SBCAG’S RINCON MULTIUSE TRAIL RECOMMENDED FOR $6.8 MILLION IN STATE FUNDING
The California Transportation Commission (CTC) staff has recommended approval of $6.8 million to construct the Rincon Multiuse Trail Project in Carpinteria. Funding for this project will be allocated from the State of California’s Active Transportation Project (ATP) grant program. The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments’ (SBCAG) sponsored Rincon Multiuse Trail Project received a score of 87 out of 100 in the competitive statewide grant program and will be recommended for approval by the Commission at its December meeting. CTC staff are recommending the state ATP funding be available in fiscal year 19-20, the first year cycle 3 funds are available. Construction of the Rincon Multiuse Trail Project is scheduled to be completed before the Linden and Casitas Pass Interchange Project in Carpinteria is finished in July 2020.
The project is a multi-use pedestrian and bicycle trail approximately 4,500 feet in length connecting Carpinteria Avenue to Rincon Beach Park and a Class I trail at the Ventura\Santa Barbara county line. It will fill a gap between established bike paths that are part of the California Coastal Trail. A Class II bike path on Carpinteria Avenue dead-ends at U.S. 101 and the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) right of way, leaving pedestrians and cyclists three options: travel along the shoulder of the 65 mph, 6-lane US 101; travel unsanctioned foot paths down the bluffs and cross the Union Pacific Railroad tracks; or navigate a circuitous 4-mile inland route to bypass US 101 and UPRR right of way. The project will construct a bicycle and pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks connecting Carpinteria Avenue to the park. The park is the northern terminus of a 5-mile Class I bikeway between the community of La Conchita and Rincon Beach County Park in Santa Barbara County. A park-and-bicycle lot will be strategically located at the end of Carpinteria Avenue as part of the project to attract day-ride visitors. The project will eliminate the last location within 100 miles of Los Angeles where bicyclists and pedestrians on the California Coastal Trail use the shoulder of U.S. 101.
Jim Kemp, SBCAG’s Executive Director said “We are very pleased to have CTC staff support for funding the Rincon Multiuse Trail Project. The project will provide a world-class trail to the world-class beach at Rincon. It completes a critical missing link of the California Coastal Trail and connects Santa Barbara’s South Coast to Ventura and Ojai for bicyclists and pedestrians.”
The CTC staff has also recommended funding three other projects in Santa Barbara County. The City of Santa Barbara is recommended to receive $4.5 in FY 19-20 to construct the Eastside Green Lanes & Bike Boulevard Gap Closure Project and $2.7 million in FY 20-21 for construction of the Westside Bike Boulevard Gap Closure. The City of Buellton’s Safe Routes to School Project at the intersection of Highway 246 and Sycamore Drive is also recommended for $684,000 in ATP funds for FY 19-20. The total ATP funding recommended for Santa Barbara County is $14.7 million. Projects from Santa Barbara County used $1.2 million in local funding to leverage $14.7 million in state ATP funding.