The City Council meeting on Sept. 18 was a big victory for COAST and the Eastside. The council has prioritized the Eastside for immediate improvements in lighting, pedestrian crossings, and sidewalk infills. They also authorized a long term plan that is neighborhood-comprehensive to improve the traffic and pedestrian walkways. The city will make immediate operational improvements, so residents will begin seeing improvements quickly. After the near-term “just-do-it” projects the neighborhood will participate in more comprehensive planning for larger projects that will require grant funding. Essentially, this will be a two-step process.
COAST got a lot of accolades from the mayor and various council members for our work in the Eastside and for engaging a population that normally does not participate.
A big thank you goes out to Project Director Caitlin Carlson, for her work in the Eastside and for putting together this video that was shown at last night’s meeting:
Thank you to Ana Rico, our organizer, for her tireless effort to engage Eastside residents, Cynthia White, principal of Cleveland School who came out and spoke, the McCune Foundation and the Fund for Santa Barbara who are funding our work in the Eastside, the Milpas Community Association, and the Neighborhood Advisory Council who partnered with us, and Cathy Murillo and Grant House who have championed our cause and all of the council members who voted for this – unanimously!
Other neighborhoods such as the Mesa will soon follow. This as the turning point where neighborhoods and people on foot and on bikes will once more get the attention they deserve!