Bicycles that replace a car trip are something that the Sierra Club should promote.
So I was astounded, dumbfounded, horrified to find out last year that the Sierra
Club Ventana Chapter actively opposed the Arana Gulch bike bridge and path. I
cursed myself for not being more aware of what my chapter was doing. The City
Council vote was 4 to 3 and the Sierra Club’s position very well was the deciding
When I cornered one of our Executive Committee members and voiced my dissatisfaction
with the Ventana’s position he gave me 3 reasons.
We don’t want bicycles against trees we want bicycles against cars. Well the
cars are going to be literally against bikes if the Soquel Street bike lanes go
through as the only option. At a Seabright neighborhood traffic meeting several
commuters who used Soquel expressed their distaste for the plan that a bicycle
path would take a lane during their afternoon commute eastbound on Soquel. Soquel
is already a gauntlet for cyclists, we don’t want commuters further angered by
We don’t support a 16-foot wide bike paved lane being put over greenbelt.
I maintain that asphalt used for a critical bike route could prevent 10, perhaps
100, times less cement being used down the road.
A neighborhood group strongly opposed the bike lane.
Now I get it! We ended up supporting an over enthusiastic, very well organized
special interest. Should our chapter support special highly local interests or
the good of the community and the very air we breathe?
I propose that the Ventana Chapter recognize that its membership as a whole is
at least neutral on this issue and vocally publicize this fact.
Dixon Santa Cruz
The Sierra Club actively supports bicycle transportation not only between
the city of Santa Cruz and mid-county, but everywhere. The Club however opposes
the proposed Broadway-Brommer bike road because the project would:
• Have a detrimental impact to the only remaining significant Santa Cruz tarplant
population in the public domain. The Santa Cruz tarplant is a Federal and State
• Significantly damage two riparian corridors for the bridges over Hagemann and
• Violate the city’s General Plan which requires a Master Plan for greenbelt parcels
before any project is proposed. The Sierra Club supports the installation of bicycle
lanes on Soquel Avenue. In addition, the Club supports the development of the
promised “Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Scenic Trail” and purchase of
the railroad corridor for future bicycle and other transportation needs. The Club
also supports an improved bicycle/stroller connection between the Frederick Street
Park and the Harbor.
Use a bucket to wash a car
It is ironical and surprising, with California and world-wide water shortages,
that The Ventana would run a story about auto washing (last issue) with anything
other that the water-saving water bucket.
—K. Metz Santa Cruz
The article in our last issue was not about
auto washing. It addressed the consequences of paving land and its role in polluting
our water. The example of car washing was used because we felt it would most easily
serve to instruct and explain the concept by using a common human activity.
Saving water is also very important. That’s why the photograph of the author washing
a car showed her using a bucket and a hose with an automatic shutoff.
The problem of urban runoff and the resultant water pollution is different from
water availability and will continue even with extraordinary water conservation
measures. That’s why the article presented some practical ways members can reduce
such pollution by simple changes in their behavior. One of these changes is washing
their cars on the grass instead of in a driveway or on the street.