Souce: City of Santa Barbara
The California Transportation Commission recently awarded the City of Santa Barbara $15,000,000 to construct the Las Positas/Modoc Off-Street Bike Path. “This bike path project has been in the City’s plans since 1974. It is a legacy project for our community and is also a benefit to Californians by completing a gap in the Pacific Coast Trail,” said Public Works Director Rebecca J. Bjork.
The grant money will be used to construct 2.6 miles of Class I (multiuse) path along Las Positas and Modoc Roads for bicyclists, runners, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. The project will provide key connections to local and regional destinations, schools (La Cumbre Junior High, SBCC), parks, and the beach. The project begins along Modoc Road at the western City limit (Calle de los Amigos), traveling to Las Positas. It then continues south for approximately 1.6 miles along Las Positas Road to Cliff Drive and Hendry’s Beach. The Las Positas Valley provides some of Santa Barbara’s best open space, with Arroyo Burro Creek and the Mesa coastal hills framing the scenery. It has a regional park (Elings) and a popular beach (Hendry’s). But Las Positas is also one of the most uncomfortable places to walk or bike because of high roadway speeds. Severe injuries and death have occurred along the corridor for both cyclists and pedestrians. The project will provide the community a safe way to experience the scenic beauty and connect cyclists and pedestrians safely to work, school, and recreation.
The project is made possible by the State of California’s SB1 funding, which is a recent gas tax added by state legislators. SB1 (the gas tax) has been placed on the November state ballot for a proposed repeal. If California voters repeal the gas tax, this project will no longer have funding and will not proceed.
The final design of the project is nearly complete. If the gas tax on this November’s ballot is not repealed by voters, the project is expected to complete construction by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021.