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Recommendations expected soon on the State Street promenade look going forward

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The somewhat experimental changes to downtown Santa Barbara in what's become the State Street promenade continue to be reviewed going forward.

The State Street Advisory Committee is discussing a variety of options including more uses in the 400 block between Gutierrez and Haley Streets. That will likely involve adjusting traffic circulation patterns.

The committee has also been asked to review fire department access in all blocks where the promenade has parklets and patios now out in the street for dining.

A code requirement for a 20-foot access down the middle of the street, and room for the ladder truck right next to tall buildings is expected to be enforced by the City Council. It will be discussed later this month.

About 25 businesses will need to change their outdoor business facilities from the center of State Street for the fire access lane.

Going forward, options on how parades could be held again in the area will also be discussed. Currently some of the spaces between outside dining areas are less than 15 feet. Portable outside dining areas has been suggested and those structures could be moved for special events and cleaning projects.

There have also been concerns about suggested changes including returning Victoria Street from Chapala to State Street back to two-way traffic.

The committee is made up of a variety of elected officials, business leaders, interested community members and those who are involved in the arts.

Their recommendations will be forwarded to the Santa Barbara City Council.

Many restaurant owners have said the outside dining options on the city street have been a lifesaver during the COVID-19 restriction when inside dining was restricted or banned.

The City Council will consider adopting the Economic Recovery Extension and Transition Ordinance (ERETO) on January 25th.

By June, the committee and council hope to have a special consultant on board to assist in sorting out the promenade issues.

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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