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Letter to the Editor: A Viable Option for Hollister Bike Path

To the City Council of Goleta and project manager of the Class 1 bike path proposal.

Cars Are Basic Inc. has provided the City of Goleta a feasible and rational alternative to removal or narrowing traffic lanes on Hollister to provide a Class 1 bike path on Hollister. The plan is to create a Class 1 bike path on the currently well-worn walking and bike path located on the ocean side of the housing development.

This achieves two benefits: a) it removes bicyclist from any and all neighboring pollution/noise, or potential errant accident, and b) maintains the traffic flow and capacity that is becoming critical to Goleta as commercial and residential building continues.

CAB has presented this option to the city over the past two to three years. With the advent of UCSB's new housing there will be the tendency to increase children (this is not primarily undergraduate housing). Car traffic in the area has already increased.

The City of Goleta has recently cited the issue, protection children from predators. Justification is there would be additional safety because of people on the street will stop such activity. This reasoning would be an apparent "grasping at straws" for the following reasons:

1) There is currently significant "kid" activity along the proposed path and rural area adjacent.

2) There is little or no reporting of molestation's or other predator type activity.

CAB believes this is an emotional issue used to confuse the decision, and is brought up by anti-car factions and staff intent on their option. The front page of the Santa Barbara News-Press (Aug. 19) quotes the head of Public Works for the County of Santa Barbara, and Supervisor Janet Wolf, in praising the newly paved "Tatum Property" bike path. A location very similar to CAB's proposed alternative to the Hollister location. If in fact the City of Goleta truly believes this is a problem, we demand Goleta immediately post a sworn officer in this location from Sunrise to Sunset to protect the children who regularly play in the area. This is a regular "hang out" for kids after school, vacations and weekends.

CAB's plan enhances safety over the city's apparent preferred option of Hollister. The answer to the above concerns is a simple and inexpensive one. First, hire one (preferably two) retired crossing guard types who can ride each direction during morning and afternoon.

Second, for a nominal fee wireless cameras can be placed to look onto the bike path, and are easily maintained. These are common place at many commercial locations. Since UCSB has impacted the community and will increase this impact as it builds out their project, it is not unreasonable to ask it to participate in the costs of guards and cameras. Measure A most
certainly is capable of paying the city's portion of this plan.

There becomes what jargon calls a "twofer." A physical and video presence will vastly add to the security of the community both for kids going to and from school, and those participating in the recreational aspects of the area. A CAB board member has placed such cameras on rental property with the immediate and continuing reduction of "floaters" and theft in and around his property. Just this one act has reduced crime in the entire block that is next to a school.

Your attention to this is requested.

Cars Are Basic Inc.
Carpinteria

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