In the air transport industry de-icing of planes keeps planes in the air in the dead of winter. Has the concept of free speech been iced over?
Cars Are Basic Inc. is edging up on a quarter of a century of operation. Never at any time, would the founding members of CAB, ever would have come close to asking this question.
Started by solid, successful middle and upper middle-class residents, we stated to the city of Santa Barbara that their traffic planning was failing and forcing businesses to close. Understand this was not a “going to war” with the city. It was a serious concern in 1998.
The collapse of the economy of downtown Santa Barbara was obvious to anyone. The CAB Board stated clearly, this is a direct result of removing four lanes of capacity and removing parking in the downtown core. Understand these were supporters of those running for council.
The CAB Board were not outsiders. Or at least that is what we thought. The truth was, and is, political strong armed twisting made sure there was no interest in rational dialogue and supporting the core businesses of the city.
Powerful anti-capitalist, anti-car and anti-freedom of choice political groups had and have a death grip on the civil service transportation personnel. Often “staff” are hired for their anti-freedom of travel stances.
CAB’s “standing” for open dialogue and statistical evidentiary results on business and transportation was of no interest. The council majorities (except for one period) waved the proverbial middle finger when asked for hard data.
When presented with objective facts against their positions what happened? Zero, by the city of Santa Barbara. Was there a call by mainstream media to prove us wrong? Where were the media questions for facts? It’s now proven that the anti-car street designs have failed to promote “alternative” and/or “active” transportation in any significant manner.
When an FPPC (Fair Political Practices Complaint) was filed with the state of California against a former Santa Barbara city councilman, what was the outcome? No response from the state to the email. When two direct letters were sent certified mail to the Attorney General’s Office and the Governor’s Office, there was zero response — a clear violation of the State of California law. When letters to the media were sent about these violations, no response.
When the city of Santa Barbara violated Coastal Commission / CEQA rules for two EIR’S (Environmental Impact Reports), did the media question CAB as to our reason for these claims? Not once did any electronic, TV, or print “defenders” of public right to know, ask one question or interview. There are a minimum of five past Councilmen who are harshly critical of these actions and lack of honesty in street planning.
The closing of State Street has been handled with “kid gloves” with little to no ongoing criticism of supposed committees or reviews. When asked directly about the initial costs of State Street closing, the answer was: no answer.
When the city of Goleta voted to remove 50% of Old Town Hollister Avenue after committing a massive Brown Act Violation, where was the media outcry? CAB submitted a detailed letter questioning Goleta staff’s presentation and the need to spend over $1 Million on Hollister to achieve 25 additional parking spaces.
When CAB presented its own verified morning rush hour bike count showing a paltry 14 bikes during two hours what was the staff response? “We will do our count soon.” It did not happen, and the strong armed arm twisting of the Brown Act violation led to the council vote without proof, to destroy Old Town traffic similar to the destruction of Old Town State Street in Santa Barbara.
Have local media done an expose on these actions and the lack of proof? Have local media done an in-depth investigation and report?
So CAB asks and continues to ask. Is free speech dead in Santa Barbara County?
From our perspective: Yes.