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Santa Barbara's worst intersection given a green light for a solution

By John Palminteri, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Senior Reporter, johnp1250@aol.com
Published On: Jun 25 2013 08:59:20 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 26 2013 08:49:10 PM CDT

One of the area's worst intersections in Santa Barbara is on the road map for some improvements.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

The intersection of Las Positas and Cliff Drive will be in line for signal lights after facing years of problems during the daily rush hours.

The city says the intersection gets an "F" grade due to traffic tie ups.

Funding from grants will help cover the cost estimated to be in excess of $800,000.

Another solution under consideration is a traffic roundabout.  The city says, however, it will be more expensive than a signal.  

Councilman Grant House favors the roundabout and believes the city should find a construction company that can build one for a cheaper price than the current bid which pushes the cost towards $2 million.

"I think we should get a roundabout in there that is somewhere near our budget and it meets the needs here," said House. "I will not support a signalized intersection here that is just setting people up for terrible, terrible accidents and I just can not support it"
 
"We have a  lot of signalized intersections in town.  I don't think of them as a danger," fired back Councilman Dale Francisco.  He favored going forward with the signals now, "or we can commit to building a roundabout that we don't have the money to pay for."

One local worker who goes through the area often wants to get some relief.
"I am anxious to get home and make dinner," said Laura  Francis. "It's about a ten minute wait sometimes to get through traffic."

At Hendry's Beach nearby Ron Johnson said, "it's fine today. On a sunny day it can be horrible."  He favors a roundabout.  "I don't think signals would be a good idea at all."

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