The Santa Barbara City Council voted Tuesday night to install median refuge islands and pedestrian-activated flashing lights at two Milpas Street intersections plagued by safety concerns.
Neighbors and Eastside community members have long asked for traffic lights to be installed there — the only two spots without signals on the busier part of the Milpas Street corridor — but city traffic engineers recommended otherwise.
At Ortega Street, where 15-year-old Sergio Romero was hit and killed while using the crosswalk last October, the city will install a raised “refuge island” median on the northern crosswalk and pedestrian-activated flashing lights to make crossing easier. The lights will be installed on either side of the crosswalk and on the median.
The three blocks between Canon Perdido and Cota streets will be restriped as well, to create fewer, wider lanes and a bike lane.
At Yanonali Street, the city will install overhead-mounted pedestrian-activated flashing lights so they are more visible. A southbound bus stop has already been eliminated for safety reasons, according to a representative from the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District.
The City Council approved the staff recommendations in a unanimous vote.