A new traffic signal has been installed at the intersection of Chapala and Arrellaga streets in Santa Barbara.
A new traffic signal has been installed at the intersection of Chapala and Arrellaga streets in Santa Barbara. The Chapala Street Vision Zero project also includes intersection lighting improvements, restriping from two lanes to one lane between Arrellaga and Mission streets, new crosswalks, and ADA improvements. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara has installed a new traffic signal at the intersection of Chapala and Arrellaga streets.

The traffic signal, turned on Friday, is part of the Chapala Street Vision Zero project, according to Derrick Bailey, a principal traffic engineer for the city. 

“Vision Zero is the city’s goal to eliminate serious and fatal injuries caused by traffic collisions on city streets,” Bailey said. “About 77% of serious and fatal collisions happen on just 19% of city streets, so focusing on busy streets like Chapala is the most strategic way to get to zero.”

The traffic signal is intended to eliminate the pattern of broadside collisions at the intersection of Chapala and Arrellaga.  

“Just before the pandemic, there were four collisions resulting in seven injuries in a 12-month period,” Bailey said.

The Chapala Street project also includes intersection lighting improvements, restriping from two lanes to one lane between Arrellaga and Mission streets, new crosswalks, and ADA improvements.

“The new traffic signal coincides with a street maintenance project in construction on Chapala Street, so this is the most cost effective time to make traffic safety changes,” Bailey said.

The striping and pavement markings are set to be installed in mid-September.  

“We prefer to wait a few weeks after paving so the oils in the pavement don’t track over the fresh striping,” Bailey said. 

It’s one of several projects going on in Santa Barbara right now. 

The city’s annual paving program concludes in a month. The paving includes sections of Castillo Street, Micheltorena Street, Arrellaga Street and Chapala Street.

The annual slurry seal project is also underway mostly in the Eastside and Riviera. City paving crews are completing repairs on upper State Street this week. Next week, they are scheduled to pave Eucalyptus Hill Road between Cleveland School and APS.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at jmolina@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Joshua Molina

Joshua Molina, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at jmolina@noozhawk.com.