About 280 of the City of Santa Barbara’s 1,050 employees either
telecommute or schedule their workdays to avoid driving during rush
hour traffic. This Tuesday, city councilmembers reviewed a report
indicating such arrangements are popular with managers and workers
alike and cogitated on how to increase the ratio to 30 percent.
Responding to increasing traffic congestion and the escalating
costs associated with congestion relief, Councilmember Brian
Barnwell indicated he wanted City Hall to pursue “flextime” work
scheduling far more aggressively. Traffic engineers estimate that
if 2,000 motorists could be removed from the freeway during peak
hour traffic, there’d be no more weekday congestion.

A suicide barrier will be erected along the Cold Spring Canyon
Arch Bridge on Highway 154. CalTrans officials estimate the
structure will cost $1 million and will take two years to complete.
It is not yet known what form the barrier will take, but one
possible design is a series of six-foot, curving wrought-iron bars.
An average of one person per year jumps from the bridge.

An effort to keep the Rancho San Marcos Golf Course dry went
down to defeat this week. Owned by Beanie Baby mogul Ty Warner and
located on Highway 154, the course was first developed 15 years ago
on the condition that no alcohol would be served to guests, for
fear that imbibing golfers would make the twisting mountain road
more dangerous. On Tuesday, Warner’s representatives told the
county supervisors that Rancho San Marcos was an economic disaster
and that some investors had gone bankrupt. Doreen Farr,
representing the Women’s Environmental Watch and the Santa Ynez
Valley Alliance, who had filed the appeal, was the lone dissenting
voice in a sea of supporters. Supervisors voted 4-0, with Susan
Rose abstaining, to approve a beer and wine license pending
environmental review.


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