Gage (that’s a nickname) brought all the necessities to Girls Inc.’s three-day winter cycling camp—bright red and blue Spiderman bicycle, check; spunky grin, check. Her obvious toughness aside, when Gage’s instructors suggested she remove the training wheels, she wasn’t too sure. Nevertheless, she bargained with League of America Certified Instructor (LCI) Jody Nelson and agreed to take the trainers off after four (not two) cycles around the course. Fourth trip done, she held up her end of the bargain, despite shedding a few tears of fear. She bravely mounted the bike. “She pedaled, and that was just huge,” Nelson remembers. By the end of the three days, Gage was cruising on two wheels, all grins. What training wheels?
Photo by ARI RODRIGUEZ
Traveling 150 miles to the California Transportation Commission to secure $7.7 million for better bicycle infrastructure as a representative of the Westside of Santa Barbara was something of a quest.
Speaking in front of the CTC
Yesterday, a coalition of community organizations spearheaded by SBBIKE’s Eve Sanford spoke at the California Transportation Commission (CTC) meeting to make the case for $7.7 million in funding for City of Santa Barbara Bikeways. The coalition demonstrated the important safe routes to schools that will be created with the Bike Boulevards and the effects the projects will have on calming and improving Chino, Sola and Alisos Streets for people of all ages walking and biking. Michael Montenegro, Westside resident and community organizer, expressed the importance of Chino St. and other bikeway improvements to “working class Santa Barbarans, especially those who rely on their bicycles for transportation”. Ultimately, the CTC decided to award the projects with funding due to the strong support shown by the Santa Barbara Community through SBBIKE’s public commenters and written letters. A special thank you to everyone who supported the project and our partners who demonstrated their support at the Community Environmental Council (CEC), Central Coast Alliance United for A Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) , Westside Community Group, Micheltorena Neighborhood Association and the Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST).
Pictured Above: This map demonstrates how Bike Boulevards will function by connecting to the bicycle spine network - a key set of streets that connect Santa Barbarans to routes and destinations throughout the city, courtesy of Santa Barbara Dept. of Public Works
In addition to these Bike Boulevards, the CTC also agreed to fund the Rincon Multi-use Path connecting Carpinteria Avenue to the Rincon County beach path along the California Coastal Bicycle Route. One significant North County project was also funded, a flashing beacon and crosswalk treatment along the 246 at Sycamore Avenue in Buellton to help bicyclists and pedestrians make a difficult crossing.
Do you love bicycles, history and art? Well the Santa Barbara Mural Bike Ride (mural ride) combined all that in one great community event hosted by SBBIKE.
As the newest team member and a proud Santa Barbareño, I organized and lead the first ever mural ride. On Saturday October 29, 2016, over 120 people attended the family friendly bike ride, traveling to six unique mural locations in downtown Santa Barbara learning about the history and meaning behind the murals by the artists who created them and community leaders who grew up with them too.
Goleta is an awesome place to ride a bike and the City is working to make it even better with it’s first-ever Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan! At SBBIKE, We’re excited to see Goleta planning for better bikeways and better pedestrian spaces. We’ve put together our Goleta Bicycle Priorities List, with input from our staff, time spent bicycling in Goleta and some of the feedback we’ve heard from SBBIKE members in Goleta!
You can provide feedback on making Goleta better for bicycling by dropping by a Goleta Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Outreach Event (GBPMPOE for short) on November 9th. Two events will be taking place - One will be an open house at U.C.S.B. from 12-1. The other will be an evening BPMP event from 5:30 - 7:30 at the Goleta Valley Community Center. You can also take an online survey for the city by clicking here.
A protected bikeway on Rosemead Blvd in Temple City, CA
1. Protected Bicycle Lanes!
We want to see where the city can improve on existing (or new) bike lanes by adding a physical barrier. This type of treatment is great on streets with higher speed limits or especially wide lanes. Protected bike lanes are gaining popularity throughout the state and it’s time we bring some here! A pre-cursor to a physical buffer can be painting a small buffer between the bike lane and the car lane, like the County did on Hollister Avenue.
A tight and dangerous squeeze for someone to bike through
2. Fill the Hollister Bike Lane Gap!
Hollister Avenue is an 8 mile major route for bicycling that connects people to major job centers, businesses and popular residents. It’s critical that we improve this major East-West route to be a safe and gap-free bikeway. Recently, the County installed awesome buffered bike lanes on their portion of Hollister. However, in the old town portion of Hollister between Fairview and the Goleta Valley Community Center there is still a gap where bicycle lanes are missing and sharrows are placed in the door zone where bicyclists are not safe riding. While our region is making progress on this important route but there’s more to be done for Hollister to reach it’s full potential as a safe and encouraging bikeway.
A bicyclist navigates traffic near the Fairview Highway 101 interchange
Improve Highway 101 crossings for bicycles and pedestrians!
To get anywhere is Goleta, it’s almost certain that you will need to cross Highway 101 interchange. We must make sure that these difficult crossings (of which there are a limited amount) are friendly for people bicycling and walking. This means continuous and wide sidewalks for pedestrians. This also means continuous and sufficiently wide bicycle lanes that are buffered or protected when placed near faster moving cars. Using treatments such as green paint and designing sensitive turning movements where bicycle lanes near freeway turning lanes and ramps is crucial.
Ensuring that drivers and bicyclists proceed cautiously and are alert near highway entrances is important. Specific overpasses that need immediate attention to bicycling improvements include the Fairview overpass, Storke and a future bicycle and pedestrian bridge connection at Pacific Oaks or Entrance Rd. in Elwood.
4. San Jose Creek Bicycle Path
San Jose Creek Bicycle Path- Once built, the San Jose Creek Bicycle Path will be a game changer for bicycling in Goleta, providing a continuous off-street bike path along San Jose Creek connecting riders from Goleta Beach north all the way to Foothill. By providing a much-needed North-South bikeway, this project will connect neighborhoods to popular parks, businesses and restaurants across the city.
What would you add to this list?
Your chance to envision a better biking future for Goleta is just around the corner. Come to the Goleta Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Outreach on Wednesday, November 9th for your chance to shape the future of biking in Goleta. To recap, two events will be taking place that day, an open house at U.C.S.B. from 12-1 and an evening event from 6 - 7:30 at the Goleta Valley Community Center. Find out more and r.s.v.p. for the U.C.S.B. daytime event here
or the Goleta Evening event here