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Letter to the Editor: Bulb-Outs in Santa Barbara

On Sept. 5, I sent the e-mail shown below to Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and all the council members. To date I have only received responses from Council members Dale Francisco, Frank Hotchkiss and Michael Self about the bulb-outs, and all three say they oppose them. The other elected officials have chosen to ignore my e-mail.

Rob Dayton is a powerfully placed traffic planner who appears to have a personal agenda to restrict traffic flow and reduce parking spaces around Santa Barbara in the vain hope it will force people onto public transport (quite how the two correlate, is beyond me). The bulb-outs are part of the plan to restrict traffic flow and they appear to be moving forward in great haste and at vast expense. Each corner costs $60,000 (four corners = $250,000) and that is only if utilities don’t have to be moved.

To be discussed Tuesday at the City Council hearing is the building of bulb-outs at Carrillo and Anacapa streets, already a busy intersection. At present, cars turning right onto Anacapa can filter through on a red light — necessary because when pedestrians are present (as they often are) often times no vehicles move on their green light. Put a bulb-out there and the junction becomes tighter and traffic flow will be squeezed further. Cyclists coming down Anacapa will be put at risk as they are forced out into traffic to avoid the bulging curb and large vehicles will have an even harder time negotiating the corners.

What does our City Council really believe regarding the benefits to be gained from these obstructions? Show us some proof. More vehicles idling, more damaged tires and accidents waiting to happen.


Robert Dibley

From: Robert Dibley
Sent: Sunday, September 05, 2010 4:04 PM
To: Schneider, Helene; House, Grant; Williams, Das; White, Harwood “Bendy” A.; Francisco, Dale; Hotchkiss, Frank; Self, Michael
Subject: from Dibley - Bulb-Outs in City Roads

Madame Mayor and Esteemed Council Members,

I am becoming more and more bothered by the proliferation of “bulb-outs” in city streets. Why is the city building them? Please tell me what real benefit is expected from them.

Traffic is obstructed at junctions (at Ortega and Chapala streets today during one light change I observed, only one left-turning car managed to get through the junction before the light changed; the bulb-out prevented any other cars passing between it and the curb), and large vehicles and buses have difficulty negotiating the corners without running up the curbs.

As a cyclist, I object to being forced out into the traffic at many of the junctions.

So apart from obstructing traffic flow, what real benefit does the city and career traffic planner Rob Dayton (who is a career traffic obstructor, not elected) expect to reap?

And in this time of fiscal stress, what an obscene waste of money! I was informed by a city engineer that one corner costs $60,000 — that is $240,000 for all four corners of a junction — and considerably more if utilities have to be moved.

Emergency vehicles are also impeded by these restricted junctions, all the more so if cars can’t clear them easily.

I would like to receive a straightforward answer from each of you, please. Ladies and gentlemen, as elected officials of this city, do you support or oppose additional traffic flow bulb-outs?

Best regards,

Robert Dibley
Santa Barbara

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