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Update to Action Alert 3/22/16

City staff shared the following update:

On Tuesday, March 15, the Santa Barbara City Council discussed the next steps needed to complete the 2016 Bicycle Master Plan (BMP). Council directed staff to conduct further public outreach and allow more time to vet specific projects within the Draft Plan. Staff has scheduled a Public Listening Session and Open House on Tuesday, April 12, and more detailed BMP reviews at the Transportation and Circulation Committee on April 28 at 5:30 PM, and at the Planning Commission on May 5 at 1:00 PM.

Based on additional input, the consultant team and staff will then return to Council in June to review plan changes and receive direction on any proposals in the Draft Plan or its projects.  The City has had extensive participation from members of the public to date and is hoping to hear from those that have not yet included their voice. For continued available up-to-date information and to follow progress, please check the BMP website. CEC will continue to post updates as they arise here as well.

Click here to download a Short Guide, 30 page summary of the BMP, highlighting its key projects and goals.

Click here to download the Draft Santa Barbara Bicycle Master Plan.
Note: The version above contains revisions and input (highlighted in pink throughout the document) from the last joint meeting with Transportation and Circulation Committee and Planning Commission on October 29, 2015.

Update to Action Alert 2/24/16

In one the largest recorded community turn outs in City Council’s history, over 130 community members showed up to the hearing for the latest draft of the Bicycle Master Plan. At the end of a 5 hour session that went until 11 p.m. and included 90 public comments (45 for and 45 against), the Council voted 6-1 to support the Bicycle Master Plan.

A new final hearing is tentatively scheduled for March 15, where once again community support will be a critical factor in securing safer roads and bicycle lanes for Santa Barbara. Thank you to the nearly three hundred people who signed on to our support letter, and to everyone who attended the City Council meeting in person. Stay tuned for updates on the final hearing date and times.

Past Action Alert

1) Take two minutes now to sign the letter of support below.

2) Attend the City Council hearing
Tuesday, February 23 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. 735 Anacapa St.

For the first time in almost 20 years, we have a chance to close major gaps in the bike network on Micheltorena and Cota streets. However, these critical bike lanes are being opposed by residents who will be affected by the minimal parking removal required to create the bike lanes.

This is the last opportunity to secure these critical bike lanes.

The bike lanes:

  • increase safety for bicyclists,
  • close major east-west gaps in the existing bicycle network, and
  • decrease stress for drivers passing bikes on busy, narrow streets

Tell the Santa Barbara City Council that you want a safer, more complete bicycle network by signing the letter above and attending the City Council hearing from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 23 at City Council chambers, 735 Anacapa St.

Click here to see the most current draft of the Santa Barbara Bike Master Plan.

Nicole Wald
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Nicole Wald

Nicole Wald is a freelance writer and educator in Santa Barbara, CA with a passion for helping the planet. She supports CEC in developing content for social media, PR, marketing, and the annual Earth Day Festival. Part of this work includes gathering stories of people along the Central Coast who consciously take steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
Nicole Wald
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This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Although I bike and appreciate improved safety and access as a cyclist, I am unenthusiastic about the Micheltorena Street closure of parking and access to businesses. I live on Micheltorena at Chapala and attended one hearing on the Bike Master Plan. Most attendees were upset by the same plan. You could easily have modelled an alternative route to State Street from the Micheltorena overpass using Castillo to Sola–thus disrupting far fewer businesses. I am sorry to stand against the Master Plan as currently laid out.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thanks very much for your comment. I’m a staff member at Community Environmental Council, and have been tracking the Bicycle Master Plan’s development since early last year.

      Since you attended the recent hearing on the Bicycle Master Plan, I imagine you are also aware that a bike lane on Sola Street would cost the City an estimated $80,000 to $90,000 dollars more than the Micheltorena St project because stop lights would need to be installed at the intersections along Solar from Castillo to State streets.

      Due to a decline in gas tax revenues, the City of Santa Barbara already has major budget shortfalls for transportation projects. Consequently, a route along Sola St with new signalized intersections would probably not be completed for 10-15 years, as stated by City staff during the last round of public meetings. Our community cannot afford to wait that long for a new bike lane that will close one of the most glaring gaps in our current bicycle network.

      The Micheltorena St project is one of the single most important projects in the update Bicycle Master Plan for this very reason: it will finally provide a safe bike lane connecting Santa Barbara’s Westside neightborhood to downtown. If we want to decrease reliance on automobiles, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create a greater equality of choice for all modes of transportation (the stated goal of the City’s Circulation Element), then we must build the necessary infrastructure that will allow more people in our community to ride their bike from point A to B – safely.

      While I fully acknowledge that the loss of parking along Micheltorena St will negatively impact on some residents and am sensitive to these hardships, City staff have pledged to do whatever they can to mitigate the negative effects of parking removal through a wide range of measures and actions.

      Moving forward, I hope that we can find common ground on this issue. If you want to talk about the project and share your concerns in more detail, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. You can reach me at 805-963-0583 x111.

  2. Removing parking on Micheltorena directly reduces the value of property whose residents currently use those spaces. Traffic signals may cost $100K, but spread that cost over 100,000 residents, and the cost is $1 each. Is that really too much to get a fair solution?

  3. Unfortunately west side residents were not informed of this proposed plan until after its approval. Regardless of the fact that the majority of residents strongly oppose the Chino Bike Blvd plan, the issue is that no one was informed, residents cant “google” it or click here to view bike master plan if they dont have internet, are homebound, are not able to afford to miss work to attend meetings, or are not english speaking. The issue is not the plan but the discriminatory process used to approve a plan majority of residents were not aware of.

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