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Obern Trail Extension

Obern Trail Extension = Greenbelt Alignment

In response to Chris Sneddon’s remark in the October 15, 2022 Santa Barbara News Press article quoted below:

“Chris Sneddon of the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department said the east end is different.
We have done engineering preliminary plans,” Mr. Sneddon told the News-Press. “The trees on the west end are set back further from the road on the west end. On the east end, the road is narrower and the trees are closer to the road, which is why the trees have to be removed on the east end.”

This is the same guy that originally had the MUP going into a protected wetland on the west end of the Modoc Preserve that is now under a couple feet of water. The same guy that designed the Phase I Modoc Road MUP cluster fudge that is under a couple of feet of mud and debris…without proper environmental permits…

The whole purpose of this $8MM Class I Multi-use path is to “bridge the gap” between the new 2.6 mile Hendry’s Beach to Modoc Road Class I Multi-use path and the 4.5 mile Obern Trail Class I Multi-use path to Goleta Beach.

What is not being stated is that the Obern Trail is not even as wide as the combined width of the current east and west Class II bike lanes on Modoc Road. It doesn’t have 5′ wide Class II lanes on either side of it on it’s way out to Goleta Beach 4.5 miles away…and, it has a very narrow blind bridge bottleneck…however, the public has enjoyed it for decades…slow and fast riders…walkers…pedestrians with dogs…strollers…horses…so, why shouldn’t the County simply follow their own recommendation and extend this Multi-Use Path (MUP) trail along Modoc Road as a continuation of the Obern Trail with a vehicle barrier making it a Class I bike path?

SB County Public Works wrote the ATP grant to ELIMINATE the westbound bike lane on the north side of Modoc Road to ameliorate bike/vehicle accidents. To not do so now would surely be NEGLIGENCE should a major injury or death occur.

Some sections of those individual lanes on Modoc Road are wide enough to park a work truck…and, for cyclists to ride three wide shoulder to shoulder…see gallery below…

Think of CAMP’s Greenbelt Alignment as another name for a 3/4 mile long Obern Trail Extension along Modoc Road up to Via Senda…outside of the tree line using existing asphalt infrastructure…half of the proposed MUP is just that already!

The MUP will fit on Modoc Road in the existing asphalt infrastructure…combine the current Class II bike lanes into the MUP…if there is a pinch point then the County can use some space in their ROW on the north side of Modoc Road which is overgrown with shrubbery…

This option would save all of the trees and also construction of a wood pole fence on the south side of the MUP as an equestrian barrier…because it would no longer be needed…and, accomplish the main objective of “bridging the gap”…to make a continuous Class I bike path between the County’s parks from Hendry’s Beach to Goleta Beach…

From our Public Records Request (CPRA) we have learned that a member of the CHRATAC advisory committee (County Riding & Hiking Trails Advisory Committee) to the SB Board of Supervisors drove along Modoc Road to view the project and wrote to Mr. Sneddon asking the obvious question:
“Why is a paved path being put in?”

Great question…we have been asking the same thing for the last 4 months!!!

August 24, 2022
“Hi Chris,
Thank you for coming to crahtac to share about the modoc path.
I drove by there the other day and looked at the plan A, b, & c options.
Could I ask you,
1. Why is a paved path being put in? There is already a wide bike path on both sides of the road and a walking/equestrian trail on the modoc property.
2. If the county takes an easement for plan B to save the trees, will the equestrian dirt trail be paved
over? If so, what is the plan for replacing the pre-existing equestrian trail.
Crahtac is being asked to make a recommendation at the next meeting early in Sept. If it would be
possible for you to come again in order to answer specific questions, that might really help the
membership be able to make a decision thatʼs credible.
Thanks again,

Your comments recommending CAMP’s Greenbelt Alignment or the Obern Trail Extension…if you prefer, should be sent to the following Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors who will be having a meeting to decide the fate of these trees on November 1, 2022…

Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors:

1.) Das Williams

2.)Laura Capps

3.)  Joan Hartmann

4.)Bob Nelson

5.) Steve Lavagnino

2nd District Candidate Laura Capps 

Our attorneys have written a letter that outlines the discrepancies and deficiencies that we found in the revised MND…this required a significant amount of billable hours that we are paying for…if you would like to help us offset these legal bills to protect the Modoc Road trees…

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