Sunday, October 21 , 2018, 1:14 pm | A Few Clouds 72º

 
 
 
 

New Cota Street ‘Buffered’ Bike Lane Complete in Santa Barbara

Lane runs westward on Cota Street between Milpas and Chapala streets, one-mile in total

A cyclist rides Friday along the new ‘buffered’ bike lane on Cota Street in Santa Barbara, which was formally dedicated on Friday. Click to view larger
A cyclist rides Friday along the new ‘buffered’ bike lane on Cota Street in Santa Barbara, which was formally dedicated on Friday. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

The city of Santa Barbara officially opened its first permanent “buffered” bike lane Friday near Ortega Park.

The $30,000 project is part of the Bicycle Master Plan approved in 2016.

The lane runs westward on Cota Street between Milpas and Chapala streets, one-mile in total, and is designed to make the area more welcoming and safer for cyclists.

“People in the lane feel they are separated from the cars, and that’s going to make a big difference in safety,” Mayor Cathy Murillo said Friday evening during a ribbon cutting ceremony at Ortega Park. “We want kids to ride their bikes, and families, people who use bikes for commuting to work and for fun.”

Murillo said the new bike lane connects the Eastside neighborhood and downtown, and “complements” the existing eastbound bike lane on Haley Street. 

The city had to eliminate 35 parking spaces on the blocks to make room for the protected bike course, according to Robert Dayton, the city’s transportation planning and parking manager.

The project was created with vertical delineators and paint striping next to the curb.

The new protected lane is one of 35 slated bike project improvements on the city’s document outlining how to update Santa Barbara’s patchwork of bike paths.

Santa Barbara's Bicycle Master Plan received more than $7 million in state funding, Dayton said.

Santa Barbara city officials cut the ribbon to formally open the new ‘buffered’ bike lane on Cota Street on Friday. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara city officials cut the ribbon to formally open the new ‘buffered’ bike lane on Cota Street on Friday. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

“This is just the first of many new improvements throughout the city that are going to make it safer for folks who ride bicycles, walk, and for our community to get out of their cars and decrease greenhouse gas emissions,” Dayton said.

The Bicycle Master Plan also received community input and a public process.

“This protected buffer lane was the No.1 requested facility in the survey,” Santa Barbara City Councilman Gregg Hart said. “This is what our community wanted to see.”

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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