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Santa Barbara Receives $15M State Grant For Bike, Pedestrian Path on Modoc, Las Positas Roads

The 2.6-mile multipurpose pathway is funded by Senate Bill 1 gas tax money, and would be defunded if the SB 1 repeal measure is passed by voters in November

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Santa Barbara landed a $15-million grant to build a separated pathway for bicyclists and pedestrians on Las Positas and Modoc roads.  (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

The city of Santa Barbara has landed a $15-million grant from the state of California to fund a separated path for bicylists, pedestrians and runners on Modoc and Las Positas roads.

“This is a project we are very excited about — 2.6 miles, can you believe that, of new offstreet path for bike and recreational use,” said Rob Dayton, transportation and parking manager for the city. 

It's possible, however, that the city may never see the money. The grant is funded by Senate Bill 1 gas tax money. There's a proposal on the November ballot, Proposition 6, to repeal SB1.

“This project would be defunded,” Dayton said. “The city of Santa Barbara wouldn't be able to collect that $15 million.”

Santa Barbara secured the funding through a Active Transportation Program state grant.

The project is designed to increase biking and walking trips, enhance the safety of people who aren't in vehicles, reduce greenhouse gases, enhance public health, and benefit disadvantaged, minority and low income, communities.

If built, the project would create a separated pathway for bicyclists, runners, and pedestrians along Las Positas and Modoc roads.

The project begins on the south side of Modoc Road at the western city limits and continues east for approximately 1 mile toward the intersection of Modoc and Las Positas roads, then veers south for another 1.6 miles along the west side of Las Positas Road to Cliff Drive.

Santa Barbara City Councilman Oscar Gutierrez said the path will help the people on the Westside.

“Growing up we used to ride our bikes to the beach, we had to play rock, paper, scissors to see who would go out first so the cars would slow down,” Gutierrez said. “No joke, that’s how dangerous it was. I am looking forward to this so it safer to get to the beach from the Westside.”

Councilwoman Kristen Sneddon agreed, calling it an excellent project.

“I am very excited about it,” Sneddon said. “There many of us, and our residents, who use that corridor frequently.”

Councilman Gregg Hart warned that if Prop. 6 passes, the city would not only lose the money for the path, but also $400 million of funding for the widening of Highway 101, and more than $2 million a year in road maintenance.

“This is how we are going to make our roadways safer,” Hart said. “This is how we are going to relieve congestion. This is how we are going to maintain local streets and roads.”

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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