Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 2:54 pm | Mostly Cloudy 70º


Local News

City of Santa Barbara Installs Stoplights at Intersection of De la Vina, Arrellaga Streets

The lights are expected to be turned on for drivers by Thursday morning in a move city officials hope will reduce the number of collisions

Newly-installed stoplights at De la Vina and Arrellaga streets in Santa Barbara are expected to be turned on Thursday morning.
Newly-installed stoplights at De la Vina and Arrellaga streets in Santa Barbara are expected to be turned on Thursday morning. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara's most dangerous intersection now has stoplights, a move city transportation officials hope will reduce the number of collisions.

The intersection of De la Vina and Arrellaga streets was the location of 12 collisions in 2013, 11 of which were vehicle-vs.-vehicle and one that involved a car hitting a pedestrian, making it statistically the most dangerous intersection with the most collisions, according to the city. 

Crews have been installing the lights since early April and drivers should see the lights operating for the first time Thursday morning, said Derrick Bailey, supervising transportation engineer for the City of Santa Barbara.

"It was really bad," he said of the intersection's collision record.

The next worst intersection, at Carrillo and De la Vina streets, clocks in at 10 collisions and already has a stop light, Bailey said.

The De la Vina and Arrellaga intersection has a lower traffic volume, but Bailey said many of the collisions there have to do with the proximity to the Highway 101 on- and off-ramps at Arrellaga and Castillo streets. People "are taking chances" to get to the ramps, he said. 

Santa Barbara keeps a collision database that is constantly updated to look for patterns or trends, Bailey said. 

"This one really stood out," he said.

The light will be timed for people to make the light if they are driving just over 25 miles per hour through the surrounding blocks. 

"We don't want people to speed up to feel like they have to make the light," he said.

The total project cost is $173,000, which includes the new streetlights and the traffic signals themselves, and $140,000 of that came from Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration.

The city came up with the remaining funds.

To deal with traffic volumes in the area from the light, the city installed a four-way stop at Arrellaga and Bath streets​ last week, which is one block away from the new stoplights.

Bailey said that one-way streets like De la Vina present a challenge for planners, but there would be a lot more gridlock without them.

"It's a challenging trade-off between mobility and safety," he said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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 >