Pedestrians and bicyclists use new Santa Barbara path
After more than a year of construction, the Las Positas and Modoc Roads Multiuse Path project is officially completed.
The city of Santa Barbara held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new bike path Thursday — a celebration of about several years of work that touched every department within the local government, Mayor Randy Rowse said.
The new Class 1 Multiuse Path, spanning 2.6 miles and separated from the street, is open to cyclists and pedestrians along Las Positas and Modoc roads. Construction began in late September 2020.
“The bike lane ribbon cutting was really cool because it touched not just every department at one point in time in the city, but was the result of generations of council, administration and public employees to finally pull it together,” Mayor Rowse told the News-Press.
The project is a “visual, tangible, beautiful piece of executed taxpayer intent and dollar,” he said.
The new pathway begins on the south side of Modoc Road and moves east, to the west side of Las Positas Road. It then continues along Las Positas Road to Cliff Drive. It connects to the Coast Bike Route, which extends north to Goleta Beach and south to Ventura.
The new pathway was billed as an opportunity to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists and increase walking and biking options. It is also expected to increase access to Arroyo Burro Beach, Douglas Family Preserve and Elings Park.
“We are excited to provide a safe route for bicyclists and pedestrians, improving access to surrounding neighborhoods, parks and the beach,” Jessica Grant, interim Public Works downtown manager, said in a statement.
Also completed was Phase II of the Arroyo Burro Open Space Restoration Project. The new footbridge over the Arroyo Burro space connects to the pathway.
More than 2,600 native plants and 350 native trees were sown along the park. Improvements were made along the Arroyo Burro and Campanil drainage as part of the creek restoration project.
“Completing Phase II of this restoration project will help to improve water quality in the creek and downstream at Arroyo Burro Beach,” Cameron Benson, the Creeks Restoration/Clean Water manager, said in a statement. “We are excited to connect Multiuse Path users with the park, and look forward to community members enjoying the creek from new viewing platforms on the footbridge.”
The project was mostly funded through Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant money as well as local Measure C funds.
The Multiuse Path construction cost $15.5 million.
The Arroyo Burro open space restoration, funded through the Santa Barbara County Coastal Resource Enhancement Fund and hotel visitors through Measure B, had a construction price tag of about $1.3 million.
The ribbon-cutting saw people who had left city government but came back for the celebration because they had been involved in the project at some point, Mayor Rowse said.