Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition


Bicycling jumps 16% in Santa Barbara
Pedal Power program moves junior high students
Fukushima is new regional Caltrans bike person
July youth biking classes
Santa Barbara’s Shoreline Drive crossing links bikepaths
Coalition urges Santa Ynez River trail
Members get Momentum discount
Can Lance win the Tour?
Goleta Cycling Club funds bike organizations
Santa Barbara’s Solstice featured innovative people-powered vehicles
June Coalition meeting topics
Over 100 volunteers repair fire-damaged trails
Oberstar offers US transportation plan
Aeolian Ride blows into town October 1st
Books for summer reading
We thank our active members
Coalition asks for new bikelanes

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Bicycling jumps 16% in Santa Barbara

  • Since 1997, Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition has collected data on bicyclist presence and behavior at intersections mostly within the city of Santa Barbara. The 2009 survey was just completed on June 18, and it tells us that bicycling is increasing significantly:
  • Compared with four prior years, bicycling has increased by 16%
  • 3861 people on bicycles were counted at 25 intersections this year
  • 13,356 people were counted over four prior years at those same 25 intersections—an average of 3339 per year
  • 21 of the 25 intersections had an increase or no change.
  • The chart below lists the 25 intersections where volunteers collected data, with the difference between the 2009 count and the prior 4-year average count.
  • Each year, the data were collected on one of six mid-week afternoons between 4:00-6:00 PM in the second and third weeks of June. We’re very thankful for the 16 people who volunteered this year to collect data over the 50 hours.
  • All across the country, communities are reporting increases in the number of people bicycling. Several factors have been ascribed to the change in behavior—the higher cost of gasoline, the recession, an increasing awareness of emission-caused climate change, and a quest for fitness. Add in increased government and business efforts to encourage sustainable transportation, plus advocacy from groups like ours, and we have today’s revolutionary behavior shift.
  • Intersection
    Beachway/Stearns Wharf
    Maria Ygnacio/Obern Trails
    Canon Perdido/State
    Canon Perdido/San Andres
    State/La Cumbre
    Micheltorena/San Andres
    State/Los Positas
    Hot Springs/Coast Village
    Canon Perdido/Garden
    Cabrillo/Calle César Chávez
    Shoreline/Loma Alta

Pedal Power program moves junior high students
by Christine Bourgeois

photo of girls class

Christine Bourgeois, left, and Erika Lindemann, second from right, pose with students for a class snapshot. Photo by Terry Brown.

  • For the first time, Bici Centro offered an after school program for girls at La Cumbre Junior High in Santa Barbara. After eight weeks of learning basic mechanic skills, discovering the biking world and enjoying safe riding in the streets, these motivated and hardworking students earned a free bike, helmet, lock and lights.
  • On the first day of class, Erika Lindemann and I described the importance of bike fit and the girls chose a refurbished bike that fit them. For their first test ride, they had fun pedaling on a trainer and practicing shifting gears. The following week, one participant who didn’t know how to ride, learned in about an hour—what an exciting and rewarding experience! Every week brought new topics and several speakers volunteered to talk to the group about their biking adventures: touring, racing, commuting, and more.
  • On our last ride, to celebrate birthdays and the success of our “Pedal Power” program, we rode to McConnell’s Ice Cream. We all had such a great time!
  • Bici Centro is looking forward to offering this class again in the fall and would like to start similar biking education programs at other schools around Santa Barbara. Please contact Erika if you’d like to come volunteer with us during future classes; email her at
  • Thanks to our co-sponsors: the Santa Barbara Foundation and the City of Santa Barbara’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Fukushima is new regional Caltrans bike person

photo of Capps, Fukushima

Representative Lois Capps met with Adam Fukushima during the 2008 Bike Summit in DC to discuss bicyclist needs. Photo by Jenn Dice.

  • Caltrans District 5 will welcome Adam Fukushima in mid July to replace departed Dave Kupermann as our district bicycle person. District 5 consists of five counties between Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara.
  • Fukushima has served for five years as Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition. We’re certainly pleased that somebody with an extensive knowledge of our needs will be taking that position. As soon as he is settled, we hope to bring him to one of our meetings.

July youth biking classes

  • Summer bicycle programs for South Coast young people continue from June through July and August. Below is a summary of upcoming July week-long opportunities to introduce youngsters to responsible, safe bicycling, as well to for others to hone their existing skills. For program descriptions and links to registration, go to
  • Youth Program Location Ages Start Date Cost Time
    Bike Adventures: Bike Skills SB Jr High 10-14 7/6 $130 9:00-1:00
    Mountain Bike Camp Elings Park 7-15 7/6, 7/27 $130 9:00-12:00
    BMX Summer Camp Elings Park 5-12 7/6, 7/13 7/20, 7/27 $180 9:00-3:00
    Kid’s Triathlon Camp UCSB 7-12 7/13 $125 2:30-5:00

Santa Barbara’s Shoreline Drive crossing links bikepaths

photo of Shoreline Drive

Here is the new bikepath crossing of Shoreline Drive just west of Los Baños del Mar pool. Photo by Ralph Fertig.

  • For years bicyclists seeking a route from Santa Barbara’s Harbor bikepath to City College and the Westside have had to craft their own mix of inconvenient and often dangerous ways of travel. With the late spring completion of a new link—a Shoreline Drive pedestrian/bike crossing with on-demand signals—a needed connection has been provided.
  • On the Pershing Park side, there is the existing paved path that climbs to City College, or turns into an unpaved path connecting to Cliff Drive. On the harbor side, a new section of bikepath wraps around the west end of Los Baños del Mar Pool, connecting the Shoreline crossing with the harbor bikepath.
  • We’re grateful to the City of Santa Barbara for their good solution to a connectivity challenge.

Coalition urges Santa Ynez River trail

photo of Santa Ynez River

Looking west from Solvang’s Alisal Road bridge, the proposed trail would be on the left river bank. Photo by Ralph Fertig.

  • When the County Supervisors reduced the size of the Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan in 2006, a proposed multi-user trail along the Santa Ynez River was excluded. That was a trail we had successfully championed in 2004 with a 728-person petition.
  • We thought that there was no hope for any trail until last May when valley residents Mike Hecker and Corey Evans discovered that an “action item” could be added to the Plan, even thought it would not be within the Plan’s geographical area.
  • Our Bicycle Coalition, in anticipation of a County Planning Commission hearing on the Plan’s Environmental Impact Report, sent a letter to Commission members on June 1st. We asked that the Commission add an action item to the Plan for a trail on the south side of the river between Highway 101 in Buellton and Alisal Road in Solvang.
  • As this goes to press, a final public workshop on the Plan is going to be held on June 29th. Following that, the Commission will make recommendations to the County Supervisors. We believe that the river trail will be included. There’s lots more to come.

Members get Momentum discount

Momentum cover

  • Calling itself as “the magazine for self-propelled people,” Momentum is an edgy publication that embraces traditional advocacy and education alongside community bike programs and counter-culture street events. Read about it at
  • We are pleased to offer our members an opportunity to save $5 off the annual subscription price of $20. Just go online to

Can Lance win the Tour?

  • The question on everybody’s minds is whether Lance Armstrong can make a come-back in this year’s Tour de France. We’ll find out this month.
  • The Tour takes place July 4th-26th, between Monoco and Paris, racing for 3500 miles through six countries. Suspense will be kept to the end this year because the 100-mile, July 25th stage in the Alps ends with a climb up 6200-foot Mount Ventoux.
  • If you’re not going to Europe to watch in person, you can catch TV coverage every day on the Versus Channel, listening to Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen capably describe the unfolding action. Check show times at

Goleta Cycling Club funds bike organizations

photo of Doris Phinney

Doris Phinney, the GVCC president, presides over the annual meeting. Photo by Art Shapiro.

  • On June 7th, the Goleta Valley Cycling Club held its annual meeting at Stow Grove County Park. It consisted of fun hours of chatting, playing games, enjoying a BBQ lunch, and a business meeting.
  • The meeting included a discussion of finances. Because they are not holding their money-generating People Powered Ride this October, they were more conservative in donating existing funds to organizations and programs than in the past. The Club anticipates the return of their People Powered Ride in 2010, and needs to reserve start-up funds for the event, plus money for ongoing expenses.
  • The club members did, however, vote to donate over $2000 to the following:
  • Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition
  • Bici Centro Program
  • Helmets for Safe Routes to School Program
  • League of American Bicyclists
  • California Bicycle Coalition
  • Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
  • Positive comments about the Bicycle Coalition were made by President Doris Phinney. Bicycle Coalition President Ralph Fertig talked about Bici Centro’s programs, open shop hours, plus how we’re working all the time with local governments to improve bicycling for all. Overall, we’re very fortunate to have the GVCC in our community, working to ensure safer and better conditions.

Santa Barbara’s Solstice featured innovative people-powered vehicles

photo of tricycle photo of high quadricycle photo of 7-person bike

June Coalition meeting topics

  • Our June 2nd monthly Bicycle Coalition meeting was held at noon in Downtown Santa Barbara, with 20 participants talking about these topics:
  • It was announced that Solvang—not Santa Barbara—would apply to host a stage of the Tour of California in 2010.
  • SBCAG’s Gregg Hart described progress on organizing Measure A’s Citizen Advisory Committee and Strategic Plan.
  • Bike Week 2009 was discussed, and people interested in 2010 will be meeting soon.
  • A Santa Barbara City Planning Commission/Transportation and Circulation Committee will meet to discuss transportation improvements around Cottage Hospital.
  • Mesa community leader Alice San Andres-Calleja received a transport bike so she could deliver the Mesa News.
  • Sarah Grant described possibilities for a “Ciclovia” mobile event in Santa Barbara.
  • UCSB Sustainability folk are proposing more stringent controls on people driving to campus in order to reduce emissions.

Over 100 volunteers repair fire-damaged trails

photo of Tunel trail

Trail clearing volunteers contend with deep ash and debris-covered trails. Photo by Dave Everett.

  • Over 100 community volunteers joined sustainable trail organizations plus City, County, and Forest Service staff to make the June 13th National Trails Day in the Jesusita Fire area a great success. Experienced trail leaders guided volunteers on clearing slide debris and preparing trails for next season’s rains. They worked on Jesusita, Tunnel, Rattlesnake, and West Fork trails.
  • Agency staff are now reviewing the newly-reclaimed trails, considering what additional work is needed, and when the trails might be opened to public access. Keep in touch with updates by visiting or

Oberstar offers US transportation plan

  • At the Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2008 conference in Seattle, guest Rep. James Oberstar promised that he would seek a federal Office of Livable Transportation. On last June 18th, Oberstar, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, unveiled the outline of a sweeping plan as part of reauthorizing the US 6-year transportation plan that will expire September 30. It was followed on June 23rd with a 775-page Transportation Bill that includes an Office of Livability. Oberstar kept his promise.
  • While the bulk of the $500 billion plan goes to roads, transit and high-speed rail, there is wording throughout about a cohesive national plan with explicit national transportation goals: improve mobility and lessen environmental impacts of travel while enhancing community sustainability and livability.
  • The function of the Office of Livability, housed within the Federal Highway Administration, would be to advance sustainable transportation—bicycling, walking and transit. The Environmental Protection Agency would separately work with the Department of Transportation to develop greenhouse-gas emission reduction goals.
  • The bill also proposes improving data and research, establishing the US Bike Route System and developing Comprehensive Street Design.
  • The main challenge is that the proposal costs $500 billion, a large increase from $286 billion of the current authorization. Although the plan didn’t suggest increasing the US gas tax, it noted that the tax hasn’t been changed since 1993, and since then people have been driving less and cars get better mileage.
  • The US administration has not come out with its own Transportation plan. Instead, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has proposed that the existing plan be extended 18 months. This is not all bad because the US DOT is increasingly encouraging housing near transit, reduced emissions, and greater access for bicyclists.
  • Nonetheless, Oberstar feels that a House reauthorization plan could be passed by September, and he plans to push for its consideration. “The reality is that the administration does not have a program,” said Oberstar. “They do not have a plan. They have not given transportation any thought. I have.” It’s going to be a hot summer in DC.

Aeolian Ride blows into town October 1st

photo of Aeolian Ride

Aeolian riders in New York wear artist Jessica Findley’s billowing outfits. Photo by Jessica Findley.

  • Our Board member Don Lubach has long envisioned bringing the Aeolian Ride to our community. By teaming with Heather Silva at the Contemporary Arts Forum, it’s going to happen this October. The bicyclist outfits, sewn by New York artist Jessica Findley, blow up as the bicyclists ride. Watch for details and envision yourself billowing.

Books for summer reading
by Ralph Fertig

photo of Mapes cover photo of Weir cover

  • Summer’s here and the reading is easy. And that’s especially so with two bicycling books that were published this spring. I recommend them both to you.
  • Pedaling Revolution, by Jeff Mapes. This book describes a dynamic shift in American bicycling (verified by our increase in Santa Barbara). The book goes back decades to trace changes from car-centric America of 60 years ago to a country that now embraces bicycling, not as a child’s toy, but as a legitimate means of moving people.
  • Pedaling Revolution looks at bike cultures in Amsterdam, Davis, Portland, and New York. It traces movements and defines today’s bicycle resurgence in terms of historical and social precedents. To learn how we’re part of this growing revolution, read the book.
  • Travels with Willie, by Willie Weir. I have to confess that Willie is one of the most capable, loving and resourceful people I have known. Our Bicycle Coalition has brought him to Santa Barbara four times for tales about his worldwide bike travels.
  • His book is a compilation of 42 charming stories that can be read in any order. They’re guaranteed to bring smiles—and hopefully provoke a latent bicycle wanderlust in us all. For more about Travels and Willie, go to where you can order a custom author’s dedication for your copy.

We thank our active members

  • Please thank and support these Bicycle Coalition business members:
  • Bicycle Bob’s, Santa Barbara
  • Nett & Champion Insurance Services, Santa Barbara
  • Pedal Power Bicycles, Santa Maria
  • Chris King Precision Components, Portland, Oregon
  • Hazard’s Cyclesport, Santa Barbara
  • Dr J’s Bicycle Shop, Solvang
  • Big Bang PR,, Santa Barbara
  • Santa Barbara Pedicabs, Santa Barbara
  • Santa Barbara Bike Repair, Santa Barbara
  • WheelHouse, Santa Barbara
  • Santa Barbara Bikes To-Go, Santa Barbara
  • We greatly appreciate those who renewed their memberships: Jerry Vassallo, Alex and June Pujo, Rod Soria, Jim O’Dea, Glenn Reinhart, and Stuart Sato.

Coalition asks for new bikelanes

photo of Castillo Street

The 15-block Castillo bikelane shown here might be extended 3 more blocks north of Mission. The same for Bath Street bikelanes. Photo by Ralph Fertig.

  • Traffic circulation improvements in the Cottage Hospital area of Santa Barbara have gone through two workshops and two joint meetings of the city’s Planning Commission and Transportation and Circulation Committee since last November. At the June 11th meeting, the Coalition’s Ralph Fertig spoke in favor of extending the Castillo and Bath Street bikelanes for three blocks between Mission and Pueblo. Those sections would also change from two-way to one-way streets. Fertig also expressed doubts about making a three-block section of De la Vina from one-way to two-way north of Pueblo because of possible danger to bicyclists.

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