I have lived in Santa Barbara most of my 62 years. I have seen many changes, many stalls, and many disappointments. But the Montecito section of the 101 highway has not changed in that time at all. The old concrete sections are noisy and unpleasant. They are a dinosaur constantly being unearthed. Montecito is holding onto its small, little old section of 101, stuck in time.
When the horrible Hot Springs Road roundabout was approved, the rest of 101 should have been widened. But wait … was changing the exit lanes to the right even considered? That wasn’t part of the plan. The 101 could never change. That’s right: Amtrak was the solution. It will never happen in the West. Cars should be taxed more.
On the lower Riviera, the traffic causes so much noise and changes the air quality. Has that been studied in Montecito? Are the cars and trucks crawling at 5 mph twice a day through Montecito causing problems to our air quality?
Santa Barbara has too many cars, too many bad drivers, not enough handicap spaces, and too many commuters. It will always be a tourist trap, but for residents, it has become the worst of nightmares.