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Cabrillo Traffic Lanes
updated: Nov 14, 2012, 10:50 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

New here and I was wondering about the traffic lanes on Cabrillo by the beach. Near the wharf, it appears that there is room for parking on the road to the far right. There is a lane on the left side which is for motor vehicles, but is the other lane, the right one that is marked with bicycle signs, made to be driven on by traffic as well as bikes, or is it just for bikes?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 342637 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 10:57 AM

It's a sharrow lane, brah. San Andreas is like that now too.


 COMMENT 342645 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 11:10 AM

The bicycle signs mean that cyclists are allowed to take the whole right lane there because the parked cars take up what might otherwise be a bike lane. Cyclists need some room to maneuver around opening car doors of parked cars. The right lane on Milpas has the same thing.


 COMMENT 342647P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 11:18 AM

The double arrow over the bicyclist is one denoting a shared lane. Both cars and bikes may use the lane.


 COMMENT 342657 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 11:30 AM

Drivers should really check up on a driver's handbook every once in awhile. New types of signs and markings do exist, and every time they show up, someone is asking on edhat. Not saying that's edhat's not a great way to find out the information, it really is. But if you don't know what a sharrow is, there are probably more markings you don't understand. Wouldn't you rather be prepared when you're steering a couple tons of steel down the road?


 COMMENT 342690 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 12:02 PM

i don't mind sharing the rode with cyclists, but when they have a bike lane don't use it and insead use the street and expect the cars to yield to them it is a bit frustrating. and most of them are so high and mighty. they should remember that auto's pay a tax to use the road, cyclist on the other hand are using for free and brake rules set-up for both bikes and cars. if a bike is following behind and a car puts on it's blinker to turn right the bike should yield the same as a car. not keep coming and get upity about passing on the right. use your brains.


 COMMENT 342693 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 12:06 PM

Vehicles are allowed to use the bike lane up to 300ft from an intersection to make a right turn. Bicycles still have right of way in the bike lane, though, so it's not a "might is right"-of way.


 COMMENT 342695 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 12:09 PM

690 Just because you never ride a bike doesn't mean cyclists never drive a car. Cyclists pay taxes too.


 COMMENT 342722 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 12:50 PM

690 - Cyclists expect cars to yield to them when in lane because legally cars are supposed to yield (assuming the cyclist isn't running stop signs etc.) Per CVC 21202, if a cyclist deems the bike lane unsafe, due to obstacles, glass, potholes, animasl, substandard lane widths, debris, car doors, etc, they have the legal right to take the lane.

Keep in mind that from inside a car it is too difficult to see what the cyclist sees in the roadway, especially glass and hazardous debris. Are some cyclists jerks? Yes. But please don't treat us all the same. And FYI, I pay my fair share of taxes for our two cars and our house.


 CEES agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 12:51 PM

Do any bike riders out there feel safe riding in a "sharrow" lane? I've seen those markings on Cabrillo Blvd and would feel completely exposed and vulnerable to cars. Sorry, but I will avoid those routes when I'm riding a bike; my life is too valuable for the risk.


 COMMENT 342743 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 01:26 PM

I don't think it's this way in SB, but in other cities, if you stop at traffic light with your bike right on the biking symbol, the light sensor will know you're there. Awesome.


 COMMENT 342744 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 01:27 PM

CEES, this used to be my morning commute, and I used the sharrow lane every morning on a bike. No, I never felt very safe at ALL. However, on a road bike, the bike path is absolutely horrendous due to its sandy conditions and mainly due to how many people use it. 25mph on that path is asking for a disaster. I made sure to pedal my butt off while on Cabrillo, never wanted to be in harm's way for too long!

The only nice thing is how quiet it is on the waterfront, especially in the morning, making it a lot easier to hear vehicles coming and move over as far as possible just in case.


 COMMENT 342745 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 01:29 PM

690 when you say about bicyclists that ...

"most of them are so high and mighty"

Where did you get such a silly notion?

When I commute on my bike along Cabrillo Blvd. going eastbound, I sometimes use the "sharrow" lane. It's not too bad except during the busy summer months. During that time, there are more drivers who don't pay attention. The most egregious problems I've noticed are drivers opening their doors or pulling out without checking for cyclists. Westbound, the problem is compounded by cars passing me just before an intersection and then making a quick right-turn in front of me.

I probably have been accident-free because I ride defensively. But with attitudes like 690's, it's sad to think I might be a subconcious target.


 COMMENT 342746P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 01:32 PM

Lots of bicycles seem to use the wide sidewalk between Los Banos and the pier. It's dangerous for pedestrians and dog walkers, but they do it anyway.


 COMMENT 342751 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 01:43 PM

CCES: I live less than 2 miles from work, but won't bike because De La Vina seems like a death trap waiting for me. Without a real bike lane, it seems more like a sharrow lane without the signage. (And yes, I know I could take the roads to either side, State or Bath, and have a true bike lane - but they have some hills to them, and quite frankly, I'd rather not get to work all sweaty. And before the trolls & jerks chime in, shut it about working out - I do, and even when I did bootcamp 5 days a week for months, I still sweated when I biked up hills.)

746P: Is that a multi-use pathway, like along Cabrillo, or is that section different? (I'm really asking, not being facetious.)


 COMMENT 342752 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 01:43 PM

Yet Cabrillo has that wonderful bike path following the same route, with even better ocean views and no cars to worry about. I always wonder why some cyclists choose the street over the path. They don't like having to go around the pedicabs?


 COMMENT 342764 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 02:04 PM

Nature Boy - excellent point! There is a "bike path" and a bike lane in the road (not to mention the sidewalk) all along Cabrillo. I've seen cyclists using all 3 routes - how many do they need?

I live out by Winchester Canyon and along Cathedral Oaks there is also a designated bike lane on the street as well as a "bike path" going northbound. I've walked with my wife and kids on this "path" and had cyclists zip around us muttering about being in the bike path. Next one who does is getting clothes-lined.

So, to all you cyclists - pike a lane and stay in it! To use your own oft-repeated and hypocritical phrase, "Share the road!"


 COMMENT 342802 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 02:58 PM

It's the dumbest thing ever. There's a beautiful bike lane all along Cabrillo Boulevard that all bikes, surreys and skaters can use (but cyclists don't want to use it because they might have to slow down for others on the path). There's a huge crosswalk that all pedestrians can use (but they walk on the bike path because the City stupidly changed it into a "multi-purpose" path.)

Why is it that cars are the only ones that have to give up lane space and share the only place they're legally allowed to be with others? With so much space already set aside for other modes of transportation, why can't the bikes and pedestrians stay on their own paths, and leave the street for the cars?!?!


 COMMENT 342803 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 02:58 PM

Well, as mentioned above, the "bike path" along the beach is used by tons of other clueless folks, tourists in surreys, and is in places quite sandy. I've ridded on it a few times and it is quite scary.

It's less safe than being on the road, going the same direction as traffic, and following traffic laws.

I'm not sure of the point of the path by Winchester, but it seems to me to be more of a walking/jogging path and the one in the street should be for us cyclists. I know that's what I use if I ever ride in the area.

One similar path that's an exception is the one from Goleta Beach to Hope Ranch. That's the only through-path in the area, so it is used by all. Everyone should expect the other users out there, pay attention, and be courteous.


 COMMENT 342807 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 03:04 PM

802, it's not that cyclists don't want to slow down, it's dangerous!

Riding along at even 12 mph (slow for a road cyclist), you hit sand patches, have dogs crossing your path, tourists looking at the wharf and not noticing they are walking into you, soccer balls from the fields flying at you, and so on.

Like I said, I feel much safer on the street, going the same direction as the cars, following the same rules as the cars, and dealing with mostly predictable situations.


 COMMENT 342809 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 03:13 PM

802 - Your comment shows how very ill-informed you are about this subject. A small history lesson will teach you that the first streets in the US were paved for bicycle traffic, before cars ever existed. Bicycles not only have a right to the road, but it is illegal in Santa Barbara to ride a bicycle on the sidewalks. As for why a cyclist who is commuting or out for exercise would not want to use the "beautiful", sand covered, multi-use path, that has been well answered, so read a bit before posting. As to why cars have to yield, well they tend to kill others much more easily. Like trails, where bikes must yield to hikers and equestrian, cars must yield to the slower, more vulnerable users.


 COMMENT 342814 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 03:20 PM

Boo hoo! The cyclists don't want to have to go slow, avoid pedestrians, dogs, sandy patches, tourists, etc. But they expect the automobiles driving on the only street available to them to do all of those things AND always be watching out for and extending every courtesy to all cyclists riding in the street.

Thanks cyclists, for once again living up to your well deserved reputation of thinking that "share the road" applies to everyone but you.


 COMMENT 342816 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 03:22 PM

571 - Do not use De La Vina or upper Chapala for that matter, unless you're just making a one or two block traverse. Bicycle traffic should use Castillo and Bath. Perhaps you can plot a route using those two roadways then travers back to DLV with your nearest cross street. You can also try the Google Maps bicycling directions for decent recommendations. It isn't perfect but will keep you on bike routes, lanes and paths when possible.


 COMMENT 342817 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 03:27 PM

If I hear "share the road" one more freakin time I am going to explode!

Yes cyclists, I DO share the road. I yield to you, I watch for you and I stop mid-intersection when you blow through your stop signs.

BUT, if I see another cyclist blow by me on the left at the crosswalk to my son's elementary school, I am going to chase you down and we are going to "share" something else!


 COMMENT 342826 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 03:39 PM

Some cyclists are jerks, but most are not and you don't even notice them on the road because they're exactly where they belong. I apologize for the jerks and please understand that they frustrate me too, maybe more so because their actions are projected on to me. Just as some drivers are jerks, but most drivers are courteous, kind and patient.

To each driver who has given me space to ride safely and comfortably, or patiently waited at a stop while I get going again, thank you. Thank you for letting me get home safely to my family. You guys make riding in Santa Barbara enjoyable.


 COMMENT 342833 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 03:50 PM

The bike path hasn't been a bike path in 30 years. It's a shared pedestrian path for pedicabs, strollers, skaters, people walking, cruiser bikes. Those on cabrillo riding a road bike do so because they are traveling 25 miles per hour. They also all own cars when they're not riding a bike. That's 99% of the time. Donk out.


 COMMENT 342835 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 03:54 PM

I was gonna stay out of this dogfight, but the bikepath along Cabrillo Boulevard is a particularly sore point with me. When it was built way back...when?...the '70s?...it was a dedicated bikepath and functioned very well as that. Then skating became popular and the skaters began using it more and more, compromising its use as a bikepath. Then came those stupid surry things that the tourists like, and that was the end. You can't pass them because there isn't enough room.

The result: what used to be one of the best bikepaths in the state, if not the country, is now the exclusive domain of skaters, pedestrians and the stupid tourist surries.

There is only one way to bring the bikepath back to the use FOR WHICH IT WAS INTENDED: make it less user-friendly for non-bicyclists. Carve deep notches into the pavement every 30 feet or so to make skating impossible, and ban the surries and all other vehicles that aren't bikes, and make sure that law is enforced.

I reiterate, it WAS designed as a bikepath.


 COMMENT 342842P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 04:07 PM

Rex, good points! Not only was it designed as a bike path, but I think it got grant money specifically for that. Perhaps someone could look into this. If the money was used for something that became something else, perhaps the city will have to repay it --- or make more of an effort to have it be a bike path!


 COMMENT 342845 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 04:14 PM

If the City repays something guess who really pay for it.


 COMMENT 342869 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 04:49 PM

The bike path is still easy & enjoyable to cycle on -- even in the summer. I do it all the time! I have to disagree with Rex -- those tourist-carrying surreys ARE passable -- there's plenty of room. And the tourists (and even locals) sure seem to be happy when using them. Happiness & joy are good things! Investing five dollars in a bicycle bell could save you a lot of frustration!


 COMMENT 342872 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 05:00 PM

Thank you Rex and Nature Boy!

Of course cyclists can get around the surreys, it just involves slowing down and sharing the path, just like cars are expected to do all the time for bikes.

833: Do you not recognize your own hypocrisy when you say bikes don't want to use the multi-use path because they don't want to slow down below 25 mph, yet cars that are capable of going faster should always be forced to modify their speed to accommodate bicycles on the road?


 COMMENT 342917P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 07:12 PM

Cyclists stay off the freeway so don't be so b*tchy about sharing the rest of the roads around town.


 COMMENT 342922 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 07:25 PM

I bike on both the "sharrow" on the street and the multi-use "bikepath". Others are correct, the latter was originally a dedicated bike path. In fact, there are some old signs at the Bird Refuge that date back to that time. Most of the other signs have been updated to reflect the current multi-use nature of the path.

Bicyclists and motorists both have a right to use public streets and a responsibility to use them safely. Share the road and know your legal responsibilities. Read the DMV Handbook for a refresher, it's available online.


 COMMENT 342953 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 08:35 PM

To those who say cyclists should use that path, try it. As I said above even riding at a very slow 12mph (not even a workout for someone who rides regularly), you will find its:

Ride, brake for surrey, wait to pass until oncoming lane is clear, pass, start to accelerate, slam on brakes for errant soccer ball, go again, swerve to avoid someone crossing but looking at the scenery and not traffic, go again, slam on brakes to avoid dog, go again, and so on.

Would you like that if your running or gym workout was so broken up and haphazard? Like I said before, I feel safer in the street where cars are mostly following the rules and going the same direction as me.


 COMMENT 342955 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 08:40 PM

Bikes should respect cars as much as cars should respect bikes. I do both, drive and ride. But if you use the road to ride, don't ride two/ three wide. Single file people single file.

But I'm a bit iffy on the argument for cabrillo since it has a dedicated path. Either you dodge cars ( which hurt ) or dodge surreys and tourist. All in all just like cars should share the road, bikes should share the path. It can be used for all.


 COMMENT 342962 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 09:12 PM

I've honestly found, even in the heavily-touristed summer months, that only the first 200 yards or so of the path, in either direction of the wharf, is that congested. Once you get past that "tourist zone", it's pretty much free sailing. And even in the free-sailing zone, it's so open & sparse that passing some of those surreys or slow-walkers is seamless, and you won't lose momentum at all. I wish i still had some of my helmet-cam videos on this computer from my summer rides. It's SO easy and plenty speedy!! Get over it and enjoy sharing that beautiful path and our beautiful town!


 COMMENT 342979P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 11:06 PM

When riding my bike, I choose to ride the path (what used to be a Bike Path) along Cabrillo instead of the road. I can handle going around slower bikes, skaters, and even surreys, but what is really scary are the tourists, kids and the clueless that walk perpendicular to the path, or suddenly change directions right in front of you. You cannot let your guard down for an instant, so I can understand how some cyclists would prefer the street.

If more people rode bikes, we'd have less cars on the road, and that would really help you (grumpy) car drivers get to your destination faster. I mean really, how many times have you been held up by bikes? (Maybe the once a year Fiesta ride?) How many times have you been stuck in a line of cars? Think about it. And then leave your car behind.


 COMMENT 342983P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-14 11:57 PM

This is probably one of the most interesting threads I have read in a long while. Overall, it seems that there is a fair amount of ignorance over how the "Beachway" (City renamed it) works and why that path will never again be designated a "bicycles/bicyclists only" path.

Really, it all comes down to this: people want to walk closer to the ocean! They want to skate and dog walk and jog and ride their clunker (typically) bikes and surreys, and push their baby prams----closer to the ocean!

The biggest hazard on the "Beachway" is, by far, the tourists who don't know to keep to the right (walking, biking, in surreys, whatever). This is how many accidents happen on the "Beachway."

Having "said" all that, I think it is ridiculous for anyone driving a vehicle to get huffy (little bike joke there) about bicyclists taking up too much of a lane or being in the way of one's vehicle. Slow down, take a deep breath, and admit that (maybe?) you are just the tiniest bit jealous that you can't ride a bike 25-40mph, have the lungs of a god and flaunt your buns of steel.


 COMMENT 342993P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-15 03:21 AM

Up sick tonight and thought I'd browse a bit. 657....When and if I ever decide to drive 2 tons of steel around, I assure you that I will get familiar with the handbook. 817.... I laughed so hard I almost spit out my warm milk!


 COMMENT 343036 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-15 07:53 AM

My worst accident on my road bike was on the beach way. There is just no way to predict everyone's behavior and with clamp on shoes, believe me, a fall can put you out of commission for months. BTW, I couldn't get up to 25 mph on flat land if I wanted to.

Biking is healthy. Jerks drive all kinds of vehicles, including running shoes. Show a little compassion, please! Yes, I will slow down but not make a full stop on most occasions, but I never go "blind" I am watching for ANY possible hazard. And yes, with skinny tires you have to watch the pavement for glass, debris, and palm fronds.

When I'm in a car, I watch for kids, bikes, dogs, and pedestrians. It costs me just minutes on my trip, which I am more than happy to spend. OTOH, when I am ignored by drivers, my life is literally threatened. In my mind, I am wondering if you ever ride, or if you have a child or grand child who rides. Please take care and share!


 COMMENT 343092 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-15 09:41 AM

Biking may be healthy and in the mind of many self-righteous, "hollier than thou", bicyclists, motor vehicles are an anethema. But in addition to the various and frequent complaints about careless bicyclist driving with arrogant disobedience of the law and reckless abandon, the new wave City and County planners need to come to grips with the fact that all bicycle traffic on roads shared with automobiles, buses and trucks is inherently incompatible and dangrous. No amount of physical striping, signage, configurations or "education programs" will alter this immutable fact!


 COMMENT 343177 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-15 11:47 AM

The comments about cyclists being high and mighty and such are clearly projections ... the people writing them display all the negative attributes they are claiming of others.


 COMMENT 343241 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-15 01:48 PM

I think 092 is a bit too negative. Bicyclists need to ride as if everyone is trying to kill them. I prefer back roads, though there are some horrific speeders and texters, no doubt. I worry most about distracted drivers.

Education is a key. Folks have changed attitudes. Last time I checked, bicycle riding was the number 1 US hobby.

I'm not holier, I'm just trying to enjoy some outdoor exercise. Santa Barbara must be one of the best places in the world for it. Frankly, I've had few issues. I keep my eyes open, use a mirror, use flashing lights, and stop whenever it is safer to stop. We ask little. Just be aware of us and treat us all like you would treat the sibs, kids, and grand kids that you love and would protect. Most of us are very polite to drivers.


 COMMENT 343393 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-15 05:37 PM

983P: "Huffy". Heh.


 COMMENT 343450 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-15 07:12 PM

The perception that bicyclists tend to act "high and mighty" is a direct result of their comments and attitudes about cars and people who drive cars often professing they are "saving the planet" because they bike. They often complain about drivers nearly hitting them when they ride where they shouldn't and at speeds most drivers would never expect wearing clothes that are tantamount to camouflage. They ride in tandem instead of single file, so they can talk with each other. Where there are bike lanes they often do not stay in the bike lanes. They rarely stop as required for stop signs and red lights, rarely signal movements as required and seldom walk their bicycles in cross walks as required. They should know they are not very visible even more than motorcyclists who have the sense to drive with their lights on. Many operate at night wearing dark clothes and wearing dark clothing.


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