Three Designs Proposed to Revamp the State Street Promenade
By the edhat staff
The State Street Advisory Committee reviewed three options provided by consultants to redesign the State Street Promenade.
The consulting company, MIG Inc., is reportedly receiving $800,000 from the City of Santa Barbara to hammer out this remodel, but attendees at the May 24 meeting say they didn't nail it at all.
The Advisory Committee and community members met in the Faulkner Gallery at the Santa Barbara Central Library for over three hours and listened to representatives from MIG.
During their full presentation, they stated the most frequent community concerns centered around emphasizing pedestrians on State Street, flexibility and adaptability, safe bicycle access, diverse public seating, space for art/performances, and family friendly. There also must be emergency vehicle access and ADA compliance.
MIG classified State Street in three districts; Arts (1300-1000 blocks), Civic/Celebration (900-700 blocks), and Entertainment (600-300 blocks). They then explained their three options for the enhanced thoroughfare are: Flat and Flexible, Multi-Modal, and Hybrid.
1. Flat and Flexible
"Flat and Flexible" option (courtesy)
This option consists of a curbless street from the 500-1200 blocks, that is generally closed to cars and maximizes activation and programming. This means the includes of spaces like interactive art, cafe seating, outdoor kiosks, and designated play areas.
When the street is open this could offer a one-way vehicle lane for commercial and emergency vehicles, and/or shuttles.
The renderings of this option depict a separated bicycle lane, outdoor dining, increased pedestrian walkways, and play areas.
Multi-Modal option (courtesy)
This format includes a curbed street from the 500-1200 blocks that is generally open to cars allowing for increased transportation options.
A one-way vehicle lane will be available throughout with the ability for curb extensions in some areas to allow for a variety of uses such as outdoor dining or art installations.
This design will be primarily open to vehicles and shuttles, with a separated bicycle lane on the street.
3. Mixed / Hybrid
Hybrid option (courtesy)
The third and final option is a mix of the first two and shows the 500-600 blocks with the multi-modal design, the 700-900 blocks with the curbless "flat and flexible" design, and the 1000-1300 blocks back to the multi-modal.
The 400 block would separataly have a two-way street with some curb extensions and the 1300 block would retain curbs with the option of one-way or two-way vehicle traffic.
The bulk of the frustration seemed to concern bicycles and pedestrian safety with some community members stating they want cyclists off State Street entirely and re-routed to Chapala and Anacapa Streets. While MIG presented this their presentation as "not recommended," City staff reiterated it was not an option due to traffic management.
The State Street Advisory Committee will discuss the options and transpoortation suggestions at their next meeting. The design concepts will continue to undergo evaluation and edits throughout the summer with the final plan expected to be completed in the Fall and submitted to the City Council late 2023/early 2024 for approval.