I stand with Community Environmental Council in supporting the City of Santa Barbara’s Bicycle Master Plan update. The new plan will facilitate the continued growth of bicycle transportation in our community, and is the product of a robust community engagement process that provided a clear mandate for improvements to the City’s existing bicycle network. As such, I strongly urge you to approve the Bicycle Master Plan update on February 23, 2016.
The list of projects proposed in the updated Bicycle Master Plan will create a well-connected, city-wide network of bike lanes. In particular, new bike lanes proposed for Micheltorena Street and Cota Street will close major east-west gaps in the existing bicycle network. Both projects would take bicyclists out of the busy flow of traffic on these narrow streets. This would decrease stress for drivers that have to pass cyclists along these corridors and increase safety for those who choose to travel by bike.
In addition to these project-specific benefits, the Bicycle Master Plan will:
Establish specific goals for increasing the number of bike commute trips made in the CityCreate a framework for making data-driven safety improvements to the City’s bicycle networkOpen the door to significant sources of funding for bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly street improvements, including the Active Transportation Program administered by the California Department of Transportation
Increasing the number of bike commute trips in Santa Barbara is one of the most effective and immediate ways to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. With the recent COP21 proceedings in Paris producing an international climate change accord, there could be no better time to set Santa Barbara on a course that will make bicycle-based transportation a cornerstone of our community. For this reason, I respectfully ask that you vote to approve the new Bicycle Master Plan and all the proposed projects therein.