Paul Wellman

With zero fanfare, the City of Santa Barbara completed work on a new bike lane running along Cota Street between Milpas and Chapala streets. What sets this bike lane apart from any others in the city is the three-foot buffer that separates cyclists from motorists. Adding further protection is a series of “vertical delineators” — in the parlance of traffic engineers — interspersed every 25-30 feet. The total cost of the project was $30,000 and the 36 on-street parking spaces no longer available. Although the official ribbon cutting isn’t for another two weeks, about 20 members of the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition showed up at this week’s City Council meeting to express heartfelt appreciation. They also went to buffer the council from anticipated backlash against the loss of parking, but there was none. That occurred last year when the previous council approved the Cota bike lane in the city’s new Bicycle Master Plan.


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