Hindering or Helping 101?

Thursday, May 23, 2013
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I find it almost impossible to believe that Nick Welsh would “pan” the efforts of a citizen group attempting to find ways to save $53 million of county money and 18 months of consumer frustration with highway construction.

The efforts of the group are at no cost to the populace (funded by concerned citizens) and if successful would benefit the whole county populace by modernizing the 101 corridor in a minimal time, thus helping all form of commerce and tourism get back to normal after the construction project.

It is irrelevant what part of the county the proponents came from. What is important is that should they be successful, everyone – residents, consumers, businesses – would benefit, even non-believer journalists.

Perhaps (in his view) a potential saving of $53 million in public money is unimportant in the scheme of things and therefore not worth exploring? J.W. Colin, Montecito


I so enjoy Nick Welsh’s opinion writing. It’s another anchor reason I live for each issue of The Independent. That being said, I can’t resist adding a little something to the 101 widening/left-hand-exit circus.

Sure, I’m not much for eliminating the older areas of any region for the sake of “progress.” Also, I ride to work and around town on my bike and am borderline anti-auto, so anything encouraging car usage, such as more roads for them, doesn’t get a lot of interest from me.

However, that highway is used a lot by travelers for pleasure and commerce alike, and engineering it to allow for better flow would help ‘most all concerned. Costs for shipping, traveling, and commuting are high enough without delays added to it for whatever reason.

So, a handful of well-heeled property owners are able to stymie the more efficient flow of traffic to preserve – what? The ambience of their neighborhood? We live on the upper Westside, and are way down on the pecking order of power and money, compared to them. I’d love to have a sound wall built along the highway near where I live. That won’t happen because we can’t afford to enlist powerful people to get that done. No one famous or rich lives here. They have a right to fight for what they want. It just gripes me that their “right” goes further because of money and clout.

A few are holding up the many. What is best for the tribe? – Gabor L. Dobos, S.B.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

"The efforts of the group are at no cost to the populace .."

Not true. In last Thursday's SBCAG meeting, it was revealed that time/money spent so far evaluating the left-hand lane design proposals pushed by the Montecito Assn have amounted to 1600 staff hours and $175,000. The vast majority of that sum is being footed by the County, not the State.

That was a 3-hour long meeting, will check my notes and restate if I erred on details. Defintely not "no cost" though.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 1:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

These people are incredibly petty and selfish. It'll be cheaper all around to NOT have any ramps there and they can drive over the hill or what have you. Maybe some people might actually prefer that and that would be cheapest most of all.
I.e. can't have your cake and eat it too, either standard ramp access or no ramps at all.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 2:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

eliminate all left-hand ramps; let's get on with it.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 6:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

1,600 hours and $175,000 confimed in Chris Meagher's new article:

Such a waste of money we're spending to consider these inferior designs when Caltrans has already worked with the public to get a fairly decent one in hand.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 10:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

While I kinda like the left hand off ramps and we've already discussed the false equivalence of using aggregate data to prove safety or lack thereof, I am clearly not invested either way. However, having anyone from the left argue about conserving money makes me chuckle. When the Occupiers were tearing up the Port of Oakland and creating hundreds of thousands of lost dollars for working folks I did not hear this plea. Whenever we hear the passionate pleas to throw more funds without any metric at social problems I only hear "how can we not spend more money?".
CalTrans is a perpetual train wreck for throwing money away almost by definition; just look at the new Bay Bridge, over 20 years in the making, and the mess they are still in.
I fall on the side that both entities have some blame.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 2:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

More genius thinking. " They can drive over the hill or what have you.Some people might actually prefer that and that would be cheapest most of all." What ? Is Sarah Palin ghost writing here on the Indy?
More cars directed at surface streets that are already constricted, creating new problems where none currently exist , disregard for cost savings and construction time will be the opus of our resident Indy armchair traffic experts who lobby for ramp eliminations.

geeber (anonymous profile)
May 24, 2013 at 4:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The bloggers brain-trust has hit an all-time low here.

Keeping what already works isn't a bad thing. Cal-trans plans have very real negative impacts on our health and increased traffic delays.

The more efficient flow of traffic will result in adopting the more intelligent Montecito Plan.

I really don't want to sit in traffic everytime I drive through Montecito, polluting the air any more than I have to. For a more efficient flow of traffic look at the statistics of what has and has not worked in California.

Nick and supporters of the Cal-trans plan need to give some facts to support their opinions. The "it's been long enough" argument doesn't hold water.

Georgy (anonymous profile)
May 28, 2013 at 10:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Anything the Montecito Association opposes must be good. What BS
1"Keeping what works" It hasn't worked for decades
2. More efficient flow for who? The jiffy lube that can open in Vons produce dept to accompany the offramp or whatever the hell it is?
Is the Montecito Association that hollow as well as shallow?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 28, 2013 at 11:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Italian, there's plenty on the center-left who "argue about [for] conserving money " How about consistent opposition to our several recent STUPID wars, hugely expensive, and for Iraq no taxes RAISED to pay for it? You have so many stereotypes about your fantasy "left" -- many of us support hard work, service to the community, thrift in government [yes!], marriage for all, and so on. E.g., Calif State needs to conserve this temporary surplus we have for the next downturn, not spend it in new entitlement programs.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 28, 2013 at 3:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why the surprise about Nick Welsh? He's just like all the rest of the Indy staff and 2/3rd of SB residents that believe in equal outcomes regardless if input: no person should be allowed to rise above another in wealth - we should all equally live in the dirt with no possessions other than our enduring love for our commitment to equal outcomes and to our benevolent lib dem leaders. Anyone with a slightly different opinion is a Bush loving Nazi, global warming denier that is waging a war on women while beating their pets and eating cheeseburgers while driving a gasoline powered car.

willy88 (anonymous profile)
May 28, 2013 at 9:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A week away and I return to another fire...
Wow DD, it appears that the center left according to your definition must include everyone but anarchists. It's weird how the same views that made me a liberal 30 years ago now leave me out in the cold with you Progressives; a misnomer of the highest order of magnitude. And now the Left is also fiscally responsible AND you are singularly against "stupid wars" and the lack of taxes to pay for Iraq! What fortitude! And here everyone else is for stupid wars? Who knew that the Left held the sole definition and authority to deem wars "smart" or "stupid"?
I'll believe that the Left is truly against these things when they protest Obama and his policies with the enthusiasm that they railed against Bush. Hmmm, we're into the second term of The Saviour, he's killing Americans, embroiled in scandals, and actually targeting the press as aiding and abetting terrorists, and yet the Left is not hanging Obama in effigy. Both the Moral Majority and Progressives are self cancelling by definition.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
May 29, 2013 at 6:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

well, italian, sort of...those who completely detest Big Government (e.g. Will, Locke, foo) tend to go in the direction of anarchy, which we all know is horrible.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 29, 2013 at 11:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It's all a matter of balance.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 29, 2013 at 12:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

that's correct, Italian..."And here everyone else is for stupid wars?" Bush won two elections, most Republicans voted for him, some moderates, a few liberals...figure it out.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 29, 2013 at 12:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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