Bicycling Advocate Passes Away
updated: Jul 22, 2014, 4:41 PM
By Edhat Subscriber
The Santa Barbara bicycling community suffered a devastating loss on
Friday, July 18 with the sudden passing of Ralph Fertig, an exemplary
leader in sustainable transportation.
Ralph became known in 1991 as
an effective, local activist when he joined a group of Santa Barbara
County cyclists who were working to improve local bicycling conditions.
Within a few months, the group became the Santa Barbara Bicycle
Coalition. In November 1991 Ralph published a monthly Bicycle
Coalition newsletter that, for the next twenty years, became the voice of
the bicycle community and a powerful force on behalf of pedestrian and
The quality of Ralph's clear, factual and well reasoned testimony in
front of City, County, UCSB and SBCAG boards was legendary. He
participated in committees advising SBCAG on multi-modal projects
along the 101 corridor, and continued his advocacy with the City of
Santa Barbara's new Circulation Element, a document that overcame
the culture of automobile dependency then prevalent within Public
Works and Planning departments.
After Santa Barbara adopted the new
Circulation Element, miles of bikeways and bikelanes became reality.
In 1998 Ralph lead the effort to bring the national Pro Bike/Pro Walk
conference to Santa Barbara, attracting 540 participants from around
the country. He was involved with crafting the city of Santa Barbara's
Bicycle Master Plan, Pedestrian Master Plan, and a regional Bikeway
Ralph was always aware of the role of
transportation projects in environmental quality and social equity.
Ralph will long be remembered for his cheery disposition, calm
demeanor and constant commitment to bicyclists and bicycling. His
lasting legacy will be many of the improvements to bicycling conditions
local cyclists enjoy today.
Read more about Ralph on bike-santabarbara.org
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