COAST Officers and Board of Directors
Joanna Kaufman, President
As our former Program Director, Joanna has had a lifetime of interest in urban planning and transportation resulting in obtaining a B.S. in Community and Regional Development from UC Davis, and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Cal Poly SLO. She is well experienced with what it is like to ride a bike, take transit and be an Amtrak passenger, and would be happy to share some transportation war stories. When not advocating for improved transportation options, Joanna enjoys civic technology, tackling housing affordability, retrofitting the suburbs, bicycle touring, writing non-fiction, spending time with friends, and every indoor/outdoor Santa Barbara activity you can think of.
Eve Sanford, Vice President
Eve is a transportation planner with 7+ years of experience supporting safer streets, bicycling and walking in cities. She currently works for a transportation start-up in the shared mobility space, Spin Scooter Share. If she could wave a transportation magic wand, she would make it so everyone feels safe riding a bicycle in town. Because she doesn’t have a magic wand, she is active organizing and bringing people together for safe streets, both as COAST board secretary and a commissioner on Santa Barbara’s Transportation and Circulation Committee, where her motto is “protected bike lanes.” In her free time, Eve enjoys beach days with friends, roller-blading and spending time outdoors.
Mark Bradley, Secretary
Mark is a consultant of transportation demand and policy analysis, working for 12 years in the UK and the Netherlands, and for the last 20+ years in California, and is a Director at Resource Systems Group (RSG). He is an internationally known expert in the field of travel demand modeling for long-range planning, and is involved in regional, State and Federal projects to study road pricing, transit demand and the effects of urban design on travel behavior and health. Mark moved from the Bay Area to Santa Barbara in 2002, and joined the COAST Board in 2004. He also serves on the Measure A Citizens’ Oversight Committee.
Greg Janée, Treasurer
Greg is a software engineer at UCSB. He is a longtime advocate for bicyclists and pedestrians and was the Safe Routes to School champion at his childrens’ school, Mountain View Elementary. Greg lives in Goleta with his wife Pilar and two daughters.
Kate Burgner Ph.D., Director
Kate is a transplant to Santa Barbara, originally from San Diego. She came to Santa Barbara to attend UCSB for her undergraduate degree, and stayed in Santa Barbara to complete her master, and PhD in the Department of Geography. Kate’s graduate research was focused in transportation and everyday travel behavior of individuals. Following the completion of her degree, she started her own consulting business, Data Perspectives Consulting. She also teaches courses in Geography as an Adjunct Faculty member of Santa Barbara City College.
Eduardo Gonzalez, Director
‘Eddie’ has deep roots in Santa Barbara. He was born here and has raised his own family of six children here as well. He works with special needs kids at Montecito Union School and in addition, he works at La Casa de la Raza community center. In 2007, he co-founded Bici Centro which had its first home at La Casa. Eddie was drawn to COAST’s work in the Eastside. He wants to help make the streets that he knows so well safer; the streets where he rode his bike and skateboard as a child and where his own children grew up.
COAST Advisory Board
Matt Dobberteen, Alternative Transportation Manager, County of Santa Barbara
Matt was born in Boston and raised in Norman, Oklahoma. Educated at UCSB, a student leader on public policy and resource management, Matt was elected to the board of IV Rec & Parks right out of school. He then joined the County of Santa Barbara Planning Department, working on many long-range community planning projects. He was named County Redevelopment officer and was in charge of projects in Old Town Goleta, Orcutt, and Isla Vista. In his current position in the County Public Works Transportation Planning division, Matt works on conventional and sustainable transportation projects of every kind.
Kent Epperson, Director, Traffic Solutions
Kent holds a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado, Denver, and a B.A. in Urban Studies from Metropolitan State College. Kent is the Director of SBCAG Traffic Solutions, where he has been since 2002. Traffic Solutions is the Santa Barbara Countywide rideshare organization, with a mission of reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality by encouraging people to bike, walk, carpool, telecommute and take rail and transit. Kent also serves as a Board Advisor for SBBIKE.
Brian Fahnestock, Business Executive
Brian is vice president with a local software company and has previously sat on the boards of MTD and CEC. A dedicated COAST supporter, Brian is a Goleta transplant who lives in Downtown Santa Barbara, so you might just run into him on State Street.
Ed France, Executive Director, Leading From Within
Ed loves bicycling, engaging with people, living in S.B., and is thankful to have served for over a decade in a vocation that brought these all together. A community member for 15+ years, Ed previously worked for the City of SB. He was very fortunate to meet a band of creative social entrepreneurs who started up Bici Centro, our community DIY ‘bike kitchen’. From volunteer to part-time staff to advisor to board member and Executive Director of SBBIKE, Ed led a movement of embracing cycling as a communal force for public good. Ed is now on a new professional journey in the social sector, leveraging his leadership experience to empower community professionals to meet their own leadership development goals.
Grant House, former Santa Barbara City Council Member and business owner
Hillary Blackerby, Marketing & Community Relations Manager, SB MTD
Hillary works for Santa Barbara MTD, the public transit provider on Santa Barbara County’s South Coast, where she manages the District’s marketing and design, customer experience, media relations, and community partnerships. Prior to joining MTD, she worked for the California State Assembly for ten years, specializing in energy, housing, and transportation policy and constituent relations. Hillary serves on the City of Santa Barbara’s Transportation and Circulation Committee, and is a proud UC Santa Barbara alumna.
Alex Pujo, Architect, Pujo & Associates
Alex was one of the co-founders of COAST in 2001 and president from 2001-4 and 2010-2012. He served on the City of Santa Barbara Architectural Board of Review (ABR) and Historic Landmarks Commission, and County committees overseeing the aesthetics of roads, bridges and trails. Alex is a local architect and an advocate of traditional urban planning and historic preservation.
Helene Schneider, former Mayor, City of Santa Barbara
.Rich Untermann, Professor Emeritus of Urban Design
Rich is Professor Emeritus of Urban Design at the University of Washington and holds degrees from UC Berkeley and Harvard Graduate School of Design. Rich’s work focuses on recycling 1960’s-style auto-oriented communities to meet the needs of scarce resources and concerns of global warming. The goal is simple: get millions of people walking – even just an extra half-mile a day. Rich has focused the last 25 years helping suburban communities increase density, mix land uses, redesign streets and integrate transit to convert their neighborhoods, downtowns and malls into environmentally friendly pedestrian oriented places.
Melissa Cunningham, Executive Director
Melissa moved to Santa Barbara from Crested Butte, Colorado in 2014, eager to trade her snow shovel and skis for flip flops and beach chairs! While in Colorado, she was Executive Director of Living Journeys Cancer Support Network. Melissa has been involved in numerous non-profits both as staff or board member for most of her life. In Santa Barbara, she has been raising her three teenagers and volunteering tirelessly with the Santa Barbara Middle School PTA. Passionate about active transportation, accessibility and safety for all, and the impact that choosing to walk, bike or rideshare has on the environment, Melissa is excited to join COAST as our new Executive Director!
Kim Stanley-Zimmerman, Safe Routes to School Director
Kim graduated from UCSB with a degree in environmental studies, and worked in the environmental field in Santa Barbara after graduating. Kim is excited to be COAST’s Safe Routes to School Director. Health and the environment are two issues she is passionate about in her own life, and is something she “loves espousing…I mean talking to kids about!” She’s a family gal, living near downtown and loves to walk and ride when not rushing around to all the area schools!
Nancy Eckert, Safe Routes to School Instructor & Assistant Coordinator
Nancy was born and raised in Santa Barbara and graduated from Cal Poly State University San Luis Obispo with a multiple subject teaching credential. Nancy has taught and worked in program development in a variety of areas including Waste and Recycling Education, Physical Education, English as a Second Language, and Elementary classroom teaching. Teaching for the Safe Routes to School program is a perfect fit given her passion for cycling and background in education. Nancy also runs a girls softball program for area youth.
Barry Remis, Safe Routes to School Instructor & COAST Administrator
Barry came to S.B. in 2006 from Connecticut, where he studied Elementary Education at Southern CT State University. He spent 15+ years in direct marketing and IT business analysis before “switching coasts” for a career and lifestyle change. Barry enjoys running, biking, fitness, local music and volunteering for organizations like SBBIKE, the Arlington Theater, KCRW, Organic Soup Kitchen and Los Padres ForestWatch. Barry helps execute the local Open Streets celebrations. He also manages the COAST website and our ‘e-blast’ communications.
Jody Nelson, Safe Routes to School Instructor
A Santa Barbara native, Jody has 25+ years of teaching experience in the areas of physical education and film production. She has designed and led film production classes for youth and has produced three award-winning short films about children and sports. Her purpose has been to provide guidance, direction, and vision regarding sports and wellness. With a Bachelor of Science degree from UMASS, Amherst and an Associate of Arts Degree in Film Production from Santa Barbara City College, Jody is a credentialed teacher who has presented national and college-level workshops on health and fitness, and worked with professional sports media. Jody’s passions include running, swimming and triathlon.
Vanesssa Rencher, Safe Routes to School Instructor
Biking and the outdoors have always been a big part of Vanessa’s life and now she enjoys them with her family. Vanessa was born in Germany and grew up both there and in the U.S. She married in Denmark where the bike culture there impressed her so much; not only the variety and creativity of the various bicycles, but all the bike paths everywhere from the big cities to the smallest farm towns. “I am so excited to be joining the sustainable transportation community and look forward to educating kids about being safe while having fun outdoors and sharing the joy of biking with others.”
Ana Rico, Santa Barbara Walks Community Organizer
Ana was raised in the Eastside neighborhood, and as our Eastside/Westside Walks Organizer, she is a vital component to the success of our Santa Barbara Walks program. A devoted mother of three, Ana walked with her kids to school every day. She experienced first-hand the traffic dangers of walking Santa Barbara neighborhoods and now helps empower residents to have a voice in local transportation safety improvements.
The following COAST Committees are open to the public:
- Development Committee – Strategizes organizational development, fundraising, and member engagement.
- Advocacy Meeting – Discusses general advocacy strategy for pedestrian, bicycle, transit, rail, infrastructure, etc. Meets every 3rd Thursday at 4:00.
- State Street Subcommittee – Discusses and determines advocacy strategy and messaging for the State Street Redesign effort to keep it car free.
- Education Committee (joint committee between Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition & COAST) – Focuses on bike education programs.
If you are interested in joining one of our Committees please contact us at info@coast-
The Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST) promotes convenient transportation alternatives for everyone including the one-third of the population who, by choice or necessity, does not drive. We survey community members about their transportation needs and communicate with government officials and planners to ensure the needs are addressed in the transportation funding process. Our outreach is diverse. We represent farm workers in North County; children in our local schools and commuters desperate for alternatives to driving and traffic congestion. COAST began in 1993 as a group of volunteers active in alternative transportation issues. Our group was interested in practical alternatives to the widening of Highway 101 being considered at that time. In the process, we helped redefine the project area as a “corridor” including all modes of transportation along and across the 101 rather than within the narrow strip of mainline freeway. COAST was influential in developing the City of Santa Barbara’s updated Circulation Element that is recognized as a turning point in local transportation policies. We have been engaged in many transportation related projects including the South Coast Transit Plan, Highway 101 Design Guidelines, North County Unmet Transit Needs, Highway 101 Operational Improvements, 101 in Motion, Safe Routes to School (SR2S) and South Coast Commuter Rail. COAST incorporated in 2001 as a 501(c)3 organization to continue a broad range of educational activities and we continue today to advocate for healthy and environmentally beneficial transportation alternatives.
Here are some of our signature achievements since our incorporation in 2002:
- COAST challenged the long-standing practice of diverting funds that were designated for North County transit to road maintenance. As a result, a new bus line now serves families in Santa Maria, Vandenberg Village, Lompoc and a vanpool program has been created to take farm workers safely to work in the fields around Santa Maria.
- CoastalRailNow, a project of COAST, spearheads the effort to bring commuter rail to the South Coast. This could take thousands of vehicle trips off our crowded freeway and local streets!
- COAST coordinates the regional Safe Routes to School program, encouraging South Coast children to walk or bike to school, and educating them to do it safely. This improves their fitness and social skills while taking car trips off the road. We also offer low-cost bike safety helmet distributions and fittings at all area elementary schools.
- Under a grant from the Green Park Foundation, COAST worked with Montecito Union School and the County to build a footpath on San Ysidro Road providing students with a safer way to get to school and play.
- COAST formed and led the Coalition for a Fair Measure D, later Measure A, the County-wide sales tax increase dedicated to transportation. This resulted in a dramatically improved expenditure plan with dedicated funding for rail, bus service, walking, biking and Safe Routes to School projects. Measure A, passed by voters in 2008, has been a game changer and will set the course for county transportation improvements for the next thirty years.
- COAST led the organization of SB Open Streets, our very first of its kind annual celebration in Santa Barbara, where a 2.2 mile stretch of beachside roadways are closed to motorized traffic and opened up for people of all ages & backgrounds to ‘play in the streets’ by walking, biking, blading, skating, and using our streets as a public park! Local businesses, restaurants, artists and performers add to the excitement of this free event that brings our community together and our streets alive!
- COAST conducted a two-year study to collect feedback and suggestions for infrastructural pedestrian improvements for our Safe Routes for Seniors project, where we met with senior-aged and mobility-challenged pedestrians to compile a report, matrix and interactive map of concern areas in Goleta and nearby unincorporated Santa Barbara County. Our findings highlighted attention areas such as insufficient lighting, uneven, cracked or incomplete sidewalks, ‘unsafe’ intersection crosswalks, impeded wheelchair access, faded paint and obstructed signage. Results of our study were delivered to Goleta and the County for use as a resource for identifying future pedestrian capital improvements. Already, changes have been made for the better!
Read our Transportation Platform here.
(Click to view listing)
What have people said about COAST?
“What I think makes a difference to decision-makers is the extent of community involvement and passion and determination –ongoing determination– not giving up when it comes to controversial issues. And certainly our transportation planning has been controversial at times and in recent years certainly so. This kind of consistent, well-informed, persistent exposure on the part of just plain citizens has made all the difference and I can’t overemphasize the importance for local decision-making of an informed and active public. To me that is what COAST represents.” — Naomi Schwartz, former S.B. County Supervisor
“Cottage Health System values COAST’s efforts for the health and safety of our community’s children. Encouraging walking and biking to school from an early age creates healthy habits that last a lifetime. Thank you to COAST for promoting physical activity in our community.” — Dana Goba, Cottage Health System
“On behalf of our 546 students and families, I would like to personally thank you for your time and dedication to making our community a safer place.” — Casie Kilgore, Principal of Franklin School, regarding our Eastside Walks program.