Tuesday, September 18 , 2018, 8:23 pm | Fair 70º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Santa Barbara Council May Put Brakes on Tour Bus Parking in Municipal Bus Stops

Ordinance Committee considers changing parking rules to free up access for local buses, may target unauthorized parking signs

Santa Barbara may start limiting tour bus parking, especially in the busy waterfront areas. Buses can use any of the Metropolitan Transit District bus and shuttle stops, including the ones on Cabrillo Boulevard. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara may start limiting tour bus parking, especially in the busy waterfront areas. Buses can use any of the Metropolitan Transit District bus and shuttle stops, including the ones on Cabrillo Boulevard. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

The City of Santa Barbara may limit parking for tour buses and stop them from using municipal bus stops throughout the city.   

Any vehicle defined as a bus can use the city’s bus and shuttle stops, which are created for the Metropolitan Transit District. Visiting tour buses commonly use them for parking, particularly along Cabrillo Boulevard next to the beach.

That practice can cause problems when MTD buses and shuttles need to load and unload passengers, transportation engineer Derrick Bailey said at last week’s Ordinance Committee meeting.

Public Works Department officials want to redefine which buses can use the MTD bus and shuttle stops, and the City Council will consider changing the ordinance at a future meeting.

Bailey said the city will work with commuter companies, such as Clean Air Express and Vista, and local tourism companies to give them parking access.

Santa Barbara Trolley, for one, is cooperative with the city and should be allowed to use the stops as long as bus operations aren’t impeded, Bailey said.

As part of the ordinance changes, Santa Barbara may put time limits on waterfront tour bus parking, with overflow parking on Montecito Street after passengers unload. There is high demand for curb space in the Funk Zone, Bailey said.

MTD executive director Jerry Estrada said tour bus parking in bus spots can create a problem, and the agency supports the proposed changes.

The three Ordinance Committee members — Council members Frank Hotchkiss, Cathy Murillo and Randy Rowse — forwarded the issue to the full council, which will consider adopting the changes.

The committee also discussed a ban on unauthorized parking signs.

Illegal traffic signs that can create hazards — such as unauthorized stop signs or speed limit signs — are taken down by police, but there are technically no laws against unauthorized parking signs in the city.

New city rules would go after people who put up customer-only parking signs or other limited parking signs within the public right of way, where everyone is allowed to park.

It’s common for people to post these types of private parking or customer-only parking sings on property lines facing out into the street, Bailey said, “giving the impression street parking is somehow reserved or restricted when really, public parking is for the use of all.”

With the new rules, city staff would start an administrative citation process to get those signs removed, instead of going to police.

Bailey said the city finds out about most of the unauthorized signs from citizen complaints, and the rule change is an attempt to prevent conflict between businesses and neighbors.

The change would not affect parking rules in private property lots.

Noozhawk news editor 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 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.

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 >