Goleta residents see accidents all the time at the maximally used roads that lead from the northbound 101 to UCSB and also to the shopping centers anchored by Costco and Target. Among those residents is Mayor Paula Perotte.
“People run into each other as traffic builds up on the offramp, and it definitely backs up onto the freeway,” she said of the Glen Annie/Storke Road offramp from the 101. “People who live here know that happens, but folks that don’t can be surprised,” she added. “They can be going pretty fast, and it backs up quickly. I’ve actually seen people get hit on the freeway,” Perotte said, calling them fender-benders for the most part.
Perotte has asked Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol — both state agencies that control and patrol the highway, ramps, and overpass at the Glen Annie/101 intersection — to report on peak traffic and start to plan on how to maximize safety.
“We don’t know the numbers,” Perotte said of the collisions she and others have witnessed, “and I just think it would be a good idea to get the facts.”
CHP spokesperson Officer Jonathan Gutierrez said that three accidents have been reported at the offramp since January 2018. Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Raquel Zick said they did not take reports on accidents there, though deputies do respond to calls.
The city controls the traffic signals at the overpass, Perotte acknowledged, which a Caltrans representative has said might need to be re-timed. “We’re definitely looking at that,” the mayor said, who recalled that the overpass was equally congested when she used it to take her children to high school a decade ago.
As a new member of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, Perotte called on Caltrans and SBCAG to help her city make the area safer. Additionally, both agencies are knowledgeable about the transportation grants that could help fund a solution, she noted. In the meantime, they’re collecting data on peak periods at the offramp and overpass to let residents consider alternate routes, avoid the area, or just be very careful as the highway has only two lanes at Glen Annie — one fast, the other occasionally immobile.