Monday, April 23 , 2018, 8:20 pm | Fair 54º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Santa Barbara Installs Water-Saving Permeable Pavers Around Alice Keck Park Gardens

City has been replacing some of its sidewalks and asphalt areas with pavers that let water soak into groundwater basins

Santa Barbara recently replaced the sidewalks around Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens with permeable pavers to save water.
Santa Barbara recently replaced the sidewalks around Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens with permeable pavers to save water.  (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

The city of Santa Barbara has been replacing some of its concrete sidewalks and asphalt streets with permeable pavers — specially designed, interlocking concrete slabs that allow for the water to soak into the basins underground — and its latest project put in pavers around the Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens. 

Next up is replacing the concrete on the 700 and 800 blocks of Quarantina Street later this year, part of a $2.9 million project that also included replacing the concrete around Alice Keck Park and the alley next to Plaza Vera Cruz.

Santa Barbara received a grant for $2.3 million and plans to spend $600,000 of city money to pay for the rest of the project. 

By the time the city is done, it will have replaced 186,000 square feet, or 4.27 acres, of concrete or asphalt with permeable pavers.

The city has also installed permeable pavers at the Stevens Park, Westside Neighborhood Center Oak Park Tennis Court, and the Oak Park main parking lots. In those areas, more than 100,000 square feet of asphalt has been replaced. 

“We have such a huge infrastructure maintenance backlog in this city and to see a project like this that are installing projects that require much lesser maintenance than asphalt or even concrete, it’s really great to see,” said Parks & Recreation Commission Chairman Lesley Wiscomb.

The permeable pavers can catch up to 1 inch of rain every 24 hours. The city also likes them because they serve as natural filters to urban runoff, stopping much of the street pollution from reaching the ocean after it rains.

Permeable pavers, like the ones here around Alice Keck Park, have replaced concrete sidewalks and asphalt parking lots around Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
Permeable pavers, like the ones here around Alice Keck Park, have replaced concrete sidewalks and asphalt parking lots around Santa Barbara.  (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Pavers have also replaced the asphalt parking lot at Mackenzie Park on Upper State Street. 

“The project overall when it was done, we were getting comments about how beautiful the parking lot is,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Ed Cavazos. 

Timothy Burgess, water resources specialist, said over the long term, the cost of asphalt and concrete maintenance is about the same as the permeable pavers, but the permeable pavers offer many environmental benefits that asphalt does not.

“Asphalt is cheap to put down initially, but asphalt doesn’t last very long,” Burgess said. “It requires a lot of maintenance.”

He said more private property owners are also starting to use permeable pavers to trap water and the city is will soon start tracking private party projects. 

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.

  • 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 >

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 PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

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 >