WEATHER »

Paul Wellman


Thursday, May 23, 2013
Article Tools
Print friendly
E-mail story
Tip Us Off
iPod friendly
Comments
Share Article

In 1996, the idea of expanding both sides of Highway 101 to three lanes from Santa Barbara to Carpinteria was shut down by community members who argued that extra lanes weren’t necessary. Today, no one can make that argument, as traffic jams that stretch ​— ​which is used heavily by both daily commuters and people traveling up and down California ​— ​more than four hours per day, with experts expecting that to grow to 11 hours by 2040. Instead, the question is: How do we widen 101 best?

Much of the work is already done, with three lanes already in place from Milpas Street to Cabrillo Boulevard and more additions currently underway from Carpinteria to Mussel Shoals. But the bottleneck persists in Montecito, the last two-lane leg of highway between Goleta and Ventura. As Caltrans, the state transportation agency that oversees 50,000 miles of Golden State highway, finalizes designs for the 10.9-mile project from Cabrillo to Bailard Avenue in Carp, a group called Common Sense 101 has arisen to fight against the state’s preferred alternative, which, among other changes, would eliminate the left-hand ramps that have served the Hot Springs-Cabrillo and Sheffield Drive exits for decades.

101 COMMOTION:  Caltrans says fitting the Common Sense 101 plans into working designs makes the group’s ideas unfeasible ​— ​the roundabout would have to be moved and ramps would have to be built through buildings at the Vons shopping center.
Click to enlarge photo

101 COMMOTION: Caltrans says fitting the Common Sense 101 plans into working designs makes the group’s ideas unfeasible ​— ​the roundabout would have to be moved and ramps would have to be built through buildings at the Vons shopping center.

The group, made up mainly of Montecito residents, says that Caltrans’s cookie-cutter plan is too expensive ($60 million more than necessary), too extensive (taking twice as long as it should), and too disruptive, and that construction is bound to seriously impact surface-street traffic and that the finished product will greatly reduce views and other associated charms of driving 101 through the tony town. Already spending more than $100,000 on its campaign so far, Common Sense 101 has nabbed former U.S. secretary of transportation Mary Peters as a consultant, directly lobbied Governor Jerry Brown, had Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom write a letter on its behalf, and hired an engineering firm to develop a better plan. Central to that plan is retaining the left-hand on- and off-ramps, but it also seeks to keep carpool lanes out of Montecito, improve the San Ysidro Road southbound off-ramp, and reconfigure the confusing Olive Mill and Coast Village Road intersection.

But after more than 1,600 hours of staff time and $175,000 spent to analyze the Common Sense 101 plan, Caltrans determined that the ideas just weren’t feasible alternatives. Last Thursday, Sacramento sent the director of Caltrans to town to iterate that point for the board of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG), the special transportation agency overseen by all five county supervisors as well as representatives from every city in the county. Faced with the rising criticism, Caltrans had retooled its design somewhat by last week, cutting expected construction time nearly in half from four years to two-and-change, trimming the budget, and keeping both lanes and ramps open throughout.

Yet Caltrans’s changes and warnings didn’t sway the SBCAG board, which voted to grant Common Sense 101’s requests, specifically to consider moving the carpool lanes south of Sheffield, include the alternative plan in the environmental report, and recirculate the draft report if necessary. The project, which is expected to cost between $345 million and $455 million, is ultimately Caltrans’s baby, and the state agency’s representatives explained that the alternatives would be included anyway and that the related components currently in the draft form had already been deemed infeasible. But since SBCAG controls $140 million of the funding ​— ​thanks to proceeds from the increased regional sales tax that 79 percent of countywide voters approved via Measure A in 2008 ​— ​the board’s vote was still a symbolic victory for the group, which is headed by Jack Overall, a member of the Montecito Planning Commission, and Ron Pulice, who happened to build his personal fortune by building highways.

What follows is a look at what’s being proposed by Caltrans, the alternative being presented by Common Sense 101, and what experts say about both.

LEFT-HAND RAMPS

Common Sense 101’s biggest beef with Caltrans’s plan for Highway 101 through Montecito is the elimination of left-hand ramps, but the state isn’t budging on its stance that they must go. Caltrans director Malcolm Dougherty said as much to the SBCAG board in person last Thursday, when he explained, “My overriding concern is the safety of the motoring public.”

Dougherty made his way down from Sacramento to tell Santa Barbara officials left-hand ramps were not viable options.
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

Dougherty made his way down from Sacramento to tell Santa Barbara officials left-hand ramps were not viable options.

That hasn’t stopped Common Sense 101’s Jack Overall from pointing out that the South Coast’s left-hand ramps are among the safest we have, with one below the state-average accident rate and one just slightly above. According to state accident data, the southbound Sheffield Drive off-ramp is above the statewide accident average, while the on-ramp is below. At Cabrillo Boulevard, the southbound and northbound left-hand off-ramps are both slightly above the state average. Common Sense 101 cites the Federal Highway Administration’s rule that right-hand ramps can be forgone if impracticable because of “unacceptable economic, environmental, or social impacts” and argues that, after decades of use, drivers now expect the left-hand ramps. What hasn’t been analyzed is how much the accidents could go up or down should Caltrans install the right-hand ramps in those locations.

The statewide policy is to install right-hand ramps whenever possible because they are expected by drivers and therefore safer. Caltrans looked at more than 20 designs for the project, including six that kept the left-hand ramps, but none worked, according to Caltrans project manager Scott Eades, who explained, “This is a mandatory design standard.” Exceptions can be made, but that won’t happen here. Said Dougherty, “I would not sign a design exception for a left-hand off-ramp,” he said. Indeed, Caltrans hasn’t facilitated a left-hand ramp anywhere in the past 10 years.

That point started to sink in with some officials last Thursday. County Supervisor Janet Wolf even compared the constantly repeated messages to raising a child. “The answer is no, the answer is no,” she said. “What I keep hearing from Mr. Dougherty is, ‘The answer is no.’ So are we going to keep hitting our heads against the wall?” Supervisor Steve Lavagnino agreed, saying that he didn’t want to spend more money on studying left-hand ramps if the answer from Caltrans was just going to be no anyway.

But what if, Lompoc Mayor John Linn asked, SBCAG presented a compelling case for left-hand ramps? In perhaps last week’s most dire threat, Dougherty replied, “Then we might decide whether to spend the money with you, I guess.”

CARPOOL LANES

Caltrans is proposing part-time, continuous-access High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV), a k a carpool, lanes from Cabrillo Boulevard to the Ventura County line. Those lanes, say Caltrans officials, help secure federal and state funding, work to relieve congestion, and fulfill the regional transportation vision promised by Measure A.

Carpooling would be required in those lanes Monday-Friday, 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m. All vehicles could drive in the lanes at all other times, while vehicles would be able to access or exit the HOV lane at any point.

But this anytime-in, anytime-out approach is dangerous, say Common Sense 101 proponents, claiming that drivers will remain in the HOV lane until the last possible moment before cutting over to exit the freeway. They argue that the three-mile section from Cabrillo Boulevard to Sheffield Drive is very narrow and filled with too many ingresses and egresses for the HOV lane to be safe. For those reasons, they believe it will not help traffic congestion.

The coalition is hoping to eliminate HOV lanes in Montecito, pushing them south of Sheffield. They argue the point is to get people commuting from Ventura to carpool. Whether drivers decide to do so is a decision that’s made long before reaching Montecito.

SHEFFIELD DRIVE

CALTRANS PLANS: The corridor near Sheffield Drive is one of the most tightly constrained paths for Highway 101 in Southern California, with physical barriers including the railroad, ocean, and existing development. So Caltrans wants to reconfigure the lanes, eliminate the median planting, and instead have a single concrete barrier separating the north- and southbound lanes. “There are real trade-offs in how you create the lanes,” said Eades, explaining the impact is greater if the lanes are moved to the outside. “We’ve chosen to move to the inside.”

Click to enlarge photo

Courtesy Photo

Though the southbound off-ramp accident rate is 1.5 accidents per million vehicle miles and the southbound on-ramp’s is below the state average at 0.8, Dougherty explained, “It’s not viable, appropriate, or responsible to retain the left-side ramps at this location.” So Caltrans would eliminate the southbound 101 left-hand on-ramp, move ramps from the median to the outside, and relocate some of the through lanes. The bridge will be reconstructed to be a single concrete barrier with the existing median removed. Retaining walls will also be built between Sheffield and Evans Avenue along the southbound lane, which the Common Sense 101 group says would block views of Shark’s Cove and Fernald Point.

COMMON SENSE 101 IDEAS: Common Sense 101 members say the Caltrans proposal for Sheffield Drive unnecessarily brings in huge amounts of fill, unnecessarily demolishes and constructs a new bridge, and constructs new on- and off-ramps going southbound that don’t need to be built. Their plan would involve minimal construction, merely adding a lane in either direction, retain a one-lane, left-side off-ramp and a one-lane, left-side on-ramp in the southbound direction, and preserve the views of Fernald Point and Shark’s Cove.

But Caltrans says for that plan to be viable, property would have to be purchased. There’s also not enough space for a vehicle to enter the southbound highway at Sheffield and safely leave to the right to get off at Evans Avenue in Summerland. Not only is Caltrans against the left-hand entrance, but currently the existing on-ramp enters from below the freeway on an uphill grade, into the fast lane, which compounds the dangers.

• LISTEN TO THE PODCAST: Chris Meagher discusses the 101-widening project on The Santa Barbara Independent’s podcast this week at independent.com/podcast.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

What a shame (and sham) that a wealthy micro-minority of Montecitans are once again derailing the much-needed project. What's even worse is the political power these few people have over Salud and the other elected officials. Shame on SBCAG for letting this dog and pony show continue.

Indyholio (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 8:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Common Sense 101's plan is so much better and economical than the Caltrans plan it's embarrassing................

It appears Caltrans is defending it's expensive, cookie-cutter approach, so it doesn't have to get its act together all over the State. The bureaucracy doesn't want to change its ways and Common Sense 101's plan is making them look really bad.

The dumbest aspect to the Caltrans Plan is the part-time HOV lanes that will make traveling 101 more dangerous, and basically make traffic worse overall, all the while increasing air pollution and wasting all our time sitting in our cars. Time for Caltrans and its supporters to face reality.

Thanks to SBCAG for voting to follow a more intelligent path for traffic management.

Georgy (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 10:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Eff''em, no ramps in Montecito.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 11:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

eliminate the left-side ramps, quit the bickering.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 11:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

People on the freeway don't need to be looking at the views. THAT is a huge factor in the jam up. BLOCK the view so they keep moving.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 12:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

more accidents because of HOV lanes is a farce. I navigate through them in San Jose and the Bay with ease. If you can't, maybe you should consider whether or not it is safe for you and others that you operate a motor vehicle. The only people doing multiple lane switches to exit will be Montecito residents and their guests.

spacey (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 12:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Buncha fat wheezing pigs should be walking anyways.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 12:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

yeah, there are buses in Montecito, but seems like they only allow "the help" to ride on them...at the end of cleaning houses these wonderful (mostly women) take the BUS back to Santa Barbara's Eastside or Westside. I liked an earlier idea: just eliminate on and off-ramps in Montecito since many of them wanna whine about the Caltrans plan.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 1:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It would be easiest and cheapest just to cut them out of the equation. They've already cost enough money and time with their petty selfish bs.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 1:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think the freeway needs to be widened but the community would be better served with a commuter train from Oxnard to Goleta.

Almost all the traffic occurs between weekday commute hours. Which means that the vast majority of SB workers are commuting in from the south. Who are these people? Where do they work?

Why should the entire community need to suffer because they choose to commute 40miles each way, by themselves, everyday? What about the companies that are hiring these folks? Dont they have any responsibility on the impact their hiring practices and employee have on the roads and on the community? I say yes.

I drive this road at all hours from Summerland into SB. Its bad from 7am- 8:30 No Bound and So bound starting at 3:30pm and clears at about 6:15.

I'd like to know what jobs these folks commute to that force them on the road at 3:30pm?

There is something else driving this problem, its either the lack of available housing in SB or the lack of available workers... something is out of balance and that imbalance is causing all the traffic. Why do we have to import so many workers and why do companies hire so many people who live so far away? Its either due to hiring practices or workforce availability. But with the unemployment rate where it is, who are these workers and where do they work?

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 3:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yeah...commuter trains, bike lanes, hot air balloon rides, and maybe a ferry boat or two. The nerve of these people...clogging up all this valuable freeway space commuting to and from work. Grab your sneakers and jog to work...sheesh!

brimo7272 (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 4:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How about realistic (and human-friendly) housing if yiou want to decrease traffic? Can't have your cake and eat it too. Light rail is definitely the best overall goal, it's worked very well in civilized cities for over 150 years now.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 4:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Brimo7272, In a town of < 200k with many, many students, unemployed and underemployed. Why are we importing so much of our workforce?

The symptoms are never the cause. We need to look at the causes of this issue rather than continue to build, build and build to appease an ever increasing population.

I see a ton of single driver cars driving in traffic at 4pm on weekdays all heading south. Where do they work? And why do they spend thousands a year on commuting to jobs that dont pay them well enough to live here but well enough that they are willing to spend thousands of dollars and hours a year commuting to and from?

Something smells fishy here and I'd like to know what is causing the stink rather than just wash down the docks, every day...and ignoring the cause.

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 4:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hmmm....well, let's see, maybe they live in Ventura and points south because they like it down there? Maybe they enjoy spending time alone in their vehicles? Maybe they consider people in SB snobbish? Maybe they fear the roving gangs and violence of the SB streets? Maybe their jobs pay extermely well and they live in Beverly Hills?

brimo7272 (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 4:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Seriously, is there a single one of these issues where the exalted Montecito Association (MA) waded in shoulders-deep when the MA actually added any value to the discussions? Any at all?

The MA quadrupled the cost of that innocent little "safe-path-for-kids-to-walk-to-school" along San Ysidro road. (Did the MA really think is was acceptable to have kids walking along the SYR pavement, being buzzed by MA Bentleys and Maseratis, to get to school?). The MUS school's legal fees were a crazy burden for the District to shoulder just to add a sidewalk. Oops, we can't have a sidewalk... This is Montecito Association territory!
We have a crushed Italian granite pathway, loving quarried by artisans from Palermo, meandering through our semi-rural enclave. Geez, just give the kids a sidewalk!

The Montecito Association has driven every ( billionaire ) developer crazy with irrational demands for the Miramar. Remember when the MA demanded Ty Warner "maintain the historically significant cabanas of Miramar" in his project? (aka the rat-infested firetraps of Miramar). Ultimately, MA drove Ty Warner to abandon the project to Caruso, who's now getting the same kind of bizarre treatment. Fortunately, Caruso had the good sense to show the rest of the community what dumps those cabins were and sanity returned. Those awful cabanas are gone forever-- no thanks to the MA.

So, NO, Montecito Association adds Zero Value to these discussions. None. Please, irrational rich guys, please depart the discussion and leave it to the professionals. Kindly take your crazy plan for Patos and keeping those dangerous left access ramps with you!

tachyon (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 5:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Maybe the 101 should end at Milpas and pick back up again in Summerland. Just make it a surface street and we can line the new avenue with shops that are both useful and cool along with housing people can afford.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 5:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Ken_Volok, I LOVE your idea. No exits (or entries, presumably) in Montecito. Priceless and well-deserved.

But on a more realistic note, isn't this all about just one entry at Sheffield road? Just eliminate that one and start building.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 6:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@John_Locke
I agree, just delete that exit/entrance entirely and move on! It really should make everyone happy.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 6:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If 50,000 people in SB County and Ventura County wrote letters to Caltrans saying `please, just get on with it, no more delays for the people who stopped the original Measure D plan for widening 101 in Montecito' we could overcome the Montecito 0.0001%.

So who will organize that? Cars are basic? ugghh...

snugspout (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 8:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Great idea snugspout. It's kind of dumb for us to think CalTrans is evaluating their decision based on our comments on a local news-social site.

http://www.dot.ca.gov/feedback.htm

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 23, 2013 at 8:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Proving themselves to not be descendants of Einstein , the armchair traffic engineers of the Indy blog world prattle on about just closing on & offs to solve the 101 expansion issues.
So , force more traffic onto the already congested remaining ramps and flood surface streets because their false perceptions say that fast lane ramps are unsafe? In other words , lets create more problems where no problems currently exist because the elitist's deserve it.
Well what about the thousands of us non elitist proletariats who traffic those routes daily for work ? So we should disregard statistics that show higher accident rates on surface streets than on freeways? Does anyone doubt that the highest percentage of car trips on these ramps are for non resident worker types? I get it , more surface street traffic and related accidents because we don't want to leave some things as they are , speed up the project , and save money. Brilliant !

geeber (anonymous profile)
May 24, 2013 at 3:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Facts I hope can be accepted:
- SB has an air quality problem bad enough to justify a moratorium on Multifamily development within 250' of 101.
- the 101 widening project will exacerbate the air quality problem in SB

Another fact, not well known: the Air Quality Study created to justify the 250' value is flawed by a simple numerical error.
Correcting the error shows that hazardous air quality extends to 1000' from 101.

Steve_Johnson (anonymous profile)
May 24, 2013 at 6:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ask the residents if they'd be willing to fund a double decker highway, then you could have 5 or 6 lanes going each direction.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
May 24, 2013 at 9:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey ,
We've already started the ball rolling with a letter campaign to shut that ramp down entirely or go to right lane ramps. Can't have your cake and eat it too.

One letter per citizen

http://www.dot.ca.gov/feedback.htm

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 24, 2013 at 11:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

BUILD IT NOW!

I am also in favor of completing the 101 Freeway thru Santa Barbara, and removing the last four stoplights between San Francisco and Tijuana.

Vote for Pedro.

HansLaetz (anonymous profile)
May 24, 2013 at 12:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Looking at the proposed alternative by the opposition, they obviously were up many days and nights working on it.
Pulice may have made his fortune with freeway construction projects, but he obviously neither designed nor built them.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 24, 2013 at 12:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Volok says - " Hey ,
We've already started the ball rolling with a letter campaign to shut that ramp down entirely or go to right lane ramps. Can't have your cake and eat it too.

One letter per citizen. "
Can we also have one opinion piece per person ?

geeber (anonymous profile)
May 25, 2013 at 3:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sometimes it's a discussion among interested parties; sometimes it's a slimefest, but only one posting per person would eliminate any debate at all. Bad idea, IMO.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
May 26, 2013 at 10:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I bet if Pulice's company had the contract, he'd be more than happy to go to 5 lanes across and add additional ramps.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 26, 2013 at 10:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The notion that Caltran's design is "cookie cutter" is really an uninformed opinion. This was *specifically* addressed in the last SBCAG meeting where it was made clear that Caltrans has spent an enormous amount of time & resources customizing the design to fit the huge number of design constraints this project entails.

If you don't believe me, then watch the video of the meeting here. Pay attention when SBCAG members comment postively on how thorough Caltrans presentation was:

http://www.sbcag.org/boardmeetings.html

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
May 26, 2013 at 12:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The HOV issue is probably going to end up being a soft issue. Most participants at the SBCAG meeting, including Caltrans, were open to the idea of moving the end of the HOV lanes outside of the bottleneck area near Summerland.

This is because changing the terminus of the HOV lanes has relatively low cost impacts ... mostly stripping of lanes and signage. These HOV lanes do not have dividers.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
May 26, 2013 at 1:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

In my opinion, the Montecito Association and the "Common Sense 101" group have a hidden agenda. They want to preserve the left-hand onramp at Hot Springs and the left-hand onramp at Sheffield because ... that's the way they want it!

The cost issues they raise may seem important, but it's just convenient rationalization to them. Consider this ... two of the most fiscally-conservative board members of SBCAG, County Supervisors Adam and Lavignino, voted against the late-to-the-table alternative proposed by the wishy-washy Montecito groups.

Salud Carbajal, of course, voted for the Montecito alternative. If ever a public official's political future depended on a vote, this was it. I don't blame his expediency. But if the alternative design takes hold, I predict we will see a freeway design that doesn't meet Caltrans' goal of serving the public up till 2040. By then, Carbajal will just be a footnote in history and his legacy unaccountable.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
May 26, 2013 at 1:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mayor Schneider is somene I respect a lot. As for her vote in favor of including the MA's alternative in the EIR, the motivations are more murky to me. I suspect she really is willing to put up short-term losses (costs for considering the MA's plans, which have already cost the County an additional $175,000 and 1600 staff hours) to study the option. I think she will be disappointed. I'm guessing she's gambling to try to get improvements where the RR crosses over Cabrillo near Los Patos.

The MA's freeway design consutant was absolutely unconvincing during her presentation in front of SBCAG. And Caltrans has already cited problems with her proposed design once you begin to implement it.

For whatever cost savings the MA's alt plan may provide, I think Goleta's Mayor, Roger Aceves, put it best when he said (I'm paraphrasing) ... any cost savings will be wiped out the minute an accident happens and the County & Caltrans are sued because Caltrans stated left-hand off-ramps/on-ramps are unsafe and yet they were left in the design.

Remember, the goal of this freeway project is to last us until 2040. Like it or not, traffic use is going to skyrocket beyond the 100,000 trips made on the 101 every day, many of which will be from non-locals (look at all the folks from LA in town this weekend!).

It boggles the mind to think that anyone can claim an uphill onramp into the fast lane on a new 3-lane freeway with future traffic conditions and traffic loads is going to be safe. That's just rationalization for an aesthetic we can't afford.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
May 26, 2013 at 1:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Is Common Sense 101 the same group of geniuses who in 1996 said the freeway does not need to be wider?
The 1%'ers in Montecito can afford to hire their influence peddlers / attorneys / lobbyists to make 101 work for THEIR needs. I am skeptical that this group actually cares about what is best for everyone.

loganwc (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 8:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

On the other hand, four long posts in a row IS a bit excessive.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 9:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Having watched the MA in action for a rather long time, I would opine that their concern, first and foremost and last, is to maintain their vision of a "semi-rural community" and the surrounding world be damned. While I love the beauty of our area, I consider the MA to be a prime example of NIMBYism at its worst and have yet to hear an MA position I agree with.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 9:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You know most of those people in the Montecito Association are fairly recent transplants. Basically they want us to conform to their fantasy of what life in California must be like.
I've seen it in action. A woman who was enraged by the advertorial content of a newspaper because "back in Kansas wouldn't print that".
There should be some kind of waiting period before transplants can vote in local and state elections until they get up to speed or leave.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 27, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Students, too.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
May 28, 2013 at 9 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I use Sheffield constantly and it's very dangerous; if we right now cut off the southbound left-side entrance ramp it would be much safer AND a head-slap to the Montecito fools indicating Hot Springs is next. Let's just build it, the cars will come.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 28, 2013 at 12:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Memo to Montecito-ites: Time to traffically EVOLVE. Expand the 101. All other opinions are hereby rendered moot & pointless. The fumes wafting in your windows should suffice as proof.
Progress will not be forestalled by selfish delusion. Next!

Draxor (anonymous profile)
May 28, 2013 at 3:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What a total crock here! The wealthy, self-entoitled folks of MoneyVille West aka Montecito, have attempted to keep 101 small & quaint so their little tony, village would remain just that - quaint. Look what everybody now has to thank them! Massive congestion every darn day right out front of their little burg.

Well, they get what they pay for! SMOG and massive amounts of vehicle emissions that choke their precious ocean kissed once fresh air.

Now they are attempting to continue the stranglehold on the 101 by continuing the old "Money Talks" adage and hire every "expert" that needs some extra cash to say what they want to hear.

I say E N O U G H! get on with this Cal Trans.

Who's more important - the millions of people that have to use the 101 to transit back & forth OR the wealthy, self-entitled monied peeps who hide behind their, and don't have to leave home except to golf, do lunch & head to the airport to hop into their private jets to wing off to posh hideaways?

ENOUGH!

Barron (anonymous profile)
May 29, 2013 at 8:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Oy vey!
The usually sensible pols voted for this because they knew it would be dead on arrival at Caltrans, so they have the best of both pandering worlds.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
May 29, 2013 at 6:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Let's not forget that the Montecito Association only represent themselves as a membership organization and NOT the people of Montecito as a whole; many of whom are extremely altruistic to this community and the world as a whole. No need to condemn an entire neighborhood.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 29, 2013 at 7:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The simple fact is that the local fast lane on/offs work and have better safety records than slow lane ramps. The pro Caltrans zealots want to fix something that ain't broke, spend a bunch of our tax dollars doing it , and needlessly extend the life of the project. Sounds like a bunch of wankers with axes to grind .

geeber (anonymous profile)
May 29, 2013 at 7:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@John_Adams, I was thinking along those lines too.

So let's not forget that it's the board of SBCAG which voted 7-6 to waste time on the MA's last-minute proposal. Caltrans is a partner on this project, but gets no vote.

The SBCAG board consists of all the County supes plus local mayors/councilmembers. Here's how you can contact them:

http://www.sbcag.org/bod.html

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
May 29, 2013 at 10:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

When the 3rd lanes open up, traffic flow is going to improve and speeds will increase @Sheffield from the south-bound crawl that often occurs now. When that happens, it's going to be even more difficult to use the left-hand, uphill, south-bound offramp. I predict more accidents if the left-hand ramps are left intact.

In other words, I suspect the left-hand ramps @Sheffield don't have higher accident rates precisely because of the current traffic logjams.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
May 29, 2013 at 10:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why are Sheffield ramps even necessary when there's ramps just over the hill in SummerLand?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 30, 2013 at 12:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

After reading all of the recent articles and comments about this topic, one point rings out to me loud and clear. That is the name chosen by the Montecito anti-Caltrans group, "Common Sense 101," is an oxymoron. There is virtually no common sense obvious in their stated positions.

art (anonymous profile)
June 2, 2013 at 4:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

just keep the damn left hand ramps, which minimizes the impact on the surroundings, and uses less real estate, and reduce the speed limit to 55 through that stretch as a compromise to safety. It will be fine. Caltrans and everyone using 101 needs to recognize that, like it or not, this is a uniquely beautiful corridor which needs to be preserved...this is not san bernadino...deal with it.

thomas592003 (anonymous profile)
June 6, 2013 at 7:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

event calendar sponsored by: