Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities title=
The newly separated bike path in Santa Barbara (courtesy photo)
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By Katie Davis, Chair, Sierra Club Santa Barbara-Ventura Chapter

Bike paths reduce pollution and are essential to fighting climate change. A path from Goleta to Santa Barbara can also save lives.

I spent time in France this summer marveling at how cities can be transformed by bike paths. In Paris, separated bike paths are everywhere, including the busiest sections along the Seine, and the city is cleaner and less polluted as a result. Bordeaux has been transformed with the addition of trams and bike paths, and streets closed to cars. Apparently, they’ll give you a free bike if you live there.

There are examples in California as well. In the city of Davis, which extended separated bike paths from its UC campus to the rest of the city, fully 20% of commutes are made by bike. Providing safe, separated bike paths is particularly beneficial for poorer residents, students, young people, pedestrians, the handicapped, and anyone who would like to drive less.

A separated bike path in Paris (courtesy photo) 

It is also an important climate action. Studies find that swapping the car for walking, cycling and e-biking even just one day a week makes a significant impact on personal carbon emissions in cities. Cyclists have 84% lower CO2 emissions from all daily travel than non-cyclists.

With our temperate weather, relatively flat cities and with infrastructure money now available to fund transportation, our region could become far more bike friendly. Our cities and the county have "Active Transportation Plans" that map out how to improve infrastructure for bikes and pedestrians, and these are starting to be implemented. It’s great to see more separated bike paths such as the recently completed and beautiful Las Positas bike path in Santa Barbara.

Goleta is now working on the San Jose Creek bike path, which would connect the popular separated paths from UCSB and Goleta Beach to the rest of the city of Goleta, including a new 101 underpass. There has been some movement on the plan to re-stripe Old Town Goleta to make it safer for bikes as well.

On the other end of that path, Santa Barbara County has a unique grant opportunity to 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. The Modoc Path is important because Modoc has a relatively high accident rate, including biker deaths and severe injuries.

A close-up of dots showing pedestrian and bike deaths and severe injuries in the Modoc area from Santa Barbara County's Active Transportation Plan.


Unfortunately, there is a time limit on the $5 million grant and the plan faces obstacles because of some initial community opposition to the loss of up to 63 trees. They have a point. Urban open space and mature trees are valuable and the initial number of trees impacted in the Modoc Preserve sounded alarming. However, the County can build a shady, multi-use path that minimizes the loss of mature trees. The latest iteration of the plan reduces removal to 49 trees, with another alignment option only removing 22 trees at most. Most of the trees removed would be eucalyptus, a non-native and highly flammable tree. As a mitigation, the County would plant oak trees, which are quick-growing, and both native and fire resistant. This is a better long-term choice given climate change and hotter, windier conditions.

It should also be noted that non-native tree removal is part of conservation management because in addition to fire risk, non-native trees like eucalyptus can use so much groundwater that they dry out wetlands, kill and crowd out other trees and plants, and require constant maintenance. Aging trees also pose dangers of falling. The county consulted with conservation experts to plan path options that will benefit both users and the environment.  

Roads often take priority, so it's a good idea to let city and county planners and decision-makers know that you want to see them improve our bike infrastructure. You can start by signing SB Bike's petition supporting the Modoc path.

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RHS Aug 19, 2022 02:47 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Bicycle paths are not "essential to fighting climate change" and it is this sort of hyperbole that is making the fight more difficult than it need be. And, locally, most of the expansion of bicycle paths has been for recreational purposes, not business or school use. (In fact the city of Goleta just announced the use of Measure A funds that were to be used for safe school bicycle access to a cross town connector that has almost nothing to do with schools.) The Las Positas dedicated pathway is being ignored by bicyclists in favor of the "unsafe" marked lane on the roadway itself because the roadway lane is faster it seems (so much for the need for protected right of ways!). And bicycle lanes are now being dominated by e-bikes which are not an economic nor environmental solution to the transportation issue anyway. Bicycle lanes are nice, however, as a recreational and civilized adjunct of our community. Just tone the rhetoric down and others will be with you. At the same time the bicycle people need to recognize that the rest of the community doesn't go for the elimination of greenery and aesthetically pleasant paths that people have worked long to create and protect. Work with others and find a compromise.

ZeroHawk Aug 19, 2022 03:48 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

RHS, plenty of people downtown commute using bikes and the bike lanes. I used to ride from Modoc to Fairview Avenue to work. I did that on a bike for 15 years. I think more people commute via bike than you may realize. I've been using my bike to commute since the early 1990s.
A HUGE problem with the bike paths (and this addresses another gripe you've made) is that pedestrians constantly step into it and feel the need to walk or push a stroller in it. That is for the sidewalks....where bikes should not be. Bikes belong in the bike lanes or paths for bikes, not the sidewalks. Pedestrians need to stay out of the bike lanes, and i don't care what the excuse or story is, just keep out of it. When they step into a bike lane, that forces bikes out of the lanes and into areas where people are supposed to be walking. It creates a huge mess. I have chosen to ride on the sidewalks on LP for the sheer fact that drivers SPEED up and down that road and riding a bike on LP is anything but safe. I lost an old friend on that road this year. Your complaint about ebikes....is silly. It's a bike and belongs in the bike path and bike lane. I have both styles of bikes and my ebike is pedal assist. Dominated. Right. RHS, do you bike around town often? Are you on the bike paths a lot? Because i use it as my main mode of transport in town. I only drive when i leave the city. I bike from the harbor to La Cumbre often. Frankly, after reading your post several times, I see one thing that's clear. You aren't a person that bikes daily or even weekly. You're crying foul because people that ride bikes got a connector lane around Modoc. Think hard about that. So your greenery (mostly brush and weeds and non indiginous trees), was replaced with a safe lane for bikes and you're mad about that. Got it.

Sensibly Common Aug 19, 2022 03:56 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Some inaccurate information in you post. The measure a investment plan includes funding for both safe routes to school, and bicycle and pedestrian projects. Goleta received funding through the bicycle and pedestrian program for the two projects you’ve referenced in your posts.

MESA75 Aug 19, 2022 06:24 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

It’s a multi use path, not just for bikes. The new route along Modoc between Los Positas and Calle De Los Amigos was a neighborhood sidewalk most of the way, you know for pedestrians not bicycles, long before this project.

MarcelK Aug 19, 2022 07:37 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

"most of the expansion of bicycle paths has been for recreational purposes, not business or school use"

There were people on the Obern trail surveying people about this very thing. Were you one of them? (No, I didn't think so.) The Obern trail is used by many USCB students; it might be used by more if it connected to the new Modoc class 1 lane.

"essential" is only hyperbole if one interprets it in the most pedantic way. Per the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_charity, try reading it as "plays an important role".

There are a lot of other misstatements in your comment.

MarcelK Aug 19, 2022 07:50 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

"Pedestrians need to stay out of the bike lanes"

We have a number of multiuse paths, like the new Modoc path and the beach path. Even on dedicated bike paths I learned long ago that pedestrians will use them, and talking about what numerous individuals "need to" or "should" do is just fantasizing so you have to adjust your behavior to match reality. Which is one reason why, when I am riding fast, I usually prefer the class II lanes (e.g., on Cabrillo or Modoc) ... but for many more casual riders or people more skittish about riding on the road, multi use works fine.

mm1970 Aug 22, 2022 11:12 AM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Some of the bike paths are multi-use paths, and some are for bikes only. So, they really should be clearly labeled (like out in IV, sometimes), where they have painted a person with a circle and a line through them. (Also, if I am running on the mesa along shoreline, I am 100% running in the road during the section where there is nothing but driveways, because it kills my knees to be running on an uneven, slanted, surface.) I've been yelled at by cyclists, and I DGAF.

I don't ride as often as I used to. I used to ride to work from the Westside to Goleta 2x a week, and I'm trying to figure out how to do it again (plus, I'm old now and I kinda want an electric assist to get up hills. W. Valerio is a killer!) I am still acutely aware of cyclists. I know more than one kid (including hopefully my own soon) who bike home from San Marcos. That new multi-use path is essential for safe biking for teenagers.

Finally, bikes are vehicles, and they are allowed on the roads too. There are times when I'll bike in the lane on Modoc because it makes sense (like going TO Goleta), and times when I'll use the multi-use path. Both are needed.

Painey Aug 19, 2022 03:37 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Thank you Katie for a well written and informative Op-Ed! I find it ironic that RHS comments about "work with others and find a compromise". That is exactly what the county is doing right now. They have revised their plans that greatly reduce the amount of trees that need to be cut down. Thank you also for pointing out that the non-native trees can be detrimental to local environments. This multi-use path is a win-win for the environment: it will help the wetlands in the preserve, it will reduce fire risk and it will enable ALL users; young and old, recreationalists, commuters and students, able-bodied and less-able to get out of cars and reduce their carbon footprint while getting fresh air and exercise. Good for the mind, body, soul and Mother Earth!

Don Lubach Aug 19, 2022 04:22 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

What an excellent overview of how some good planning can improve lives. I have a competitive side to me, and it sure flares up when I read stats like the % of bicycle commuters in Davis, CA and Portland, OR -- both of those beautiful cities have more people enjoying car-free commutes than we do and our town has more favorable weather and terrain for cycling. I'd like to see 50% of us smiling on the bike paths. Now that we have some eBikes in the family fleet, I don't even notice gas prices when I'm in town -- the car sits in the garage. If anyone needs help with car-free commuting, I'm easy to find and ready to help.

Chainsaw Don Aug 19, 2022 04:48 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Just like anything this is the right way, because it’s my way. I wish you owned the land and that way you could build what ever you want. Cut fine bulldoze, pour your concrete , pave your asphalt, build your walls. But it is a Nature Preserve and it is protected. I do not trust the tree count or the politicians making any of these counts or agreements. I care about the native & un native wildlife and trees and palms. I do not want 1 foot oak trees to be planted. I do want want these people to construct shade after they remove palms and trees. Maybe they will buy stuffed hawks, owls and plastic monarchs and hang them in your constructed shade.
It is land set aside for a Nature Preserve.
Absolutely no. I don’t care what reason, how justified you may believe it should be. No! No!!

Minibeast Aug 19, 2022 06:12 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

CHAINSAW DON: Please take my upvote. Before Santa Barbara County invests any more time and money in the proposal to "enhance" the Modoc Rd. bikepath, four things need to take place: (1) An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) must be done. How is the proposed removal of mature growth trees in or near a preserve not deserving of an EIR? How is it that the proposal to pave over part of The Preserve has not triggered an EIR? (2) Using the deadline on a $5.3 million grant as justification for rushing ahead with virtually zero input from the public needs to stop. As it is now, the public is being railroaded into thinking the proposed project is "either/or." It's NOT. (3) All viable alternatives to tree removal and paving over any part of The Modoc Preserve must be explored. For example: Why can't the bike path parallel the railroad corridor, as has been done in so many other locations throughout the US and other countries? (4) Lastly, and not least in importance: If, as I have seen touted in several news articles of late, the proposed upgrade from bike path to a safer multi-use path is the end goal, where is the parking? Where are mothers with strollers, parents with young children (walking or with bicycles), pedestrians of all ages, wheelchair users, etc. supposed to park? Are they going to park in the neighborhood and cross Modoc Rd. into The Preserve to utilize this new path? Over and above all that I have written here ----------- Am I the only one who thinks electric bikes have been a massive game changer in all of this? How safe will a multi-use path be with E-bikes hurtling along at 25 - 30 mph? Think I'm exaggerating? Get out on the Goleta Bike Path and see for yourself.

MarcelK Aug 19, 2022 07:52 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

"Just like anything this is the right way, because it’s my way. "

So EVERYTHING is your way, which is always right?

a-1660969064 Aug 19, 2022 09:17 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Apparently, it's going back for further study with a new draft to be published in September, with a 30-day comment period, and to be considered by the BOS in November. No mention of an EIR, unfortunately.
As for e-bikes, they're fun but they certainly take away a lot of the pleasure of the East Beach "Beachway" which is a multi-use "path", often dominated by ebikes, going 20+mph. Motorized bikes, peddle-assist ones excepted, should be treated like motorcycles.

Chainsaw Don Aug 20, 2022 07:14 AM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Absolutely. To me it’s a money grab. It’s a “Safe Routes to School”, pedestrian pathway, stroller highway, wheelchair ADA pathway, E Bikes. The more you can include the bigger the pot.
I believe the bicyclists feel picked on, that people don’t want bike lanes. That’s not true. I believe you can build bike pathways and be sensitive to the environment. It may take some extra work, but I can tell you it will accomplish so much more.
Do you know not all the neighbors were notified if this project? Neighbors with in a 399 foot area? That the SB Land Trust was not notified? This is not how you go about this type of a project. You are planting seeds of distrust.

Chainsaw Don Aug 20, 2022 07:22 AM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

This is the problem when you have your mind already made up. This project deserves a EIR, anything less is joke. This project has been mishandled from the beginning. Trust issues were buried and hidden from the surrounding neighbors and the SB Land Trust. They did not create these issues.
It’s sad to say but I believe that when the BOS finally vote for this and it’s approved, 3:2 that our only option is to file an injunction and demand a full EIR.


MarcelK Aug 20, 2022 03:10 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

"This is the problem when you have your mind already made up. "

Yes, your comments definitely demonstrate that problem.

Basicinfo805 Aug 19, 2022 05:11 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Davis is nothing like SB as far as bicycling suitability. Zero hills, light if any traffic. No major roads crisscrossing through the town. It’s a smaller town, and it’s very bike friendly, other than in the summer heat. I do agree SB has a long way to go to improve bikability. I think a path is a great idea, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets screwed up by the City.

Snoodely Aug 19, 2022 05:14 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Thank you, Katie, for that excellent article. I agree with you entirely about the importance of providing more bike paths — especially safe class 1 bike paths — for the health of ourselves and the planet. I also like the idea of replacing the lost (non-native) eucalyptus trees with native oaks … except for the chronic, protracted oak moth infestations to which they are prone. Anyone who has lived near infested oak trees can testify to the unpleasant — rather disgusting -- rain of tiny black caterpillars beneath the trees. Although these periodic infestations rarely kill the trees, they can virtually denude them for months at a time, obviating the trees’ shade value. I wonder if other shade trees might be considered to replace the lost eucalypti … perhaps elms or jacarandas?

bicyclist Aug 19, 2022 05:30 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Jacaranda - now were talking!!! I can see it now, visit SB to see the Jacaranda trail....
who could complain? blooms are wonderful & the smell wow. Here's Huell's take:

Chainsaw Don Aug 20, 2022 07:41 AM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

It’s a Nature Preserve. Maybe if we cut all the trees down, bulldoze the area, build over a thousand feet of retaining walls, bring in countless trucks of gravel, build 6 foot high walls, then concrete and asphalt, maybe then some will think it’s beautiful ? The foxes won’t be able to access it, the monarch’s will have lost its habitat, the hawks will be long gone after a year of construction. How sad

MarcelK Aug 20, 2022 05:01 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Don: your over-the-top hyperbole and slippery slope arguments greatly decrease your credibility. Katie Davis is on the executive committees of both the local group and chapter of the Sierra Club, an organization which has worked hard to prevent all the things you mention.

patrick Aug 19, 2022 05:17 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

I’m a bike rider and a tree/nature lover, but not a fan of the Canary Island palms — they seem so out of place to me. I look forward to the extension of the bike path and hope that the replacement trees are native. In the average year, I put twice as many miles around town on my bikes than my motor vehicle.

Minibeast Aug 19, 2022 06:24 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

You know who does like Phoenix canariensis/Canary Island Date palm? Acorn woodpeckers and Barn owls. Acorn woodpeckers utilize the cut back petioles of the palm fronds as granaries. That's where Acorn woodpeckers love to store acorns. Barn owls nest in Canary Island Date palms, and sometimes raise as many as two broods per year. Sparrows like CID palms, Hooded orioles like CID palms, White-breasted nuthatches like CID palms. Birds all over Santa Barbara County love and know how to engage with CID palms and other non-native trees.

patrick Aug 19, 2022 09:31 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

I’d still prefer native plants. The animals will adapt as they evolved to do. (You forgot that rats love the palms, too, as I am sure they love other native vegetation.)

Chainsaw Don Aug 20, 2022 07:45 AM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

But do we really need them? Are they truly native? The woodpeckers and the owls. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if all we had to deal with was concrete and asphalt.
Orange county here we come.

Basicinfo805 Aug 19, 2022 07:30 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Mini - ecologically, there are reasons why non-natives appear great for local wildlife for a time, and that doesn’t work in the long run. Woodpeckers and owls will do just fine with oak trees.

a-1661044496 Aug 20, 2022 06:14 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

It’s those darn pesky monarch butterfly’s. Oh those darn “Endangered” pesky monarchs.
Loss of habitst is number 1 reason they are endangered.

Getoffmylawn Aug 19, 2022 07:33 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Take the money to improve things. People think its wasted tax dollars.
If you don't take these funds, they go to other cities.
Construction and Healthcare are the 2 biggest driving forces in a good economy

Basicinfo805 Aug 19, 2022 07:54 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Maybe the funds should go to other cities who have their act together, just a thought.

Chainsaw Don Aug 20, 2022 11:49 AM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

There is parts of this city / county that need Class 2 bike paths. They would love what is not good enough for some.

David Bicycling Aug 19, 2022 10:04 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

To me a major new concern about our network of paths is that they are gradually being taken over by high powered and fast electric motorcycles and electric bicycles. For some reason many people don't consider electric motors to be motor driven, which are legally not allowed on the paths. They are more of danger to non-motorists than even a 2 stroke motorcycle because they are quiet and can often not be heard as they pass us human powered bicyclists at high speed. This concern needs to be addressed before we add more paths.

a-1661007007 Aug 20, 2022 07:50 AM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

I’ve been advocating for bicycle / E Bike enforcement for a long time. Licenses, liability insurance, ticketing.

Ahchooo Aug 20, 2022 09:02 AM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Some form of speed enforcement is needed. On multi-use paths there should be a fairly low speed limit, to keep the paths safe for pedestrians (who are also entitled to use the multi-use). I wouldn’t want to keep e-bikes off of the paths, just keep them at a safe speed. Alas, I don’t know how that could be enforced.

roetter1 Aug 20, 2022 09:55 AM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

I agree with this post. We're at a transition point playing catch up to new technology and the consequences are going to be disastrous as more people embrace Electric "Motorized" bicycles without a rule book in place. This addition to the bike path is fantastic and much needed but we should have in place a game plan as currently it's the wild West out there. Some are comparing this growing stage of recklessness on the bike paths and streets now to what it must have been like when the automobile was first introduced to a world of pedestrians and horse riders. The USA is behind when it comes to bike infrastructure logic and spending (though improving greatly) and should probably look at European approaches based on their vast network of local, national, and cross border bike paths. Does anyone out there have experience from living in say Holland, France, Germany, Switzerland as to how bike paths are governed, maintained, and enforced?

EastBeach Aug 20, 2022 01:15 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

@Achooo I've had similar thoughts. Anecdotally, most of the unsafe eBikers I see in town and on the Goleta bike paths are kids and teens (for surly Edhatters, I emphasize I said "most" and not "all"). I probably sound like an old grouch when I put blame on their parents for not "raising them right". Parents (usually) put effort into making sure their kids learn to use motorcycles and cars safely. I think they need to do the same for their kids with eBikes. Note: there are two 10-12 yo kids who ride their eBikes on the top-most trail at Modoc Preserve. I've seen them blast past elderly hikers from behind and surprise them. A perfect case for parental guidance?

a-1661027609 Aug 20, 2022 01:33 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Road cyclists on "analog" bikes can and do go over 30mph. The throttle style class 2 e-bikes that a lot of people, kids and adults, are riding "fast" have a max speed of 20mph. Granted, 20mph can seem really fast when you are walking and someone whizzes by at that speed but we need to stop blaming the bike. It is also near impossible to enforce. What needs to happen is education. There are safety courses being offered to adults and teens by SBBIKE+COAST that are specifically aimed at e-bike users. Perhaps encouraging some parental guidance and also adults modeling conscientious riding by minding their speeds in busy areas would go a lot further than whining and complaining about enforcement.

MarcelK Aug 20, 2022 04:54 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

"Road cyclists on "analog" bikes can and do go over 30mph. "

Most can't -- certainly not on level ground. And e-bikes have a lot more mass. The *normal* speed of e-bikes is far greater than that of "analog" bikes.

Minibeast Aug 20, 2022 06:59 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

DAVID BICYCLING. Good point and well-stated. E-bike usage is in serious need of regulation and enforcement.

Ahchooo Aug 20, 2022 08:51 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

1:33 PM, I’m all in favor of education. If we are going to have multi-use paths, people need to understand that pedestrians have a right to be there, and aren’t “in the way” of bicyclists, electric or not. Just like bicyclists that travel on roadways without bike paths have a right to be there. Everyone needs to work at accommodating each other. Not sure who you think is whining. Just having a discussion here.

MarcelK Aug 21, 2022 12:59 AM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

P.S. There isn't a single bicycle going 30 mph on any of our bike paths so it's disingenuous to mention it in comparing them to e-bikes, which routinely go 15-20 mph. (Type 3 e-bikes can go 28 mph; they aren't legally allowed on bike paths but are showing up there nonetheless.) The elite riders who can reach such speeds stick the roads; they certainly don't ride multi use paths at top speed.

FWIW, the average speed of a Tour de France rider--up hills, down hills, and on flats--is about 25 mph (Lance Armstrong's average was 25.9 mph.) Top time trial speeds are about 36.5 mph ... this is for the world's fastest riders in special aerodynamic helmets on special aerodynamic bikes.

a-1661111279 Aug 21, 2022 12:47 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

ok so I was exaggerating a little- the point I was trying to make is that it seems the bike is always blamed but it is just a tool and it is the behavior and actions of people that need to be the focus. Education on bike etiquette and safety as an example. I was also trying to highlight that some people write about e-bikes and unsafe speeds but regular bikes can and do go pretty fast as well. I am a cyclist and I am very aware when I am on a multi use path or a busy street, I have to adjust my speed so as not to be a danger to others or myself. That is all I am advocating for.

MarcelK Aug 21, 2022 03:47 PM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

12:47 You were exaggerating a lot. If you can't make your argument honestly then it's not a good argument. The fact is that you contradict yourself: "I have to adjust my speed so as not to be a danger to others or myself " -- exactly, which is why talk of bicycles going 30 mph on multiuse paths is nonsense. But see, the thing is that many young e-bike riders are *not* adjusting their speeds ... they lack the emotional and experiential maturity to appreciate the dangers of their behavior, so those people who write about e-bikes and unsafe speeds have a valid point that isn't countered by saying that "regular bikes can and do go pretty fast as well", especially when you absurdly exaggerate it. So yes, we need to change people's behavior, and education is part of that.

a-1661176788 Aug 22, 2022 06:59 AM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

I’m curious on who is enforcing these laws / rules? Or is there any enforcement?

gnusman Aug 20, 2022 10:16 AM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

So glad this was reprinted from the current issue of Condor Call the local Sierra Club's newsletter. It really needs wide circulation.
Perhaps one solution to allowing e-bikes is to have a line on the bikepath for e-bikes only, separating them from pedestrians and other bikes, wheelchairs etc. Basically mimicking a normal road with a bike path element. It will take up more room perhaps, depending on the location of the bikepath. But if biking is to become a serious alternative to cars, bikepaths must be designed to accomodate, say, someone who shops and carries the load on an ebike.
By the way, the Condor Call has lots more news and interesting local stories in addition to Katie's article. You can find it here:

Chainsaw Don Aug 20, 2022 11:47 AM
Op-Ed: Bikeways Nurture Cities

Let me get this straight on Modoc which has the Class 2 bike pathway, and now is proposing ruining a Nature Preserve and harming the Santa Barbara Land Trust which over sees several land trust, ruin their credibility. And now you are proposing another separate lane for E Bikes?
How about a separate pathway for wheel chairs, then electric wheel chairs, strollers, tric cycles, fast bikes, slow bikes.
You could if you owned the land. This is a nature preserve.


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