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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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!)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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-

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.

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?

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.


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