Sunday, May 29 , 2016, 11:22 am | Overcast 61º




Laurel Abbott: Divided Over Highway 101 Growth Plan

By Laurel Abbott |

As an active local business group, the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors stays up to date on activities around town that can affect residents, businesses and our community. Recently, members heard an enlightening presentation about the upcoming Caltrans work on Highway 101.

We have all watched and benefited from the recent freeway changes that have made our town a bit more navigable and know that there are more changes in the works. Caltrans plans to add lanes from Santa Barbara to Carpinteria with the section from Cabrillo/Hot Springs to Sheffield, including an HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lane for peak traffic times.

There are growing concerns about the costly five-year plan, which includes on-ramp and off-ramp closures, and how it will affect our community businesses and commuters.

David Kent, president of the Montecito Association and a Realtor with Sotheby’s, presented a compelling alternative proposed by the Community Coalition Alternative.

This alternative is less expensive and less intrusive, and would take less time than the Caltrans proposal. It focuses on local concerns about tourism and the beauty of our town. Click here to review their plan online.

Of course, there are two sides to every story. Caltrans had a goal to eliminate what are perceived as dangerous fast-lane on- and off-ramps. Click here to review its plan and goals.

For further information, check with the Montecito Association for upcoming presentations by calling 805.969.2026.

Laurel Abbott is a real estate agent with Prudential California Realty and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.879.8050. The opinions expressed are her own.




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