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Posted on December 3 at 4:47 p.m.
Don't let out-of-touch COAST board members fool you. The proposed path will be anything but semi-rural. It will be 3000-plus feet, will include curb cuts and ramps at every driveway and intersection, will have ADA plastic warning surfaces at every intersection and pedestrian crossing, will be constructed on a 5-foot minimum area next to the curb (meaning that unique landscaping and historic trees will be removed), and will be made of enhanced decomposed granite with stabilizing material. Proponents of this project want this material, which has the similar look and feel of a concrete sidewalk, so that it will be multi-use. They see the path as accommodating not only pedestrians, but kids on bikes, wheelchairs, strollers, etc. Doesn't sound semi-rural to me!
Sure, Montecito has changed from 10 or 20 years ago. However, children are less safe now because of increased traffic volume and speeds, not because of the lack of an accessible footpath on the west side of San Ysidro. That area has become SAFER over the years, as property owners have cleared areas adjacent to the street. If COAST is serious about making sure kids are safe walking up and down San Ysidro, they should focus their efforts on what HAS changed, and not on what hasn't. (They're good at championing traffic projects, like those wonderful roundabouts, bulbouts, and other traffic-calming devices, afterall!) Sure, the present footpath can be improved upon, but it takes a little bit of collaboration between the County, property owners, and others in the community to clear some vegetation and level out some spots. What isn't needed is a massive, costly, and unnecessary project that just doesn't fit in the Gateway to Montecito.
On Rural Sidewalks
Posted on November 28 at 2:44 a.m.
sensiblepath: This is far from a "limited sidewalk project around MUS." This pathway will extend from MUS, all the way down to North Jameson Lane, a total of more than 3000 feet. It will be "meandering," meaning that it will extend more than 5 feet from the curb in many places, and will therefore take out historic trees and unique landscaping, elements which are key to the semi-rural character of Montecito. Furthermore, to meet ADA standards, the path will be made of enhanced decomposed granite (to look almost like a concrete sidewalk), and will include numerous curb cuts and curb ramps, with brightly colored, plastic warning surfaces at each intersection and pedestrian crossing.
There is a common sense solution to all of this. Let's clean up the current footpath which has safely accommodated numerous children and others over the years and has become wider in many places as property owners have cleared areas next to the street. The few problem areas can be fixed by trimming back vegetation and leveling out the pathway. The County has the responsibility to maintain its right-of-way and has failed to do so. Instead, they have let bushes grow in spots, resulting in a pedestrian traffic nuisance. A little collaboration between the County, property owners, and other interested parties will surely result in a safe pathway all the way up San Ysidro. We don't need a $392,000 project that would destroy the look and feel of Montecito. The money would be better spent to help reduce traffic flow and speeds on the road!
On Don't Put Sidewalks in Montecito