bike station

The new Bike Station in Parking Lot 3 next to the Transit Center in Santa Barbara can hold a couple of dozen bicycles on vertical-rack hooks, and includes a few small amenities such as a bicycle pump and USB chargers. (Robert Bernstein / Noozhawk photo)

A new Bike Station near the Transit Center in Santa Barbara officially opened on Tuesday to encourage bus and bike commuting.

Click here for more photos from the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

And now the back story …

About 20 years ago, our company moved downtown and I began commuting by bus and bicycle from Goleta. It was a little over a mile ride from the Transit Center to our business on Montecito Street.

At that time, I rented space from a friend with a business near the Transit Center to stash my bicycle each night after work. At the same time, I began working with the City of Santa Barbara to get secure bicycle parking so that others could do the same commute.

It was a very long and winding road! The first success was getting a handful of bicycle storage lockers in Parking Lot 3 next to the Transit Center.

Many years later, in 2006, a Bike Station was opened as part of the Granada Garage project. That provided secure bicycle parking mostly for county employees near the county building. Still, there was no mass secure bicycle storage near the Transit Center.

Until now! A small Bike Station has opened in Parking Lot 3 next to the Transit Center. It can hold a couple of dozen bicycles on vertical-rack hooks. It also has a few small amenities, including a bicycle pump and USB chargers, and some more bits coming soon.

On Tuesday morning, Mayor Helene Schneider cut the ribbon for the official opening. On hand for the occasion were a number of Santa Barbara city staff and elected officials. In addition to Mayor Schneider were City Council members Gregg Hart, Cathy Murillo and Bendy White.

Also in attendance were city transportation manager Browning Allen, principal transportation planner Rob Dayton, SBCAG transportation planner Anne Jensen, transportation project planner Jessica Grant, parking superintendent Victor Garza, parking supervisor Dion Tait and parking resource specialist Sarah Clark, as well as members of the City Circulation Committee and SBBIKE, and Bike Station vice president Todd Boulanger, who came in from Portland.

The goal of the project is to encourage people who drive to Santa Barbara to do a bus/bike commute instead. Click here to sign up.

Robert Bernstein, a local photographer and frequent Noozhawk contributor, is a member of the Sierra Club Santa Barbara Group executive committee. The opinions expressed are his own.