The fate of El Colegio Road lies in the public’s hands this week, as officials will continue to hear suggestions regarding additional lanes until this Friday.

According to a Santa Barbara County Planning and Development Dept. press release, the El Colegio Road Improvement Project would transform the two-lane causeway into a four-lane road with planted medians, new traffic signals and left turn lanes. The first part of the project would begin at UCSB’s west gate on Stadium Road, tapering into the existing two lanes at the road’s west end by Camino del Sur. An additional phase of the project would complete the four-lane trend all the way to Storke Road.

The environmental review of the project reported that significant but mitigable effects would occur as a result of construction in areas concerning aesthetics, air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, geologic processes, land use, noise, transportation and water resources.

Residents of Santa Barbara County may challenge this project by submitting a public comment to Office of Long Range Planning Deputy Director Joy Hufschmid by Friday at 5:00 p.m. Hufschmid is available by e-mail at and at her office located at 30 E. Figueroa St. Residents can download a copy of the plan online at

The project, a joint effort between the county and UCSB, is part of the Isla Vista Master Plan, which seeks to revitalize the community by remodeling storefronts, bike loops, parks and miscellaneous infrastructure components. The revamped El Colegio Road would accommodate more vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic as well as those living in the adjacent UCSB San Clemente Graduate Student Housing project. The new UCSB graduate housing would include 978 living spaces, and would open in Winter Quarter of 2008.