Whose Canyon?

This is to inform the public of recent unsafe situations created by actions of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

For three consecutive weekends there have been large events at the Garden. On the first weekend, four huge Santa Barbara Airbuses filled with passengers came through narrow, winding Mission Canyon Road at 4:45 p.m. The red flag was up on Mission Canyon road, and “EXTREME” was posted at the fire station. The next Saturday, the huge buses came again, with “HIGH” posted at the firehouse and fires had been burning all week in the Ventura Foothills. It is common knowledge that oversized vehicles are dangerous on these roads, and they have been discouraged in Mission Canyon for years. These buses came through immediately after the MTD buses that run for the benefit of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and are regularly empty all weekend.

The third weekend, there was a free day, for an art event. Most visitors were from Los Angeles, unwilling to take the shuttles that went back and forth all day long, unfamiliar with the situation in the canyon (roads, parking, traffic, etc.), and still coming at 4 p.m., closing time. There was a wine bar at the event, adding to the hazards, and a dozen cars parked near the small, historic, stone bridge, making it difficult to get around them either by foot or by car.

There needs to be better planning and requirements for events to prevent future problems.

We are hopeful that officials who are making decisions regarding the Botanic Garden will make improvements for the safety and well being of everyone. - Francesca Galt

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