Activists Oppose Fiddling with State-De La Vina Intersection

Claim Proposed Righthand Turn Lane Would Eliminate Needed Parking

Community group Santa Barbarans for Safe Streets is now circulating a petition to block city plans to reconfigure the intersection of State and De La Vina streets from its current “y” to a “t,” objecting that the plan is largely unnecessary and will eliminate seven on-street parking spaces. They also contend city traffic engineers have sold the proposal under false pretenses. City traffic engineer Browning Allen said by the proposed changes-the installation of a perpendicular right hand turn lane from State onto De la Vina-would cause traffic to slow down, making it safer for pedestrians and bicycle riders to get across De la Vina. Allen stated that no on-street parking spaces would be gobbled up by the project and also denied ever claiming that two pedestrians had been hit by cars there-one of his alleged false statements. He did acknowledge, however, that traffic engineers had overstated the average speed of most drivers as they approach the top of the De la Vina funnel. The correct number, he said was 35 miles per hour, not 38, as stated. Santa Barbarans for Safe Streets lead the charge against roundabouts on the Eastside. Some of its members have objected that traffic on De la Vina flowed just fine until City Hall installed the bikes lanes there and approved the parking lot now shared by Trader Joe’s and the Surgical Center.

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