29 September 2008
Mayor and Council
City of Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
Re: City Council Meeting of 29 September 2008, item #20 - Appeal Of Planning Commission Approval Of 800 Santa Barbara Street (640.07)
Cars Are Basic, Inc.TM has reviewed the traffic management portion of this project and determined it is
- (a) unnecessary,
- (b) grossly expensive, and
- (c) will restrict traffic flow detrimental to sound management and emergency response at the intersection of Santa Barbara and De la Guerra.
The intersection of De la Guerra and Santa Barbara Street is a fully regulated intersection with a 4 way stop light. As such it has already proven its safety for pedestrian travel. It is part of the historic district which includes not just buildings but also the streets design of Old Town. Changes to the intersection are contrary to the guidelines of the Historic Preservation District.
Pedestrian safety is a non issue. Pedestrians currently have safe crossing with good line of sight. The unusual configuration of all corners and setbacks is key. This allows for safe viewing distance by both cars and pedestrians crossing the northern corners (Santa Barbara Street) and crossing De la Guerra St. Any potential for lacking line of sight crossing Santa Barbara St. on the south side (ocean) is eliminated by the one way traffic. One way traffic flows up Santa Barbara St. (north).
What is unsettling about the traffic decision process is, it is driven by political correctness and not rational traffic policy. This is similar to the unwise plans for Carrillo and Anacapa St.. Bulbouts will have adverse impacts on traffic flow, put bicyclists at risk on a very busy street, remove the east bound right turn lane that will back up traffic to State St..
A classic example in poor decision with poor excuses. This plan will relocate a street utility box by the Recreation Center to the opposite corner (west) because it has been hit numerous times. Now the City of Santa Barbara wants to put pedestrians in greater danger on a street bulbout when a utility box is in danger?
The traffic plans for this project in regard to the intersection of Santa Barbara and De la Guerra is at best deficient and demands rejection.
On behalf of the Board and Members,
President, Cars Are Basic
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