More than 50 Goleta residents gathered at the SBBIKE advocacy meeting hosted by Deckers Corporate Headquarters Thursday night, to ask questions and raise issues about better and safer bikeways. City and County staff presented a range of new cycling infrastructure plans which are currently being considered and developed. The improvements which were discussed with the public will hopefully create better connections between new UCSB housing and West Goleta developments to the adjacent community through safe bikeways, raising the quality of life for UCSB students and Goleta residents.
However the many comments from worried residents at the meeting, made clear that the current state of the bicycle network needs even further improvements: connections are often missing, whole neighborhoods are inaccessible by bike routes, making it unsafe to commute by bicycle. Another issue raised by a large number of residents at the meeting is the lack of safe bicycle and pedestrian connections crossing the 101 freeway, which as a result makes it virtually impossible for cyclists to travel from Northern Goleta into Southern Goleta, even though the actual distance is short.
“Goleta residents really came out last night in force”, Ed France, executive director of SBBIKE, said “ It is clear that they want the quality of life of that safe, protected bike paths offer. Routes like the ones you find connecting through Goleta Beach need to extend through to Elwood, through Old Town Goleta, and throughout the Goleta Valley. Residents simply want access to safe paths and their kids to be able to ride on bikes safely”
After hearing the Goleta residents speak out, City and County officials presented their cycling projects. SBBIKE then introduced their recently launched Connecting Our Community campaign based on our vision that by working together with community stakeholders, one in every five trips within Santa Barbara’s South Coast will be made by bicycle by 2020. In the process, Santa Barbara will become the #1 bicycling region in the nation. By Connecting our Community with safe, connected bikeways, it will be possible for everyone from ages 8 to 80 to bike safely to and from anywhere along the county’s South Coast.
About the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition:
The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition (SBBIKE), founded in 1991, is a countywide bicycling advocacy organization with projects that increase awareness, promote education, reduce accidents, and in general make it easier and more fun for us all to bicycle.