Thursday, November 15 , 2018, 1:41 am | Fair 45º

 
 
 
 

Curb Extensions Debate Intersects at Cabrillo and Anacapa Streets

Santa Barbara council approves project revision that includes mast-arm traffic signals

What’s typically a quick consent agenda item turned into a two-hour discussion about curb extensions at Tuesday’s Santa Barbara City Council meeting.

Five members voted to approve additional funding for a design firm to redo plans for improvements to the intersection of Carrillo and Anacapa streets. The Historic Landmarks Commission initially approved a plan to place curb extensions, or “bulb-outs,” on the East Carrillo Street side corners of the intersection, but reconsidered its decision and voted to support a plan with mast-arm traffic signals instead. The devices will reach out over the street for enhanced visibility to drivers.

In the end, another $20,000 was authorized for the design contract to redo the project, for a total of up to $52,725. Construction funds come from the streets fund and a state grant, Public Works director Christine Anderson said.

The Carrillo/Anacapa project began in 2008, as there are more accidents there than any other city-owned intersection, Anderson said. Between 2004 and 2007, there were 49 collisions within 75 feet of the intersection, 33 of which were broadside collisions, according to the city staff report.

Twenty-eight accidents included a red-light violation, which has pointed the finger at poor signal visibility. Penfield & Smith, a Santa Barbara engineering firm, presented a plan with curb extensions on two of the four corners and mast-arm signals across Carrillo Street in both directions.

During council discussion and public comment, debate surged over whether the project should include the curb extensions. They’re typically supported as a pedestrian safety measure, which this project doesn’t specifically aim to address.

Council members are divided on the concept of bulb-outs, but the majority sided with the Historic Landmarks Commission as both plans would address the traffic problem.

“Visibility is just as well addressed with the mast-arms,” said Councilman Dale Francisco, who noted that the revised plan is also less expensive.

Mayor Helene Schneider and Councilman Grant House voted against the revision, and Schneider worried about the proliferation of mast-arm signals throughout the downtown corridor.

The Transportation & Circulation Committee supported the original concept, and two of its members spoke in favor of maintaining curb extensions in the design.

Total project costs will go down $94,000 with the elimination of the curb extensions, although redesign costs will be $25,000. Grant money cannot be used for the redesign, officials said.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.