Lost in Hope Ranch

The Santa Barbara Marathon on Saturday created a serious security situation in our city by blocking access to the Hope Ranch neighborhood and not training any of its orange-clad monitors or security staff to help motorists find open roads into that community. My husband and I spent an hour that morning trying to attend a garden event in Hope Ranch, but every access street we tried was blocked, and none of the five monitors we asked at the various blocked roads on our attempted routes were able to direct us to an open road. “People keep asking us how to get into Hope Ranch,” smiled one man casually. “But we don’t know.” We finally asked a cop in a Highway Patrol car, and he said, “I don’t know this area. I’ve just been hired in for the day.” Shocking!

What if there were an emergency, and someone needed to get to a friend or loved one’s aid in the cut-off Hope Ranch neighborhood? This is an incredibly irresponsible way to run a public event. Someone has really dropped the security ball. The sponsors and event planners should be ashamed — and, if not, at least worried about liability issues.

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