When Caltrans, the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG), Santa Barbara County, and the City of Carpinteria wanted to construct a new Class 1 bikeway* and multipurpose path near Carpinteria, they chose concrete pavement to create a smooth-riding surface that will last for decades.

*Class 1 bike paths are fully separated bike facilities, built exclusively for the use of bicycles and pedestrians.

The new Santa Claus Lane Bikeway offers views of the adjacent Carpinteria Salt Marsh.

Granite Construction performed the work on the recently completed $11-million project, which now connects Santa Claus Lane to Carpinteria Avenue along the south side of Highway 101, and closes a gap in the California Coastal Trail between Sand Point Road and Carpinteria Avenue. Cyclists can now ride from Carpinteria up to the popular Santa Claus Lane shopping and restaurant district and beach, then continue on into Summerland.

As an additional safety benefit, cyclists no longer have to share the road with 40-mile-per-hour traffic.

In addition to the concrete pavement bikeway, improvements were made to the intersection of Estero Street and Carpinteria Avenue with updates for the multipurpose path connections and crosswalks. On the Santa Claus Lane side, a new vehicular turnaround was built to improve access to the bikeway and facilitate turning movements for traffic wanting to stay on Santa Claus Lane versus entering the freeway.

The new bike and pedestrian path is located south of Highway 101, providing easy access to the beach.

The project was funded by $7.54 million from SB1 and $3.33 million from SBCAG Measure A funds. “Connecting communities is one of the best ways we can ensure we are building infrastructure mindfully,” said State Senator Monique Limon.

Concrete guardrails provide an extra measure of safe separation from the traffic on Highway 101.

“Caltrans is pleased to continue our close working relationship with SBCAG, the County, and the City of Carpinteria to oversee construction of this local improvement,” said Scott Eades, Caltrans District 5 Director. “A lot of hard work went into creating this connection. This project is truly something to celebrate.”

The first Saturday in June is National Trails Day. Celebrate the occasion this year with a smooth ride on a sustainable concrete bike trail. There’s a beautiful new one to enjoy right down Santa Claus Lane.

Photos by Charles Stuart.