Here's where the bike lane ends on the busiest part of Hollister where bikes have to compete with buses and cars.
Dead Pedestrians Make Poor Shoppers
New Year Resolutions for City Council
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Nothing is so full of promise or as short-lived as a new stick of gum or a new year’s resolution. I confess that I have a 100 percent record regarding New Year resolutions: Of the many I have made, each has been faithfully annulled well before January elapsed.
So this year I have determined that the best possible course of action is to make several significant and determined resolutions for the New Year, but confine my selection only to resolutions to be carried out by others. This way, I can experience resolve without responsibility, much like media pundits, kibitzers, and my geometry teacher, Mr. Austreng, who lectured brilliantly about isosceles triangles but never actually built one.
Here are my lucky seven resolutions for the Goleta’s City Council in 2010:
1. Let’s leave Goleta’s General Plan alone. As candidates in 2006, several of our current council members pronounced our plan good, requiring only a minor “tune-up.” Now, after about four years, 223 council and Planning Commission meetings, 2,872 hours of public testimony, and 4,672 staff and consulting hours, at a cost roughly equal to the national debt of Uzbekistan, key changes were made that were more like an engine overhaul than a minor tune-up.
Goletans have had enough of this “home improvement”! Let’s LEAVE THE PLAN ALONE (unless you want to restore some of Goleta’s environmental protections that were junked during the so-called tune-up).
And since this resolution for Goleta’s council is one of abstention, below are other resolutions to which they could apply their ample energies and wisdom.
Signs, signs, everywhere a sign in Goleta.
2. Before our town fully takes on the appearance of a community-wide retail mall, let’s resolve for the council to adopt a reasonable sign ordinance. The proliferation of huge, profoundly ugly, garish commercial signs, blocking each other and screaming for attention, is like an exploding scoreboard at a Portuguese soccer match: They provide mostly color and hype, while conveying almost no useful information. Such signs erode the visual charms of our good land without elevating commerce.
Good sign ordinances need not inhibit free speech. We just need to remember that the louder these signs scream, the more they drown each other out. And let’s put an end to moving displays, be they powered by compressed air, wind, or humans. A moving sign does not move me.
3. For our next resolution, let’s say a word about our public library. That word would be “YES!” Let’s support it and keep it open with whatever funding is necessary.
With home computers, games, soccer fields, the ocean, bike paths, organized sports, etc., there is plenty for people to do, especially if they have resources. But the public library is the great equalizer for people who seek knowledge and entertainment on a budget. As tycoon Malcolm Forbes said: “The richest person in the world — in fact all the riches in the world — couldn’t provide you with anything like the endless, incredible loot available at your local library.”
Here’s where pedestrians must “share” car lanes with cars at the busy Storke entrance to Camino Real Market place.
4. It’s time for our city planners to work with the Camino Real Marketplace to make it pedestrian-friendly. Have you ever bobsledded down the Matterhorn in your underwear or raced the bulls at Pamplona on a pogo stick (you on the pogo stick, not the bulls)? Well, neither would be as challenging or perilous as trying to walk across Storke Avenue into the Camino Real Marketplace because once you get across you suddenly realize, “Gee, there is NO SIDEWALK to get from the street into the parking lot.” Pedestrians must compete in the street entry with automotive traffic blazing in or out of the shopping center!
Here’s the crossing from Camino Real Marketplace to Albertson’s shopping center without a crosswalk or signal.