By Victoria Fiore


On October 14, twice as many Fjord Drive community members showed up at a Solvang City Council meeting as compared to the number of bike riders who, by the way, do not live in that community.

We came to protest two bike lanes on either side of Fjord Drive that were painted on the road without notifying the people in the community or even asking us if we would like them.

After listening to arguments from both sides, the Solvang City Council voted to keep the bike lanes on Fjord Drive with the future possibility of extending them beyond the barriers at the end of the Fjord Drive.

The community members are not against bikes, but prefer that the bike path is on the other side of the river due to many reasons.

  1. Active bike riding down Fjord is and will continue to disrupt our peaceful neighborhood.
  2. People now using the bike lane see the barrier at the end of Fjord Drive, and then come into and ride through the Rancho Santa Ynez Estates private property.
  3. A bike path in several California communities has increased incidents of vandalism and burglary to homes and property on or near the bike path.
  4. Wildlife in our neighborhood shows itself when we are walking peacefully, and faster moving bikes will destroy and disrupt their presence and possibly their habitat in our area.
  5. Senior citizens and parents with children in our community feel that motorcycles and fast moving bikes can be hazardous to their safety.
  6. Not only the eight intersections coming in to Fjord Drive, but also the cars, RVs, utility trucks, very large manufactured homes parked in the recently painted bike lanes can cause a real safety hazard for cyclists.
  7. Taking down the barrier at the end of Fjord Drive and allowing a bike path to continue will cause increased dust and noise for the people living along that very dusty area.

So in conclusion, bike paths need to be placed in areas where Solvang residents welcome them — rather than being forced to accept them without a vote or notification ahead of time.

Residents in Rancho Santa Ynez already see fires along the river almost every night. We do not want what happened along the Antelope Valley Trail, Santa Ana River Trail, Yorba Linda path, and Merrillville (for example) to happen in our peaceful community.

We hereby ask the City Council to reconsider the continuation of a bike path on Fjord Drive beyond the barriers, and to consider putting the walking and bike path on the other side of the river — so it does not disrupt our citizens and wildlife. We should not have to accept something we did not vote for or want.

For examples of problems along bike trails, see: