De La Vina & State St. Project

News Feb. 10, 2009: De La Vina Deconstruction Project was Tabled by Council after dozens of public speakers. Traffic Planning will be forced to work on it more. Click to see: Petition Sent to Council History

current intersection

 

 

Statement Opposing City of Santa Barbara’s Plans 
Deconstructing State Street at De La Vina Intersection

(download petition)

Santa Barbara City Council Tables Decision on De la Vina and State Street Intersection.

After repeatedly steam rolling majority neighborhood opposition to anti car street planning the council ran into a wall at the 10 February 2009 Council meeting. Faced with business opposition, resident opposition, and very weak justification to spend a quarter of a million of your tax dollars the City Council voted to "Table" the vote on destroying the intersection of De la Vina and State St.

Read this one when they IGNORED over 70% opposition to the now Failed St. Francis Traffic Plan the Council is not interested in an election year of ruffling feathers. To recap, the Council trashed a 300 signature citizen petition not to build the traffic hazards in the St. Francis upper east traffic grid. The results of the bulbouts has been a reduction in bike travel, the initial speed reduction at the Sola / Olive hazardaround reversed within 2 months, and the Alta Vista hazardarounds have become the joke of the neighborhood in their failure. Let's not forget the wonderful Garden St. obstruction where 2 major accidents have occurred and once again speeds have returned to pre-build levels.

Presented at the Council meeting was the Safe Street 500 Signature Petition to STOP the intersection destruction. This petition combined both businesses and patrons. 500 signatures is substantially more then the St. Francis Petition. Then there was the 109 signature, Cars Are Basic(tm) petition concentrating on business owners and workers along State Street from San Roque to Calle Laurales, and De la Vina Street from Constance to State St. That petition was to (a) stop this plan and (b) require a comprehensive Environmental Impact Report (EIR). This EIR was never done or planned for. Combining the two petitions that was a concerted 600 signature effort.

Staff has repeatedly attempted to "prove" how dangerous the intersection is, when the accident reports paint a multi-decade "safe" intersection. Official records wiping out years of posturing and intentional dis-information. This is the same Mayor and Council (minus Dale Francisco) twice defeated in a neighborhood votes to destroy the streets. A voting procedure the Council promised to honor regardless of the decision.

The next installment will talk about the convoluted reasoning used by those that would destroy the streets of Santa Barbara.

History of De la Vina and State Street Intersection Project.

The City of Santa Barbara is in the process of planning the congestion of the State Street at De La Vina intersection, using tax money the city secured from the State of California specifically for congestion relief. This intersection is arguably the most busy intersection in the City, and statistics show it to be one of the most important and efficient and least congested.

 

It is likewise among the safest. The City's most recent statistics show a minimum of 31,800 traffic trips per day [seventeen years ago on their latest posted traffic map]. Over the past ten years, the SBPD reports a maximum of 89 vehicular accidents and one pedestrian accident. This yields a ratio of vehicular accidents to car trips, at maximum, of 1:1,109,107 and a ratio of pedestrian accidents to car trips of 1:116,070,000, beating out virtually every city intersection carrying such a high traffic load.

 

The intersection functions efficiently as a Y that filters traffic East and West. The State Street Route feeds traffic east into the downtown core, including heavily frequented tourist destinations such as the Old Mission and Courthouse. It also achieves Upper East, Riviera, East Beach and Montecito access. The alternative De La Vina Route feeds traffic west, which accesses Cottage Hospital District and efficiently moves traffic toward the Mission Street freeway entrance and curves into downtown allowing access along the way to the Mesa, City College and West Beach.

 

The intersection has functioned in its current configuration since the 1970s. The City's Plan demands considerable visual alteration, including removal of a low maintenance, forty year old cedar tree in the island. More significantly, it calls for deconstruction of efficiency by removal of two free right turn lanes: (1) The free right turn lane onto De La Vina that is used by south bound State Street vehicles and commercial 18 wheeler delivery trucks to access numerous retailers, including Trader Joe's and Ralphs, and the city's only hospital, and (2) the free right turn lane onto State from De La Vina. The Plan calls for all traffic coming to the Y both from State Street and from De La Vina to dead stop at the traffic light. In addition, the crosswalk would be moved to a location that would imperil pedestrians by placing them in mortal conflict with vehicular traffic, including bicycles.

 

In summary, the City's Plan would significantly congest traffic; impede access to the city’s only hospital; decrease safety for pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists; increase deficit parking in an area already suffering from parking deficits; generate cut throughs and traffic diversion into adjacent residential neighborhoods; depress local and area businesses; impact traffic for miles in all directions as well as evacuation routes; and grow noise and air pollution due to waits at the traffic light.

 

Cost to taxpayers is estimated at $750,000. Costs to the environment have not been assessed.

 

In addition to calling for a halt to the City's plans, our downloadable Petition urges that a Comprehensive EIR be completed to assess the areas impacted by these plans prior to any alteration of the intersection and that the City not use state tax monies intended for congestion relief to congest the intersection.

 

--  Submitted by Cars are BasicTM