Green Changes to State Street Promenade

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By edhat staff

Santa Barbara's State Street Promenade now has a large green stripe down the middle designated for bicyclists. 

From Victoria to Ortega Streets, a 12-foot wide lime green zone is now painted at intersections on State Street between the parklets and outdoor dining tables.

After the City of Santa Barbara received numerous complaints of bicyclists in the Promenade, the green zone is designed to signal where bicyclists can safely ride and where pedestrians shouldn't walk.

Renderings of the idea were presented in January to control traffic and direct bicyclists and pedestrians.

It's unclear if these additions will be permanent, but last week the Santa Barbara City Council unanimously voted to keep the State Street Promenade for another year while expanding outdoor dining and allowing live music.

(Photo: City of Santa Barbara)
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grummitt Mar 05, 2021 11:15 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

OK, so there is a solution that satisfies everyone's consternations; pedestrians, bicycles, and access for tourism and handicap's sake The street currently has two bike lanes, two car lanes, and a center turning lane. That is a lot of real estate.

This construct is more than wide enough to expand the outdoor dining and pedestrian walkway (use one care lane). The electric shuttle can utilize the other car lane, and bike lanes can be placed in the middle, utilizing the existing space they are already allocated. This allows sufficient access for all of this traffic, plus dining/pedestrian space we didn't have before.

I too am just flummoxed at City Planning as to why this is so hard? Take note of downtown Denver, Santa Monica, etc. where this has been done before and don't be so 1/2 assed in execution by painting ugly green swaths of paint down the middle of our historic, already struggling, downtown.

And for those who comment w/o actually having been downtown in > 5 years, just keep it to yourselves, please. The blight of the empty retail spaces is hurting us all.

bft4me Mar 05, 2021 10:08 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

Again, without enforcement, this ugly paint has no teeth and no realistic or meaningful purpose.
I was driving across a State St intersection again tonight for work, and nearly got t-boned by a bicyclist. He never stopped at the light while coming off the PEDESTRIAN sidewalk, and then yelled at me. Also saw several of 'em riding through Paseo Nuevo in the 10 minutes I was there. C'mon man... Shouldn't bikes be allowed on State, as long as they're being walked? Or, are they expecting us to make citizen arrests?

sbpaddy Mar 05, 2021 08:50 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

I can't believe this! Really? Someone said let's paint the main street of Santa Barbara an ugly green?
There are so many things that have been hard to accept in this time including personal pain items. So now we are to accept a green lane in case you are too stupid and rude to obey bicycle rules. Or maybe you are laughing at the people who made this insulting decision. Ashamed. Very ashamed.

Basicinfo805 Mar 05, 2021 06:47 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

Looks terrible. I haven't been downtown for running on 5 years now since it went to hell, so I can't say about function. I'm sure some people walking will get hit/sideswiped, which is lame. Overall assessment: poor job SB City. Your grade is a C-

Ahchooo Mar 05, 2021 06:13 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

I don’t mind the neon green when I see it on busy roads, but it is out of place here. The point of the bright color is to alert car drivers that bicycles might be there and that they have rights. There will be no cars here! So, maybe they want pedestrians to stay off the green...but they could have found a better solution for our much fussed-about “Pueblo Viejo.” Shaking my head.

Lorax Mar 05, 2021 05:37 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

Rob Dayton should be fired or run out of town on his bicycle. he gives hard bikers a bad reputation.
There are many bicyclists myself included that don't aprove of what was allowed to happen here.
This needs to be reexamined at council. The storm of Covid a perfect time of distraction for Carte Blanc for Public Works. They need to be more acountable to City Council or put in some staff that have some common sense and sense of asthetics. The prominade looks like a circus, what an embaracement.

Lorax Mar 05, 2021 05:28 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

This is absoulutely hideous! Where was the process? Public Works is out of control!
In the deep of covid the public outreach most likely included a few special interst groups.
I follow things closely and never saw anything of this nature to be discussed at Council. Did they do this without a vote? Everything is wrong About this. First of all bikes have to follow the rules of the road and are considered mechanized as they have gears. State Street is closed for Pedestrian traffic. I thought this was clear the end of the year when they posted signs bikes must dismount and walk their bikes thru the prominade. It is so ugly and obtusiive that blinding neon green in the middle of our charming Spanish Archtiecture? Are you kidding me? What went wrong here? in a town that you could barely alter a sign becasue of all the reviews necessary! At this rate, next will have this green blight in Paseo Nueveo or La Cumbera Plaza Bikes are not allowed to ride in 3rd Street Santa Monica they are rounted around 2cond street. Beale Street in Menphis has no bike lanes at all, strictly pedestrian and no skate boards. The Gas Lamp section in Vancouver, no bike lanes period. Basically anyplace cars can not go bikes have no right to ride. There is no room for this monstrosity as the parkelets need space and the foot trafic, lastly the use factor of Bicycles is very low and they must follow same rules as cars andhave full rights to any road just as cars do. At the very minimum they This is insane. I encourage anyone that agrees to zoom into any City Council Meeting under Public comment and Protest about this dreadful mess. Public works must be color blind, if we truly are stuck with this at the very least they can at least paint it brick red so it blends with the Spanish Architecure. Ugh, so discusting.

Notthatbad Mar 05, 2021 07:37 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

We saw them discuss this at city council. I was confused then, slightly more confused now.

They seemed to be saying this would be a nifty solution to a problem that didn’t seem to fully exist. I found the whole thing strange. And tonight I almost got plowed multiple times as I was apparently too close to the green zone ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I certainly wish the bikers well, and will do my best to stay out of their way.

That being said, I will miss walking in the middle. Lots of sidewalks blocked at the moment... bit of a problem.

Ahchooo Mar 05, 2021 04:02 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

I’m really sorry the city hasn’t included a way for the shuttle buses to still travel up and down State. Lots of tourists and locals can walk a few blocks but don’t want to commit to more than that. Maybe they have a plan to use shuttles on Chapala and Anacapa, but I haven’t heard about it, and it wouldn’t be nearly as fun as the State Street shuttle where you could see a shop and decide on the spot to hop off the shuttle. Or maybe the city will subsidize those bicycle taxis? That would be fun. I’m willing to pay to ride, but only a couple bucks for each direction, especially if I only want a lift for a few blocks.

a-1614979531 Mar 05, 2021 01:25 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

I really think the reason they won't disallow bikes on State Street is that "they" don't want to be accused of excluding anyone. It seems that there are lots of local hispanic youths who like to ride their bikes down State Street.

sacjon Mar 05, 2021 04:05 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

1:25 - You think the City might be accused of discriminating against hispanic youths if they don't provide a bike path on State? Crazy thing is, you might be right.

biguglystick Mar 05, 2021 01:05 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

It's HORRIBLE. Ugly, ugly, ugly. WHO thought NEON green was a good idea for Santa Barbara??? Obviously someone who either hasn't been here very long or someone who has no aesthetic integrity. UGH. NOOoo. Just No. Can we get this outta here? I am vehemently opposed. Besides, I agree with the other commenters here that bikes aren't a good idea on a promenade!

jak Mar 05, 2021 01:19 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

Who decided on neon green? As I recall, it was a Hollywood post-production editor. These bike lane markings have been adopted in some parts of cities where a lot of tv and movies are shot. The neon green color is easily recognized and removed with computer software in post production as opposed to other more subtle colors that have been used (like the blue grey that Santa Barbara used in the seventies). Honest. How could I make something like that up?

Lucky 777 Mar 05, 2021 11:39 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

It is ugly, it will look filthy FAST, and will impede people shopping from being inspired to cross the street to check out a shop n the other side. The concern should be to encourage the community to once again shop on State Street, and make tourists feel safe and welcome.

a-1614971533 Mar 05, 2021 11:12 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

This bike lane in the middle of a promenade is in contention to one of the dumbest ideas ever in this town. We have great bike lanes on other streets and, just like car traffic, bikes need to be rerouted there.

goletadude Mar 05, 2021 10:53 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

Is this the same Rob Daytona who is ordered the neon green street painting on State Street? "Paradise Management" by blotting the street with neo green to mess with the minds of those who care about SB aesthetics and a middle finger to all who fought for a nice State Street thru the years. I hope this is really a St Patrick's day hoax, not a real way forward. "Innovative planning" gone wrong,,,,with a bit of lucy in the sky (LSD) inspired street art.


Rob Dayton specializes in applying wise planning today to guide the inspired futures of tomorrow. Trained in urban planning at USC, Rob was a transportation and environmental consultant in Los Angeles. Then, with a plan to stay only “a couple of years," he moved to the City of Santa Barbara to gain required government experience. Now 25 years later, captivated by the city's beauty, Rob continues a career of "Paradise Management," serving Santa Barbara as a senior Public Works official. Rob believes Santa Barbara's governance should be of an equal quality as the city itself. So he focuses on bringing innovative planning and management strategies that build on a tradition of excellence in city planning and that restore community trust in government.

bosco Mar 05, 2021 10:48 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

Despite some minor disagreements, there seems to be a pretty strong consensus here that bikes should not be allowed on the Promenade. I recall there was a survey done a few weeks ago on the future of State. I could be wrong, but I don't believe there was a single question on whether bikes should even be allowed or not. If that is the case, I'm wondering where the city got it's direction this. It looks like they jumped to the conclusion about bikes without even considering a bike free zone. This needs a serious change in thinking and maybe survey the public with more appropriate questions.

RHS Mar 05, 2021 10:00 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

Let's consider not the imaginary possibility of what's best for "everybody" but what is reasonable and practicable and accomplishes a positive end. The idea of closing State Street is pretty much that this will encourage people to shop and eat and visit. Pedestrians do that. Bicycle riders are more likely by far to be en route to another spot. But if bike riders are going to participate in the business of State Street merchandising they could dismount and become pedestrians so they do not intimidate others. But more importantly, the idea of a promenade is that one and meander, cross the divided, get distracted. Forcing pedestrians to stay on one side of the roadway is what we had, it clearly was not as effective as a mingling model. One assumes that the future will be a redesigned State Street which would eliminate curbs, create enclaves for restaurants and some artsy businesses and such. This model should not include a bicycle highway down the center.

Bird Mar 05, 2021 09:54 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

And if pedestrians are discouraged, restricted to the sidewalks which are the entry points of servers to the parklets, why go downtown at all! The reason for the parklets and closing State Street was not to please either pedestrians or bikers, but to encourage business to the stores along State Street.

Discouraging pedestrians from walking what was once a promenade will discourage business; most bikers are not there on that green drag to spend money. This donation of 12 feet down the center of STate Street to bikers is misguided. (I haven't been there to see the finished green bicicade and am interested to see what this weekend brings!)

ZeroHawk Mar 05, 2021 09:18 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

ok....lets stop responding with what we personally want and respond with what is best for everyone. No, there should not be pedestrian only on that much of space. Bikes can't go on the sidewalks nor can scooters and skateboards. The street is 3x the size of each sidewalk on either side of the street. So you want to try to convince everyone that there isn't enough room for bikes and other modes of transport when we had two lanes of cars and trucks driving up and down it for decades? Think about that and think of the math i just laid out. No it will not be just for pedestrians. That's a massive amount of wasted space and a very self serving mentality. Per the article, peds can be on the side walks AND street, but bikes do need a space to ride. I agree/disagree with the barrier comment, but logic points to that being the best result, albeit it ugly and out of place and bikes would be stuck in said barrier when a cyclist has the right to roam as do peds and skaters. Side walk is only for peds. Street is mixed use. We do NOT have that many people walking around downtown, even on a nice saturday afternoon. To say it should only be for peds is laughable at best. I'm sure you'll pick apart my comment, but i don't care. I'm trying to be as partial as possible. I walk, skate, rollerblade and mountain bike all over downtown daily and nightly.

sacjon Mar 05, 2021 11:23 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

ZERO - Bike most certainly should be allowed there, BUT walking them only. The whole point of the promenade is to have a mellow experience. If you have cyclists using it also as a thoroughfare, it's a recipe for disaster. Again, like there's no reason to drive up and down State, there is no reason for cyclists to use it as a bike lane. Get off the bike, walk and enjoy a slow and mellow few blocks. Mixing bikes and walkers is a disaster - just look at the bike path along the beach. I remember riding along there as a kid laughing at all the fights that would break out. I saw a jogger and cyclists go to full on blows over it!

Voice of Reason Mar 05, 2021 09:35 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

You are right Zero, about thinking what's best for everyone. I don't thing banning bikes outright is possible, especially with the new e-bike share program (screw all you naysayers, visitors to our town love them and it will help them explore downtown beyond the waterfront). Certainly it should all be a slow zone and denser blocks walk your bike only. I do completely disagree with you saying we do NOT have that many people walking around downtown. You may not have been down in the past few weeks but it has been very lively and great to see people back out enjoying their lives.

Grabber Mar 05, 2021 08:34 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

I am a devoted cyclist but this is madness! At the risk of repeating earlier comments, these bike lanes are ugly and out of place in a (supposed) pedestrian promenade. They will encourage some cyclists to ride even faster than they do now and pose greater risk to pedestrians, especially visitors who don’t understand the pattern. Some speeding cyclists will doubtless go flying
into the car traffic that crosses State at several intersections. I foresee some ugly collisions between bikes and walkers, also between bikes and cars. Madness.

buckwheat Mar 05, 2021 08:20 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

The State Street promenade should be for pedestrians only. No bikes and no skateboards. Trying to drive across State Street is challenging because many bicyclists fail to stop when riding down the street even though there are flashing red lights for this at four way intersections.

Hammonds Hound Mar 05, 2021 06:52 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

Look to Europe for solutions, Germany in particular. Very organized and workable. No bikes allowed for obvious reasons.

ZeroHawk Mar 05, 2021 09:21 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

lol what? no bikes in germany? ive been several times and lived in berlin. so where in this fantasy land is the germany with no bikes?
also Germany has one of the best modes of public transportation i've ever been on. several in fact. we do not have a fraction of their public transportation. yes there are MANY bicyclists in germany...that's just kind of a weird thing to say man...

Hammonds Hound Mar 05, 2021 06:45 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

What is happening to our town? Where are the watchdogs? Why weren’t residents given a voice? Ban bikes. I won’t be going anywhere near this area. Very sad.

Always_Running Mar 05, 2021 05:11 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

Hey Cathy Murillo, looks like you won’t be winning re-election. People don’t seem too pleased with your pandemic recovery plan. Doubt she’ll be holding any public office if/when this ever gets built.

Ahchooo Mar 05, 2021 03:52 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

We need a good option other than Cathy, and no, “anyone but Cathy” is not the answer. I want to vote *for* someone who has the skills and energy to be a good mayor.

Always_Running Mar 04, 2021 08:30 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

Why haven’t they painted stop signs for the bicyclist. Today I was half way through the intersection by the art museum and two bikers didn’t even stop. Blew my horn and kept going. They NEED to stop at an intersection as the DMV handbook requires. Or bring back timed lights for cars & cyclist/pedestrians

ZeroHawk Mar 05, 2021 09:25 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

this is a total problem and i too, see it way too often all over town. not just the roadies in their fancy shorts and expensive bikes riding in packs, then there are the wheelie boys (these guys need their bikes taken away...). I've rode BMX and am an avid mountain biker and cyclist. you should ALWAYS stop at a stop sign. even on a skateboard i stop. why? i don't want to be your hood ornament for any amount of time :) i feel they need more cops on bikes again and start ticketing the cyclists that do not follow traffic laws, just as cars and motorcycles have to do

bft4me Mar 04, 2021 07:59 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

How much teeth will this green paint bare without enforcement?
I was just downtown, and the De la Guerra block was inundated with groups of kids on bikes doing their watch-me-wheelies all over the place while shouting obscenities. This is the current reality. Is The City aware?

Sail380 Mar 05, 2021 10:04 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

Amazing how a small percentage of dangerous and reckless people can crate a stereotype. Kind of like all liberals think all conservatives are dangerous and reckless?????????

ZeroHawk Mar 05, 2021 09:27 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

thats one group of people. it's a bike club from the west side. id rather them be on bikes than gang banging...but they are jerks in traffic. i watched them tuesday night almost 5 of them get nailed by an SUV...the kids were riding down Cabrillo from SBCC lower lots towards the wharf at 7pm, no headlights. wtf...dumb. these do no represent cyclists. this is one group and more than half of the downtown folks know these guys are dangerous and em Dan'O

Seabird Mar 04, 2021 07:45 PM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

What the actual... who approved the bike promenade, where pedestrians need to hug the sides and skirt around the parklets to make room for cyclists? Why is the bike lane not along the side? Piss. Poor. Planning.

ZeroHawk Mar 05, 2021 09:31 AM
Green Changes to State Street Promenade

pedestrians need to what? this is dumb. the side walks are only for pedestrians. the side walks are on both sides of the street. the street lanes each equal 1 sidewalk width or there about. so you tell me, that after decades of cars and trucks driving on those lanes, that you were stuck to hugging the walls on the sidewalks? highly unlikely and a bit of a massive exaggeration. Make room for cyclists? it's a street! you were fine for decades on the sidewalk. no why so high and mighty that you need 4x the space to walk? for what? a bunch of shuttered businesses? that doesn't even make sense.


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