Dear Santa Barbara County Association of Governments:

I am writing to strongly urge you to fund the Ellwood bicycle/pedestrian bridge.

Convenient bicycle/pedestrian crossings of the freeway are the most urgently needed transportation improvements in the county. As Goleta apparently pays $4 million more in taxes than it receives in services, crossings in Goleta would be a just priority.

The other day due to an unforeseen change in plans, I was forced to cross the Fairview overpass at 5:30 pm (i.e., in the dark, at rush hour) with my eight year old daughter in tow on her trail-a-bike.

Take a minute to fix in your minds the real terror involved in this simple act-the fumes, the lunatic bouncing, flashing lights, and above all the terrifying, aggressive noise of thousands of half-unconscious drivers jockeying to get home, at high speed, inches from us. Can they see us? What will they say in our obituaries?

Severing our community in half lengthwise, the freeway is the greatest transportation barrier for the 15% or so of the population who doesn’t drive.

A half mile later we turned off onto the class one connector to the Atascadero bike path. The crescent moon shone brilliantly down, glittering across the water. Crickets chirping, frogs, the soothing sound of the surf. I stopped to hug my daughter in genuine relief that we were still alive. She was in mid-thought, sharing with me: "so this part, where the frogs live, this is sort of like heaven, and that other part, where the cars live, that’s sort of like hell…"

Please fund this bridge over hell so we don’t have to walk or ride through that part of it, or make hell worse yet by driving across.




Art Ludwig

Goleta homeowner, taxpayer, businessman, bicycling dad.