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With Council Approval, Santa Barbara Ready to Power Up Electric Bike Program at Waterfront | Local News

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With Council Approval, Santa Barbara Able to Energy Up Electrical Bike Program at Waterfront | Native Information

The City of Santa Barbara is now within the electrical bike enterprise.

Santa Barbara’s waterfront quickly can be rolling with electrical bikes, docking stations and two 9-foot solar-powered kiosks.

The City Council accepted this system at Tuesday’s assembly. It took two votes. One, which handed unanimiously, denied an attraction of the mission from Anna Marie Gott. The second handed 6-1, with Councilwoman Kristen Sneddon opposing the solar-powered kiosks alongside Cabrillo Boulevard.

The entire council members agreed on the idea of electrical bikes alongside the waterfront as a manner to offer elevated mobility choices, with a lot of the debate centered on the areas of the solar-powered kiosks and the docking stations.

Rob Dayton, the town’s transportation planning and parking supervisor, pushed closely for the docking stations on the sidewalk as a result of that is the place it is best for folks to see and discover them. 

“We actually want a motorcycle share program to have entry to the waterfront for our residents; it is not simply vacationers,” Mayor Cathy Murillo mentioned. “I am going down there on a regular basis.”

The dialog additionally heated up over solar-powered kiosks and their disruption to coastal views. The unique approval referred to as for 3 kiosks, however on the suggestion of Councilman Mike Jordan, the council agreed to only two, which can be positioned at each ends of Cabrillo Boulevard.

The solar-powered kiosks are vital to permit folks with out smartphones to make use of a card or money to lease a motorcycle for $7 for half-hour. The corporate framed it as an fairness concern.

“I simply wish to stick up for the kiosks,” Murillo mentioned. “It could be very elitist of us to not acknowledge that not everyone has a smartphone or a elaborate cellphone. We now have lots of low-income residents locally, and that is what the kiosks are for.”

Town partnered with personal firm BCycle on the electrical bike mission.

Earlier than Tuesday night time’s vote, Murillo already had appeared in a promotional video for BCycle through which she touted the corporate and its launch downtown.

“We now have been that means to do bike share for a very long time, however we did not have the fitting product, we did not have the fitting providing — thanks for presenting that,” Murillo mentioned within the video on BCycle’s web site.

Councilwoman Sneddon mentioned she was absolutely in assist of kiosks to offer better accessibility for individuals who wish to lease the bikes, however she disagreed with having to position them on Cabrillo Boulevard.

“The kiosks, I do not wish to see these on Cabrillo,” Sneddon mentioned. “If we’re actually nervous about accessibility, discover a location the place we’d anticipate accessibility to be the bottom and put a kiosk there. Have some considered the place that kiosk goes. I feel realistically folks can be utilizing an app to inform them the place bikes are.”

She mentioned a part of her frustation was additionally with the method. Town’s Historic Landmarks Commission denied the mission. When the Planning Commission accepted the mission, it did so with out realizing in regards to the solar-powered kiosks. In a breakdown in communication, BCycle assumed that the kiosks would hook as much as the town’s electrical provide. When Dayton discovered that out, he knowledgeable them that the town couldn’t dig up the sidewalk streets to offer electrical energy to the kiosks.

So, BCycle got here again with a solar-powered tower, which was one of many causes for Gott’s attraction.

Sneddon mentioned she did not like the town bypassing its personal fee, or the truth that a fee accepted a mission with out full information of what it might entail. Santa Barbara’s Harbor Commission additionally voted in opposition to having the kiosks and docking stations alongside the waterfront.

Morgan Ramaker, BCycle’s director, mentioned the solar-powered kiosks are vital to permit folks with out smartphones to lease a motorcycle.

“If we do not have these kiosks, we might should both use a smartphone or go on a web site upfront and enroll,” Rainmaker mentioned.

The mission will transfer ahead as a pilot mission. Sneddon’s considerations had been echoed by Jordan, who, as a compromise, prompt solely two kiosks, one at every finish of the Cabrillo Boulevard, and drop the proposed third one, which might have been at or close to the mouth of Stearns Wharf.

Some companies additionally opposed the mission. They raised considerations that the town can be going into mattress with a non-public firm, which might give them an unfair benefit. 

Alicia Drew, representing Wheel Fun Rentals close to the waterfront, mentioned there are three rent-paying companies that present the identical service as BCycle. She mentioned the town compelled Wheel Enjoyable Leases to maneuver its kiosk from the Hyatt resort, “but the town is contemplating welcoming BCycle docking stations to the identical space.”

“Why take away enterprise from native corporations?” Drew mentioned.

Noozhawk workers author Joshua Molina will be reached at .(JavaScript should be enabled to view this e-mail tackle). Observe Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Join with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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