Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan

Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan title=
State Street Promenade (Photo: John Palminteri)
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Source: City of Santa Barbara

Eight firms submitted proposals to the City for the State Street Master Plan project by close of the request for proposals response period on March 24.

Staff will analyze the responses to determine the most appropriate proposal that addresses long-term visioning for State Street’s future. After reviewing and scoring the proposals, City Staff will make a recommendation to City Council on the consultant selection and finalize a contract.

“We have the momentum and enthusiasm from the community, and now is the time to rethink our downtown and plan for what the space will consider for the next 30-50 years,” said Tess Harris, State Street Master Planner. “We want to think big, be creative, and encourage visionary ideas and flexible solutions to invigorate our downtown. We want Santa Barbara’s future to be the best it can be for all of us.”

The State Street Master Planning process will include broad public outreach and civic engagement to drive the development of a Master Plan for the State Street Promenade and the surrounding 0-blocks. Some of the topics to be addressed in the plan include, but are not limited to, Streetscape Design, Mobility and Circulation, Economic Development, Historic Resources, and Sustainability and Resiliency.

Proposals received were from the following firms: Gensler, MIG, Inc., Rios, Inc., Sargent Town Planning, Inc., Stantec Architecture, Stoss, Inc., Studio One Eleven, and SWA Group.

For more information, please contact Tess Harris, State Street Master Planner at

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SBTownie Apr 19, 2022 09:30 AM
Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan

I really think electric bikes are becoming a big problem for State and beyond, which is a real shame, because they could help lead the way in a clean transportation revolution. I am a cyclist and I am really dismayed that so many cyclists in general do not ride with courtesy and driving smarts on State and beyond. But it is worse with the electric bikes because they're going so much faster. I am increasingly alarmed at how many aggressive young people who don't know how to drive are whipping around on Rad bikes at top speed, passing on the right, blowing through traffic, not communicating with other riders (on your left), etc.

I think of places like Amsterdam where one can actually ride a bike everywhere and NO ONE rides like this. It isn't conducive to pedestrian safety (and pedestrians here are pretty clueless, too) and I think it's going to sabotage the overall viability of biking around town. There are too many people who don't follow the rules of the road, or even know them. I can't even tell you how many times I've been passed on the right by someone going very fast in a narrow bike lane. I have no idea these people are coming up behind me and it's terrifying.

Voice of Reason Apr 19, 2022 09:59 AM
Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan

The bike issue can be easily rectified by enforcing existing bike laws (like helmets for everyone under 18) and implementing any new ones necessary for bicycling in the Promenade area. When $3,500 + electric bikes start getting impounded compliance will follow.

Are there even any substantive arguments for reopening State to vehicles? State isn't necessary for good vehicular flow around downtown. Most of the more vocal naysayers just want downtown to be like the downtown they remember from 30+ years ago and are simply driven by nostalgia and resistance to their town evolving as times change.

ger8t Apr 20, 2022 12:32 PM
Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan

I work right off state street and ride my bike to work every day. Travel on state street is a free for all, especially on weekend days. The flashing red stop lights from Sola to Anapamu mean nothing. Bikes are the worst, sailing right through those flashing lights. Pedestrians are not paying attention. Cars are pretty much forced to stop and wait to avoid running into bikes and/or pedestrians.

Regarding pedestrians and cars, things get a little better from Anapamu to the beach as the stop lights are fully working. Bikes usually sail on through red lights, especially the electric bikes ridden by young people. Last weekend, there were about 20 electric bikes stopped right in the middle of state street by the 711. 2 weeks ago, I shot a video of a pedestrian who got mad that a bike rider popped a wheelie and aimed it right at him. The pedestrian had some kind of brick or big rock and he was being pursued by the 3 wheelie bike riders. 3 against 1. Luckily, other citizens defused the situation. When you go to state street, there is no police presence. Your are on your own.

SBStoner Apr 20, 2022 01:58 PM
Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan

Would upvote if I could but I second that we need police more active on enforcement and confiscation of these dangerous toys.

Imagine the generation of drivers we’re going to get when these kids hop behind the wheel.

sacjon Apr 20, 2022 02:05 PM
Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan

SBSTONER - exactly. All these (well deserved) complaints here about reckless cyclists downtown, the homeless camps, parties in IV, etc would be easily addressed by increased patrols. It's mind boggling to me how the cops so eagerly line up by the dozens to stand around all night collecting overtime at DUI checkpoints waiting for a drunk driver or 2 to haphazardly show up for arrest or just lazily closing down entire beaches to everyone out of fear of a party, instead of actively out there on the streets patrolling in areas/times known for criminal activity and enforcing the law. Wait..... now that I type that out, I guess I see why.......

Chip of SB Apr 19, 2022 11:32 AM
Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan

The more the city tries to plan a future for state street, the worse of state street will be. They should make a plan similar to what they are doing on coast village road and let the property owners take control.

Basicinfo805 Apr 19, 2022 04:00 PM
Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan

So much planning, consultants, meetings, etc. I wonder what other communities that have nice downtown have done? Oh wait, I think they let businesses do their thing, enforce local laws, keep things clean and orderly, and the rest takes care of itself…

SBTownie Apr 20, 2022 10:53 AM
Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan

Yeah I agree with you on the cleanliness, humane homeless enforcement stuff, etc. I think the businesses feel like a much lower caliber than they used to. There is a transient feeling to the place - I don't mean homeless. Many of the businesses just feel kind of flimsy and temporary in a way that I don't think is great for downtown's image. There is only one business I frequent in the mall and some of the other higher end tenants like MAC cosmetics on State Street, or the new Caje Coffee, are not actually part of Paseo Nuevo. It also feels pretty dead to me at most times, even when it's busier on State Street.

SBTownie Apr 20, 2022 11:03 AM
Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan

Thanks, Sac. I actually asked a homeless guy to watch my bike a few weeks ago while he charged his phone at one of the charging stations and I went in to pick up some food. Really didn't feel like getting bike grease all over my hands just to run in somewhere for 30 seconds. But thanks for the imaginary ad hominem scenarios. It's definitely not hypocritical at all that you convulse with rage when anything insulting is directed at you, yet you love to spit it out. Me? I can take it. I just don't like hypocrisy.

NotReallyDave Apr 19, 2022 07:11 PM
Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan

What I do not understand is that there has never been a vote of any kind by the people to change State Street or not change State Street. Wouldn't that be the first step, instead of hiring a lot of commercial planning businesses to make up ideas? This is a cart before the horse. Is City "staff" the ones who want this? There are a lot of people who want to keep things the same. Don't they count anymore?

SBStoner Apr 20, 2022 01:50 PM
Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan

NOTREALLYDAVE - I agree that we need more of an open forum for the discussion and adoption of ideas like this. I definitely don’t think we need a promenade on State Street that sits empty most of the day.

I’m fairly certain that someone is getting paid and I don’t know if it’s the business owners paying the city for the project, funds being allocated to contractors in a trickle down, or if our taxes go towards this. How will it all be paid for? Where’s my vote, or anyone else’s for that matter? If I understand correctly, the council will be the final authority on this.

Also as a side note, next time one of those kids drives towards me on a bike I’m not stepping out of the way and I will happily impound a bike myself if it hits me due to its owner’s negligence.

SBWalkers Apr 20, 2022 06:25 AM
Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan

The biggest problem with the 'gang bikers' (electric and mechanical) are MOSTLY the irresponsible kids (18 and under-my guess) that take State St. as a bike park where they can go as fast as they want, do wheelies, stand on the seat, and other stoopid maneuvers, and put as many as four kids on one bike. There is NO enforcement... and these kids do as they please. They are very disrespectful and kick over the posts and signs, come very close to the pedestrians. In the 500 block area, all the signs restricting riding have been taken down by the city (the picture in this article is obsolete) - this is a real problem and it seems no on in the city is doing anything bc it is getting worse

SBTownie Apr 20, 2022 10:45 AM
Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan

I agree with you. The other day I was riding and a guy in a balaclava on a Rad bike was smashing down all of the plastic things anchored to the street as he whizzed by, causing them to violently smash down and pop back up. He was going super fast and weaving like crazy then doubling back up State to do it over and over again.

Gimli Apr 20, 2022 10:07 AM
Santa Barbara Receives Proposals for State Street Master Plan

Time to open up State St. for vehicle traffic. Much more dangerous with those on bikes and skateboarders on State St. A few times I came very close getting hit by them when I am crossing from one side to the other on State St.

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