New Bike Path for the Westside Considered

2200 block of Modoc Road (Google Maps)

Source: City of Santa Barbara

On February 27, City leaders and decision-makers will discuss and consider a new separated pathway for bike travel on Modoc Road between Mission and Las Positas Streets.

Staff brought the Westside and Lower West Neighborhoods Transportation Management Plan (Plan) to the Transportation Circulation Committee (TCC) in October of last year. The TCC found the Plan to be consistent with various City policies. One element of the Plan is the La Cumbre Junior High/Modoc bicycle connection between the Westside and the Las Positas/Modoc Multi-use Path. Westside residents expressed a need for a stronger bicycle connection along Modoc between Mission and Las Positas for various reasons described below. Staff obtained a Measure A grant to survey this section of Modoc to better understand the right of way constraints with respect to width of the right of way, trees, and utilities. Staff then developed two options to create a stronger bicycle connection on Modoc. These two options were presented at an Approach Workshop (January 23, 2020) focused specifically on the Modoc Road corridor between Las Positas Road and Mission Street and along Portesuello Avenue between Modoc Road and Gillespie Street. Staff is returning to TCC to present the preferred option to be officially included in the Plan. The La Cumbre Junior High/Modoc Cycle Track and Multiuse Path is also a key component for a successful Active Transportation Planning (ATP) grant application that would fund portions of the Plan. Staff will be asking City Council to approve the Plan on March 10, as well as directing staff to pursue ATP grant funding.

Read the full report here.


Written by Anonymous

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  1. Does the number of pedestrians in this part of town ever exceed the numbers of bikers? Time to figure out how to use under-used sidewalks in much of this town that allows reasonable accommodation for both very occasional users – bikers and walkers. . We have several resources in this town – sidewalks, street trees and bike riders – how can we get all three to work together in the available space.

  2. I’m really bummed about the losing all those beautiful mature trees along Modoc. They really need a 3-way stop sign intersection at Modoc. Yay, Bike lanes! Yes, lots of people ride bikes and walk along this stretch every day. You should try it too.

  3. Less parking on Modoc means more congestion and more people trying to park on Kentia and Eucalyptus. Currently they are able to park on Modoc during overnight hours. This will be exacerbated by all of the apartments across Modoc with multiple cars per unit and providing only one space for them. Several neighbors in that area keep extra cars and use them to block 2 spaces during the day so they have somewhere to park when they get home. It would be nice if the planning people would address these potential issues somehow rather than pretending they didn’t exist. Unless their real goal is to force all of us to give up our cars?

  4. I agree with Pitmix. And, how many bicyclists are using that street, to justify screwing over the people with cars?
    As far as giving up our cars, I would LOVE to see the Council ride bikes to their meetings. Make THEM give up their cars, then I might consider anything they do or say.

  5. Hey city council incase you didn’t realize, modoc between mission and las positas already has sidewalks (you know for walking) on both sides of street AND bike paths on (for bicyclists) on both sides of street. There is also plenty of parking spaces (for cars) on both sides.
    My point is, why would you mess up something that works as it is? I say leave it alone.

  6. A separated bike path would be nice in a lot of areas because even when there are adequately sized bike paths where no cars are allowed to park the bike riders are still riding in the road! With the 3 foot space we need to give them I’m having to go into the other lane on Modoc all the time to keep that space since they are riding on the actual LINE. Also when people ride in groups and ride next to each other taking up the road it is a safety hazard as well. So that’s another way to look at it, those enclosed bike lanes will help to keep the bike riders where they belong and out of the road!

  7. There’s a reason why this was put forth, and it’s general bike-ability and safety. During much of the morning, cars are (legally) parked in the bike lane, forcing cyclists into the road way. During other times of the morning (La Cumbre start times), there’s a fair bit of congestion of cars doing drop off, buses, children walking and cycling to school. A number of parents expressed their concern during various workshops on the safety of that corridor (there is no crossing guard at the junior high, and it is often unsafe for students to cross Modoc at the 2 designated crosswalks). You may think that it isn’t broken, but it’s not only about you. A separate bike/ multi-use path is simply safer for all of the people who are cycling that route. Further separated paths are already planned at Las Positas and beyond.

  8. I’ve asked the City about permit parking in the past but they are very reluctant to do this. There is a permit parking zone on Hacienda Way on the westside so that the homeowners didn’t have to be bothered by the apartment dwellers but it was done a long time ago and I’m not sure they would do it now. Along Modoc, I doubt that they would define a zone so narrowly so that only the people living on the beach side of Modoc could park on those streets.

  9. Gillespie is already designated as a bike route and prevents parking on that street during commute hours. Even with that, the last time they counted bikes, there was an average of 3 per morning, and most of those were adults and not children biking to school . It would make more sense to extend the Chino Bikeway coming soon as a way to get through the neighborhoods without starting parking wars in the neighborhood. 12:16, cars have to move by 7 am and if they don’t they are ticketed. I don’t see any getting ticketed more than once.

  10. What a dumb question. Go out and watch any afternoon and you will see the crowds of pedestrians from La Colina to Carrillo and beyond. Merely asking the question seems to imply some idea that the locals are not in and about in their community and therefore it is OK to expropriate their sidewalks and parking spaces and car lanes for the pleasure of the VERY FEW bicycle riders passing through the Westside to somewhere else.

  11. JQB–I have traveled these streets for more than 13 years. There are simply not “lots” of bicycle riders in the area. There are “lots” of pedestrians and a few people who regularly use powered wheelchairs, sometimes in the streets but mostly on the sidewalks. When I do see bicycle riders they seem almost certainly to be recreational groups out for a spin. The bicycle lobby is potent and carries undue sway by dint of mythology, access to politicians and control of city urban studies.

  12. Wait–doesn’t it make sense to limit the number of vehicles permitted per residence? It could be linked to the number of bedrooms and would keep the people who own a bunch of non-functional junkers or rarely used vehicles from taking up half a city block.

  13. I believe that San Andres would make the best bike lane ( prohibiting parking during the day hours) There are mostly houses on that street, people rarely park in their driveways (because exiting driveways is difficult because of street parking) Using the main road is, in my opinion, the best candidate. If you ever drive on San Andres you will see more cyclists than any of the other side streets, and I don’t think anyone would argue that more safety is needed on that street. If the people at the City wanted to test this out in real life, they should switch the street sweeping days to the same on both sides and encourage some cyclists to do some riding during that time period. (currently, it’s Wed and Thurs 1-4pm) This would simulate having no parking on the entire street. Can study it weekly.

  14. LETMEGO – yes, when “safety requires it.” But NOT when they decided to ride side by side so they can chat as they swerve in and out of the car lane. Forcing cars to yield or swerve into oncoming traffic (when you round a bend only to find a pack of spandex goofballs riding 2-3 abreast) is selfish, illegal and stupid. I’ve even seen them do this on the 101 North to Gaviota! Cars had to swerve into the next lane to avoid these morons as they came over the hill to find a group of spandex warriors playing “race” and encroaching the right lane. Guess who gets hurt more when a car clips a cyclist who swerves in front of them? Not the car.

  15. Has anyone ever been prosecuted for violating the 3 ft rule? Has any biker ever had to prove they needed to take the lane when “safety required it”? My guess is that neither of these hard to prove actions have ever resulted in prosecution.

  16. PITMIX – It’s not so much about whether anyone has been busted for it, but that is a rule that cyclists seem to hang their lives on. They assume that cars will just move out of their way no matter what, but they often forget that sometimes (such as on the 101 or coming around a blind curve) a car cannot safely avoid them without putting themselves and other motorists/pedestrians at risk. Don’t worry about getting busted, worry about getting killed! Stay single file in your lane (just like cars are required to be) and you should be OK. Ride side by side and be aware of the risks. Hint: it’s not worth the risk to chat with your buddy.

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