Council Approves Bike Lane in the Center of State Street Promenade

The Santa Barbara City Council voted Tuesday to spend $55,000 to paint temporary bicycle lanes down the middle of the State Street Promenade.

From the 500 to 1200 blocks of State Street the council agreed to add two lanes, each approximately five feet wide, to hopefully contain speeding bicyclists and ease pedestrian concerns.

Of the $55,000 total, $45,000 will go into striping the lanes while $10,000 will be spent installing vertical elements as a one-block pilot program as a means to physically separate bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

This time the bike lanes will not be the same neon green color but instead a white lane with a yellow line down the center.

The total cost will come from the Streets Fund and will result in a postponement of planned repaving on the 1200 block of Nopal Street.

The council voted 5-2 to approve this measure with Councilmember Eric Friedman and Mayor Randy Rowse opposing.

Friedman opposed using the Street Fund for this project and suggested using reserves in the General Fund instead, but that was rejected by other councilmembers.

Rowse stated the City has already paid for the bright green bicycle lanes only to remove them again. He advocated to wait until the new State Street Master Plan Committee shares more details on how to move forward with a complete redesign of the promenade.

The project is expected to begin in the next few months.

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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    • Sure, as long as you add in that $1000 fine to pedestrians for walking in the bike path. That is the #1 reason we leave the bike safety lanes, over entitled people think it’s for them to walk on. This is exactly why it failed the first time. I live and work downtown and spend more than 50 hours a week on this street.

      • Karma, no one will buy into that.

        The bikes are the problem, not those on foot. The bikers in this town have a problem with thinking they are above the law. Pedestrians are not causing the same issues that the e-bike epidemic is. I agree that on the waterfront bike path it is an issue but not elsewhere and the new lanes on Las Positas are not exclusively bike lanes.

        Good for you that you spend “more than 50 hours a week” on State Street. You don’t own it though.

        • So the bikes are the problem? When bikes are given a bike lane to ride in and do so, then people start walking in it, forcing the bikes to leave the lane, but the bikes are the problem? Ok grandpa. Yes I spend way more time down here than you. I live and work downtown pal. Many of us that work down here commute via bike. I have way more data on this than your resin coated brain could handle. Also, you’re wrong.

  1. It’s time to set a speed limit for the bicycles on State Street, especially the ebikes that have been modified for a top throttle speed of 25-30 mph. Two people on a heavy ebike can weigh upwards of 400 pounds, enough to cause serious injury. Set the speed limit at 15 or 20 mph and enforce it!

    • yeah that won’t happen and i belong to several bike groups, no one in town has a modified ebike that makes it go 10mph faster. you been reading a lot of nonsense online. If you modify the motor, it will burn out. They are class 2 vehicles with a top speed of 19.5 MPH. One ebike brand has an off road toggle switch which allows them more torque and they can get up to 35mph, they also cost around $4000 so not very many of them. i have seen only two in town. Not on State either.
      You can’t modify or hack the computers to make it run faster. The motor, computer and battery are designed and made for specific speed ranges.

  2. Anonymous is correct….
    We had fancy painted bike lanes that were consistently ignored by both pedestrians and cyclists so they were erased. Now we’ll try new bike lanes that will be less noticeable… hmm.
    Speed limits are obviously unenforceable and now some council members also want to add “mini-transportation” devices for elderly or disabled folks.
    At least we’ll be protected from the grave danger that one councilman fears most… the imminent threat of street take overs by car gangs doing donuts on this particular stretch of State St.
    Now if we could just block traffic on every street in town we’d be really secure.

        • Perhaps, but I doubt it. Every single time the city takes a poll, the number of residents voting to keep State St closed to cars outnumbers those that want the “good old days”. Just because a lot of older folks complain on here and on Nextdoor, doesn’t mean you/they are in the majority. They just have more time to yell into the void. Of the people I know personally (ranging from young kids to older folks), 8/10 prefer the street closed to cars.

          • lol no no no. There has not been nor has there ever been a vote for this aside with the city council members. People like you do not live, nor work down here. I do as well as many others and that being fact, we want it reopened. Our business downtown has lost 25% since the closing of the road. Unless youre operating a touristy diner, you lose out. There also has not been a poll, a vote, a questionaire to this. It’s just 4 council members holding downtown hostage for their dreams of a retailless 8 block promenade of nothing but crappy diners

          • Are you referring to the surveys? You may or may not know that they can be taken as many times as desired by clearing the cache/cookies on your computer, or by using incognito mode. The survey in the Independent was even easier: No special skills were required to vote repeatedly to your heart’s content. So the survey method of voting would not be considered legit by anyone’s standards. Hence, no vote has taken place. We really don’t know if the majority of SB voters wants State Street closed to cars, and we won’t ever know until this question is put on the ballot.

          • City surveys are worded in such a way as to produce the desired result. They are not open ended answers. They are like “have you stopped beating your husband?” No one should have confidence that the surveys represent the opinion of the larger community.

      • Sure does feel “cleaner and more relaxed downtown now” because most of us locals are avoiding the mess created by the City Council and out of town landlords. Very little shopping, a weird and ugly “plaza” on every block, and the usual parking limits. La Cumbre uptown and Goleta have none of these issues, so that’s where most of us head to shop, eat and visit friends.

        The tourists can have downtown.

        • Red Creek – I avoided downtown the second I moved to Goleta decades ago and no longer needed anything from State street. It was never for “us locals” after they built Paseo Nuevo. It’s always been a dirty, smelly area with empty businesses. The promenade didn’t cause that.

  3. How about bikers thinking about stopping at the intersections where they have a stop sign? I came damn close to wiping one idiot out as I stopped and started up on a cross street, as he raced through a stop sign on State. What is it with those bicycle riders who think the traffic and safety rules don’t apply to them?

    so yes, let’s have bike lanes and speed limits, and enforce traffic laws against bikers who endanger all of us.

    • ANON – that’s the problems with many cyclists everywhere. I can’t count how many have blown through intersections in front of me, causing me (and others) to slam the brakes. I almost got in a serious accident once because of this, while my toddler was in the car. These sign/light running cyclists are a problem everywhere. no amount of rules or signs will stop them. Sadly, it will take a serious accident to stop them from doing this habitually. OR…. cops could actually enforce this. Imagine that!

      • Yes, they do, but not even close to as often or as blatant as bikes do. If cars were speeding through red lights and stop signs without even slowing down as regularly as bikes did, we’d have constant and severe accidents every day. It’s just not the same.

        • Sac, in our state, bikes have the right of way, bikes are also allowed under law to roll through stop signs (not blow through them though!). the way you’re making it seem is that it’s every bike, every light every sign which is far from accurate. Sure, the big groups of fancy road bikes, those guys are pompas @sses and blow through the reds frequently and I’ve even seen them get cited for it on Cabrillo (twice!).

          • I don’t think that’s true:
            Cyclists in California must obey stop signs. Despite a 2021 push to allow California cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs, bicyclists must still observe stop signs and red lights and come to a complete stop.

            Many bicycle advocates were hoping that a change in traffic laws would allow cyclists to bypass stop signs when safe to do so. They argue that this change would be safer for riders. For now, stop sign laws remain in place for those traveling by bicycle.

          • Karma spewing BS “data” h they have collected (by some means we don’t know about)

            “I work on state street so I own state street, anyone else’s opinions are invalid.”

            Bikes don’t have the right of way, even if that’s your pipe dream.

            Car on bike isn’t automatically in the bike’s favor just because some dumbass decides to disobey traffic laws.

  4. So you are saying that you will personally make sure there are no “SUR RONS” Et All
    In the mix ?
    You are ignorant of the E Bike capabilities. I have one that’s not even considered fast that does 28 MPH.

    Every Restaurant in the street should pay a Shitload of fees for TAKINGFPUBLIC SPACE
    I guess you were a hall monitor as a kid
    because that will be what it will be like if you accept the responsibility of being State Street Bike Cop.
    You can’t control that many many people your self.
    So who will?
    We used to outrun the cops on our dirt bikes when we were kids. They had no skills or skin in it.
    Thats what I see in the future of State..

  5. I suppose this is just the first step to additional commercialization of State Street, I mean “the Promenade”. Now there will be a study called for to study the parcelization of the street to rent out for street musicians, baton twirlers, animal acts, and so forth. That will mean more money coming in for employee paychecks. And don’t forget that there will have to be a management team of more City employees. Just you wait!

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