Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

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Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community
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Source: City of Santa Barbara

The League of American Bicyclists has honored the City's efforts to build better places for people to bike with a Silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award. Santa Barbara joins 497 communities across the country in the movement for safer streets and better bicycling for everyone. The Silver Level BFC award recognizes the City’s commitment to improving conditions for all people who bike through investments in bike infrastructure, active transportation policies, education programs, and bike events to encourage biking as a healthy and sustainable transportation option.

“Biking has the power to transform our nation economically, environmentally and socially and it’s so important that communities like Santa Barbara have laid the groundwork over several years to make biking a safe, accessible option for all. With many more Americans turning to biking as a fun way to get outdoors and as a necessary transportation option, we must keep the momentum to build a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone going,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “This Bicycle Friendly Community award is the culmination of years of work put in by Santa Barbara and its citizen advocates for better biking. Santa Barbara joins 57 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Communities in the movement toward healthier, more sustainable and connected places. As we gear up for what we hope to be a transformational new year for biking investments, we’re grateful that Santa Barbara and communities like it are pedaling alongside us to power the better bicycling movement.”

“Santa Barbara continues to invest in our active transportation infrastructure. Making biking more accessible and welcoming can reduce congestion and parking impacts, and provides a healthy and sustainable transportation option in a city rich with bicycling history. With numerous transformative bicycle projects coming online in the coming years, the community continues to embrace bicycling in Santa Barbara, and aims to improve our BFC ranking moving forward.” – Jessica Grant, Supervising Transportation Planner, City of Santa Barbara Public Works Department

To learn more about the BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.

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a-1640122300 Dec 21, 2021 01:31 PM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

Ugh, does this sort of pandering really get our taxpayers to kick in millions of $ for the basically recreational benefits of these folks? If someone gets Mecum's to award the city for parking lots that accommodate old internal combustion engines would be make policy on that basis?

yacht rocked Dec 21, 2021 02:31 PM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

I like your line of thinking. We're spending hundreds of millions of dollars rebuilding the 101. This is why we need to have toll booths at both ends of the 101 at the County Line to ensure that all freeway drivers are coming into the County for non-recreational purposes only. ;-)

ZeroHawk Dec 21, 2021 03:16 PM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

It would be good if the City PD could enforce some traffic codes downtown and along the water front. As a cyclist, it's mind numbing to have people milling around in the center of a well marked bike path/bike lanes. Several of my buddies at SBPD/Traffic agree that the cell phone zombies and those that think a bike lane is for them to walk in are a major problem.
This stupidity and self absorbed decision making, forces cyclists out of their safe lane and into the street area where people are walking. Bikes on State have the middle of the road. Very clearly marked. I see people all day long walking in it, forcing cyclists to swerve out of the way.
I wonder how folks walking would feel if cyclists just started riding on the side walks. Hey, since they want to insist that a clearly marked bike lane is a mixed use path (it's not...) then we should be able to ride anywhere we want.
A green light and a red light on state street. If the light is red and you walk against it and are in the way of ebikes and human powered bikes and scooters, guess who is at fault? The pedestrian that walked against the red light. I was told this several times from those who issue the citations. I was also told that my marine air horn on my bike is also legal. Very legal. So if you are walking on a marked bike path and someone comes up behind you and hits their air horn and you jump 20 feet up and lose your phone...just know that was me and i'll do it again. merry christmas

SBTownie Dec 21, 2021 04:17 PM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

No it's not, SBSAND. Have you ever been to Amsterdam? Phone trolls don't just waddle around the bike lanes, so the bike lanes actually work. Pedestrians really are oblivous. Many bikers are also disrespectful but pedestrians need to play their part, too.

SBSand Dec 21, 2021 06:41 PM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

Choosing to ride in an area that is full of meandering tourists is going to be risky. A bike lane in the middle of a pedestrian walkway is a bad idea. The bike path down by the beach is also right in the middle of the access between the road and the beach, which is bad planning on the part of the city. Bike riders need to be aware of pedestrians, just as people driving need to be aware of bike riders, even with the bike riders are in the road instead of the bike lane or riding side by side or in groups, causing people who are driving to have to slow down to bike speeds or to go into a lane with oncoming traffic. There are lots of people doing their own thing and not being considerate of others. Also, if a car hits a bike and the rider is injured or killed, does it matter to the people that care about that bike rider, or the ride themselves, who was at fault? When it comes to insurance it does but for caring humans it doesn't matter who is at fault, it just matters that it happened. I would still be crushed if I hurt someone else because I wasn't being a defensive driver. That's what is gross, is the attitude in their post.

SBTownie Dec 21, 2021 06:53 PM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

No, I'm not and I'm also a cautious rider who uses a bell and communicates vocally with pedestrians "on your left," "passing you, etc." I agree around the beach area one needs to expect and use caution. I think it's fair that people walk in one lane, for example, but it's very annoying when they think it's ok and fair to stretch across the entire thing making passing very difficult. And I agree with you that the bike lane by the beach is poor planning. I also think the new plan is stupid where they want to route pedestrians to the sidewalk by the street. I think peds and bikers should both have access to the oceanfront area and I think a better plan would be widening of the existing path with some light barrier between the two delineating bike area from ped area, versus trying to force the peds to the street which let's face it is not going to happen.

ZeroHawk Dec 22, 2021 10:18 AM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

no, i'd be looking at their parents asking why they are letting their toddler run around a busy bike lane. sorry, but don't push that on the cyclist when there are zombies roaming around town and not watching their kids or pets too for that manner. I've seen dozens of people walking their dogs in the bike lane and that just confuses me to no end.

ZeroHawk Dec 22, 2021 10:23 AM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

SBsand, wrong. The peds have 50 feet of SIDEWALK that bikes can't ride on. They also have 30 feet in either direction off of the marked bike lanes. So even on a busy day we do not have that many people downtown to where peds need 160 feet up and down the street to walk, giving bikes, scooters and so on a mere 6 feet to ride.
math doesn't lie dude. Also, i've been here since 1982. The bike lane at the beach has always been a bike lane used by rollerskaters and skateboarders and bikes. People in the past 15 -20 years have taken over the bike paths forcing us to ride elsewhere and THAT is the cause of problems. Bikes have their lanes which were taken over by over entitled santa barbarans that think they can do what they want with no repercussions. Natural consequences happen, like you getting hit by a cyclist.
Let me ask this. Are you that brave that you would wander in the middle of a road and then challenge cars? If so, you deserve the darwin award. It's no different than wandering on the 101

ZeroHawk Dec 22, 2021 03:18 PM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

SBSand, what do you know? You don't ride. You are defending those in the wrong and are just one of a few trying to convince the planet that people can walk on a designated bike path and they have a right to. no they do not. that tramples my rite to ride a bike safely. If you or any other idiot steps onto the path, you will have many natural consequences to deal with and rightfully so.
I've seen it on both sides, but what you are trying to say is just a weak and dumb defense.
There was a guy riding his bike through the 'food court' on lower state when it was packed. i was there walking my malinois with another friend walking his tiny little dog. My friend is a Marine and a big dude. I watched the guy on the bike try to pedal through a very busy crowd and almost hit my friends dog. The guy on the bike got told not just by my friend, and myself, but several others standing around. My friend was ready to knock the tar out of this guy because he kept spouting off rude comments. An officer happened to be near by at Haley street and was summoned over to deal with the turd.
The other side? Yeah guys like you forcing guys like me out of the lane and into the paths of cars, other bikes, or pedestrians. Natural consequences can be severe.

ZeroHawk Dec 22, 2021 03:12 PM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

thank you SBTownie- BTW, i've been to Amsterdam several times and totally know what you're talking about. In fact, all over the planet, at least every place i have been to and i've been to many....Santa Barbara is the only place where pedestrians think they are entitled to take up room on a bicycle path designed and designated for cyclists not people walking. it's obnoxious.

ZeroHawk Dec 22, 2021 03:22 PM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

SBT, peds DO have access....its the GIANT sidewalk on Cabrillo. Ya know...the one that's almost twice the size of the side walks on state street.
nifty plan that will fail and won't even get a stamp of approval from the mayor or council which is good. The bike lanes at the beach are perfectly fine and the concept of pulling peds off of it and redirecting them to the side walk, where bikes can't go, is how it should be and how it was all along until the mid 90s. Widen the path? Are you kidding me? That is the largest sidewalk in town. No absolutely no. Simple, stay the hell off of the bike path unless you're on a bike or scooter. pretty simple. the PD will be enforcing a lot of what I am saying very soon.

edney Dec 21, 2021 04:57 PM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

If Santa Barbara was as flat andcold as Amsterdam is with all the water and canals I could ice skate to work for 3-4 months out of the year.. Copenhagen is another city often cited. It too is flat and the city is very compact.

Bicycle thefts in Copenhagen are down!
Oh. Reports of thefts are down because thieves are rarely prosecuted, so there is no reason to report the theft.
https://cphpost.dk/?p=123785#:~:text=Copenhagen%20and%20the%20capital%20region,charges%20being%20brought%20against%20someone.
Bike theft most common crime in Amsterdam.
Of course it is flat and compact there, so its easy to walk home.
https://www.iamexpat.nl/expat-info/dutch-expat-news/how-not-get-your-bike-stolen-netherlands

patrick Dec 22, 2021 04:22 PM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

The amount of exercise you get while riding an ebike depends on how you ride it. Per minute, I expend about the same energy as I do on my regular bike, but I go faster and farther. (I use pedal assist and only use the throttle when starting after forgetting to downshift prior to stopping.) We’ve been able to replace on car with the ebike, for errands and shopping. I get way more exercise sitting on my ebike than sitting in my car.

EastBeach Dec 23, 2021 01:56 PM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

ZH, I'm not ready to pull the trigger yet, but an eMTB is in the cards, just a matter of when. My benchmark ride is up Romero Canyon to Camino Cielo then down the trail again. With a low wattage eMTB, that would still be a great workout. As studies have shown, having access to an eBike can not only provide fitness, but also change the way people bike or motivate people to bike when they'd otherwise not get any exercise. In my case, I'd just do longer rides. It would open the possibility for me of riding from Romero Saddle, down past Jameson Lake, over Murrieta Divide, then to Hwy 33 all in one day. Anyways, different kinds of benefits for different people (as Patrick replied). Keep on riding!

EastBeach Dec 23, 2021 02:06 PM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

Forgot to say ... another benefit is for riders who are getting old enough or have enough physical limitations where they'd otherwise stop ridding (or not consider it). So eBikes can keep seniors riding and active. eBikes for seniors are like Pickleball ... keeps them active/fit when soccer, running, etc. aren't in the cards anymore.

ZeroHawk Dec 27, 2021 11:09 AM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

EB- that's a great ride! I've rode from downtown, up Gibralter, over to Tunnel trail on a full moon then back home. Another fun ride at night....Romero.
I like that you want to use the Ebike to get further in the back country. Becareful not to use up your juice though. A long ride back with that bike if you do. I've gone from Hwy 33 to the gate, then took the road all the way to Jameson which was SO amazing. I've only tried it once and it took me about 30 hours and i camped in a remote spot on the way to Jameson. I wasn't trying to race, so the time frame was ok too.

Another fun ride would require you to drive up hwy 33 to Lockwood valley road. From there, drive to Mutua Flats/Grade Valley road. Way back in there are loads of dirt bike, 4wd, and mountain bike trails and it also is a short hike to the sespe hot springs from this parking lot. Check it out! :)

yacht rocked Dec 27, 2021 05:20 PM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

Great post. You've narrowed down for me the type of e-bike I want. I can get to everything in town near me on a normal pedal bike, but expanding into the backcountry, with caution and appropriate equipment, would be great. One caution that I've run into in the past is places where there are inholdings or ranches adjacent. Usually these have unleashed dogs that can be very aggressive and territorial. Annoying at best, damn dangerous at worst.

kerose98 Dec 27, 2021 03:21 PM
Santa Barbara Named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community

I'm surprised that my hometown of Xenia, Ohio was not on the list - it is at the center of a network of bicycle paths in southwestern Ohio. Either way, I am proud that two places I have called home, Santa Barbara and Xenia, have excellent bicycle paths. I have known people from Santa Barbara to take a trip to that part of Ohio.

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