Comments by oryx

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Posted on June 10 at 3:16 p.m.

What a heart-warming story of our compassion for other inhabitants of our planet!

I cannot help but wonder about the "swarms of dolphins and sea lions surrounding [the resucers]". Were they there to commiserate with their fellow distressed animal, or to cheer on the human rescuers? A lot more is going on there than we understand.

On Team of Experts Save Entangled Humpback Whale

Posted on January 27 at 1:10 p.m.

There is a 1996 study by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia that looked at crash reduction of various traffic calming measures. For roadway narrowings such as bulb-outs, crashes were reduced by 74%. Being an insurance company, they want to promote anything that reduces the claims they have to pay.

At a Council meeting a year ago, Councilmember Michael Self complained that she didn't like bulb-outs because when driving she had to slow down when turning. That's exactly what gives her and other right-of-way users longer reaction times, making our community safer.

The current Council voted for overall safety, not motorist speed.

On Dog's Best Friend?

Posted on September 20 at 5:10 p.m.

Gosh, how quickly comments on the article depart from what it said to contention over other things. The point of Nick's clear article is that bicycling is increasing, motorists are benefiting from less congestion, plus we're all enjoying cleaner air, lower medical expenses, and a quieter town.

The Bicycle Film Festival was a marker of how far bicycling has progressed in our community, along with the Bike Moves rides, 11 bike shops serving all segments of our bicycling city population (plus 6 others in the South Coast), a UCSB development plan that promotes more biking, a month of CycleMAYnia events, and absolutely lots more. The point is that the use of bicycles is increasing. Thanks so much Nick, for telling us about it!

On Cyclists Just Want to Have Fun

Posted on September 8 at 1:04 p.m.

Whether it's the neighbors or park administration responsible for the demise of the BMX track, the local kids can get their parents to drive them to the tracks in Santa Maria or Camarillo to practice their sport instead. Or take up hiking and dog walking in the park.

On Elings Park to Present New Plan

Posted on July 28 at 8:27 a.m.

Foothill roadway creek crossings are totally impassible during and after heavy rainstorms, but much the rest of the year the slow flow of water over the road encourages algae to fluorish. The roadway becomes slick as ice. Many times I've biked on Mountain Drive at Cold Springs crossing, I've very slowly moved across, ready to go down at any moment.

I'm unsure what the county can do. Replace the creek crossings with bridges? Scrape the algae off every day? At least post signs "Slick pavement, use caution"? Now that they are aware of the dangers, maybe their liability lawyers will encourage action? I'm going to watch for something.

On Bicycling + Mossy Road = Broken Hip

Posted on December 12 at 12:27 p.m.

My thanks to Ethan Stewart and the Independent for providing a street-level view of this world-changing conference. It's the little glimpses that Stewart gives us that makes the entire experience human -- like observing that bikes are not locked. I'm looking forward to forthcoming reports.

I cannot hear about the projected loss of low-lying Pacific islands without thinking of low-lying Santa Barbara real estate on the same ocean. Just where did that ridiculed "blue line" wind through our downtown, now?

On Of Credentials, Crowds, and Climate

Posted on November 25 at 7:28 p.m.

Glenn Jordan makes good points. Many people on bicycles violate the law (I also see many drivers speeding or pedestrians jay-walking -- they may be the same people). I see two reasons for it.

One, kids get little or no bicycle education at school or outside. Countries like the Netherlands have years of school education to create law-abiding bicyclists. Often here, kids learn from their parents who start them with a push, then send them onto the streets to learn from their peers.

Two, laws that are not enforced are not really laws. How often do we see police stopping motorists, but they ignor bicyclists riding on sidewalks, or against traffic, or running stop signs? The cyclists may not even know what they're doing is illegal.

Until those two problems are addressed, we can expect to see dangerous behavior continue.

On Tired of Exhaust

Posted on November 13 at 6:42 p.m.

For those who are concerned with biking safely in traffic, even if it's only for a short distance to reach a store or deli, consider taking the "Street Skills" workshop offered by the SB Bicycle Coalition. It takes place every other month, the next one is next week. Info is online at:

I hear that participants all learn new tricks and gain new confidence in their biking.

On More Bikes on City Streets

Posted on November 11 at 11:21 a.m.

A PDF file with more info about the US Census Bureau data (and a link to the source) is on the SB Bicycle Coalition's website at:

The trend seems to be unmistakable.

On More Bikes on City Streets

Posted on October 26 at 9:02 a.m.

What I haven't heard is why the current successful Santa Barbara BMX track is being abandoned from its location in Elings along the entrance road off Las Positas. What is going to replace the existing track? Are they being pushed out? What is behind the proposed move? Can somebody tell me?

On Save Elings Park South

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