Sunday, June 17 , 2018, 9:40 pm | Fair 59º


Local News

Goleta Looks at Angled Parking, Bike Paths, Fewer Traffic Lanes in Old Town

Major changes could be coming to Hollister Avenue; city mulling 3 possible plans

Cars parked on Hollister Avenue in Goleta. Click to view larger
The city of Goleta is contemplating a giant redesign of Hollister Avenue, the sidewalks and parking lanes in Old Town. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Old Town Goleta is sort of like the land that time forgot.

With its four lanes, street parking and lack of formal bike lanes, the strip from Fairview Avenue to Highway 217 looks a lot today like it did in the 1980s.

Only the names have changed, although some mainstays such as Santa Cruz Market, Taco Bell and 7-Eleven have endured.

But the city of Goleta is looking at jolting Old Town out of its infrastructure malaise, through a giant redesign of the street, the sidewalks and parking lanes.

“The main goal is to identify roadway improvements which will help enhance safety and operations for all modes of transportation and all users,” according to Therese Lopes, senior project manager for the city of Goleta.

The city is studying three options that would radically redesign the area. It has received a $236,000 grant to give the street a design makeover.

The existing street is 71 feet wide, from curb to curb, with 10 foot sidewalks and parking in many spots along both sides of Hollister. There are no bike lanes or bike facilities and minimal trees and landscaping.

Goleta is looking at three plans. The first one would remove about 28 parking spaces along the south side of Hollister in favor of bicycle lanes. Two lanes of traffic in each direction would remain and the street would stay at 71 feet wide.

Goleta would also plant dozens of trees to beautify the street.

Flashing lights in front of Goleta Community Center. Click to view larger
The Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce would like to see a permanent traffic signal in front of the Goleta Valley Community Center, rather than the flashing lights that go off when a person is crossing the street. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

The second plan would narrow the roadway to 65 feet and extend the sidewalks from 10 feet to 12.5 feet. Traffic would be narrowed to one lane in each direction.

The city would also add two bike lanes and create reverse angled parking on the north side. Parallel parking would remain on the south side.

The third scenario would narrow the streets to 62 feet wide, with 14.5 foot sidewalks. Traffic would be narrowed to one lane in each direction, with bike lanes and parallel parking on both sides.

The plan would also allow for more benches and landscaping decoratives on the street.

The city is completing the traffic analysis to determine how the narrowed streets would affect traffic. City staff plans to return in late August with a report.

Kristen Miller, president and CEO of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, said her group supports the middle option that includes the angled parking.

“The main idea of what people want is a walking, vibrant downtown that has a sense of place,” Miller said. “We want to feel proud of downtown, and we want a sense of community when we gather there.”

She also said that Goleta should install a permanent traffic signal in front of the Goleta Valley Community Center, rather than the flashing lights that go off when a person is crossing the street.

Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said she liked plan B because it was truly “streets for everyone.”

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina 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.

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