COAST (Coalition for Sustainable Transportation) will hold its annual Fall Gathering fundraiser from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Inn of the Spanish Garden to raise funds and awareness for sustainable transportation practices in the Santa Barbara region.

COAST’s Barry Siegel Award — named after one of COAST’s founders — is presented annually to individuals for their outstanding contributions to alternative transportation. The Mesa Architects will be the fifth recipient of this award, joining Marc Chytilo, Sherrie Fisher, Naomi Schwartz and Ralph Fertig on COAST’s highest pedestal.

The Mesa Architects are a volunteer group working since 2008 on ideas for improving the Mesa’s streets and open spaces with the goal of moving their seaside neighborhood “from good to great.” They have been the driving force behind the striping of Cliff Drive.

The Mesa Architects are comprised of Jim Bell, Chris Cottrell, Derrik Eichelberger, Brook Eiler, John Kelley, Jeff King, Stuart Magee, Tom Morrison, Tom Ochsner, Laurel Perez, Dennis Thompson and David VanHoy.

Cliff Drive was originally a four-lane road that was particularly hazardous to cross for pedestrians and cyclists, because of the wide crossing lanes. The four-lane to three-lane conversion between Lighthouse Road, and the west entrance to SBCC was completed in August. Adding a center turning lane and bike lanes is a significant first step toward transforming Cliff Drive from a high-speed highway to a complete neighborhood street.

This project was accomplished by Caltrans with broad community support and unanimous city approval. It was funded by Caltrans, at no cost to the city. The Mesa Architects are continuing to work with Mesa neighbors and the city to complete the transfer of ownership of Cliff Drive from the state to the city so crosswalks, stop signs and stoplights can be added where needed; and so that existing problems along other parts of the Cliff Drive corridor can be addressed.

COAST’s Fall Gathering will also include dinner, drinks and a silent auction with a wide variety of items ranging from concert tickets to a night’s stay at the Upham Hotel, to a lunch at the San Ysidro Ranch. The event is sponsored by generous donations from MTD, the Community Environmental Council, the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara and Cottage Health System, among others.

Tickets to the event are $25. RSVP is required by contacting COAST’s project director, Caitlin Carlson, at and 805.875.3562.

— Caitlin Carlson is a project director for COAST.