An open letter to the Santa Barbara City Council

Madam Mayor and Council:

Mr. Becker representing Cars Are Basic Inc. at Tuesday evening’s session made the point of the traffic study not being available to the general public from the Council Agenda web page.

This is what was and is as of 7:51 p.m. available to the general public regarding the staff report about the Eastside traffic study:



If, in fact, it was and is available to the general public through the Traffic Circulation Committee bookmark, then it should have easily been made available to the general public through the Council Agenda web page.

This is reminiscent to the misdirection and intentional quoting of nonfact by the City of Santa Barbara Transportation Division with the St. Francis Traffic Plan — the plan that has failed to achieve its goals — and included statements that there are statistics proving bulb-outs work (Tuesday night staff stated there are no such statistics).

A reminder here. Cars Are Basic did a community outreach in the lower Milpas/Eastside area over a decade ago. We brought to Mr. Dayton and Mayor Miller’s attention of almost every single issue before the council Tuesday evening. 

The city ignored our issues and the over-600-signature petition present in council session.

Among the issues were the problems of the 5 Points Roundabout, brought up at Tuesday’s presentation. Issues of pedestrians/bicyclists, and the unintended consequences of danger to both and greater speeds further down the streets feeding the roundabout. We urged the council to return to the intersection to an all-way stop as before. We were ignored. 

CAB brought up the issues of the “S” curve, accidents around the Milpas roundabout and Carpinteria Street that was proven significant within six months of the building of the roundabout. A standard intersection would have cost half the cost of the roundabout, solved the issue of unintended consequences, and made pedestrian and bike travel through the intersection far safer than now.

Part of the problems of traffic through the residential neighborhood is a direct result of drivers not wishing to travel the roundabout on Milpas, and learned behavior during the roundabout construction that closed most of the intersection. A direct result the former Eastside Neighborhood Organization stated would not be an issue. That is a direct statement from its then-spokesman Grant House. CAB was ignored.

If, in fact, the City of Santa Barbara traffic staff had not ignored our issues and petition of over a decade ago, most of these issues would have been solved by now, at far less expense currently facing the city.

Scott Wenz, president
Cars Are Basic