What’s New in Goleta?

Work on the creek.
Silvia Uribe

Living in Goleta, we don’t always notice all the construction that happens over time in our city, but the reality is that there have been a number of new things in Goleta in the last few months that have made Goleta a more dynamic, safer, more welcoming, and earth-friendlier city.

Silvia Uribe

For those who have not been paying attention to all the changes our city has undergone lately, here’s a list of five things that I can remember off the top of my head, including of course, my humble evaluation of these changes:

Winchester overpass
Silvia Uribe

1) The new Winchester overpass — It is great! Wider and with sidewalks, so everyone can cross the freeway in a much safer way. But turning from the overpass to the northbound on-ramp is a little cumbersome during the day, and trying to do it at night is plain dangerous, to say the least. This point is, there’s a screaming need for better signage, or a terrible accident is imminent.

2) Montecito Bank and Trust — This is the “new bank on the block,” if you know what I mean. Its building is nice and smartly located at the very corner of Storke Avenue and Hollister Avenue. I’m saddened, though, that it covers part of the mountain views as you come in from North Hollister Avenue. I know that things have to change, and the landscape of the city is not the exception. But, due to the fact that I grew up as a city girl, around tall buildings only, I wrestle with the romantic idea of keeping the open views of the mountains, and the citrus groves, which my family and I have enjoyed during our 14 years here in Goleta.

3) You have probably seen traffic cones and very tall cranes along the 217 Highway — You will probably see them around for quite some time. Yes, they are there because the San Jose Creek Restoration Project is ongoing. The City of Goleta is preparing for the installation of precast concrete panels up and down both sides of the creek. In the end, the creek will be deeper and easier for fish to pass.

Please remember: Safety is first! Obey all traffic signs, and remember that this is an active construction site. Do not try to get too close to it.

Camino Real Hotel

4) The Camino Real Hotel on Storke Avenue and Phelps Road — This hotel is going up fast, and pretty soon it will be ready, I’m sure. We know that the demand for rooms during graduation time at UCSB and Dos Pueblos High surpasses existing capacity, but I wonder if the flux of tourists in the area will be there throughout the year. The owners seem to think that they will have no vacancies for the most part. They must know better than I do, and I wish them well.

Los Carneros roundabout

5) This construction hasn’t started yet, but Goleta will have its first roundabout in the months to come — It will be located at the intersection of Los Carneros Road and Calle Real. This will definitely be an improvement on the dangerous three-way intersection there now, which has an elevated number of side-impact collisions. However, I know by experience that using roundabouts is not always an easy thing for everyone. If you missed the workshop that the city offered but would like information on how to appropriately and safely use a roundabout, don’t hesitate to email the project manager, Rosemary Gaglione. Her email is rgaglione@cityofgoleta.org.

It is amazing to me how little-by-little our city takes its own form and develops its own personality and culture. I’m so thankful for those who had the vision of a vibrant city and worked really hard for the City of Goleta’s incorporation. I have the pleasure of knowing several of these visionaries, starting with our city’s first mayor, Margaret Connell. Some of the others are also well known to the community through their participation in government, but there are some unsung heroes who, through their silent but constant work, have shaped our city’s future.

We can all contribute to it by taking care of this great city and making sure the right people lead our way in the years to come.


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