Transport/ bicycles | Healthy is sexy: bike! | How safe is bicycling? | Invincible bearings | AAA Auto cost wrong | What driving costs | Consumer reports pushes consumption | The way of the bicycle

Alternatives to Widening US 101

Gary Ruggerone
Caltrans District 5
P.O. Box 8114
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403

Saturday, April 1, 2000

Re: Proposed widening of US 101

Dear Mr. Ruggerone:

I am a writing to support the following option in relation to smoothing traffic flow on US 101 south of Santa Barbara:

Do no major road work, but emphasize alternative transportation modes to the single occupant car.

This project is to address traffic flow on this stretch of road into the 21st century. Over this time span, if indeed it has not already happened, the basic premise of how to manage traffic is sure to change from building more roads to reducing the number of cars and the number and length of car trips. It would be a shame for a widening project to be approved as one of the last acts under the outdated regime, only to become superfluous even as it was being built.

It appears possible that State and Federal funds which could be used to fund the widening of 101 could be used instead for public transportation, bike paths, etc. This would help far more to get us ready for transportation needs in the 21st century.

An important part of the unique character of Santa Barbara is its human scale. Alternative transportation would enhance this, while a wider freeway would undermine it. Even if State and Federal funds could not be applied to any other project, I feel we would still be better off without a wider freeway. As it is, using a car is too easy, and bicycling, walking and other, healthier alternatives too unsupported in the infrastructure.

My wife, daughter and I are committed lifetime bicycle commuters. We pay taxes, but do not contribute significantly to wearing out roads, air pollution, traffic congestion, or to traffic danger. We and the other users of alternative transportation are in the front line of the defense of the ecology and quality of life in our community and we deserve your support. When we are doing errands our two-year old daughter on the back, as we do daily, we will be living (or possibly being maimed or killed) by your transportation priorities.



Art Ludwig Jr., Lynn Shoemaker, Maya