Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborne was unanimously chosen to serve as 2023 Chair of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) Board of Directors and Fifth District County Supervisor Steve Lavagnino as Vice-Chair. County Supervisor Laura Capps, Solvang Mayor Mark Infanti, and Buellton Mayor Dave King join the board as new members. The Board also approved their regular meeting schedule through December 2023.
“It is an honor to be selected by my peers and fellow elected leaders to lead SBCAG in 2023,” said SBCAG Chair Jenelle Osborne, mayor of the City of Lompoc. “So much progress has been made and will continue to be made on improving Highway 101, with SBCAG working in partnership with Caltrans, the cities and county managing the complex and multiyear implementation of the project. I am also very excited that my peers understood the importance of a regional Broadband Strategic Plan and funded the work to deliver it in less than a year. This was a first for our county and for the state at this level. Now we endeavor to implement the ideas and solutions the strategic plan proposes with federal infrastructure and broadband funding.”
SBCAG is a regional planning agency that takes on big challenges, aiming to find solutions for sustainable transportation, housing and an equitable quality of life across Santa Barbara County. Its governing board consists of all five, county board of supervisors plus one representative from each city council - an agency uniquely poised to provide a forum for regional collaboration and to create transformative regional change. SBCAG provides planning, project management, grant administration, alternative transportation commuter services and pursues funding opportunities for the benefit of all residents of Santa Barbara County.
“We are committed to do everything possible to secure the funding needed to complete the Highway 101 Carpinteria to Santa Barbara project – a top priority for SBCAG in 2023,” said Marjie Kirn, executive director. “The SBCAG Board of Directors is leading the way for us to do everything we can to attract state and federal investment for this project to make sure the regional transportation priorities identified by voters through Measure A, Santa Barbara County’s transportation sales tax become a reality.”
SBCAG board meetings take place on the third Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. unless communicated otherwise. The first meeting of the year takes place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, January 19 in Santa Maria at the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors hearing room located at 511 E. Lakeside Parkway. In-person and remote virtual participation options are available. The public is encouraged to view details on participation, upcoming meetings, and the agenda on SBCAG's website.
In 2023, SBCAG sets sights on several ambitious goals from improving mobility and transportation opportunities to better understanding where and how people are traveling countywide. Some highlights include:
- Commemorate the completion of important pedestrian, bike, and roadway improvements in summer 2023 with the Santa Claus Lane Bikeway project in Carpinteria, Olive Mill Roundabout and San Ysidro Roundabout in Montecito and the Highway 101: Summerland segment. In addition, construction is anticipated to start on the Highway 101: Montecito segment by summer 2023. The public can stay informed on construction activities by signing up to receive updates at www.sbroads.com.
- Create collaborations between regional stakeholders to support the successful implementation of the Santa Barbara County Broadband Strategic Plan for infrastructure improvements, developing affordable programs and increasing digital literacy to bridge the digital divide in the region.
- Conduct an analysis of where and how people are traveling in Santa Barbara County through a Big Data Travel Trends Analysis project.
- Start and complete construction on the Measure A funded improvements at the intersection of Highway 166 and Black Road. A new signalized intersection will be constructed to improve traffic operations and safety at this intersection located between Guadalupe and the City of Santa Maria.
- Update the 2007 Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan to create a space for multiple entities to work together to improve and remove barriers to existing transportation services for seniors, individuals with disabilities, and people with low incomes. This is the only region-wide plan for the oft-overlooked human services transportation network.
- Power up five new Coastal Express zero-emission buses in partnership with the Ventura County Transportation Commission. The interregional Coastal Express service will offer commuters a greener commute between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
- Complete a multi-county strategy for expanding zero-emission vehicle infrastructure on the Central Coast.
- Revamp the popular EZBike Project to become even more employer-friendly and inclusive of safety information to help businesses and their teams maximize their commuter biking opportunities.
- Launch a new carpool/vanpool campaign to reduce traffic and emissions by encouraging employers and individuals to share rides and pool resources.