Under threat of rain, community stakeholders came out Wednesday, December 17th to celebrate the recent Federal Safe Routes to School grant that was announced to build a ½ mile decomposed granite pathway along the west side of San Ysidro Road from Montecito Union School to North Jameson Road. This path has been a collaborative effort from the start, according to many of the event’s speakers, which included County Supervisor Salud Carbajal, Montecito Union School Superintendent Dick Douglas, Montecito Association President Bill Palladini, and Montecito Trails Foundation President John Venable, who has committed to maintaining the path. Appreciation of the process and the partnerships between many entities, which also included County Public Works staff Matt Dobberteen and Bert Johnson, was echoed by many of those in attendance. As noted by COAST’s Eva Inbar, “the project was based on a remarkable collaboration between many parties” including previous COAST Executive Director Katharine Bechtel who worked on the project.
This path will not only provide a safer place for students on their way to school but as MUS parent and project initiator Stephen Murdoch noted, “the path will link pedestrians of every age to Miramar Beach, Upper and Lower Manning Parks, Laguna Blanca Lower School and the shopping area of the Upper Village”.
Supervisor Carbajal was one of several who stressed that we should celebrate the success of the San Ysidro path and use the momentum to move forward in identifying other locations where we can focus our efforts next. COAST’s newest project, Santa Barbara Walks, will be working to improve pedestrian access to schools, parks, community centers and other public places throughout the South Coast.
The event was a great reminder to the community of the positive impacts that are possible when we work together towards a common goal.