The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments Board of Directors recently elected its 2021 leadership and approved the board’s regular meeting schedule through December 2021.
Additionally, four newly elected city and county representatives joined the Board of Directors. Holly Sierra, Mayor of Buellton, was selected to serve as chair and Das Williams, 1st District County Supervisor, to serve as vice chair. The board expressed their appreciation to outgoing Chair Gregg Hart, 2nd District county supervisor. The four new members to the Board include: Ariston Julian, Mayor of Guadalupe; Bob Nelson, 4th District county supervisor; Jenelle Osborne, Mayor of Lompoc; and Charlie Uhrig, Mayor of Solvang.
“The era of 2020, amid the COVID-19 global public health crisis, stressed the importance of regional transportation investments and construction activities throughout Santa Barbara County to improve our communities, put people to work, and promote economic recovery,” Ms. Sierra said. “Looking forward to 2021, I will work with my Board colleagues, SBCAG staff and our community partners to seek federal investment to meet the demands of moving goods and people through our county, including aggressively pursuing full funding to complete the Highway 101 project in the south coast and creating opportunities to prioritize safety improvements on our local roads for bicyclists and pedestrians.”
In 2021, SBCAG in partnership with the California Department of Transportation will continue to focus on the Santa Barbara U.S. 101 Multimodal Corridor Project, which is the number one transportation priority project of the region through Measure A, the transportation sales tax measure passed overwhelmingly by voters in 2008.
In 2018, Measure A funding helped leverage $184 million in competitive State Senate Bill 1 funding for the project from Carpinteria to Summerland, which began construction in April 2020.
In the new year, SBCAG will seek federal investment through stimulus opportunities and the reauthorization of the federal surface transportation bill to support the project. Additional funding will also help to improve local connections for pedestrians, bicyclists as well as transit and rail users.
The public can stay informed on construction activities and progress by signing up to receive updates at www.sbroads.com.
— Gerry Fall