I felt the need to comment on the article titled “Mayors Agree, Better Biking Makes Better Communities.” I live in the Micheltorena neighborhood near where parking will be removed. The article states that this would be good for business, but many businesses in the area say they would close. Many who live in the neighborhood do not have off-street parking, and surrounding neighborhoods have limited parking.
I have been called lazy because I don’t want to walk. I have a child with a disability, and not everyone can walk. Many in the neighborhood have disabilities or are elderly, and there are multiple agencies and doctors in the neighborhood that serve these groups. These people will not be able to walk additional distances.
I have been told “maybe you should just move.” Is the city going to assist businesses with relocation costs, help property owners with the sale of their properties that go down in value without parking, and help the renters find reasonably priced housing? I think not. The article mentions how wonderful State Street is with no on-street parking, but is the city planning on funding parking to accommodate the lack of parking on Micheltorena? I think not.
No one is against bike lanes, but Micheltorena is not a safe option. Alternatives such as Sola Street should be considered. I hope our elected officials will be aware that a decision to remove parking will be a move against businesses, families, the elderly, those with disabilities, property owners, and renters.
Don’t insult the intelligence of the people of the neighborhood or the people of Santa Barbara. The negative effect on the Micheltorena neighborhood will be severe.