Open Letter to the Historic Landmarks Committee
There is too much government in the country in general and in Santa Barbara in particular. With as many problems this area faces, the idea of wasting time and tax money to fix a problem that doesn’t exist is unforgivable. There are plenty of problems to address that need immediate attention; the rock bridge is not one of them. If there were not federal funds involved this would be a no brainer and would probably not even be addressed. There is no reason for people in Lawrence, Kansas to supply funds to fix a bridge in Santa Barbara that is not even broken!
I have lived here all my life, having been born in Mission Canyon, so I can remember when there were no paved roads up here and the bridge and that area in general makes for an excellent entrance to the canyon. The only problem here is there are too many people, and it is high time that issue be addressed. We continually hear how we should conserve water, but apartments and houses are in a building boom. Too many developers making a lot of money by developing housing and using the already short supply of water. If you want to address a problem why don’t you address that and the homeless instead of wasting your time analyzing and trying to get federal funds to fix a bridge that isn’t broken?
Reject all three bridge and all three road option proposals by the Bridge Team / City Transportation Department. The community never wanted our Historic Landmark Bridge altered. We wanted this irreplaceable treasure to be maintained in good condition and repaired if needed, not widened, not lengthened, not demolished and replaced. Saving this historic bridge in good condition through timely maintenance and repair is the duty of the Transportation Department and the Historic Landmarks Commission / historian.
The proposals all devastate the historic, safe, bucolic, intimate entry into Mission Canyon without adding safety because this is already a Vision Zero corridor.
The bridge is structurally sound. The historic walls are part of the bridge. The 100-year-old sycamore trees and oaks along the creek are needed during climate change more than ever.
Please reject all the Bridge Team proposals. We need minimal change to this most historic area that has the greatest historic integrity in Santa Barbara. We need some strategic plantings to keep traffic slow, keep the planet cool, and people in good spirits. Drop this campaign to get federal funds to fix something that is not a problem.
A good start would be to solve the homeless problems; specifically put them at the old army reserve on the corner of State and Las Positas, or/and send them to Camp Roberts in counties to our north. I spent some time there and if ever there was an incentive to get and education, get off your butt, and get a job, a stay at Camp Roberts should do the trick. Possibly that move would get national attention in the media, and then people would have second thoughts if that was the way they were treated when they came to this area to be taken care of.
If the bridge project were on the ballot and it had to be financed out of local tax money how much support would you have? None!
The support material cites the accidents that have occurred in the area, and there have been few, but two of the accidents were cause by stupid people driving too fast with too heavy a load on their trucks. A trailer full of cement does not stop quickly, and that is why the truck ran into and demolished the recently replaced telephone pole on the corner. Replace and or/rebuilding the bridge will not stop stupid people from doing dumb things!
Maybe a sign with an arrow would warn of the upcoming curve; and although that is hardly necessary as most of the people driving the road are aware of what is ahead of them.
Reject the Bridge Team’s bridge, road, environment, and safety-destroying proposals. They are wrong! They need to address needed problems mentioned above and not find something to work on that doesn’t need attention. They don’t suffer from not enough to do; they suffer from not enough direction to fix things that need fixing.