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Highway 101 HOV Project

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

CALTRANS PROPOSED HIGHWAY 101 HIGH OCCUPANCY VEHICLE PROJECT

Planning efforts related to improvements at the Olive Mill Road, San Ysidro Road and Cabrillo Boulevard underpass are moving forward.  Intersection Control Evaluations have been conducted for Olive Mill and San Ysidro.  The Olive Mill analysis recommends use of a roundabout at the existing intersection of Coast Village Road/Olive Mill/S. Jameson/101 ramps as the best alternative.  A copy of that study is available at this link: Olive Mill ICE Report.  For San Ysidro, the favored design involves a roundabout at the San Ysidro/N. Jameson intersection and the addition of a four-way stop at the south bound offramp/San Ysidro intersection.  Find that study here.  The Montecito Planning Commission is scheduled to recieve an update these projects on May 17, 2017.  The City of Santa Barbara is conducting outreach regarding the proposed work along Cabrillo Boulevard at Los Patos and under the railroad bridge.  A community meeting is sheduled for May 3, 2017, 5:00 pm in the Cabrillo Pavillion, 1118 East Cabrillo Blvd.  A fact sheet is found here.

Caltrans has released a Draft Revised Environmental Impact Report for the South Coast 101 HOV Lanes project.  This revised document responds to a court ruling requiring the analysis of impacts to affected local intersections.  You can find a link to the DREIR here.  With respect to Montecito area intersections, Caltrans concludes that some improvements to be partially funded by Caltrans are necessary for the Cabrillo/Los Patos intersection prior to project completion, and to the San Ysidro Road/SB off ramp intersection - prior to 2040.  Comments on the document will be accepted until January 31, 2017.

Caltrans has released the final Environmental Impact Report for the project.  It can be reviewed at this link: Final EIR.  The Montecito Association Transportation Committee is reviewing that document and continuing to advocate for the best possible outcome for the community and region.  SBCAG has engaged a cooridor consultant (Tony Harris) to develop recommendations related to the design and construction of the project and to evaluate the inclusion of "parallel" projects to address shortcomings at Hot Springs, San Ysidro and Olive Mill Roads.  You can view Mr. Harris' recommendations in this May 2015 report.  On January 21, 2016, the Montecito and City of Santa Barbara Planning Commissions will have a joint meeting to recieve an update on the 101 HOV project and discuss the results of intersection operational analyses at Olive Mill/Coast Village Road and the San Ysidro interchange.

The Montecito Association was actively engaged in advocating for an alternative project that would have reduced the duration of construction, cost and community disruption from the project while still providing congestion relief.  SBCAG supported Caltrans request to move forward with a final EIR in January 2014.  The final document is now available at the link above.

To view our presentation to SBCAG on the Community Coalition Alternative by following this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsMHP5IqrQk It includes a description of the CCA plans that would minimize the scope and duration of construction, saving a substantial amount of money and pain. Follow this link to view a brief slide presentation that compares the Community Alternative to the Caltrans Plan. The Montecito Association's comments on the draft environmental document may be viewed at this link and for our presentation regarding the project follow this link.

The Highway 101 HOV Project proposes to add one high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction on US 101 from 0.44 mile south of Carpinteria Creek in the City of Carpinteria to Sycamore Creek in the City of Santa Barbara, a distance of 10.3 miles.  Caltrans District 5 is the lead agency for the project and SBCAG is the primary project sponsor.  Other project partners are the City of Santa Barbara, County of Santa Barbara, and City of Carpinteria.  The project is funded with Measure A regional sales tax funds, as well as other state and federal funding sources.

Caltrans intends to construct the project within the existing State road right-of-way.  Through Montecito, the project would include modifications to the Hot Springs/Cabrillo/101 interchange to eliminate the fast lane ramps.  Several alternatives for the resulting reconfiguration are being examined.  The San Ysidro interchange and south bound onramp are not proposed to be altered.  The fast lane ramps at Sheffield Road are proposed to be eliminated and replaced with slow lane ramps.

As part of the Final EIR, Caltrans must respond to the comments received on the draft, make changes to the document where necessary and possibly recirculate the document for additional public review if the changes are substantial.  The final environmental document will serve to inform decision making at the State and local levels.  Approval of a development plan for the portions of the project in the County and in the Coastal Zone will necessitate a hearings before Planning Commission. Portions of the project within the cities will go before their decision makers.  SBCAG estimates that this process will continue into 2015, followed by project construction in 4-5 phases as allowed by funding sources.

READ MORE
Find project information and the Draft EIR here:  http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/projects/sb_101hov/
The Montecito Association's comments on the draft environmental document are here:  101 HOV Comment Letter
Montecito Journal Article, November 17, 2011 describing events of November 2011 Caltrans Community Meetings