Skip to Content

Bike issues on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara bring kids and adults together for solutions

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The State Street Promenade has become an attraction for bike riders, especially young people on electric bikes.

Sharing the space with pedestrians continues to be a concern.

Some of the bikes can go 20-30 miles per hour.

There have been complaints about close calls, and in some cases, crashes with the cross traffic.

The month of May has been identified as the "CycleMAYnia" month. Many events relating to bikes will be taking place.

A non-profit group known as "Friends of State" has organized a meeting with the State Street Master Planner Tess Harris, to talk to bike riders about the conditions now and some of the goals for bike riders and bike safety going forward.

It's part of the planning for changes coming in the future with or without cars.

The Friends of State Street non-profit has been working with the city to get different designers of all types together. That includes all forms of personal mobility.  

A Friends of State Street Advisor Justin Gunn said, "right now it is a little bit of a wild west  but it's an exciting time because the community can get involved at this stage."

Gunn said,  "from ebikes to bikes to rollers skates to kids on skateboard to people  with strollers so it really is an exciting time to envision what might State Street look like to include all forms of personal transportation in a safe manner." 
He says for bike riders they can,  "have their thoughts, their hopes, their concerns, their visions represented, incorporated  into a future State Street design. "

   One long time bike rider wants to see separation.

Michael Schmidt said for him the solution is, "a definite place for people to walk and a definite place for people who want to roll their things,  bicycles especially."
  A common complaint is, "with those kids with those speeding kids with those damn electric bikes," said Robert Spector on his bike. As for a piece of advice to tap the brakes on the issue, Spector said, "I would just let them know to watch what you are doing and watch out for other people and watch out for other bicycles.  Keep your eyes on the road and make sure you have a safe space apart."

Roberta Cifuentez is using a mobility chair after a knee injury.   She said, "just be aware of your surroundings.  Look in the distance. That's what I do  when I am driving  a car,  or  a wheelchair. "

If you've seen what's called the one wheel, now there's a version with a beach chair rolling along on it.

Pedro Santiago is a "one wheel" rider.   "I am always aware of my surroundings and I know when and when not to push it. I am always looking around for everyone.  Myself included.       I can stand up on it and then  have a 360 view,  it's really my type of vehicle. "

    By meeting on solutions the organizers like Gunn say,  "we hope that our community can generate some exciting ideas to do it collectively safely and in a harmonious  way. By incorporating all of these different forms of these environmentally  different forms of transportation everything from bicycles, ebikes, wheel chairs, our mobility community and everything in between."

The event called "Wheels on State" is taking place Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. for youth and from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. for adults. It will be held at 508 E. Haley Street.

For more information go to: Wheels on State

For more from John, follow him on Twitter below:

Article Topic Follows: Safety
Friends of State
motorized bikes
Santa Barbara
State Street Promenade

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content