An accident on Saturday evening, January 17, makes a compelling case for undergrounding utility power poles and live wires. A motorist struck and knocked down a power pole on Alameda Padre Serra at Cleveland Elementary School that completely blocked the heavily trafficked thoroughfare all Saturday evening and into Sunday morning. Aside from knocking power out to over 1,000 residents for several hours, the bigger and more compelling issues are the live power lines and the large utility pole that completely blocked APS, including access to Cleveland Elementary School.

What would have happened if live wires and the power pole were in the street in front of Cleveland Elementary on a school day?

What would happen in a large earthquake if several power poles and their live wires were to fall and make access routes all over Santa Barbara impassable?

We can’t wait for a devastating event to take place that risks the lives of Santa Barbara residents. It’s time for action on a large scale toward undergrounding utility poles and lines in Santa Barbara now!

Santa Barbara needs to work with Edison to implement a plan to underground the whole community over time. Santa Barbara imposes a requirement on homeowners doing construction to their homes to pay to underground from their homes to the power pole. Santa Barbara also needs to impose a requirement on Edison to eliminate the poles over time.

Santa Barbara should not ignore this very critical safety issue!


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