Recent deadly accidents have local cyclists speaking up for their safety.
Rbert Cleman rides his bike all over the central coast. He says “you’d figure there’d be more bike lanes but they are just on the main drag.”
Bob Albrecht works at Main Street Cycles and is a member of the Santa Maria Valley Open Space. He told KCOY 12’s Cory James the lanes that are available are broken up and pose a safety risk when riding.
Albrecht says “it’s always car versus bike and we lose, and it’s not a matter of losing and putting in an insurance claim, it’s losing our lives.”
Teresa says she is often on the road driving around with her grandkids. She thinks it’s time that cyclist have more deicated lanes because there “a lot of cyclist around so it would be nice if they had a little more space to ride their bikes.”
When you compare cities in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, the city of San Luis Obispo – with a population of nearly 46,000 has 30 miles of dedicated bike lanes for cyclists to use. However, Santa Barbara – a city with nearly twice the population – has a 40 mile stretch of bike lanes dedicated to riders. But Santa Maria – a city with more than 100,000 people – has just over 30 miles for cyclists to use.
Santa Maria city councilman Jack Boysen says Santa Barbara has more because the city has “significant more control over some discretionary incremental funding that they can place into things like bike that quite honestly we are just not a rich enough city do to.”
Luis Escobar spends a lot of time on the roads running and coaching cross-country runners. He does not think a lack of resource is the problem and says “the second largest taxpayer in the county is PCEC … there’s resources here it just depends on where and how they want to use those resources.”
Since 2009, four cyclist have been killed in the Santa Maria area. The Santa Maria Police Department says within that time officers have responded to 254 bicycle collisions; more than 200 of those had injuries.