Please reject all three bridge and all three road option proposals by the Mission Creek Bridge Team / City Transportation Department.
The community never wanted to our Historic Landmark Bridge altered; they only request that the bridge be maintained in good condition and repaired if needed — not widened, not lengthened, and definitely not demolished or replaced. To do any of these alterations would create safety issues due to cars and bicyclists/ebikes, speeding through the proposed straightening and widening of the road.
What we really need is crosswalks at APS, West Mountain Drive, and East Los Olivos to and from upper Mission Historical Park. We also need minimal change to this most historic area that has the greatest historic integrity in Santa Barbara.
Additional Points to Consider:
* There is no reason to demolish Mission Creek Bridge. It is a local, state. and nationally recognized historic resource.
* The existing road configuration is safe. There have been no fatalities or major traffic accidents.
* The existing bridge and road configuration provide natural traffic calming. A new bridge and roadway would speed traffic up, resulting in more severe accidents.
* There are inexpensive and non-intrusive “fixes” that can be implemented without impacting the historic, scenic, and natural character of the area.
* The Historic Landmarks Commission does not support any of the bridge or roadway reconfiguration plans that have been proposed.
* Mission Creek Bridge has experienced no earthquake damage or flooding issues in its more than 130 years.
* Removal of sycamore trees would be a great loss to the area.
This bridge is a city landmark named the Mission Creek Bridge, 51C0051 (CA bridge number), according to all official records not the Mission Canyon Bridge (the City Transportation Department’s Bridge Team misleading name). The Mission Creek Bridge is the oldest bridge in Southern California and in Santa Barbara County. It is also on the California Historic Bridge Inventory and on the State Historic Resources list. It was also declared eligible along with the attached walls and the Oliver Trough/Fountain for the National Register of Historic Places in February 2020. This is a very impressive national distinction that must not be thrown away.
The bridge structure has been deemed safe per the federal inspection of March 2021. We only need some minimal, less damaging alterations such as stop signs at Las Encinas and crosswalks at APS, West Mountain Drive, and Los Olivos to and from upper Mission Historical Park. We want the speed limit kept low to slow traffic and to maintain the peaceful calm of this greatest of historic areas of Santa Barbara.
There is no reason for the City of Santa Barbara to spend millions of dollars on a problem that doesn’t exist. I ask that you reject these devastating proposals to save our Mission Creek Bridge and contribute to the integrity and preservation of this historical treasure.