The Isla Vista Community Services District approved sending a letter of support in favor of Santa Barbara County’s proposal to improve sidewalks from Del Playa Drive to Pasado Road in a unanimous vote during its Jan. 25 meeting.
The letter, addressed to the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, supports a $400,000 infrastructure project — the Camino Corto Infrastructure Improvements Project — to connect the sidewalk of the east side of Camino Corto — an area including Isla Vista Elementary School and Santa Catalina Residence Hall — to Del Playa Drive that currently ends at Pasado Road.
“This project will improve safety and accessibility for students and families traveling to and from local schools. Currently, there are no sidewalks running from Del Playa Drive to Pasado Road, a dense, traffic-heavy area, forcing pedestrians to walk in the roadway,” the letter stated.
The project would be funded through Measure A — a half cent sales tax measure to fund transportation projects in Santa Barbara County, approved by more than 79% of Santa Barbara County voters in November 2008.
Concerns over pedestrian safety due to the lack of sidewalks in Isla Vista has been a contentious issue among Isla Vistans, with residents “consistently voicing concerns” regarding the “lack of a protected pedestrian path” and “encroachments into the public right of way” that can affect the line of sight for motorists and cyclists, according to the letter.
“Isla Vista has the highest rate of zero-vehicle households in Santa Barbara County. Walking, cycling, and skateboarding are popular modes of transportation for all ages in our community. This project will significantly improve routes to school for a large number of existing pedestrians,” the letter stated.
Correction: A previous version of this article said Measure A is a measure of transportation that provides more than $1 billion of estimated local tax revenues for transportation projects in Santa Barbara. This article has been corrected to say that Measure A is a half cent sales tax measure to fund transportation projects in Santa Barbara County, approved by more than 79% of Santa Barbara County voters in November 2008.