I’ve forever heard that Santa Barbara is a special place, with special people, people who care for this special place, and this special environment.

But then I read the public responses to the city staff report, the lurid details of Caltrans’s environmental impacts to city streets and intersections. Keep in mind that Caltrans only does one project, with very little variation and that Caltrans’s cookie-cutter engineering stamp is similar to what is used worldwide.

So brave and cavalier are the online commenters. The people have previously spoken. They’ve voted many times. Persuaded to vote over the years and decades for measures A, B, C, D, etc., guaranteeing this voter/developer project to completion.

So much effort with the bubbled mark of a black or blue pen. An autocratic mark willed the ordinary freeway widening project. Instantly the voter has become developer. Now it shall be done. No environmental assessment necessary.

So voters put the cart before the horse. The vote, by far, actually did not fully fund the widening project. More to the city staff report’s point, your vote did not analyze and/or identify or address any environmental impacts along with the costs to mitigate those impacts.

If any other developer were to operate in such a manner, the voter/developer would revert to rabble, in arms of clubs, torches and pitchforks, tar and feathers.

So for the cavalier voter/developer, if all you are going to do is demand a rubber stamp of your project, then how special are you and how special will this place be?


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