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Community outreach underway to create a new look for State Street in downtown Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - There will be several outreach efforts taking place in the coming weeks to get community input for the future of State Street in downtown Santa Barbara.

This week two events will be held. State Street Master Planner Tess Harris said, the sessions will take place in the space formerly held by Beans Barbecue at 1230 State St.

The first will be Nov. 3 from 12:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. that will be followed by Nov. 4 from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

It is all part of the State Street master plan underway now, and involving both city staff, the community and a special team of consultants.

Last Thursday during the Harvest Fest a special table was set up to promote the event and get some preliminary ideas.

Those passing by could comment on what they wanted to see in the way of more activities or shopping experiences.

Part of the input the city is looking for is whether or not the parklets should stay and if so what should they look like. The city is also looking at compatibility with the existing architecture.

On Monday afternoon, those strolling the area or enjoying lunch were well aware of the changes being discussed.
One group felt there should be a plan first and then a design.
They said the COVID crisis, resulted in a hastily put together emergency plan to keep the businesses from failing when they were not allowed to have guests inside. That created a promenade and outside seating area with a mixed look ranging from rope dividers, to twisted up light strands and some heavily fortifide structures.

Part time resident Mike Gallagher said, "they did the best they could. It served its purpose during the pandemic to keep these people active and in business." He wanted to see the street opened again, and have an electric shuttle as it did prior to the pandemic.


Safety with all vehicles in the same  area was also a priority.


"I've got the green light going this way. People are  walking, skateboard  you name it, right through the red light.  I see it a lot ," said resident Fred Bedel.

Colleen McCamy says the new look to the downtown area is a welcome change for her.
"It's nice to have like the open space for walking and people to enjoy the no cars on

State Street is great. Less cars is better  for communities  for walkability and bikeability and alternative transportation."

For more information go to: State Street Master Plan

(watch for more details, photos and video here later today)

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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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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