State Street Promenade Extended for Three More Years

••• “Nine blocks of State Street will remain closed to vehicular traffic through at least 2026, the Santa Barbara City Council decided Tuesday. […] The council also voted to direct the Ordinance Committee to create a public right-of-way parklet design program for parklets outside of the promenade [….] Private property parklets can remain throughout the city but must go through the Community Development Department for permitting approvals.” —Noozhawk

••• Before that meeting, architect Cass Ensberg “put forward some sketches that she hopes will offer the council and City of Santa Barbara staff an option that accommodates bicycles, cars, people and outdoor dining. […] Ensberg allows for the return of vehicles, but with a focus on trolleys that allow seniors and people with disabilities who may not be able to ride a bike to enjoy downtown. Bicycles would also be allowed on State Street. […] Outdoor dining is moved to the sidewalks and the planters on many of the sidewalks are removed to make way for tables.” —Noozhawk

••• Jeff Bridges and Susan Gaston paid $8.2 million for a Hope Ranch spread in January. —Dirt

••• Singer Fergie sold her Santa Ynez Valley ranch for $3.7 million to a “non-famous couple from Phoenix.” —Dirt

••• Photos of last weekend’s Summer Solstice Celebration. —Independent, Edhat, Noozhawk

••• “The Goleta City Council last week passed a resolution that would allow the city to acquire—through an eminent domain process—several properties or easements needed for completion of the San Jose Creek Multipurpose Path project. The San Jose Creek Multipurpose Path project will create a Class I/Class II bike path along San Jose Creek, from Hollister Avenue to the Atascadero Creek Bike Path at Goleta Beach.” —Noozhawk

••• A bunch of gay pride flags—along with a Hawaiian state flag (which looks more British Commonwealth than gay)—were stolen in Los Olivos. —Edhat

••• The tree of the month is the silk oak, “perhaps the oddest-looking but most amazing tree to be grown in our community. When its canopy is covered with flowers—which are colored bright orange, yellow and red and are quite curiously shaped—it is a tree that demands a second or third look, being both strangely weird and uniquely stunning.” —Edhat

••• “With its idyllic outdoor atmosphere and improving concert infrastructure, the Libbey Bowl [in Ojai] has become a go-to pop venue during the summer months.” The lineup is certainly impressive, at least for us fans of 1980s and 1990s music: Toad the Wet Sprocket, the Smithereens, the Gin Blossoms, Lyle Lovett, Chris Isaak, Judy Collins and Sophie B. Hawkins, Belinda Carlisle, Dionne Warwick, and more. —Independent


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Paul Hanneman

Why does State Street need to be open to traffic? The reason for having a walk street is to be able to safely walk while enjoying the spectacular architecture and mature landscaping and to be able to casually meander into stores, bars and restaurants. And frankly since the street has been closed to vehicles, I have never had a desire or reason to drive on State. I have also not heard that there have been issues with emergency vehicles there. Clearly there are design approaches to allow for bike riding while securing pedestrians – this happens everywhere in Europe. Parking is certainly not an issue as people can park on each cross street and at multiple parking lots behind the buildings of state street. In fact, Santa Barbara has more parking than any city I know. I can design a plan that would work for this and am happy to send sketches. Why is the city paying a firm $800K for the unworkable plans we’ve seen to date? Get on it SB City Counsel! Stop wasting time and move the project forward with what the majority of Santa Barbarans want – a beautiful and safe walk street. It has already revitalized much of the area!!

Sue Sadler

Agree re the parking. I’m from the UK and I’ve never seen another city with so much parking and at such a reasonable cost.