SBBIKE announces the release of the 2016 Santa Barbara South Bike Count Report. Finally, an answer to the age-old question: “Does anybody ride a bike in Santa Barbara?”. In all seriousness, it’s essential to measure biking as our region invests in bikeways that reduce congestion and improve daily life for residents. The report covers 30 locations throughout Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Goleta and South Santa Barbara County and can be downloaded here.
By providing estimates on the number of people biking and insights into cycling behavior, bike counts support bicycling in our region: what gets counted, counts. We couldn’t have collected all this information without a dedicated team of 70 bike count volunteers who took to the streets with clipboards, pens, and astute eyes. Thank you!
(best viewed by hitting the square in the bottom right corner of the window)
SBBIKE’s Top 5 Bike Count Takeaways:
1. All bicyclists and especially female bicyclists were more likely to be found on Bike Paths. 69% of the people counted were on bike paths even though bike paths only made up 1/5 of the count locations. The ratio of male to female cyclists was closest to evenly split at off-street bike paths, with 39% women and 61% men. However the number of women dropped significantly on bikes lanes where females made up only 21% of the people counted. Similarly, That number was 22% on shared streets (roads with sharrows, bicycle signage and no bikeways).
2. State Street was really busy! In Santa Barbara, State Street had the highest amount of people biking- 155 people in a 2 hour morning period and 263 in the 2 hour evening period. The top 10 busiest bike count locations ranked were:
1. Pardall Rd. at Embarcadero Del Norte
6. Cabrillo Blvd. at Milpas
2. El Colegio Bike Path at Camino del Sur
7. Carpinteria Ave. at Linden
3. Obern Trail at Henley Gate
8. Maria Ignacio Trail
4. State Street at Canon Perdido
9. Rancheria St. at Gutierrez
5. Obern Trail at Maria Ignacio
10. Castillo St. at Haley
3. The number of bicyclists at locations had low variability from day to day. To measure how much the number of people biking varied we measured bicycle riders on 3 consecutive days on State Street and found that the number differed very little day to day.
4. We’re on track to better quantify how new bike lanes influence ridership. We strategically counted at streets scheduled to receive new bike lanes in the next 3 years. These “before” counts provide valuable information by allowing us to measure how biking is affected when streets evolve to have new bike lanes, bicycle boulevards and even protected bike lanes. The graphic below shows locations where ridership will be closely monitored as new bikeways are installed.
5. Future Bike Blvds. (Sola and Alisos) already have some ridership but not as much as their faster-moving alternatives Micheltorena and Milpas St. The 2016 Bike Master Plan plans for both Alisos (46 riders) and Sola (32 riders) to become Bike Boulevards as alternatives to the faster-moving Milpas (93 riders) and Micheltorena (131 riders) Streets. It will be worth tracking long-term how Santa Barbarans utilize the new bike blvds. on Sola and Alisos as the design is new to Santa Barbara but very popular in Portland, Vancouver, and Berkeley. Also worth noting? Sola already has the highest percentage of female ridership in Santa Barbara at 41%.