What’s Happening With Sola Street?

Have you tried driving on Sola Street lately? It’s no longer a two-way street from end to end, thanks to barriers that divert traffic at Santa Barbara Street and De La Vina Street. What’s the goal here? —B.

The goal is to create a safer crosstown bike path. “The diverters lower traffic volumes along Sola Street so that cyclists can comfortably share the roadway without the need to implement marked bike lanes—which would have led to parking loss,” explains a traffic engineer for the city’s Public Works department. And there are new traffic signals at the intersections of Sola and Santa Barbara/De La Vina.

The diverters make driving on Sola confusing, which may indeed lower traffic volume, if only because you’re better off avoiding the street entirely. Try to follow along….

If you’re driving north on Santa Barbara Street, you can no longer turn either direction onto Sola Street.

If you’re driving west on Sola, you must now turn right onto Santa Barbara Street. And bicyclists are encouraged to use the cutout on the left side of Sola Street.

Drivers headed east on Sola, meanwhile, are forced to turn left onto Santa Barbara Street. The bike-lane markings have yet to be painted.

The intersection of Sola and De La Vina works more or less the same, but reversed, because De La Vina is a southbound street.

As a result of these barriers, anyone looking to park on the other side of Sola Street is going to have to pull a U-turn—likely a three-point turn—in the middle of the street. Watch out for cyclists!

Got a question you’d like investigated? Email [email protected] or text 917-209-6473.


Previous Burning Questions:
••• Why are trees being cut down above the San Ysidro Ranch?
••• Why is this lot on Milpas Street still vacant?
••• Where else do cruise ships that visit here go?
••• What’s happening with the Pepper Tree Inn?
••• What is this large memorial in Ennisbrook?
••• What’s the large building under construction next to Highway 101?
••• Who bought the former St. Mary’s seminary—and why?
••• What will happen to the SBPD building when the new building is completed?
••• How does the city decide to mark bike lanes?
••• What’s the story with this house on W. Cota Street?
••• What are those little houses on Santa Barbara Street?
••• Which Highway 101 exits are getting renamed?
••• Is the Music Academy of the West adding pedestrian gates?
••• Why does the Coast Village Road median look so bad?
••• What’s the point of this light pole near the freeway?
••• Why are the city’s parking lots scanning license plates?
••• What’s inside Paseo Nuevo’s State Street tower?
••• What’s the point of these markings on Laguna Street?
••• Why is there a giant red shoe off Highway 101?
••• Are we no longer allowed on the SBHS baseball field?
••• What does “SBTP” on this post mean?
••• What’s up with the “no e-bike” signs on local trails?
••• Why is Franceschi House in a holding pattern?
••• Why is there a train station inside this State Street storefront?
••• What’s happening with this derelict house in Summerland?
••• Why is there wood on some power lines?
••• Can you explain how sundowner winds work?
↓↓↓ Why is there a pressure cooker attached to this utility pole?
••• What’s this concrete ramp thing on East Beach?
••• Why does “USA” get written on the street?
••• What are those poles in the ocean near the Ritz-Carlton Bacara?
••• Are people really allowed to set fires in the middle of Montecito?
••• What’s the story with the half-finished lot next to the Montecito Country Mart?


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And they’re taking away two blocks of parking on Castillo Street even though the city encourages people to build and not require parking where are those cars going to park? At my count it was 35 cars


That Micheltorena bypass on Castillo seems to be going the opposite direction of traffic on that block. And I still see way more bikes on Micheltorena than in any of those new designated bike areas. Very poorly planned out. Just like what they did on Gillespie, that no one seems to use because that street is so far back. It is all very confusing, especially for cars


I’m all for bike-safe infrastructure but this just seems poorly planned. I’ve watched multiple people at the Santa Barbara street intersection just plow past the do not enter or wrong way signs. It’s confusing to look at and just odd.


Just like the bicycle lane they just finished painting on State Street. I don’t understand the meandering path it takes if someone wants to add a parklet in front of their business it turns out it’s in the bike lane now, so are they going to redo the whole bike lane to accommodate a new Parklet Poorly planned this city council sure likes to waste money


Pretty poor implementation! Extremely confusing and doesn’t keep things simple. Thanks for digging into it though.


I live just off of Sola Street and I hate it
Who approved this ridiculous plan? I don’t remember any open forums. Did I totally miss this?

Justin Gunn

When you say “bike lanes that no one will use” I can only assume you yourself do not use a bike and cannot imagine that anyone else does. As an avid cyclist who lives in this neighborhood and bikes down Sola multiple times every day, I welcome the new layout and safety features that come with it. It was always daunting to have to dash across Garden, Santa Barbara and Anacapa. Now it is safe to accomplish, with the addition of the new four way stops and signal lights, especially when biking with children. I would encourage you to open your mind a bit to see that your experiences may differ from those of others.


Justin, your assumption was wrong as I do bike around SB with my family. My observation was with the many others in SB that do not follow the rules or use bike lanes at all. Just look at State Street as an example.


Of course many of us are welcoming this change!! No taxpayer money wasted at all. This has nothing to do with the State Street issue.


As someone who bikes this road a couple times a week, it’s great! Navigating busy Micheltorena St was nerve wracking.


I applaud the recent investment in bike infrastructure – let’s keep it up! That said, I think this project is an example of how trying to accommodate multiple interests results in a watered-down solution that won’t fully achieve its potential (see also: one-way traffic in front of the Granada).

I hope there are lots of people like Heidi who use it, but I think the answer to encouraging bike use is separated bike lanes (like State Street 101 underpass). I would have preferred the alternative plan that had bike lanes on Micheltorena, but I’ll take this!


High speed traffic has tripled in front of the playground and Alice Keck Park. It is becoming increasingly unsafe for parents to jaywalk across the street the access the park.