Leaders Kicked Off the Olive Mill Roundabout Project on Friday

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Leaders Kicked Off the Olive Mill Roundabout Project on Friday
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By the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG)

[On Friday], community leaders and elected officials celebrated the kick-off for the Olive Mill Roundabout project. Construction will begin late November.

The Olive Mill Roundabout will improve traffic flow at the intersection at Olive Mill Road, Coast Village Road, North Jameson Lane, the northbound Highway 101 off-ramp at Olive Mill Road, and the southbound Highway 101 on-ramp at Olive Mill Road.

Construction is scheduled from November 2022 through summer 2023. This project is being delivered early due to regional funding programmed by Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG).

“We know that this intersection has needed to be updated for many years. The various streets and freeway ramps that intersect it have made it a challenge that I’ve heard about from Central Coast residents all the way back to when I was a County Supervisor for this area,” said Congressman Salud Carbajal. “I am pleased that we are moving forward with a solution to address Montecito’s mobility needs. As with the federal funds that helped this project get off the ground, I will continue to work in Congress to deliver the investments needed to improve the commutes and meet the transportation needs of every Central Coast resident.”

“Our City staff have been working for years to get a roundabout design that fits within three different jurisdictions – the City, County, and Caltrans. It is no small feat and will serve our community for many decades to come,” said Santa Barbara Mayor and SBCAG Director Randy Rowse.

The roundabout features improvements for motorists with a single lane traffic circle designed to 20 mph. Bicyclists will be able to either take the lane or dismount and use the crosswalks on the mountain side. Pedestrians will have a nicer walk with enhanced crosswalks, median islands between each direction of travel, new landscaping, and new signs and lighting.

“We have long known that this project is a priority for the County, SBCAG, and the City of Santa Barbara," said First District County Supervisor and SBCAG Director Das Williams. “In addition to being the right improvement in the right place, our agencies have come together to make this a priority and get this roundabout built and functional before the freeway construction begins. Anyone who uses this intersection on a regular basis can see it functions very poorly, and would be a disaster to leave as is during freeway construction.”


Caltrans District 5 Director Tim Gubbins

“Caltrans is pleased to continue our close working relationship with SBCAG, the County, and the City of Santa Barbara to oversee construction of this local improvement. This really is a beautifully designed roundabout and will enhance traffic circulation for the local streets as well as the busy Highway 101 on- and off-ramps at Olive Mill Road,” added California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 5 Director Tim Gubbins.

"Thanks to the leadership of SBCAG Board of Directors the project team is able to construct this roundabout before the Highway 101 segment in Montecito," said SBCAG Executive Director Marjie Kirn. "Since the freeway and local streets work together, getting this roundabout functional prior to starting additional construction in the area makes sense. The community will benefit from this roundabout for years to come and especially while the project team builds the surrounding freeway and additional local street improvements."

The Olive Mill Roundabout is a $9 million project funded by regional funding programmed by SBCAG.

Construction on the Olive Mill Roundabout will begin late November. Crews will close the northbound off-ramp at Olive Mill Road and the southbound on-ramp at Olive Mill Road to allow space for the contractor to work and to reduce the amount of traffic moving through the construction area. Please expect to see initial safety fencing and grading on the southeast corner near the closed ramps. Throughout construction drivers will have access through the intersection. Please expect flaggers and night work as needed. Delays are anticipated between 5-10 minutes throughout construction.

The public is encouraged to find more information and sign up for biweekly construction updates on the project’s website at www.SBROADS.com, or by calling (805) 845.5112, or emailinginfo@SBROADS.com.

About the Olive Mill Roundabout

The new roundabout is designed for 20 mph as a single lane roundabout. Drivers will see signs for each roadway name at each leg of the roundabout. The center of the roundabout will be planted with olive trees and feature a sandstone retaining wall. Lighting will be improved around the roundabout.

Pedestrians will have access with crosswalks around the mountain side of the roundabout. Bicyclists can either take the lane through the roundabout or walk bikes using pedestrian sidewalks and crosswalks on the mountain side.

The Olive Mill Roundabout is being built in coordination with the Highway 101: Carpinteria to Santa Barbara project undertaken by Caltrans and SBCAG in cooperation with local agencies to add a new carpool lane in each direction between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara (10.9 miles). The project will improve bridges, interchanges, and on- and off-ramps. The Carpinteria segment has been built, and the Padaro and Summerland segments are under construction. The Highway 101: Carpinteria to Santa Barbara project is funded from SB1, state and federal dollars, and Measure A. Funding applications are being submitted to complete the remaining corridor segments by 2028.

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sbrobert Nov 06, 2022 06:02 PM
Leaders Kicked Off the Olive Mill Roundabout Project on Friday

Meat grinders. That is what roundabouts are for bicyclists. I have plenty of experience with the Milpas, Coast Village and Goleta roundabouts. They are terrifying on a bicycle. And Goleta is scheduled to get two near Old Town with zero public review so far.

Caltrans gives zero consideration or respect to bicyclists. And it shows when they dare to tell bicyclists to walk their bikes through a huge mess they are creating. I don't see them asking people to push their SUVs through.

bicyclist Nov 06, 2022 07:00 PM
Leaders Kicked Off the Olive Mill Roundabout Project on Friday

"Do You Fell Lucky Today" - Milpas going to the beach from "Sprouts Farmers Market".
Or just trying to follow the flow, it's a Freeway Ramp! There's times I'd just go over to Quarantina Street to avoid that specific roundabout, which can be scary enough in itself...
I absolutely hate trying to deal with roundabouts.

a-1667768446 Nov 06, 2022 01:00 PM
Leaders Kicked Off the Olive Mill Roundabout Project on Friday

Prone? How about checking with the CHP? This is either a low-accident or a no-accident intersection. Not only will cyclists be unhappy, but also pedestrians. And the current high-traffic problems there during a few times a day would be NON-EXISTENT had 'our leaders' not closed off the southbound 101 on ramp at Cabrillo Blvd. And two more 'lovely' Caltrans roundabouts to come: San Ysidro Road and Los Patos. Pathetic, unnecessary, and UGLY!

a-1667766080 Nov 06, 2022 12:21 PM
Leaders Kicked Off the Olive Mill Roundabout Project on Friday

Because of the angles at which those streets currently intersect, and the larger than normal distances between the stop limit lines, it is currently an intersection prone to accidents. Except for the problems for bicyclists, a roundabout is an excellent solution.

a-1667761639 Nov 06, 2022 11:07 AM
Leaders Kicked Off the Olive Mill Roundabout Project on Friday

Count me as one who is against this nightmare.
It is a low-accident intersection.
The project removes parking spaces and narrows what is currently on CVR.
Cyclists who used to freely ride through will have to ride with traffic. Right: They really want to get off their bikes and WALK through. Give me a break.
All of these years if and when there's crowding I see that people are generally polite in taking their turns. Stop signs work! (I am not only a 4th generation Montecito native, but also a nearby property owner who is not looking forward to this nightmare).

BufordNgoleta Nov 06, 2022 02:49 PM
Leaders Kicked Off the Olive Mill Roundabout Project on Friday

The roundabout at Los Carneros works very efficiently for car traffic - which is fairly regular. Bikes are safer blending into the car lane until through the circle. Pedestrian safety - not so much. Cars looking left while turning right lead to near misses. Pedestrians have to start yielding to car traffic instead of the popular forcing their right of way. That's where Darwin comes into the picture.

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