The ride to school for some UCSB students is now a little smoother and less likely to result in a crippling vehicular accident.
The Santa Barbara Public Works Dept. has completed repairs on three local bike paths. Workers resurfaced three routes: the Atascadero route, which links Isla Vista and the city of Santa Barbara; the Maria Ygnacia route, which runs between Goleta and UCSB; and the Los Carneros route, which begins on El Colegio Road and now ends at Cathedral Oaks Road in Goleta.
According to a press release from 3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall’s office on Tuesday, the cost of fixing the bikepaths totaled about $190,000. Marshall said she was pleased with the improvements because they benefit the lives of many UCSB students and prevent the presence of additional automobile traffic.
“The investment in our bikepath system is important and I am pleased we are able to continue to improve our local bikepaths so people can use a bicycle as a viable means of alternative transportation,” she said in the press release.
The project included the installation of 34 solar-powered lights along the Atascadero route and a wider bridge along the Maria Ygnacia route. The county spent $100,000 on the new lights and $210,000 on the improved bridge, the press release stated.
The recent work also included some improvements aimed at residents who do not ride bicycles.
Workers repaired roads heavily traveled by automobiles. Los Carneros Road, Hollister Avenue, Calle Real and Pacific Oaks Road were each repaved. Maintaining the county’s endorsement of alternative transportation, however, traffic lanes were also slightly narrowed to allow for wider and safer bicycle lanes.
“These improvements are all necessary to encourage people to use their bikes whenever possible and making bicycling as safe as possible on our local roads,” Marshall said in the press release.
Marshall also said the county is engaged in the process of replacing traffic signals with ones that more readily recognize bicycles. The new signals are equipped with video detection units, which make crossing streets safer for cyclists than the old models.
“As we have the opportunity,” Marshall said, “we need to be constantly looking for ways to improve biking facilities on our roadways for the bicycling public.”