Goleta motorists left to fend for themselves as city’s construction provides no traffic control
The city of Goleta released a statement on Thursday indicating it is on to phase three of five of the Old Town Sidewalk Improvement Project.
The project includes sidewalk construction on one side of each street north of Hollister Avenue between South Fairview Avenue and Mallard Avenue, as well as on Pine Avenue south of Hollister Avenue. The new sidewalks will connect to existing sidewalks providing a continuous path of travel. There will also be drainage improvements, tree replacements, repaving, and the construction of 39 back-in angled parking spots on Magnolia Avenue (for a net increase of approximately 17 new parking spots), according to a city news release.
The third phase of the project will include the remaining two sections of Mandarin Avenue and Goleta Avenue and is anticipated to be completed in early July.
“The contractor and construction management team have been doing a superb job with construction, traffic control, and resident interactions, all while under the strain of the mandatory COVID-19 orders. The improvements in Old Town are much needed, and we are excited to be entering the final phases and wrapping up the overall paving in the coming months,” Senior Project Engineer James Winslow said in the statement.
So far the project seemed to be going smoothly, however, the News-Press discovered that motorists in Goleta were left to fend for themselves on the mornings of both Thursday and Friday when the city’s sidewalk construction project did not provide any traffic control on Mandarin Avenue just one block before Fairview Avenue.
The News-Press found workers were off on the side, not directing traffic, just walking around and doing their work and seemingly not aware of the cars. On Thursday, a similar problem happened on Mandarin between Magnolia and Fairview avenues, where cars had to drive around parked construction vehicles.
In response to a News-Press query, Goleta Deputy Public Works Director James Campero told the News-Press that staff was “disappointed to learn” about the discovery.
“Goleta Public Works prides itself on the safety and quality of our projects and we are disappointed to learn of your experience,” he said. “A top priority during the construction of this project is to have great communication with the community and to be responsive to any issues that come up. Your experience is of concern to us and we appreciate you bringing it to our attention. We have notified the construction management firm and the contractor to address the importance and requirement for proper traffic control measures during construction. The City and the project team will continue to closely monitor construction and mitigate impacts to the public.”
Mr. Campero continued by saying, “On a positive note, we have been pleased with the outpouring of appreciative comments and feedback we have received throughout the first two phases of this project. This is a complicated project working in a very busy neighborhood within confined areas, but the project team has worked hard to mitigate potential issues and minimize impacts to the public, including phasing the project, extensive public outreach, hiring a construction management firm to manage construction, scheduled weekly construction progress meetings, and providing the public a direct line of communication to our construction management team that are onsite during construction.”
More information about the project and a map of the proposed project phases, can be found at https://tinyurl.com/GoletaOTSW.
For questions, contact email@example.com or contact Construction Manager Matt Davis at 805-450-7949 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions can also be directed to Mr. Campero at email@example.com.