By Raiza Giorgi
The Buellton City Council decided to explore hosting an “Open Streets” event in the fall of 2020 after hearing a presentation July 25 by Kent Epperson of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG).
The council also issued a proclamation thanking Buellton Library volunteers for their hundreds of hours spent cataloging and retagging all items within the library as it transitioned from supervision by the Santa Barbara Public Library to the Goleta Library.
“There have been eight Open Streets events in the county over the past five years, and it’s a unique experience where people come together to promote healthy living,” Epperson told the council.
He showed a video created at the Lompoc Open Streets in 2018, highlighting events that included kids bicycle races, BMX stunt performances, booths by local organizations and more.
Open Streets events, also known as Ciclovías, are a model that that cities around the world participate in, each creating its own unique event in an accessible and safe way on its public streets.
Given the car-free nature of the events, the sponsoring agency, SBCAG Traffic Solutions, is encouraging people to come to the event without a car by either walking, biking, or taking the bus. Traffic Solutions, the countywide rideshare, has year-round programs that support biking, walking, carpooling, vanpooling, and taking the train or bus.
Epperson said there is about $10,000 in seed funding available for creation of an event in Buellton, and there was discussion about using Avenue of Flags as a possible location.
During discussion of the presentation, Mayor Holly Sierra said she would like to explore and bring the item back for action to get started on planning for next fall.
“This could be a fun way to introduce this event to the valley as well as to bring all the communities together,” Sierra said.
“I think this is a great event, as we are always looking to do something fun and different with the grandkids,” Councilman Art Mercado added.
Councilman John Sanchez said the fall is a great time to start an event like this because kids are in school and the city can get a lot of participation.
For more information on Open Streets visit www.sbopenstreets.org.
In honoring the library volunteers, the council noted that the transfer was completed as of July 1, and Sierra said the move was seamless because of the work of the staff and volunteers.
Those recognized were Ursula Ferrall, Gerry and Dolores Wilson, Andrew Dale, Judith Dale, Shoshanah Schwartz, Alicia Thomas, Sherry Uyeda, Lisa Kenyon, Grace Siegel, Olivia Flisher, John Thomas, Samona Gielow, Mary King, Tori Andrade, Judi Just, Jillian Tempesta, Jeremy More, Christine Carlin, Terry Smith and Rosemary Verhegen.
Dolores Wilson was especially recognized for the more than 100 hours she spent to get the task completed.