Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

By an edhat reader

The below is from the July 21 newsletter of regarding the Modoc Bike Path: 

Project info at:
Modoc Multi-Use Path Project Update

This project has been in the news and we want to make sure the community has factual information. This project FAQ Sheet from the County provides background, information and links to project plans and documents.

This County of Santa Barbara Public Works’ Coastal Route Gap Closure project will construct a new Multi-Use Path segment along Modoc Road in South Santa Barbara County. The Path will connect the widely-popular Obern Trail Multi-Use Path to the recently-completed Las Positas/Modoc Road Multi-Use Path nearby in the City of Santa Barbara. This two-phase project, already funded by a California Active Transportation Program (ATP) Grant award, will ‘close the gap’ between these paths, creating a safe (separated from traffic), continuous and enjoyable regional multi-user connection for bicyclists, pedestrians, the mobility-challenged, students and work commuters along a stretch of Modoc Road where sidewalks currently don’t exist.

The County’s preferred alignment, alternative B, would place much of the new path meandering between existing trees to minimize tree removal impacts, and most of the removed trees would be non-native eucalyptus (to be replaced by native species), keeping the existing Canary Island Palm trees along the road. SBBIKE+COAST supports this ATP project using the preferred alignment alternative that minimizes tree removal and equestrian impacts while providing a safer multi-user connection for all our community members!  For questions or more info, contact Lael Wageneck, County Public Works Public Information Officer.

Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition · 506 E Haley St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103, United States


Written by haroldm

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  1. Having partial information then jumping to a conclusion then espousing an opinion is easy and fun. Passes the time nicely, even if one is way off base. Moving on from new Modoc bike path route, I sense a spinoff topic starting here: pluses and minuses of non-native eucalyptus trees. Positives: fast growing windbreaks, hardwood for burning in fire places, monarch butterflies favor some eucalyptus groves. Negatives: limbs shed easily in a wind, kill people and damage property; can’t mill straight for any construction project; leaf litter inhibits native plant life.

  2. Wouldn’t it have been nicer if the bicycle lobby had actually taken this position without the public outcry driving them to it? A good part of the anger here is that this stuff is being done quietly and the public only sees the plans after they are done and after the chance to offer objections is past. There is a strong perception that this bicycle thing is a “master plan” outside the normal democratic process for the benefit of a relatively few people.

  3. So the elephant in the room is what to do to safely connect all of these paths with the majority of Santa Barbara. The Positas/ Modoc intersection is nearly impossible to safely negotiate. If you somehow survive that then the ride up Las Positas bike path quits half way leaving riders hanging in the wind.

    • Bike riders are not “left hanging in the wind” as they can continue up Las Positas or down Modoc without a dedicated bicycle lane in any event. Notice on Las Positas that the bicyclists have two lanes. They appear to favor the one on the road as it has fewer stops than the dedicated “safe” lane they wanted. Sounds like hypocrisy to complain about the absence of such special lanes and then not use them when inconvenient.

  4. At what point does one, a tree, for instance, become a native? Humans move to Santa Barbara and their children, including the tots who were infants and know no other place, are considered SB natives. These mature Eucalyptus have ancestors who were Australians but even the seedlngs grown into very large trees are considered _not_ natives!

  5. Modoc has a relatively high accident rate. In fact, a biker was killed on that stretch of road a few years ago. We desperately need a bike and pedestrian path there, and it will complete a missing gap in the popular Coastal Access Route by connecting the Obern Trail from Goleta to the City of Santa Barbara’s newest bike paths on Modoc and Las Positas. This would facilitate much-needed, safe access to schools, beaches, neighborhoods, and UCSB. The County can do this in a way to minimize tree loss and impacts to the Modoc preserve, and will plant additional native oak trees that are more fire-resistant and better for the long-term given hotter, windier conditions.

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