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Santa Barbara Postpones Vote On Proposed Takeover Of State Highway

Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 10:50am

A long discussed proposal for the City of Santa Barbara to take over ownership of a state highway that’s in the city is still up in the air, with one of the main sticking points the issue of liability.

The city has been talking with Caltrans about taking over State Route 225, which extends from the intersection of Castillo, and Montecito Streets over the Mesa area, to the 101 Freeway.

The city, and many residents along the route are interested in the idea because it would allow them to make pedestrian, and other improvements which Caltrans won’t make because of the state highway designation.

There have been a number of fatal accidents on the nearly five mile stretch of highway in recent years, and Santa Barbara officials are concerned about the costs of the assumption of liability if the city becomes the legal owner. Caltrans officials say they support the idea of turning over the highway to the city, but say that once that happens, the city will be responsible for future liability issues.

The council decided it wanted more information on the proposal before voting on the issue, which could happen later this month.

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