I just want to remind everyone that our local downtown businesses need your support. If you want to see a true promenade, as most community members have said they do, you need to tell our Mayor and City Council.  The ongoing conversation needs to change about what is happening to our downtown. We keep hearing it’s failing and that we have to bring back cars and that speeding and reckless bikes have taken over.

The truth is our downtown is beautiful. I walk the street/promenade almost daily from my work and see people meandering around, shopping, eating and drinking outside.  I don’t see a lot of homeless and feel very safe. The shade of the trees is nice too.

I spent the last two weekends in two very different downtown areas, Westwood in Los Angeles (blocks away from UCLA) and Ventura’s Main Street promenade. Westwood is doing their best but they have lost most of their retail and the sidewalks are dirty with plenty of homeless roaming around screaming or making film deals very loudly and constantly. Ironically there is plenty of cars and people so that has not helped their situation.

On the other hand Ventura has done an amazing job of creating a promenade by eliminating cars and bikes (sorry bikes I like you but you are too hard to control in a pedestrian area) and having small creative retail stores, art shows and art sellers out on the promenade. They had music the day I was there and it was very busy and people were definitely having a good time and spending money.

Let’s do the same here and go forward with new concepts of community and energy for our downtown. There is housing coming and I believe the Master Plan is also being unveiled and hopefully it will have some fun concepts that all of us can enjoy.

If you are interested and care to give your opinion, now is the time!  Email your opinion to: SBcitycouncil@santabarbaraca@gov and come downtown and enjoy our promenade.

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