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Monday, December 17 , 2018, 5:51 am | Light Rain 54º


Letter to the Editor: Narrowing of State Street First Merits Testing

Cars Are Basic Inc. requests that the Santa Barbara City Council immediately place on permanent hold the narrowing of State Street from Haley Street to Cabrillo Boulevard, and any plans for narrowing Cabrillo in any manner until the city has conducted a complete summer, three-month test of these changes.

This test would use cones to block all traffic on State Street (as described above) and Cabrillo from at least Anacapa Street to Chapala Street.

Traffic staff has ignored repeated request for this test, and had years to “prove” their plan would not congest traffic. They made it completely clear during the planning stage that the narrowing “would not congest traffic.” Our comment was and is, “Prove it.”

For those who remember the Cabrillo bridge and street project under George Gerth, the effect of that project made traffic during summer and special events a nightmare. A situation he reluctantly
stated proved narrowing of Cabrillo would be a bad decision.

CAB circulated an initiative petition to stop this plan associated with Entrada, which because of the wording was struck down by the court. It was absolutely clear with the signatures collected the vast majority of residents do not and did not want this to happen. The amount of signatures was so great that the Registrar of Voters “without challenge” certified the signatures (over 10,000).

The city acknowledged after the project was approved, significant threats of tidal wave, and emergency issues along this primary beach corridor do exist. The city further negatively impacted the transportation formula with the move of the Greyhound bus terminal to the beach, there is the impending building of the Children’s Museum, and the commuter schedule changes of the Surfliner. The original projections and assumptions by staff are no longer valid.

The city administrator has released to the media an announcement of O.E.M. (Office of Emergency Management) updating of citywide emergency planning, though it has yet to see a “real life” demonstration of what happens to this location with narrowed streets and intersections.

CAB requested either the X agenda of this request for Tuesday’s calendar, or placement for vote on the next council agenda date, which would be Sept. 17.

On behalf of the board,

Scott Wenz, president
Cars Are Basic Inc.

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