Major Traffic Improvements Slated For Eastside

Declaring that Santa Barbara’s Eastside has waited in line too long, the City Council showered the neglected neighborhood both with accolades and a commitment to implement 18 traffic safety improvements, including the installation of six road-crossing islands and the restriping of Haley Street to create a new bike lane. At Tuesday night’s meeting, an advocate for Cars Are Basic charged that 70 percent of the pedestrian traffic fatalities were the fault of the pedestrians and that 50 percent of those killed were drunk at the time. One bicycle advocate countered that, historically, street paving evolved to accommodate the bicycle, not the car; others called for more bike lanes. Many residents said the most pressing need was better lighting. Given the associated high price — $11 million — street lights were placed on a long-term wish list. Tuesday’s meeting was the culmination of a lengthy outreach effort by City Hall sparked by the traffic death of a 15-year-old pedestrian attempting to cross Milpas Street at night nearly two years ago.

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