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Body English 101

Schneider, Carbajal Show Support for Montecito Association in Highway Squabble


Thursday, February 28, 2013
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Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal threw some supportive political body English in the direction of the Montecito Association, now lobbying the governor’s office to keep two left-lane exits on Highway 101 heading south toward Los Angeles. While neither Schneider nor Carbajal have actually endorsed keeping the two left-lane exits ​— ​one at Cabrillo Boulevard and the other at Sheffield Drive ​— ​they sent a letter pressing Caltrans to provide a detailed analysis of the safety issues surrounding left-hand exit lanes before environmental analysis of the proposed freeway widening project is finalized sometime this spring.

Caltrans has argued that the left-lane exits are more dangerous than traditional right-lane exits and for that reason are not considered acceptable. But a private transportation consultant hired by a Montecito group intent on keeping the left-lane exits in place has claimed there’s no evidence to show the Cabrillo and Sheffield off-ramps are any more perilous. Tim Gullen of Caltrans stated that his agency is conducting a thorough analysis of the Montecito Association proposal, but he said he’s not sure when the results will be released. He stressed that he would work closely with Schneider and Carbajal.

Last October, the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments voted unanimously that Caltrans study the environmental ramifications of keeping the two left-hand exits; Schneider and Carbajal asked that Caltrans provide the community an update on the progress of that study. The Montecito Associations claims that its freeway widening alternative could be completed two years faster and $50 million cheaper than Caltrans’s proposal. Association advocates have complained that Caltrans has not been forthcoming with the accident data needed to determine the extent to which the two left-lane exits pose a heightened safety risk.

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O.K. , so we close the two fast lane offramps that currently carry heavy commuter traffic. What happens? Those commuters still need to reach their destinations and will be forced unto other already heavily trafficked off ramps. Then they will proceed to flood surface streets that are already maxxed out. Doesn't make sense to me.

geeber (anonymous profile)
February 28, 2013 at 5:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

More lanes; kill the left offramps; deal with progress, o' whining Montecitans.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
March 1, 2013 at 12:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Eliminating offramps is hardly progress. And what about emergency vehicles needing to exit/enter?
If the ramps aren't to be replaced, keep the ones we have.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 2, 2013 at 10:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Good idea , drax, lets put up a bunch of beautiful sound
walls , kill the fast lane off ramps even though the accident rates are almost nil, 405 the hell out the place , appease all you Caltransvestites, and put up another sound wall up that eliminates the view of Fernalds Point - one of the most beautiful vista points of all the 101. You anti gub ment types sure are bending over for some reason. I don't get it.

geeber (anonymous profile)
March 2, 2013 at 11:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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