Safety Committee formed by SBCAG to address concerns on Highway 154

Posted at 6:33 PM, Nov 22, 2019

The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments Thursday created a standing committee to address issues along Highway 154.

This comes after a mother and her two young children were killed in a crash on the highway earlier this month.

"I just truly believe monitoring and a physical highway patrol presence... would really really I think in general slow people down," said Peter Klippel, sales associate at El Refugio Vineyard in Los Olivos.

Third District Santa Barbara Board of Supervisor Joan Hartmann said she has received letters, calls, and emails of people worried about safety on the stretch of road.

"There have been many letters/calls/emails to our office so we convened a number of different political leaders as well as agency heads to discuss how we should move forward," said Hartmann.

Hartmann said she hopes the committee is able to focus on three key areas when looking at safety measures for Highway 154.

"There are three aspects to safety... one if the engineering of the road... the other is enforcement... and the other is education. And so all of us have a responsibility and understanding what each responsibility is and going to improve safety there," said Hartmann.

According to Hartmann, the California Highway Patrol previously used grants to increase patrols- those have now expired.

Hartmann however said they are looking at other sources of funding to increase patrols... something some residents think may be part of the solution.

"I truly believe that if we had more presence of the highway patrol... I think that would put into people's heads that even if I don't see the highway patrol- they are here," said Klippel.

The safety committee meeting will be holding a public forum on December 16 at 7 p.m. at the Solvang Veterans Hall. Childcare will be provided during the meeting.