Representatives of Union Pacific Railroad were decidedly blunt during last week’s meeting with the City of Santa Barbara’s subcommittee on commuter rail feasibility, explaining that investing in such a line would cause their more lucrative freight business to suffer. Councilmembers said the 17,000 people commuting from Ventura to Santa Barbara daily would benefit from such a service, as imminent freeway construction would worsen gridlock. UP officials agreed to consider rescheduling existing train services to better accommodate commuter schedules.
Supervisor Joni Gray is trying to keep open a road that runs from Vandenberg Air Force Base to the beach at Point Sal. Base officials, citing the danger of landslides, announced on 4/11 that they had permanently closed the road with barricades, reinforced fences, and “no trespassing” signs. A beloved North County beach destination, Point Sal was, by tradition, closed only during missile launches.