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Goleta Kicks Off Outreach Efforts as It Begins to Develop Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan

Goal of a master plan would be to integrate the city’s biking and walking routes and identify future projects and areas for improvement

The city of Goleta has kicked off the process of developing a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian master plan. Click to view larger
The city of Goleta has kicked off the process of developing a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian master plan. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

Goleta has kicked off the process of developing a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian master plan, and its first big step is getting its residents’ input.

The city’s Public Works Department presented the City Council this week with a community outreach plan for incorporating public involvement into the document’s eventual drafting process.

A master plan would lay out the city’s biking- and pedestrian-related goals and values, promote active forms of transportation, identify parts of the city’s transportation infrastructure in need of improvement, integrate its bikeways and walkways, and list projects that would achieve all of those goals.

Currently, Goleta is using a bicycle transportation plan that is basically a somewhat-personalized version of the county’s old bikeway master plan.

Senior project engineer James Winslow told the council that the outreach plan kicked off last month with informational booths at the California Lemon Festival in Girsh Park and a local farmer’s market.

“We had a great turnout,” he said of the festival. “I think on Saturday, close to 175 people stopped by, with comments all over the map” of the city’s bikeways and walkways.

“Just a lot of people interested in what we’re doing and in just hearing about the process and giving input,” he said.

In November, the city will host a workshop at UC Santa Barbara and another in both English and Spanish at the Goleta Valley Community Center at 5679 Hollister Ave.

A survey Winslow encouraged residents to take will be up on the city’s website until next March, when another round of public workshops will be scheduled.

Throughout the process, he said, the city will be informing residents through social media, its website and the Monarch Press.

The master plan document itself will be drafted from January to May 2017, according to the Public Works Department’s staff report.

“It’s so exciting to see it get to this point,” Councilwoman Paula Perotte said.

Both the council and the handful of public speakers at the meeting praised the development of the plan and encourage a thorough public input process.

The council recommended posting and offering information at bus stops, which serve many bikers and walkers, as well as reaching out to schools, whose students frequently bike, and elderly communities, who have pedestrian safety concerns.

Representatives of local active-transportation organizations, like the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition and the Coalition for Sustainable Transportation, offered to help spread the word to their members.

The master plan is funded through two grants the city won, Winslow explained: Measure A funds totaling $73,350, and $203,415 from the Sustainable Communities Planning program of the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Land Resource Protection.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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