Project Vision Zero emphasizes Cliff Drive safety

SANTA BARBARA, CA – Cliff Drive in Santa Barbara is not known as one of Santa Barbara’s safe streets.

That’s why the city has worked hard to improve it.

A virtual public meeting called Cliff Drive Vision Zero Project Community Workshop was held on Wednesday evening.

Vision Zero is a national strategy to eliminate road deaths.

And there have been too many on Cliff Drive.

A motorcyclist had a fatal crash one afternoon near Santa Barbara City College in 2018 and three young adults lost their lives in a crash on a Tuesday night near La Marina Drive in 2016.

Safety improvement proposals include new crosswalks, traffic lights and wider sidewalks.

Acting downtown public works director Jessica Grant said Cliff Drive was formerly known as State Route 225.

It was at the time under the control of Cal Trans.

Since 2014 it has been under the control of the city of Santa Barbara and there have been a number of public meetings to gather comments.

Santa Barbara City College students, including Danielle Addicott, said crossing Cliff Drive can be difficult day or night.

“I don’t think it’s safe.”

Supervising Transportation Engineer Derrick Bailey said the project proposals include completing the Coastal Bike Path, improving active transportation options to Santa Barbara City College, and improving access to neighborhoods in adding new pedestrian crossings.

“There was very strong support for more crosswalks and traffic lights,” Bailey said. “There is very strong support for a two-way bike lane and the aesthetic should complement the Mesa neighborhood.”

Grant said a multi-use pathway would separate pedestrians and cyclists from the roadway.

The city lost a grant last year, but an effort is underway to apply for another that could bring in $24

If approved, work could begin in the fall and be completed within the next 5 years.

Webinars and open house events contribute to the grant application.

An open house will be held at La Mesa Park from 10 a.m. to noon this Saturday.

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