Safety First

Last week’s update on the transportation committee’s decision about the proposed bike lane on Micheltorena Street and the search for a workable solution leaves me wondering if the members of the Micheltorena Neighborhood Association understand the concept of compromise.

The news item states that the bike lane will be moved to Sola Street, with a limited, one-block lane on Micheltorena, presumably to allow cyclists access to the highway overpass. It seems to me that the Micheltorena Neighborhood Association has already extracted quite a concession from the city, but apparently they want more: They only want the bike lane to be on one side of the street for the single block that it runs on their street. This would leave the bike lane linking the east and west sides of the city with a crucial gap.

As a UCSB employee living on the Eastside and biking to work every day, I can attest that the blocks of my commute that pass through downtown are the most hair-raising. Just this week I was nearly hit by a car switching lanes without checking at the corner of Micheltorena and Bath. Maybe I’m just biased, but I think that the safety of bicycle commuters is more valuable than a block of on-street parking.

I urge the Micheltorena Neighborhood Association to agree to the generous compromise that the city has put forth, rather than pushing for even more concessions.

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