Loma Alta Drive Closed to Vehicular Traffic Beginning October 18

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Source: City of Santa Barbara

Loma Alta Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic, from Coronel Street to West Canon Perdido Street, from October 18 to June 1, 2022, as the City prepares for storm-related impacts to Loma Alta Drive from the recent Loma Fire.

The City of Santa Barbara Public Works Department will be hosting a community meeting to provide information to local residents about our planning and forecast for storm-related impacts due to the Loma Fire burn area.

The meeting will be held at the McKinley Elementary School Auditorium, 350 Loma Alta Drive, on Wednesday, November 3, at 7:30 p.m. Spanish translation will be provided for the event. Facemasks are required.

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PitMix Oct 20, 2021 10:53 AM
Loma Alta Drive Closed to Vehicular Traffic Beginning October 18

9:13, can you explain to me how a burned soil that is hydrophobic at the top layer can become saturated throughout all of the layers? My understanding is that only the top layer gets saturated in a hard rain and that layer then sloughs off, leading to the debris flow.
The Montecito disaster didn't occur after days of rain- it was due to a 100-yr intensity with a duration of about 15 mins that fateful night. If we had gotten multiple days of rain beforehand, it would only have made the problem worse.
That recent thunderstorm could definitely have caused problems if the intensities were high enough. We were just lucky they weren't.
That thing of a dry soil not immediately infiltrating water has to do with relative permeabilities at low saturation levels, not the development of a hydrophobic layer like after a burn.

a-1634659993 Oct 19, 2021 09:13 AM
Loma Alta Drive Closed to Vehicular Traffic Beginning October 18

A half hour of heavy rain doesn't tell you what the hill will do once it's saturated from a long, steady rain. Soil becomes hydrophobic at its top layer when it hasn't rained in awhile, much like when you try to water a very dry plant and the water won't soak in for awhile.

a-1634482122 Oct 17, 2021 07:48 AM
Loma Alta Drive Closed to Vehicular Traffic Beginning October 18

It would be nice if Loma Alta could be made one way, with extra space for walkers and bicycles. But there’s no great alternate route. It will be interesting to see how things flow with it totally shut down. Not great for the people living on the alternate route.

jak Oct 17, 2021 06:18 AM
Loma Alta Drive Closed to Vehicular Traffic Beginning October 18

Why? Because a lot of people live in areas near one end of the closure and work, shop, or visit near the other end. Driving this route saves a couple miles through crowded residential areas. But the closure will move the traffic pattern from what has become a swanky neighborhood into a comparatively downscale neighborhood. I guess that’s the normal way of things.

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