Tuesday, August 21 , 2018, 5:43 am | Fog/Mist 66º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Accident Analysis Key in City of Santa Barbara’s Exploration of Highway 225 Future

City Council meeting at 2 p.m. Monday to decide fate of proposed relinquishment of Mesa roadway

Liability concerns have so far stalled the relinquishment of Highway 225 to the City of Santa Barbara from Caltrans’ control. Before making a decision on the Mesa roadway, the City Council might order an in-depth analysis of accident data and potential safety improvements.

The 4.6-mile state highway stretches from the intersection of Castillo and Montecito streets around SBCC, along Cliff Drive and north on Las Positas Road until it hits Highway 101.

Many intersections have high injury rates, with double the average accident rate for a state highway — statistics that naturally concern City Attorney Steve Wiley. He’s suggested asking for a temporary period of legal indemnity from Caltrans with the relinquishment, but Caltrans representatives said there’s no way the state would take on any liability for the road after it changes hands.

At a special meeting Monday, council members could order staff to conduct an updated analysis of the road’s accident data and potential safety improvements that could be implemented if the city takes ownership. Such an analysis will cost between $15,000 and $30,000, according to a staff report.

While Caltrans has agreed to pay some one-time improvement costs, the city would be faced with $367,000 in annual maintenance costs for the highway and a $112,300 price tag to convert traffic signals to the city’s system.

Mesa neighborhood residents have long urged the city to take on the highway to improve pedestrian and vehicle safety.

The council will meet at 2 p.m. Monday at City Hall’s council chambers, 735 Anacapa St. At the meeting, the council could vote to move forward with relinquishment with or without the analysis, postpone a decision or table the relinquishment.

Check back with Noozhawk on Monday afternoon for the latest news.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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 through Stripe below, 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
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

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.

  • 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.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >