The community has long expressed a desire for improved circulation and connectivity for vehicles and bicyclists in Old Town. The existing roadway system has inadequate east-west circulation both north and south of Hollister Avenue. It also lacks direct access into the southern portions of Old Town Goleta and the Santa Barbara Airport. One of the proposed solutions has been the Ekwill-Fowler Road Extensions Project. In fact, this project was even included in the 1998 Old Town Revitalization Plan.
WHAT IS THE EKWILL-FOWLER PROJECT?
This project is a series of transportation improvements designed to relieve regional congestion, improve traffic circulation in Old Town Goleta and improve access to the airport. The existing plans include the construction of two new roadways (Ekwill and Fowler) to connect Ekwill at Fairview over to Kellogg Avenue and to connect Fowler at Fairview to Kellogg Avenue. Both extensions will have one travel lane in each direction, Class II bike lanes and sidewalks.
The project also includes two roundabouts on Hollister Avenue at the Highway 217 intersection to allow traffic to proceed more smoothly at a lower speed. In addition, the roundabout on the west side of the Highway 217 off-ramp will eliminate the forced right-hand turn off of Dearborn and the need for vehicles to make a U-turn at Kellogg Avenue. (Please see our front page article for more on the benefits of roundabouts.)
Other improvements such as landscaping and safety lighting will be added to the new roadways and Hollister in the vicinity of the roundabouts.
The City looks forward to beginning construction on this long-awaited project. The final design will be initiated this spring. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2014 and will take approximately 18 months to complete.