I, too, have just “returned home” to Santa Barbara, but it is not the same Santa Barbara. Change — the ol’ constant. Sadly, the wrong changes. With Santa Barbara’s inexcusable overgrowth and crowding, community consciousness has not grown with it; it has become decidedly more disparate and divisive.
Widening Highway 101 is a horrid waste, self-serving for a few, disastrous for the community. There are myriad ways to alleviate congestion. As suggested by another reader: stagger the hours of work or make alternative transportation the financial, environmental choice, not more cement, destruction, and construction that will create more congestion for years, noise, and inevitably more congestion when done. Such ill-designed, ill-timed ideas never keep pace with population and need.
Also on bicycle numbers going up, an Indy article said there are still 70 percent of cars with only one person. That won’t change with widening of 101. We can change how we move — alternatives and better means — not a wider road.
We are in a drought! Why are people watering at all? The Chumash said there was not enough water for the population coming in the 1800s. So who are we now? With all our beautiful imported trees and this overpopulation, when do we take care of our resources? Is it not clear to Santa Barbarans that the choices being made are destructive to this area, self-centered, and short-sighted? S.B. would be better if we worked together for changes with consciousness.