Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector title=
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector
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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

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chico berkeley Jul 22, 2022 10:06 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

Well that answers the question that racked up a couple hundred comments.
Keep the Palms, toss the euc's as it should be.

a-1658516473 Jul 22, 2022 12:01 PM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

Looks like those ARE eucalyptus pictured to the left! Rather than a knee-jerk reaction to eucs (FIRE HAZARD!) maybe read about some of their environmental values. In the coastal Bay area, to be sure, not that different from Santa Barbara County: <>

a-1658525365 Jul 22, 2022 02:29 PM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

12:01, tell that to people who can't get fire insurance (or pay massively inflated premiums) because of the nearby invasive eucalyptus trees. The cons outweigh the pros.

eldoradogirl Jul 23, 2022 09:10 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

Eucalyptus trees are the primary host for endangered monarch butterflies and a primary source of food for foraging bees. No bees, no food. Are you proposing we rid our area of all Eucalyptus trees or just those in the Modoc Nature Preserve?

a-1658510699 Jul 22, 2022 10:24 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

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.

Thomas John Jul 22, 2022 02:43 PM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

10:24 AM. I'll take the 'bike lobby' over the car lobby anyday. Ever wonder why the US has so little mass transit? Who do you think paid for that outcome?

MarcelK Jul 29, 2022 01:34 PM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

"Wouldn't it have been nicer if the bicycle lobby had actually taken this position without the public outcry driving them to it? "

A handful of ignorant cranks here are not a "public outcry". SBBIKE did not change its position; if you would bother to read the info above, they support "The County's preferred alignment".

Getoffmylawn Jul 22, 2022 10:36 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

If people would mind there own business, they would realize it's not a bad project. Jumping to conclusions is a santa barbara tradition

Stray Jul 22, 2022 03:45 PM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

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.

proletariat Jul 25, 2022 09:34 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

Another negative. Eucalyptus trees also suppress plant biodiversity under their canopy. Seems counter-productive for a nature preserve (unless we're only aiming to preserve the Monarchs).

>Although the toxins may vary from species to species, in general the leaves and bark shed from the trees are known to release phenolic acids and volatile oils that suppress the growth of other plants under the trees.

Getoffmylawn Jul 23, 2022 05:59 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

I remember when people on nextdoor were crying about the new modoc multiuse path before it was finished. The trees,the lanes are to small, temporary striping squeezes you. this and that.
Now that it's finished, we have a great multiuse path and modoc lanes are easy to navigate.
Pin drops of complaining today. We need to realize these projects are well thought out and stop having knee jerk reactions to opinion type posts.

seaninsb Jul 23, 2022 06:00 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

They should just leave all the trees and move the bike path to run parallel with the train tracks, then nothing has to be removed. Everyone else does this and it works well. Efficient, already level and straight, they could bring all the needed building supplies in on rail cars. Simple, effective and nothing has to be removed.

sbbeachguy Jul 23, 2022 06:37 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

Except that the two bike paths being connected are on the other side of Modoc Road, causing two unsafe crossings. I have ridden that section of Modoc Road, really bad right now.

a-1658581260 Jul 23, 2022 06:01 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

I honestly don't see the negatives here. Speaking as a runner, the new Las Positas - to - Modoc path has provided such a safe and pleasant experience on a route I have often used. The section going down Modoc is currently dusty and litter-strewn and again, not that safe. Why not add beautiful pathways (not just for bikes) to the area? Of the many things to complain about, who could complain about this?

a-1658593466 Jul 23, 2022 09:24 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

No one is complaining about the new Class 1 bike path, only the location of the bike path. Many of the neighbors of Encore Dr and other neighborhoods within the La Cumbre Water Preserve (Shareholders in the private Modoc Preserve Land Trust) do not want the County to build a 14’ asphalt/concrete bike path through this wildlife preserve (what County planners refer to as Alignment B) - this plan calls for removal of 41 trees . The County can still do the project without an easement from the LCWDC (what County planners refer to as Alignment A), but that plan will remove up to 60 trees. The shade that currently makes the Modoc Class 2 Bike path so pleasant will be gone, as will homes for many birds and animals in the wildlife preserve. The County has done an abysmal job of keeping the Class 2 bike path clean, all it takes is a regular street sweeper since there is no curb. There is often broken glass and palm fronds along the bike path that the County is responsible for cleaning up. What makes you think the County will do a better job of cleaning these Class 2 bike paths? Especially given the paths that will supposedly meander through the Modoc Preserve under trees that naturally drop leaf litter and branches? It will be difficult for bikes to share the path with pedestrians since there is no way for bikers to drive off a path with curbs, unlike the current Class 2 bike path. There are many things that the County can do to make the existing Class 2 bike path safer. Why haven’t any of these proposals been seriously considered first?

eldoradogirl Jul 23, 2022 09:47 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

Check out the Tree Removal graph included in the latest draft Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) Update document the County posted here:

eldoradogirl Jul 23, 2022 09:53 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

Sbbeachguy, you must be a soldier in the global war on non-natives! Your timing is terrible since we need TREES to help with the war on Climate Change! Check out this well researched article on non-native trees...

The Global War on Non-Native Trees
“In some cases, removal of urban trees because they are non-native may represent an ‘over-shoot’ where the removal of non-natives becomes an end unto itself… the non-native trees being removed are not necessarily highly invasive, and removal is more driven by a desire for native species rather than any real or perceived problems caused by the non-native species.”

Bird Jul 23, 2022 10:08 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

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!

MaxPilot Jul 23, 2022 07:43 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

So happy this is going to happen. Riding on Modoc is sketchy and this is a great way for SB to enhance safe bicycle travel. It's astounding that anybody would oppose this.

a-1658596459 Jul 23, 2022 10:14 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

Few oppose the bike path, although as there are anti-car zealots, so are there anti-bike zealots; what is opposed is cutting down mature shade and habitat-providing mature trees when there are other solutions than what the County bureaucrats in their wisdom have decreed. All done without any consultation with the neighbor residents, many of whom have perhaps foolishly believed that a Preserve was exactly that.

Chainsaw Don Jul 23, 2022 08:27 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

I was under the impression that this area was a designated wildlife sanctuary years ago. So what’s the purpose of having wildlife sanctuary’s ?

Waterboy Jul 23, 2022 08:31 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

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.

RHS Jul 23, 2022 09:57 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

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.

CreekMoe Jul 23, 2022 11:55 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

i think the route on Modoc should remain a horse/bike/walk path.

and keep it scenic.

the real bike riders will still use Modoc as before. or the new bike
path further east did not remove the bike lane.

plus the dirt would give the bike riders a change of experience.

Ahlia Jul 23, 2022 12:21 PM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

Given how unlikely it is that Monarch Butterflies would choose to roost in Euc trees w/2 roadways, the train tracks and the freeway next to them......... the plan to only remove some of the non-native trees, replace them w/native trees & plants and continue a multi-use pathway that MANY people can use is the most sensible. If you drive along the new Las Posits & Modoc pathways you will see just how many MORE people are using them ! :-)

a-1659296272 Jul 31, 2022 12:37 PM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

Eucalyptus trees are the preferred trees for the Monarch Butterflies. The Elwood Eucalyptus forest is a great place to visit and see them!

pedpod Jul 23, 2022 02:39 PM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

Rather than debate the value of certain trees, or the value of bike paths, we should keep in mind that we are talking about a nature preserve that is officially protected. In a preserve, you cannot do any grading, change the topography or cut down trees.

Arbiter Jul 25, 2022 02:55 PM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

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.

Fresh Voice Jul 29, 2022 10:25 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

Sometimes county government actually needs to listen to the people they’re supposed to be serving. Cutting down these trees is not ok. The Canary Island Palm trees are incredible treasures. You wouldn’t cut down the palms at Chase Palm Park or the Fig tree down by the freeway. This is no different. The Eucalyptus trees are habitat for endangered species.

The county bureaucracy is trying to mislead the public by framing this as a plan A versus plan B scenario.

It isn’t!

The county could keep their current class 2 bike path and put up a safety wall so bicyclists don’t get hurt. It wouldn’t be a fancy bike path but it would get the job done. Or they could reroute the bike path along the railroad tracks.

County govt needs to take a step back and admit they may have jumped the gun here in their analysis and planning. Just because they got a bunch of money from a State grant doesn’t mean they should try to ram this project through when it is so obviously flawed.

Start over and do it right.

Minibeast Jul 29, 2022 10:43 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

FRESH VOICE. I agree 100%. Here's something that I found disturbing: When I wrote to the Engineering Environmental Project Team Leader
Santa Barbara County Public Works, Transportation Division-Engineering Section re: information about the Modoc Multi-Use Path Project, even though I expressed no opinion either way, and did not ask for such, I was sent a link to a petition IN SUPPORT OF this proposed project. Hmm . . .

letmego Jul 29, 2022 12:33 PM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

I think a safety wall is flawed. A dedicated path would provide a safe space for cyclists AND walkers (there's quite a large section of Modoc without any sidewalk). I'm find with cutting down Eucalyptus and replacing with Oaks, for example.

Perhaps County government realizes that you aren't going to make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time...

1742 Jul 29, 2022 11:09 AM
Actual Plan for Modoc Bikepath Connector

How does a person on a bike get past the area with the gulch on one side, train tracks on the other, near the highway bridge at La Cumbre? That's a missing connection between the new Modoc Road path and the proposals discussed here.

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