Monday, April 23 , 2018, 12:17 pm | Mostly Cloudy 60º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Councilman Hotchkiss Shares Community Input on Santa Barbara’s Bicycle Master Plan

Before the City of Santa Barbara starts its official community outreach for updating the Bicycle Master Plan, Councilman Frank Hotchkiss solicited ideas with an opinion piece printed in local media.

He believes the city shouldn’t lose any parking capacity or driving lanes to make room for bicycles.

Hotchkiss and Councilman Dale Francisco are concerned that the public outreach workshops will only be attended by cyclists and biking advocates so the city would get a “skewed result.”

Hotchkiss received more than 200 responses to the op-ed and presented the results at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. He said everyone agreed that the city should work to make it safer for bicyclists but disagreed over how to do that.

In his proposal, the city would focus on specific streets to become designated bike routes without reducing any car traffic.

He presented a map of the downtown core and suggested that some streets become major arterial routes for bicyclists, which would make motorists expect the bike traffic and create a sort of “freeway for bikes,” he said.

The city has narrow roads with no room to widen, so the city needs solutions that make biking safer and more accessible without reducing car traffic, he said.

He also briefly talked about staging separation between cars and bike lanes to promote biking in certain areas of the city.

There were only four public speakers at Tuesday’s meeting, but there’s no doubt more people will come out to give input as the city works to update its Bicycle Master Plan.

The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition was pleased with Hotchkiss’ initiative because it started the discussion, Sam Franklin said, adding that the year-long public input process will hopefully lead to an inclusive plan.

“Biking should be something that people can do without feeling like they’re taking their life into their hands,” said Michael Chiacos of the Community Environmental Council.

Surveys continually show that more people would like to bike but don’t feel safe, he said.

The City Council listened to the report and took no action.

Since the Bicycle Master Plan was last updated comprehensively in 1998, the city has expanded to 40 miles of bike lanes from 13 and added 2,000 new locations to lock a bike, according to city staff.

The City Council voted to hire a public relations consultant to develop the community engagement strategy for the plan update, including interviews, an online survey and meetings with various stakeholders.

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli 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.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >