Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

How do we stop the widening of 101?

You asked for it you got it -- a reader asks how we can stop CalTrans from widening 101....shoot, I'm just hoping the Castillo underpass stays dry. All kidding aside, it seems to me that the majority of people think that a wider highway will solve our problems much like taking out the stop lights at 101 and State was supposed to ease traffic years ago. It seems to me if you build it they will come.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. This project just doesn't make sense and we need to let our elected officials know!

2/28/2007 8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't like the traffic backups that often go as far as Ward Drive (southbound) and as far as La Conchita (northbound), then you need to reconsider your opposition. These will only get worse. Trucks are a major cause of the problem. They won't use any form of "alternative mass transit."

Our sticking our heads in the sand will do nothing but alienate our neighbors to the north and to the south of us. And will eventually alienate the rest of us who live here and have to use 101 for our livelihood.

2/28/2007 10:01 PM  
Anonymous harping said...

For those who will argue that freeway widening is a necessity....Awhile back I came across something in the Patterson Area Neighborhood Associaton (PANA) newsletter that I think is still a relevant argument against freeway widening:

" might be useful for participants to study congestion in another coastal California area.

The I-5/805 interchange is in northern San Diego County. A series of projects scheduled to be concluded in 2007 will see the interchange grow to 23 lanes wide. It is acknowledged that these improvements will not decrease drive times, they merely hope to keep it from deteriorating further. Considerable public opposition to the expansion has been generated since Caltrans has conceded that the expansion will only move the traffic bottleneck elsewhere.

The bottleneck is expected to shift further north along I-5 so planning has begun on a $630 million project to expand this part of the freeway from 8 to 14 lanes. Forty-five homeowners associations have raised concerns about noise, fumes, and decreasing property values that may result from the expansion."

2/28/2007 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree. The project does make sense and I have been saying so for years. Can't believe you and others think building the cross town freeway didn't solve much of the problems that existed with all the traffic lights on 101.


2/28/2007 10:21 PM  
Anonymous AKA Donaldo said...

Good question. Suggestions follow my commentary below.

I think it is terrible that the tiny little city of Carpenteria can elicite so much weight and funds in view of the larger Statewide transit needs. I know the leadership of Carpenteria believes they are doing everyone a big favor by solving their congestion problem but longterm it is more of an environmental disaster to widen than to leave it the way it is.

Thanks to our Humvee-Harley driving Governor and activists such as past and Councilmember Gregory YABBADABBADOO for all their efforts at catering to the popular out of control idea that the world revolves around ones personal mobility. With mentalities such as these two, catering to those seduced by the automobile advertisements, it just seems that continued degradation will continue to be the rule in Carifornia.

Aside from changing the areas unique character completely. The new lanes will fill with more cars and eventiually you'll have the 405 past Whilshire with 60 foot "noise barrier walls" that are incremetally as ineffective as our 15 feet walls. Air pollution is never corrected "freeway adjacent" because of the increase in traffic altogether.


1.) The few minority nimby "freeway adjacent" property owners who object need to solicite environmental attorneys. Extract a lengthy drawn out process that delays forever the projects. There is plenty of case history that has determined the degradation to property and subsequent loss of value. At most you could extract a few hundred thousand dollars for loss of use of your property and it's loss of value. In the least perhaps you will be awarded enough to filter your homes interior air and "soundproof (ha)" your childs bedroom.

2.) Anyone who is against any widening needs to join the minority and sue sue sue. Sue the State, sue CarTrans, sue the automobile, trucking and motorcycle companies for the part in degrading your environment. Sue the City of Carpenteria for being so small and extracting so much....from you.

2/28/2007 11:04 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Sorry Donaldo -- can overlook Carpinteria being spelled wrong but had to give you a YabbaDabba for that one. Otherwise it was a good comment or I wouldn't have bothered :) Thanks.

2/28/2007 11:05 PM  
Blogger Voice of Rezon(e) said...

"The project just doesn't make sense..."

Oh, we go again. I hear the rev of the VW bus engines as the NIMBY army begins to gather.

I would have assumed that you all saw An Inconvenient Truth by now. Don't you remember the slide about population growth?

We need to face reality. There are more people here in the world now - the big one and your little one - then there were when you and your trust-fund supported hippie cronies burned down the B of A in IV years ago.

So, the choices are simple. Either work together to provide workforce housing for those that have jobs servicing your old, rich asses or provide ways for them to commute if you don't want them as neighbors. It's that simple.

2/28/2007 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Short of putting a toll gate at the county line, I don't think we can stop "them" from coming. Of course them is us too. I have family down south and for more than twenty years they've known to just not invite me down on Sunday afternoon. Two lanes are just not gonna hack it and haven't for a long time. I don't think we can have it both ways if we expect people to commute because we don't want high density housing. Seems I also read where the air quality is getting worse because of the extra time spent crawling the last ten miles into or out of town. I do hope they can somehow preserve the trees as it is a beautiful drive through that area between SB and Carp. Plus there's the disaster evacuation issue. 'Course we could always plow a parallel road through Monticeto...

2/28/2007 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This arguement has been going on for how many years? I spent 30 years in the SB area and unfortunately the freeway does need to be widened. Wake up SB, you have created this nightmare and will have to pay the price with the widening of the freeway. All the development of the last few years with few exceptions has catered to those who earn $100,000 a year or more! The drivers you whine about are the ones who work hard to maintain the quality of life in SB. I am not a huge pro development supporter, but, when the people who work in a community cannot afford to live there, they commute. I know, I was one of them. It is really easy for those who have homes to complain about the congestion but for many of those folks who perform necessary services to help maintain your quality of life, there is no option. How many policemen, firemen, nurses, paramedics, teachers, trash men, city workers, mail workers, office workers and so on can afford to rent, not even buy a decent home in SB or Goleta? Either find a way to build or subsidize housing so that it is affordable or shut up and pray that widening the freeway does relieve a majority of the congestion.

3/01/2007 4:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all those who want a wider thru-way road from Carp to Goleta and beyond in both directions, how about a parallel road along the foothills? Could be a toll road such as they have in the east and as are being constructed in So. California.

As for the commuters, expand the train schedules --- and the buses.......

3/01/2007 6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking about doing this just shows what a lie it was trying to sell the voters on the need to renew Measure D.

Voters voted against it to stop this, and now they want to do it anyway.

3/01/2007 6:33 AM  
Anonymous max height said...

I think the widening of the freeway is just one more step in the Californication of SB -- it is becoming more Orange County-like with every "improvement" and every new development... How many people and cars can we pack into a limited space? I admit to being one of the "cars are basically stupid" camp instead of a Cars Are Basic member -- there has to be a better way than paving over paradise to make it easier for people (in cars) to view the late paradise's remains.

3/01/2007 6:43 AM  
Anonymous Park Park Park said...

The State of California's interest is simple and clear... to keep traffic on the 101 flowing. A third lane will do so for a few years, although not forever.

I agree with Rezone on one thing... we can solve the traffic issue by building more housing here. How's this idea for a covenant for new housing... you pay a $5000/year tax per car unless you have earned income from a business between Gaviota and the Rincon, or are over 70 years old. Prop 13 has proved we can use the tax code for social engineering. Earned income would get that tax reduced to $500/year for one car for the wage earner. No exceptions, or it becomes a mess of graft and bureaucracy.

A second step toward reducing the Rincon mess would be to tax all hotel guests who arive by car, say, $50/day. That would help with the weekend problem. Require all major events like the Film Festival and Fiesta to make a incoming car traveler estimate, and tax them too.

I disagree with rezone about the Bank Burning. Sure, there were lots of rich kids throwing rocks, but a lot of those kids weren't rich and went on to a low-paying life of social activism and school teaching. Wrong to slander the majority of kids who weren't rich.

Further, the FBI warned the UC Admin about the Bank Burning the day before it happened... check the LA Times article from the time where Ray Varley was interviewed. That fact, along with the fact that only one person was ever found guilty of the Bank Burning convinced me that the burning was really the work of agents provacateurs. BTW, the Bank of America at UC Irvine was burned 6 months to the day after Isla Vista's, and there were other attacks on BofA's throughout California. Sure wish some enterprising reporter (not many of those left employed in town) would track down Joel Honey, David Minier, even Barry Cappello and see if they'll spill the beans. Deep Throat came out, and many Japanese soldiers have recanted over the horrors of Nanjing. Maybe the countelpro operation in IV will come out someday too.

3/01/2007 6:51 AM  
Anonymous BE said...

No Three Lanes thru Carpinteria by Salt Marsh
I propose we keep this stretch of highway in Carp as it is..the construction disruption would be ruinous to our natural resources! We simply can't remake California to accommodate uncontrolled growth..if it takes you an extra 5 or 10 minutes to get to your destination, too bad! While you're waiting, think about how your voting history helped contribute to the freeway jammin'.... for shame! for shame!!
P.S. 3 lanes from Bates Road to La Conchita is ok since most of it is 3 lanes anyway!

3/01/2007 7:12 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

The currently funded (but yet to be approved) project simply moves the bottleneck further north and construction will not even begin unitl 2011 at the earliest. The bigger news was that the widening of the Santa Maria River bridge was denied, which will create a bottleneck at the bridge once the currently under construction widening of 101 through Santa Maria is complete. I predict parking lot level of service on 101 going north every weekday from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm for SLO County commuters once the widening project is complete. Who thinks up these things?

3/01/2007 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, you've got to be kidding! You must not use the 101 like everyone else or you would realize what you're saying. As long as people have babies, populations will grow and drive cars. It's already happened and we're so far behind the curve on infrastructure to support inevitable growth. That combined with the fact that jobs are here and housing is not means that the already shocking number of 16K commuters everyday from south of here is continuing to increase. You've also got to consider emergency response. Everytime someone has a fender-bender those 2 lanes get shut down completely and the what-if's (tsnunami, fire, La Conchita III, etc.) compound all our problems. The widening of the 101 is just the first step.

3/01/2007 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Dreamer said...

All these highway expansion projects are long term investments in transportation infrastructure. To me, it implies the assumption that we are still going to be traveling around, one person per vehicle, 20 yrs from now. Is that true? 30 yrs?

Will we still enjoy the luxury of hopping in the Suburban and driving to Ventura to buy cheaper toilet paper in bulk? Or commuting 30-50 miles to/from work daily?

At what point will expanding population and declining energy and environment dictate change?

The money and effort should be invested in mass transit and the highway system should be maintained but not expanded. The inevitable bottlenecks will serve as limiting forces to an ever increasing and selfishly mobile population. Oh, and yea, a toll gate might help too.

3/01/2007 8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Extremely simple solution to this issue: put it to a vote of the people, not the politicians or the vocal minority!!!!

3/01/2007 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 101 is the only bicycle route between Carp and Ventura without having to travel through Ojai. I would like to make sure that this bicycle route is enhanced with the coming widening of the 101 between Mussel Shoals and the Rincon. It's a great time to make these improvements.

One improvement would be to take southbound bicycle traffic off the 101 just south of Mussel Shoals and bring it down to the first existing underpass that goes under the freeway there. Currently it is used for pedestrian access to the small beach area hard by the highway. It could easily be shared with southbound bicycle traffic and make it much safer for cyclists who currently have to exit at the Seacliff off-ramp.

Another improvement could be made to create a bike path from where the current path enters the 101 northbound at Mussel Shoals and extend it through La Conchita, returning back to the 101 just north of La Conchita. Repaving the current path which is highly eroded could also be done at this time.

This is a great time to take a hard look at this section of the Pacific Coast bike trail and see what improvements could be tucked into the 101 widening. Please contact your political reps if you care about this issue.

3/01/2007 9:10 AM  
Anonymous syvjeff said...

I cannot believe that I'm actually reading the "what can we do to stop this?" stuff. Here's a news flash for Santa Barbara-Traffic volume will continue to grow with or without widening. Foot dragging and politically correct answers like trains won't fix it.

1. Areas North and South of Santa Barbara are growing by a good percentage. Many locally are arrogant enough to think that we are the destination not a pass through.

2. Santa Barbara through "liberal for all but conservative for one" property owners have successfully pushed out all workers to commute to Santa Barbara. Yes I know there's a constant battle between the "Social Justice" and "Quality of Life" types. That stalemate will continue forever. "Essential worker" housing will not solve the problem. The area got what it wanted; an elite local class and a working class that leaves at the end of the day.

3. Back to point one - An earlier poster on this web site quoted the I-5/I-805 merge issue. Again San Diego (where I grew up) is growing in double digits of population and new housing. Santa Barbara is growing 0%.

3/01/2007 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the increase in commuters and over-crowding are the armies of service workers, most likely off the books, that take care of Million Dollar Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous in this town.

Do the math. That is who your housing programs and tax dollars are supporting - off the book service workers for the Monetarily (And Momentarily) Entitled.

3/01/2007 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has to be stopped. We don't want to contribute to global warming by doing this!

3/01/2007 11:15 AM  
Anonymous dreamer said...

syvjeff, good point about the pass through traffic but I question your SB zero growth claim. Or, did you mean zero "legal" growth?

And with that question, is immigration reform a partial solution to traffic problems along problems in health care, schools, social services, etc?

3/01/2007 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freeways don't contribute to global warming, cars do. So where you ought to put up a fight is with the car companies and elected to reduce emissions.

3/01/2007 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Widen the highway, make sure that it is at least 3 lanes all the way through the area. That includes you too, Montecito.

2. have a commuter rail that runs more frequently and moves faster than 45 mph. Ask France how to make the trains go faster if you can't figure it out.

3. Make granny flats illegal, or I should say, enforce the illegality of it.

4. Put the bus station near the train station, just like other sensible cities.

5.Do not abide by the Sacramento growth mandate law. What are they gonna do, kick Santa Barbara out of California?

3/01/2007 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Over 23,000 people commute every day to Santa Barbara to work. They cannot afford to live here. This is why there is traffic and congestion. As unpopular as it is either provide low cost housing to employees of Santa Barbara, widen the highway, or stop encouraging businesses to move here.

3/01/2007 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've got lots of immigrants supporting our community. We don't need commuters and shouldn't support them by adding to the freeway!

3/01/2007 1:37 PM  
Anonymous syvjeff said...

Other than attending the various economic forums throughout the central coast, I don't have a firm growth number for Santa Barbara/South County. However from what I remember at these get togethers, South County (Goleta South to Carp) has a very small population growth rate. (around 1,000/year). According to the Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce, the city of Santa Maria grew from 62,000 to 92,000 between 1990 and 2006. That rate you could say is double than the South County's. When I lived in San Diego in the 80s the County grew 10,000 per year.

Now back to the question of illegal or as some would rather use undocumented workers as part of social problems. I believe Dreamer is correct in that that is where our County's services will be taxed. On the roads illegal immigration isn't the cause of traffic.

Less face it, children from immigrants are what going to keep schools open. Growth of non immigrant offspring is dropping. My daughter's 4th grade class is the smallest in history of the district she's in.

3/01/2007 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should target business if they are part of the problem and tell people to work where they live. We don't need them!

3/01/2007 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one is encouraging businesses to move here--and they aren't. But everyone is being encouraged to visit here-and live here for a weekend or a vacation week or two at a time. It's the tourist-based economy that is destroying this city, by requiring a hardworking, but low-paid labor force, and sucking the resources away from the residents who struggle to maintain a quality of life here. The streets and sidewalks of our neighborhoods are ignored--and more unsafe than ever--in favor of sprucing up the tourist traps and along the waterfront and patrolling the bars on State Street. Facilities for youth sports programs are pathetic for a city of this size, and middle class families leave because they're just worn out
from a declining quality of life in "America's Riviera."

3/01/2007 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see, Salud Carbajal is taking credit for adding to the freeway and Das is happy about plans 150+ homes at the MTD depot.

There's no connection to building and roads.

These people just appear and we build housing for them.

3/01/2007 3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ones on the freeway are critical workforce: fire, police, teachers and healthcare workers. How long are you willing to wait for someone to respond when you have a massive heart attack?

3/01/2007 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop with the critical workforce mantra. That's BS and an excuse to add to the freeway when we don't need to.

3/01/2007 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dreamer was correct. Whenever we deal with congestion, traffic problems and overcrowding any solution is simply a bandaid until we get a handle on overpopulation. That means birthrate AND immigration. Our Congrssional representative (Ms Capps) refuses to deal with this in any way.

3/01/2007 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pay the workforce more, don't add to the freeway. That is if they really are that critical!

3/01/2007 5:51 PM  
Blogger Voice of Rezon(e) said...

Anon 11:15AM says: "This has to be stopped. We don't want to contribute to global warming by doing this!"

Really? Here are a couple global warming reducing concepts for you:

1. If you want to stop global warming go turn off your computer and stop blogging. Then go recycle your computer and call Edison to have your power switched off.

2. All those who have been fighting "growth" and not allowing workforce housing to be built have already caused 23,000 commuters a day to happen.

And you probably think of yourself as an environmentalist, don't you? Pretty funny!

We all need to understand that the NIMBYs and their groups (like CPA, CSP, HANA, PANA, etc.) have tried to pretend that "neighborhood preservation" is somehow an environmentally sound thing to do. The old guard environmental movement in Santa Barbara ate that lie up lock, stock and barrel just like the red states believed attacking Iraq was somehow related to 9/11.

Isn't it time for all of us to wake up and start some real PLANNING instead of sticking our heads in the sand?

According to the US Census Bureau California had a population of just under 34 million in 2000 and is expected to grow by 37% to over 46 million in 2030. The US population is projected to grow 29.1% over the same period.

And you think we should stop widening the freeway by one lane? I think we have way bigger problems to face than that...

3/01/2007 6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop picking on the immigrants we need them to keep our economy running. We need to give them amnesty and be done with it.

We also need to stop the 101 project, our version of no vacancy.

3/01/2007 6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a link to the Governor to plead with him to stop this. For the town, for the State, for the environment.

3/01/2007 6:52 PM  
Anonymous dreamer said...

I just returned from running errands in my big diesel p/u. 20+ miles each way to stop by the post office, swing by the market and then p/u some dinner. That's a typical afternoon and not unusual behavior among my friends and neighbors.

Why? Because I can! Our roads have plenty of lanes, fuel is cheap and there's no real penalty requiring me to be more environmentally responsible. If the roads ever get congested here in the SY valley, I hope they widen them so that I won't be inconvenienced.

Seriously, more roads won't fix anything. They will only continue to enable us to waste our resources and force us to live stupid (selfish) lifestyles.

More lanes will encourage more business to locate here and commuters will quickly fill up those new lanes. What does a 2 hour daily commute do for a family or our society?

What if it was so difficult to commute from Ventura to S Barbara that nobody would do it? Maybe a company or two would leave S Barbara and relocate closer to its workforce.

Bottom line, IMO, population control, public transportation, and penalties for wasting precious resources and polluting the environment are the unpopular but inevitable fixes.

3/01/2007 8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Widening the freeway is a waste of time and money. It's a proven fact that adding the lane will solve the problem temporarily and ten years from now we will be in the same predicament. So why bother? Why continue to support an unsustainable mode of transportation? The car is the problem and until we stop catering to the the needs of the automobile, we will forever remain in this cycle. Lets use the money to invest in alternative modes of transportation. Rail is a long term solution that will meet the sustainable needs of the future.

3/01/2007 10:06 PM  
Anonymous SA1 said...

The car is not the problem. The gasoline powered combustion engine is certainly problematic. What does one do after you get off the train? Walk five miles with ten grocery bags? I want the traffic problem fixed now...not ten years from now. We may have some exciting advances coming soon with autopilot drivers but we still need the physical space for the cars to move through efficiently.

Let's face the reality that new roads routes are not feasible from a cost and geography stand point. I didn't vote for Measure D because of the very fact that 101 is a unique route used heavily by commercial, LA weekenders and vital gov't services. Sacramento and the feds should pay for it now! Where's Lois and Pedro when you need them?? I want my earmarks! We're not talking a bridge to nowhere Alaska here folks. Just give us a few days worth of Iraqi money. Cali does pay almost a third of the IRS tax in this country...c'mon George fork it over. We might even put up one of those blue signs by the side of the road with your name on it. (It worked for Dallas and Houston. You should see the money being spent there on FWYs! Named after GW of course.)

3/02/2007 12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Business's are being lured here. Have you not noticed the large amount of industrial/commercial growth on Hollister. One huge project is underway, another is pending approval. There is also a massive project being planned for the land behind the former Raytheon building and adjacent to the train tracks. I am not sure if it housing or offices.
Where are the people who will fill these spaces going to live?

3/02/2007 6:13 AM  
Anonymous SA1 said...

I'd like to remind people that there is an existing community of residents here already. I hope the new projects will bring high paying jobs to the Good Land unlike the tourista cabal that seems run SB. There is a Goleta council meeting on Monday evening which will be discussing this very question. Be there if you want your voice heard. High paying jobs will help the affordability issue dramatically. One problem I see is the developers desire to build condos instead of apartments. Condos allow them to flip the property for quick bucks instead of long term investing in the community. New apt complexes would also put pressure on existing properties to compete on rent and building condition. The grown children of exisiting families here need a place too and homeownership is not necessarily everyone's dream. It is in fact risky. Ask anyone like me who bought in the late 80's and was underwater for 6 years as far as reasale price...We all seem to have such short memories about these things.

3/02/2007 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another reason not to widen the highway, we need to keep business from locating here!

3/02/2007 9:43 AM  
Blogger Voice of Rezon(e) said...

OK, now I get the joke.

I've been reading this thread for a few days now and posted a couple of comments and I now realize that all the "anonymous" postings are likely from one person that's either BS-ing us or just causing trouble.

Sara, is there any way to setup this site to require people to register with Google or Blogger so that we can at least know that the postings are being made from different individuals? It's not that difficult and you can still be anonymous. I think it would greatly increase the level of dialog when we have these discussions.

3/02/2007 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Santa Barbara 2015: A geriatric ghetto where senior citizens come to visit their grandparents.

3/02/2007 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The planet is in peril and they want to do this? NO!!!

Who do we contact to express our concerns and try and stop this?

3/02/2007 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous 9:43am said ...

Another reason not to widen the highway, we need to keep business from locating here!

To me, keeping businesses from locating here means we will be keeping jobs out of here too. In the past few years, I've seen a lot of companies leave this town, taking away many jobs. And with those jobs, a lot of my neighbors have had to leave too. On the other hand, I haven't seen too many companies move here lately. I don't know when it will be my turn to have to leave town.

Maybe it's my perception but rather than noticing a large amount of industrial/commercial growth on Hollister, I've actually noticed a lot of "for lease" signs along Hollister in front of some large empty buildings.

3/02/2007 4:24 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

VOR -- I would love it if more people took on screen names and used a bit creativity to do so. Even if one hits "other" and then makes one up if they don't want to create a Blogger dispaly name -- it would make things a bit more fun and organized. I can't make people do that and I don't know if I'd want to as I want as much participation as possible...people should follow how anons write and they can see patterns. Good suggestion but impossible to implement.

3/02/2007 5:24 PM  
Anonymous Geriatric Ghetto Blaster said...

"Santa Barbara 2015: A geriatric ghetto where senior citizens come to visit their grandparents."

Good one!

Actually the grandparents will have died off by then because there was no response to their 911 call for an ambulance or fire truck, and food deliveries had stopped because they could not get through the traffic on the unwidened 101.

But they would have been lucky enough to have seen some great "follies" shows at the meticulously-restored Granada Theatre before they died!

3/02/2007 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...we need to keep business from locating here!

OK, so now you want businesses to leave, and last year you wanted them to be mandated to pay a living wage - which is it?

3/02/2007 5:42 PM  
Anonymous harping said...

The comment "I want the traffic problem fixed now...not ten years from now" is typical of those who do not seem to understand how many years it will take to add that magical lane to 101. "Widen 101 NOW," I've heard other frustrated commuters plead, & I sympathize. But no magic wand exists to make it happen anytime soon. I seem to recall reading that CalTrans estimates it would take about 7 years (please correct me if I'm mis-remembering), & we all know how those estimates usually turn out to be under-estimates. And what happens while the construction is going on? Think about it, & be careful what you wish for. There's got to be a better solution--more likely a combination of solutions that can be implemented bit by bit.

3/02/2007 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this discussion!

I even miss the traffic signals a little. They always reminded me that I was home and that it was time to ease up, look around, and feel fortunate to be in SB.

For those of us, and there are a LOT of us, lucky enough to live within five miles of our workplace. Using a bike instead of a car is (after you get the routine worked out) much easier than using a car. No parking problems, no need to get on and off the 101. Just a few thousand car-to-bike commuter conversions alone will take a good amount of pressure off 101. If you want to give the bike commute a try, please look us up at the SB Bicycle Coalition, Operators are standing by, We'll help you in any way we can to use a bike when it's the easiest and best tool for the job.

Filling up the tank about every 40 days,

Don Lubach (happy, here, to type my name and welcoming any Gandrud flame)

3/02/2007 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why can't they start the Muscle Shoals to Casitas Pass Road expansion now instead of in 4 years from now?

3/03/2007 9:13 AM  
Anonymous harping said...

Anon 9:13 a.m. asks: "Why can't they start the Muscle Shoals to Casitas Pass Road expansion now instead of in 4 years from now?"
Maybe because "Mussel Shoals" has been misspelled on their planning diagrams. Perhaps you should contact them & let them know "Muscle" is what they need. ;-)

3/03/2007 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The longer they wait the better. It gives us more time to drum up opposition.

3/03/2007 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The widening of the 101 is not the biggest threat to Santa Barbara's charm as we know it.

What's even more frightening is the rate at which massive, three- and four-story developments are taking over downtown, upper State Street, and now even Milpas (there are plans in the works to put up three-story condos where the old Chevron station used to be).

Most of these three-story condos are targeted as second homes for LA wealthy to hang out here on the weekends (after they zip up the freeway on the widened 101).

But finally, at least one city councilman, Brian Barnwell, is admitting that the city needs to think about putting a stop to any more mammoth-sized developments all over SB. Barney Brantingham brought this to light in his Indy column last week.

Are any other SB or South Coast residents concerned about this?

On Anacapa St. alone, between Ortega and Haley, there are 2 more three- and four-story giants proposed.

One is for the old Craviotto ironworks site. The other is where the gingerbread house is next to Paradise Cafe (originally proposed as a four-story, but I think they may have scaled it back some.)

These giants waiting to rise will join the three-story that was built about two years ago across from the city parking structure. The developer of those couldn't sell them for the $2 million they wanted so now they are being sold piecemeal as "luxury timeshares!"

And who can ignore the behemoth 4 story monsters that now overshadow Chapala Street! What did the city give up just to get a measly 11 affordable condos that will probably fall into the hands of cheats who will buy them as affordable and end up renting them out for full market rate!!!


3/03/2007 4:56 PM  
Anonymous SA1 said...

I'd be happy to hear from an expert about our air quality. I'll say again that the air quality has deteriorated in SB county and it may have much to do with the miles long traffic jams especially during the summer months with all the vacationers and their motor homes crawling along. Not adding a lane each way will not keep people from traveling through here so I don't understand the objection as the problem is hurting us in the SB area. We know it has to be done eventualyl, so I want it to start now and not wait ten years to start. I went down to T.O. this weekend and seriously looked at the road. It will be a challenging project due to the railroad and steap slopes but nothing is impossible.

Of course it would take proper funding, high quality work, dedicated project management and a cooperative community...Umm, maybe it is impossible.

Let's go back to the toll gate idea.

3/03/2007 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps all the new building is behind the drive to widen the 101. If we do it will probably just bring more people, more consturction, and the need to widen the road again. Welcome to L.A. North!

3/03/2007 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually sa1, the air quality in Santa Barbara County is cleaner than it has been since the 1970s when they started measuring air quality here. No need to take my word for it. There are a dozen or so monitors located all over the County that have been measuring the air quality 24/7 for more than 30 years and all the data is stored away on computers for anyone to see. Another wierd thing, the slower a vehicle goes the less pollution it emits per mile of travel. So, the slower the traffic on 101 the less air pollution there is. Indeed, 20,000 commuters every day don't help things, air quality wise. But we enjoy the cleanest air quality in Southern California here in Santa Barbara, regardless of the commuters and congestion ont he freeway.

3/03/2007 10:26 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Well, Ok then. That's good news. AQ is not a reason to widen 101.

I obviously misremebered what I thought I read somewhere. Perhaps the only bad air is around my house from all the brain farts...

Does anyone here want to talk about the difference between impacting the 101 scenery by widening and impacting the scenery and traffic in Goleta by filling Bishop Ranch with condos and other development? How about UCSB? Have you seen the plans for their remake? Not to mention the pro-development stacking of the Goleta city council. I'd rather see high speed day trippers than 24/7 overcrowding anyday.

3/04/2007 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

Turning Bishop Ranch into the last tract home development in Goleta with 1,500 to 2,500 homes will not reduce the the number of commuters coming into Santa Barbara, but will significantly increase traffic on and around western Cathedral Oaks Road, Glenn Annie - Storke, and Hollister. Also, the new property taxes on those homes would not even come close to paying the infrastructure costs to support the development. Consequenty, Goleta would have to zone in a couple of ugly strip malls (a la Santa Maria and Buellton) to pay the bills and thereby make traffic even worse. This is called "mixed use" in the modern euphemism for ugly strip malls built next to densely packed houses. All that said, the owners of the property should get to do something with it and here (for whatever it is worth) is my idea:
50 X 2.5 acre parcels zoned for one house, one stable, and one barn (with living quarters above the barn) each and allow for corrals and horses. Develop the remaining 240 acreas as riding trails held in common by the 50 land owners. Sell them for a king's ransom to wealthy members of the horsey set. This would allow the current land owner to make a tidy profit while retaining the rural/agricultural ambiance of the tract of land, cost the City very little in ongoing infrastructure maintenance, and add less than 100 SUVs to the streets of western Goleta. I know, I know, it would be another development for the rich, who probably do not deserve another horse and manor enclave on the South Coast, and it would draw more domestic and service workers who cannot afford to live here; but it would allow the owner to turn a profit and be the least disruptive development to the streets and nearby established neighborhoods. Blog posters, feel free to disparage the idea and call me names, but the discussion for some kind of middle ground has to start somewhere.

3/04/2007 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For air quality stations and reports, check this site . The sole Santa Barbara station is at the Canon Perdido Street armory. By far the worst pollution is off shore, off the Channel Islands from all the tankers and other large cargo ships.

3/04/2007 9:35 PM  
Blogger Voice of Rezon(e) said...

As always eckermann, you are the wolf in sheep's clothing. You seem like a smart person with well thought out ideas. It's just too bad that they are the wrong ideas.

If we're going to use currently undeveloped "in-fill" land in urban areas (like Bishop Ranch) it has to be an environmentally smart use of the land.

Your suggestion of chopping it up into 2.5 acre parcels and selling those off to the wealthy horsey set is exactly the definition of sprawl that has created and sustained the "California car culture" that is environmentally unsound.

3/11/2007 8:49 AM  

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