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State Street changes could include the return of a shuttle service

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Santa Barbara City Council will consider recommendations Tuesday that could bring a shuttle service or people mover to downtown again.

The council has been reviewing recommendations to explore new ideas while the overall State St. masterplan for the promenade is worked out. That has been a months-long project for the city staff and community leaders.

The council agenda is calling for an update on these recommendations:

  1. Deep Cleaning of the Master Plan project area;
  2. Implement Temporary Bike Lanes in the Master Plan project area;
  3. Introduce Drop Off/Pick Up Zone at Granada Theatre; and
  4. Introduce a Shuttle/People Mover on State Street.

The annual cost for the deep cleaning is expected to be $550,000. Those funds will, in part, come from parking fees.

The discussion has been split between opening the street up again, now that the COVID pandemic crisis has subsided, or keeping it closed to car traffic. In recent meetings, a suggestion to open some blocks, and make the promenade smaller was brought up.

The current description of the promenade has been Haley St. to Victoria St. plus the next block north (1300 block) and the first block of west Victoria. The block between Victoria and Sola St. has a mix of cars, people, parking and parklets.

"I think there's work that needs to be done. The  right enhancement of lighting, the green scape  a place that people will want to stroll.  I am walking my dog, " said resident Mary Hoffman.

Mark Wieneke was strolling State St. and said, "you can't make everyone happy  but I think it sounds like right now there's a lot of controversy, I'm not real confident. "

Another option with the future plans would be to open up some streets and keep others closed. Ted Roche said, "I think there is enough room above and below it.  Ya know it really is not that much of an inconvenience. I am in favor of enhancing it and making it even cooler. "

When asked about an electric shuttle Matthew Holm said, "the shuttle will be a good idea for sure I like it but no cars."

There were an unusually high number of young people on bikes downtown Monday because of a change in some school schedules.

Jonathan Gallardo stopped his bike to talk about riding safety. "That's what my mom always told me. You have to share the road with someone."

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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