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Coastal Access Advocate Alert

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  • Paul Jenkin
    Coastal Access Advocate Alert Caltrans Plans to Eliminate Existing Legal Parking along U.S. 101 by La Conchita Caltrans has released a draft environmental
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2008
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      Coastal Access Advocate Alert
       
      Caltrans Plans to Eliminate Existing Legal Parking along U.S. 101 by La Conchita
       
      Caltrans has released a draft environmental document to widen U.S. 101 between Mussel Shoals in Ventura County and Casitas Pass Road in Santa Barbara County. The document can be obtained from the Caltrans website at http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/resources/envdocs/ and is the first document listed.
      In the Caltrans document as written, they are planning to eliminate the existing legal parking on southbound U.S. 101 near La Conchita as part of the highway widening project. This stretch of the U.S. 101 has been a popular coastal access for surfers and the general public.  This parking has existed, and been heavily used for decades.
      Caltrans has scheduled a Public Hearing in Carpinteria to hear from the public about their plans. If you have any opinion, this is your only chance to publicly voice your concerns.  The meeting will be held on:

      Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at 6:00 PM

      Carpinteria Middle School

      5351 Carpinteria Ave, Carpinteria

      Existing Conditions: Only the western portion of the southbound U.S. 101 segment between Bates Road and Mussel Shoals is designated as “Emergency Parking” as the emergency parking signs end just west of the La Conchita community. Parking is permitted from that point to just west of the Mussel Shoals community where “No Parking” signs are currently posted.   Caltrans is planning to designate the entire stretch from Bates Road to Mussel Shoals on southbound U.S. 101 as Emergency Parking only; significantly reducing public access to this stretch of beach.

      In fact, the draft Caltrans document does not recognize the existing legal parking, and fails to mention that thousands of people park along this stretch annually to access the beach. There is no mention of impact on public coastal access, and without public input this parking will be lost.

      In several places, the document incorrectly states that this entire is already designated as an emergency parking zone. If this were the case, the CHP would be issuing hundreds of tickets per day their. Below are excerpts of the document. What do you think?

      Page 5: “Just south of Bates Road Interchange there is a 2 mile section with a non-standard striped bikeway adjacent to the travel lane, with a 3-foot buffer between the bikeway and emergency parking lane, that ends several feet before the off-ramp to Mussel Shoals.”

      Page 5: “Emergency shoulder parking is allowed from south of Bates Road Interchange to north of the community of Mussel Shoals.”

      Page 14: “The existing signage and bikeway designation on the SB roadway pavement for the Class II bikeway would be removed for a wider shoulder for emergency parking.”

      Page 35: “However, in the southbound direction from just south of the Bates Road Undercrossing to just north of Mussel Shoals in Ventura County, there is a five-foot bikeway that is separated from the eight-foot highway by a two-foot no-parking zone.”

      Page 59: “No regional or community-level impacts are anticipated to occur with implementation of the alternatives.”

      Page 73: “No parking is allowed on the U.S. 101. However, there is emergency shoulder parking on the expressway near the community of La Conchita and 33 parking spaces in front of the Cliff House Inn located in Mussel Shoals.”
       
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