Thursday, October 19 , 2017, 2:53 am | Fair 62º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Goleta Rolling Forward With Possible Bicycle, Pedestrian Path Changes Throughout City

City’s Planning Commission discussed several proposals at a meeting Monday night

A bicyclist cruises on Los Carneros Road in Goleta. The city is considering making changes to several key intersections to make them safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. Click to view larger
A bicyclist cruises on Los Carneros Road in Goleta. The city is considering making changes to several key intersections to make them safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. (Josh Molina / Noozhawk photo)

The city of Goleta is considering making changes to several key intersections to make them safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The city’s Planning Commission discussed several proposals at a meeting Monday night at City Hall.

Among the more significant proposals is to create a Class 1 bike lane on the Fairview Avenue overpass. Bicyclists in both directions, along with pedestrians, would enjoy a separated path on the north side.

As part of that addition, the city wants to close the walkway that leads from the Fairview overpass down to Calle Real. According to city officials, too many people dash across the street rather than walk or bike down to the the busy Fairview Avenue intersection to cross the street.

“People need to stop jaywalking at that location,” said Rosemary Gaglione, the city’s public works director. “A lot of the adults are making bad choices. We’re mostly concerned about the junior high school kids.”

Goleta is also looking to “fill in the gaps” all over the city, from parts of Cathedral Oaks to Old Town.

Project Manager James Winslow said the goal of the project is also to encourage biking and walking, promote good health, reduce auto usage and fuel consumption, and promote equity in terms of modes of transportation.

“We’re here to help guide the future,” Winslow said. “The overall goal is to improve and expand the pedestrian and bicycle network.”

The city gauged public opinion earlier this year through an online survey that received more than 1,600 responses, and 2,000 comments.

Storke Ranch resident Albert Oaten blasted the city of Goleta over its lack of adequate bike paths on Storke Road Click to view larger
Storke Ranch resident Albert Oaten blasted the city of Goleta over its lack of adequate bike paths on Storke Road (. Josh Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Some speakers from organizations offered generic praise of the plan, while residents cited specifics, calling for safer bicycle paths on Cathedral Oaks Road and in Old Town Goleta. 

Albert Oaten, a Storke Ranch resident, blasted Goleta’s plan and demanded that the city do something to make biking on Storke Road safer.

“No one is riding their bike across Storke right now because it’s deadly and you know it,” Oaten told the commission. “We took away bike riding from the kids.”

Oaten said all the development and road reconfiguration on Storke has increased traffic and made it practically impossible for children and adults to ride their bikes across Storke.

“There’s 2,000 students going to school at DP; everybody’s commuting in their cars,” Oaten said.

Gaglione acknowledged problems with Storke Road, and said the city would be performing a “deficiency analysis.”

“We are doing a study to look at what’s broken,” Gaglione said. “Whether you are trying to drive or bike, it’s not working.

Goleta plans several workshops over the next few months, followed by an environmental review and ultimately City Council consideration in May 2018.

“I think Goleta has tremendous potential if it does the right thing to be a really user-friendly bicycle community,” said Commissioner Robert Miller.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina 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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