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Archive for 2008

San Ysidro Path a Reality with COAST’s Help

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.

Current Efforts

Community Pedestrian Safety Training Workshop

Join us Saturday, November 14 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Franklin Neighborhood Center for a FREE workshop to help make the lower Eastside safer and more pleasant for walking.  The half-day training is for local neighborhood citizens and safety advocates concerned about pedestrian safety and wanting to identify strategies for improving it. Register here.franklin-center-w-bus

The training includes:

  • Expert presenters
  • Interactive training sessions
  • Small group discussion
  • Walkability Assessment

Registration required.  Click here to register.

Visit here for more information.  Brought to Santa Barbara by the UC Berkeley Traffic Safety Center, California Walks, and the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Ongoing Efforts

Santa Barbara Walks has been busy hitting the streets as we have been involved with a number of recent projects.  Click on the links below for more of the details of what we’re doing to make walking safer in the South Coast.

Helping develop the City of Santa Barbara’s General Plan Update

- Supporting the reconfiguration of the intersection

at State & De La Vina Streets

- Improving Cliff Drive on the Mesa

- Mapping projects in various neighborhoods

We are always interested in your ideas and turn to the community to help understand what the specific needs are.  If you have suggestions, concerns, or just want to be part of making the South Coast more pedestrian friendly, please email our Project Director, Courtney Dietz or call us at 875.3562.

Vanpool speeds into 2nd year

Check out the article by Steve Pent in the December 7th Santa Maria Times
(courtesy of EdHat).

Santa Barbara City Councilmember Grant House’s comments in response to the article:

COAST’s work on Unmet Transit Needs (UTN) in North Santa Barbara County
revealed the need for this kind of van service stemming from farmers’
unwillingness to provide rides to backbreaking work in the fields due
primarily to liability concerns.  Public transportation seemed unable to
deliver regular transit service to frequently changing seasonal
destinations.

After providing white papers on Unmet Transit Needs to the County from 2002
to 2006, the hard work of project leader and board member Alex Pujo
uncovered models in other rural counties, idle vans sitting in neighboring
San Luis Obispo County, and possible sources of funding to initiate the
program. Melinda Burns, then with the Santa Barbara News Press, reported
extensively on the workers living in Santa Maria.  The McCune Foundation
provided funding to assist in the research and outreach for COAST’s UTN
project which also resulted in the start up of The Breeze bus service
between Lompoc, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and Santa Maria.

The program has been modeled after the successful farmworker van program in
Kings County.  The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors with leadership
from Supervisor Salud Carbajal supported using vans with drivers recruited
and trained from the affected population.  A win-win for all involved, we
wish the project continued success.

Grant House
Councilmember
City of Santa Barbara
ghouse@santabarbaraca.gov
805 564-5319

Click here to see the Santa Maria Times article

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4th Annual Train Party a Success!

This year’s Train Party was a decided success, the delightful company and festive entertainment made for an evening that was truly a celebration of transportation and its advocates and was attended by more than 55 people.

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