Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lightblueline in full compliance with the MUTCD

It is always interesting to see how misinformation propagates in a town like Santa Barbara. One of the myths being spread (I suppose by people who get their news from only one source) about the lightblueline project is that this would somehow not be allowed because of the MUTCD—the national guidelines for creating traffic control devices.

Actually, the lightblueline is fully compliant with MUTCD guidelines for street decorations. And we have a traffic engineer, someone who has served on the national committee that reviews the MUTCD (formerly a City employee) who is willing to testify to this compliance.

The MUTCD actually has very little to offer in terms of guidance for street decorations. What guidance it does provide shows that lightblueline is fully compliant.

Note to people writing letters to the MUTCD: The lightblueline color is not blue, but rather “light blue” a color unrestricted by the MUTCD. The design is decorative, not linear. You can find the design on the website. And the placement does not conflict with any of the actual street markings used as traffic control devices.

And again: lightblueline is a public art project proposed and funded by local residents, which received the same scrutiny and procedural review as any other public art project.

Note to hopeful city council members (and newspaper editors)… an ounce of research can save a pound of chagrin.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Back room Ranting: not simply misleading, but untrue

It has come to my attention that the local News Press Blog and at least one wannabe City Council candidate continue to rant about the lightblueline approval as a "back room" deal made by the City Council. This is absolutely untrue. As the Chair of the Historic Landmarks Commission noted when asked about this "The project went through the same process as any other public arts project."

It took several months of public city arts committee meetings (none of which the Blog attended) before the lightblueline effort was approved (unanimously and enthusiastically) at that level and thus ready to be considered by the City Council. The City Council then approved the project (6 to 1.... guess who the Blog interviewed). Then the project was ready to go before the Historic Landmarks Commission for the installations inside the historic district. The HLC also approved the lightblueline in a public meeting.

The lightblueline was and remains a project of Santa Barbara residents, not a "City-sponsored" effort. Only when the City Council approved this was the project able to coordinate with city staff to plan its execution. This is, of course, true for any public art effort.

That the News Press Blog neglects its responsibility to attend public meetings even though it wants to report on them (it did not even attend the City Council meeting when the lightblueline was approved) is disconcerting. That it neglects its professional responsibility to report facts that come to its attention is unconscionable. That it would support for city council a candidate the only platform of whom is a complaint against a News Press Blog-created fictional "back room" process is...priceless.