The Santa Barbara County Public Works Department is scheduled to begin work on Gibraltar Road approximately 5.2 miles north of the city limits of Santa Barbara beginning today October 1 and continuing for the next three weeks. The project will rebuild the shoulder of Gibraltar Road.
Construction hours for this 20-day project are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be heavy trucks and equipment on the road along with traffic controls, and motorists can expect delays up to 20 minutes.
Bicyclists and pedestrians are urged to avoid using Gibraltar Road during construction. Cyclists should be especially wary. Two years ago, Kendra Payne was riding up a steep, narrow section of Gibraltar Road when she was run over by an asphalt truck and killed.
As a result of the accident, Assemblymember Pedro Nava introduced AB 1941 that would require motorists to keep at least three feet of clearance while passing by a cyclist. Despite being supported by a number of cycling groups, including the S.B. Bicycle Coalition, the bill did not make it out of committee
Regardless, both motorists and cyclists need to be extremely vigilant when riding on the mountain roads in all conditions. Unfortunately, when an accident does occur, it is almost always the bicyclist who will lose.