision for Santa Barbara's transportation future and making our streets safer and more enjoyable places to travel and live near. We invite every candidate to participate and provide ideas and perspective. Read on to learn more.

     

    Mayor Responses:

     

    1. SBBIKE: In a typical week, How do you choose to travel in Santa Barbara and why?

    Murillo: I am multi-modal in my travel habits. I use my car when I have a full calendar, need to get from one event or meeting to another, and always try to carpool if going to a meeting in Buellton or outside of Santa Barbara. 

    I serve as the City Council liaison to the MTD board of directors. So at least twice a month I ride the bus to experience for myself what it’s like and what we can do better. I go through periods of riding my bike downtown to City Hall, but haven't yet made it a habit. And I regularly walk to the village center in my Westside neighborhood to pick up something at Foodland or get a bite to eat.
    Conklin: 

    i live in close proximity to the center of santa barbara, so i walk as much as possible for shopping and errands.   if i need to attend a meeting across town, i drive my hybrid electric car. 

    I live in close proximity to the center of Santa Barbara, so I walk as much as possible for shopping and errands. If I need to attend a meeting across town, I drive my hybrid electric car. 

    Martinez

    We live downtown. The majority of the time my wife and I walk. I have a Vespa scooter and my wife and I have electric assist bikes we use to run errands. I also bike recreationally and drive my car when going to Goleta or farther.

    Hotchkiss: (response to entire questionnaire) 

    The best reply I can give the Bike Coalition is the Bicycle Master Plan. The Coalition was at first not cooperative and insisted on its preferred routes, but relented after Randy Rowse and I joined the Micheltorena Neighborhood residents to pressure the cyclist lobby to be more inclusive in their proposals. That led to broader community support for the plan, which then passed council.

    In the future I encourage the Coalition to remember the negative publicity it gained during this debate, and to come to the table with considerations broader than just its own.

    2. Please briefly explain your thoughts and vision for the future of transportation in Santa Barbara. (100 words or less, bullet points okay)
    Murillo: As Mayor I am also committed to having a City that feels safe and convenient for riding a bike. So many people say they would ride a bike -- to work or for fun -- if they felt safer. I am also committed to implementing projects in the updated Bicycle Master Plan without delay. And I know the Bicycle Coalition is developing a bike share program -- a great idea that I support! I would like to see an exploration and expansion of other successful bicycle programs such as the bike parking kiosk program like the one opposite El Presidio. And I will support programs such as the Bike Coalition’s efforts distributing and promoting bike lights, helmets, rider education etc.
    Enhanced biking is a key part of my vision that our City must continue to expand, in combination with enhancing all modes of transportation to increase transportation and walking safety, reliability, and affordability. I’m determined to update our Pedestrian Master Plan. I also support our Car Sharing program and hope our residents will take advantage of this convenient opportunity. At the Earth Day festival, I tour the renewable/alternative fuel vehicle collection and try to stay on top of new technologies. I am in the process of setting up a meeting with a representative from the California Fuel Cell Partnership to get an update on hydrogen and fuel cell electric vehicles.
    Conklin:
    Transportation needs to be radically reoriented to a much more robust set of mobility options, including possibly a state of the art alternatively-fueled light rail system between downtown santa barbara, goleta, and ucsb.  we need a south coast bicycle masterplan transportation system that includes giving over 50% of certain thuroghfares to bicycles (such as state street downtown).  we need to build additional housing adjecent to where the next generation of jobs will be so people can walk to work and get out of their cars.  i believe that the technological revolution that has made lyft and uber possible will expand to provide on-demand inexpensive mobility for people to not need to purchase a car. 
    Martinez: 
    I feel the advent of UBER, LYFT and the inevitability of self-driving cars, improved local mass transit, and the next generation’s preference for options beyond automobiles will change our transportation landscape significantly. The city has begun the task of providing infrastructure and programs that support alternative transportation, biking, and walking but we can, and must, do better. I feel we should be looking out into the future to better understand how these changes will affect our land use priorities for the generation, particularly all of the land currently designated for parking lots and structures. 
    3. What are 3 suggestions for making Santa Barbara a safer and friendlier place to ride a bike?
    Murillo: 
    1. We need a safe and well-designed East-West connector; the Sola Alternative received much support from the community, and I'm glad our Council voted to apply for the Alternative Transportation Program grant, which will bring $7.2 million for pay for Eastside and Westside bicycle projects.
    2. The City must continue to support Safe-Routes-to-School and other programs that encourage children and teens to ride a bike safely. And our City would benefit from a strong outreach and education program encouraging vehicles to share the road and respect bicyclists. 
    3. By the same token, bicyclists should be encouraged to know and obey traffic laws, as critics of alternative transportation point to a bicyclist running a stop sign as an excuse to be anti-bicycle.
    Conklin: 
    • Close downtown State Street to automobiles and make it a “quiet transportation corridor.”
    • Give financial incentives to people to use alternative transportation, including financial breaks for NOT needing a parking space for shopping, work, or home.
    • Build a real bicycle corridor between UCSB and Santa Barbara City College.

    Martinez: 

     More early education for future drivers about sharing the road and the use of cell phones and other distractions while driving.  Frequent maintenance of our bike infrastructure, lane striping, street lighting, etc. Segregating bike lanes from vehicle lanes more effectively, including using little traveled streets for bike routes and painting the lane surface in high traffic zones.  City parks and recreation programs and encourage healthy lifestyles for our youth that provide bike safety and bikes as a transportation alternative education.

    4. The Santa Barbara Bicycle Master Plan includes several unfunded projects under phase 1: Planned project to begin before 2020 (Approximately $365,240 not including bike share and other opportunities). As mayor, would you work to identify and secure funding for these projects and how? 

    Murillo: The City must always be creative in finding funding for alternative transportation projects. Our City staff has been highly successful in securing grants and finding design options that result in cost savings. As Mayor, I will work with community members through public-private partnerships to secure funding, and find opportunities during our budget process.

    Conklin:

    in a 200 million dollar budget, that is an insignificant amount of money to pay compared to the cost of building a new parking garage – each one of which costs the city ten million dollars.  it would be “penny wise, and pound foolish” to not fund the master plan recommendations.

    Martinez: 

    Yes, but I would need to better understand how this fits into all the city’s financial obligations and program accordingly. That said, I would look to other cities, such as Davis, CA, where I went to school, for insight into budget reprioritization from cars to alternatives over time. 

    5. If the proposed Infrastructure Sales Tax Measure (Measure C) is approved by voters in November, would you support including installing bike lanes identified in the 2016 Santa Barbara Bicycle Master Plan as streets undergo their scheduled pavement maintenance?
    Murillo: The results of the polling done by the City for this measure was clear: voters want smooth and well-maintained streets, and that should be a priority for this revenue source. And we can all agree that smooth, well-maintained streets also benefit bicycle travel. 
    That said, assuming Measure C passed, it would make sense to include some bicycle lane and route improvements as part of road maintenance, especially where traffic safety and circulation would be enhanced for all. For example, in some instances, creating greater separation of bikes from motor vehicles can actually enhance safety and convenience for both bicyclists and motorists. Measure C funding should allow us to explore and implement best transportation practices as we upgrade and maintain our roads. Overall, the Measure C revenue would give more "breathing room" in the General Fund and help all the functions, including alternative transportation projects, competing for tax-based funding.
    Conklin: 

    of course!

    Martinez: 

    Yes, as long as it is consistent with the voter’s expectations on how this money is to be spent AND there is enough funding to meet all those expectations.

     

     

     City Council Candidate Responses: 

    1. SBBIKE: In a typical week, How do you choose to travel in Santa Barbara and why?

    District 6: 

    Hart: 

    Ucciferri:

    District 5: 

    Friedman:

     

    McGrew: 

    District 4:

    Higgins: 

    Sneddon: 

    Scafide:

    2. Please briefly explain your thoughts and vision for the future of transportation in Santa Barbara. (100 words or less, bullet points okay)
     

    District 6: 

    Hart: 

    Ucciferri:

    District 5: 

    Friedman: 

    McGrew: 

    District 4:

    Higgins: 

    Sneddon: 

    Scafide:

    3. What are 3 suggestions for making Santa Barbara a safer and friendlier place to ride a bike?

    District 6: 

    Hart: 

    Ucciferri:

    District 5: 

    Friedman: 

    McGrew: 

    District 4:

    Higgins: 

    Sneddon: 

    Scafide:

    4. The Santa Barbara Bicycle Master Plan includes several unfunded projects under phase 1: Planned project to begin before 2020 (Approximately $365,240 not including bike share and other opportunities). As mayor, would you work to identify and secure funding for these projects and how? 

     

    District 6: 

    Hart: 

    Ucciferri:

    District 5: 

    Friedman: 

    McGrew: 

    District 4:

    Higgins: 

    Sneddon: 

    Scafide:

    5. If the proposed Infrastructure Sales Tax Measure (Measure C) is approved by voters in November, would you support including installing bike lanes identified in the 2016 Santa Barbara Bicycle Master Plan as streets undergo their scheduled pavement maintenance?

    District 6: 

    Hart: 

    Ucciferri:

    District 5: 

    Friedman: 

    McGrew: 

    District 4:

    Higgins: 

    Sneddon: 

    Scafide:

     

    Read more

    Going Car-Free in Santa Barbara

     

    Contemplating taking the leap?
    After living car-free in Santa Barbara the last five years, I’d like to share my experiences along with the lifestyle advantages and disadvantages. These insights may help other who are contemplating going car-free or car-light.

    The obvious advantages

    1.  Financial – as long as you don’t overdo it with car rentals, Zipcars, and Uber, you’ll probably come out ahead; I certainly have – maybe as much as $500 per month.

    2.  No more fretting about car parking.

    3.  I may never wash a car again.

    4.  For those of us who have little enthusiasm for gym workouts, walking and bicycling are a godsend.

    5. Maybe best of all, I have room in the garage for more bikes!

    Of course, there are a few challenges

    1.  Although I have used my cargo bike to carry groceries, Christmas trees, a wheelbarrow, and various grandchildren, some things cannot be carried on a bike. (Does that sound like a challenge to some folks?)

    2.  Weather is usually not an issue here, but I’m not a fan of riding in the rain at night. One or the other is ok, but not both at the same time.

    3.  The lack of safe routes in some areas.  For example, if you want to get from Santa Barbara to anywhere in the Santa Ynez Valley; the lack of a safe cycling route or public transportation make this quite a challenge!

    IMG_1870_(1).JPG

     

    So, anyone interested in taking the car free (or “car-light”) plunge? Here’s my humble advice: 

    First, do a little research regarding the availability of public transportation in your area.

    • Zipcar, our new car share system, is a great addition to SB’s transportation system that lets you rent a car cheaply and quickly for trips as small as an hour to longer trips. 

    • Whether you’re going completely car-free or downsizing from two cars to one, try it for a couple of weeks before actually making that sale/donation.

    • Overall, going car-free is very do-able in SB. I ride or walk year-round, since we really have no severe weather.

    • All of my other transportation needs in the last five years have been met by public transportation via SBMTD, Amtrak Train Service, VCTC service and occasional car rentals. This is getting easier and better, SB Carfree offers 20% off your Amtrak ticket and SBMTD recently launched an app showing where your bus is all the time.  

    What would make it easier? To encourage more people to be less dependent on cars, we need to improve our bicycle infrastructure and public transportation, including commuter rail.

    See you all on the road or trail – keep the rubber side down!   

    Mark Sapp is a long-standing resident of Santa Barbara and member of SBBIKE. Five years ago, Mark and his wife Nancy donated their only car (a small pickup truck) to the blossoming Bici Centro shop and took the car-free plunge. 

     

     

    Read more

JOIN

- or -

Renew

Signup for email updates

Follow US
Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition
Phone: 805.845.8955
Mail: PO Box 92047, Santa Barbara, CA 93190
Location: 506 E. Haley Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103