Hesitation Highway

Council Not Ready to Assume Control of Hwy 225

Santa Barbara’s city council shied away from immediately assuming control of Highway 225, the 4.6 mile of arterial that runs from Castillo and Montecito streets on one end to the Earl Warren Showgrounds on the other, citing the high costs of doing so. Instead, they voted 6-1 to keep negotiating with Caltrans. City officials have been negotiating with state transportation moguls for greater control over Highway 225 for years now; state officials, promoted by financial considerations, have recently expressed a willingness to cede what’s traditionally been a state highway. But, for the deal to work, City Hall would have to assume hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual maintenance costs, hundreds of thousands more in one-time capital costs and repairs, not to mention heightened legal exposure. While many councilmembers expressed keen interest in making the deal happen, a majority argued the time is not yet now.


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