Bike the Vote! Get to know your new Councilmembers!

On Tuesday, Santa Barbara elected three new City Council Members. Cathy Murrillo (Westside) and Randy Rowse (Mesa) were re-elected to serve an additional four years on City Council. Jason Dominguez, on the Eastside, won his first seat on City Council. SBBIKE congratulates our new Councilmembers and looks forward to working with each of them to make Santa Barbara an even better place to ride a bike.

Get to know the new Council Members, Cathy Murrillo, Jason Dominguez, and Randy Rowse, by reviewing our interviews with them (conducted in September) on topics such as bike parking, bike lanes, and how to improve biking in Santa Barbara


Jason Dominguez - District 1: 

Should the city …

Adopt Vision Zero?

DOMINGUEZ- District 1: I’m for improved infrastructure, education, and enforcement to save lives, improve mental and physical health, and the environment. Physical barricades, traffic calming, and other engineering measures are needed. People would ride more if streets were safer and felt safer. My goal is to have 25 percent of Santa Barbara commuting, running errands, or participating in recreational cycling. SB is nearly the worst city in CA for injuries to pedestrians and cyclists from cars.

My demographic (men 45+) are the most common victim of serious injuries and fatalities; I am happy to share my insight to help reduce injuries to this group and improve SB’s ranking. I was injured in SB while bike commuting; trucks and moving vans were involved. I suffered serious injuries and was lucky to avoid permanent disability, and that experience has made me committed to safe streets.

 

Create more bike corrals?

DOMINGUEZ: I bike to work and shopping when possible, and more bike parking is needed for the latter. Racks will help to achieve 25 percent biking rate in SB and protect pedestrians and bikes from harm.

 

Have a Bike Share program?

DOMINGUEZ: My experience in several cities is they provide healthy, cheap, ecological, and fast means to transport oneself. We have perfect weather for biking. Many tourists, students, and residents would ride, which decreases traffic and increases economic vitality. Holland has wealth, horrible weather and still enjoys a very high ridership. I would encourage car sharing services as well, to further cut car dependency.

 

The draft Bicycle Master Plan proposes a bicycle boulevard on Alisos St and a bicycle Lane on Cota St. Both of these projects would fix gaps in our current bikeway network and improve overall mobility in the city. Do you support these projects?

DOMINGUEZ: “I attended the Alisos demonstration. I converted a long-time local activist, living on Alisos, a non-biker, into a proponent with a simple explanation of the boulevard plan. She was against it based on misconceptions that were quickly dispelled with data and facts. I have been speaking with several audiences. Many people are enthusiastic, though some are worried about past designs and actions, bulb-outs, and fears that plan will lengthen commutes.”

 

How will you work to implement BMP projects in District 1 once the plan is passed? What other ideas do you have for improving bicycling in Santa Barbara citywide?

DOMINGUEZ: “I will conduct outreach at business, non-profit, and government functions. I will encourage residents to get involved, show their support, make suggestions, and bike through the areas and give my input.

 

There are approximately 4,000 students in my district. I will encourage them and their parents to become involved. No one wants their child riding in door zones.

I am part of two large leadership circles in SB. I will use them to do outreach.

I am an alumni and board member for Leadership Santa Barbara County and a participant in Courage to Lead, part of Lead From Within.

I would encourage employers to encourage staff to bike to work, as it would reduce parking costs, absenteeism, and air pollution, in a part of the city with the highest environmental hazards and the most vulnerable population. They can provide showers, secure bike parking, casual attire, cash/tax incentives, workshops, etc.”

 

Randy Rowse - District 2: 

Should the city …

Adopt Vision Zero?

ROWSE: Of course, the goal of zero fatalities for bicyclists and pedestrians is desirable. This concept, “Vision Zero” was adopted by the Swedish government in 1997 and has been met with great statistical success. I lived in Sweden for a time and am familiar with the culture, traffic systems, and the ability for the people to adapt to change. (Right-hand driving started one day in 1967, and no fatalities The reason I mention this is that the Swedes have little trouble in getting buy-in from their citizens for policy changes, unlike out here in the Wild West.  I supported the initial study stipend in order that the new program wouldn’t be either rejected out of hand or adopted blindly with the predictable stakeholder

blowback and wasteful expenditure of tax dollars. I believe that education and enhanced enforcement for both drivers and cyclists/pedestrians would go a lot further and be more readily achievable for implementation than wholesale engineering changes. In short, my idea of  “Vision Zero” would be tailored specifically to our town and conditions rather than a template that works in other cities and cultures. Let’s have that discussion.

Create more bike corrals?

ROWSE: I worked with the Downtown Parking Committee when the first bike corral was installed on Canon Perdido. It worked there because of the chronic misuse of the sidewalks for bike storage in that location. It is very site specific. As we evolve our traffic and circulation policies for areas like the Funk Zone, the Victoria/State area and Milpas, we should have those discussions on a case-by-case basis. It is important to bear in mind that the parking inventory and proximity to intersection turning lanes are part of the public domain and not to be parceled out to narrow number of interests in the proximity.

Have a Bike Share program?

ROWSE: I do support bike sharing and have experienced it in other countries. Sonos is taking the private sector lead on this and should be applauded for their efforts. Other enterprises are showing interest, and the staging and logistics of these operations will be topics for the Planning Commission as well as Traffic and Circulation.

The draft Bicycle Master Plan proposes bicycle lanes and paths on Shoreline and Cliff Drive, which would strengthen the bicycle network by connecting to existing bikeways. Do you support these projects? Yes or No. Explain:

ROWSE: I am not clear on this question. There are bike lanes on both Shoreline and Cliff Drive currently, some of which are class 1. The draft plan has a distance to travel before implementation in many aspects.

Added in second e-mail: 

ROWSE: One area I neglected to consider in my answer [to this question] was the length of Cliff between Flora Vista and Meigs. We had a very well attended neighborhood meeting led by city staff and our traffic engineer, Derrick Bailey. The issue was the traffic patterns and intersection issues around the Flora Vista, Mesa Lane, and Cliff Drive areas. While there are four lanes of traffic at that point, the complexities involving Monroe School, the population density of the surrounding neighborhood, and the adjacent business district. In addition, that area does not have the alternative flow provided by Shoreline Drive as does the Eastern Mesa area. There are many variables to consider for reasonable bike travel. I, myself, travel through the neighborhoods on that stretch as opposed to Cliff Drive. Apart from that stretch, and, of course, Cliff from Loma Alta to Castillo, the Mesa is well-suited to safe bike travel.

How will you work to implement the Bicycle Master Plan projects in District 2 once the plan is passed? What other ideas do you have for improving bicycling in Santa Barbara citywide?

ROWSE: “One issue in the works is the potential class 1 bike lane on Las Positas, its connection to the new roundabout, and the enhancement of the Modoc bikeways, with connectivity to UCSB. As stated in answer #4, the draft Bicycle Master Plan is not ready for implementation, as pointed out by neighborhood stakeholders. We do have decent connectivity within District 2, but the issue, in my opinion, is more acute in the downtown area. Safe and attractive bicycle travel is important and desirable in a town that naturally lends itself to this activity. All types of personal conveyance must be provided for, and options to do any of them safely and conveniently are the job of planners, law enforcement, and, ultimately, Council.

It is my hope and vision that the Bicycle Master Plan helps to lay out the best routes for bicycle travel that make it clear to cyclists and cars alike which routes are optimum and should be expected to be used for bike travel. The implementation should be phased in triage-like fashion, wherein the color coding of bike lanes could be accomplished first and likely within our current budget. Education would be the job of the Bicycle Coalition, along with law enforcement, hopefully starting in the schools. Law enforcement, in the form of bike patrols and motorcycle police, should conduct regular crossing ‘sting’ operations that ticket errant motorists as well as cycling scofflaws. The phased-in approach should yield the greatest benefit in the shortest time span.” 

 

Cathy Murillo - District 3: 

Should the city …

Adopt Vision Zero?

MURILLO: Yes. Helping the public get from one place to another -- safely and with minimal impact to the environment -- has always been a priority in my public service. Vision Zero has a simple message and goal: Here are the numbers of people hurt or killed on our streets; let's reduce those numbers. At the Council hearing in May, decision makers could support the proposal with ease. I’m committed to the City adopting the best practices proven to work elsewhere to increase both safety and circulation for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. Santa Barbara should be second to none.

 

Create more bike corrals?

MURILLO: Yes. Support from local businesses and residents is key, as they know best what serves their needs, in terms of commerce, traffic, and livability. Bike corrals are a solid investment for the City as they will help increase business profits from both new and existing customers, as well as reduce traffic and parking congestion. A bonus is that pedestrians have more sidewalk space because the bicycles are on the street.

 

Have a Bike Share program?

MURILLO: Yes. When properly designed, bike share programs yield significantly increased safety, improved circulation, as well as economic gains. Santa Barbara residents, workers, and tourists would benefit through public-private partnerships, surveying businesses for their specific needs, identifying ways to establish and maintain a shared fleet, and seeking funding through grant programs. Overall, the City can best contribute by making Santa Barbara safer for bicycling.

 

Two goals of the draft Bicycle Master Plan are (a) to establish a strong bicycle route from the Westside to Downtown and (b) to establish a strong bicycle route that connects the North and South sides of the Westside. Both of these projects would fix gaps in our current bikeway network and improve overall mobility in the city. Do you support or have ideas for these projects?

MURILLO: “Yes. I have always known that speeding, traffic congestion, and scarcity of parking are issues for the Westside neighborhoods (the most dense in the City). But now that I am going door-to-door and speaking to my neighbors about their specific streets, I am painfully aware how the very quality of their lives are impacted by "too many cars" and the need for bicycle accommodation. I support improving both the Westside-to-Downtown and North-South connectivity. I have heard much support for making Chino Street a Bike Boulevard. Also, I must take credit for initiating the update of the Bicycle Master Plan -- in collaboration with members of the Transportation and Circulation Committee. There are so many benefits to encouraging residents to use bicycles as transportation: better physical health, reduction of carbon emissions, creating more space on the roads for people who must use their cars.”

 

 

How will you work to implement the BMP projects in District 3 once the plan is passed? What other ideas do you have for improving bicycling in Santa Barbara citywide?

MURILLO:“Through the Westside Community Group, our neighborhood association, residents are actively engaged in transportation, as well as other neighborhood issues. It is critical that residents and members of the business community -- from every Santa Barbara neighborhood -- work with City staff, the City Council, the Bicycle Coalition, and COAST to implement the Plan. I will continue to provide strong leadership integrating bike friendly measures in land use planning. Longer term, I plan to work with other municipalities and the County for a truly regional approach to safe and convenient bicycling.”

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