By Pat Gower, El Gaucho, December 17, 1957
Construction of the access road to Santa Barbara College, the Ward Memorial Blvd., may be in for a delay.
At least it will be shoved into a secondary position if recommendations pending before the State Highway Commission in Sacramento are approved.
Senator J. J. Hollister said today that arguments over the selection of the Ward access road route have caused a delay in construction of a proposed freeway from Santa Barbara to Goleta.
Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce President Garrett Van Horne said he has asked the State Highway Commission to go ahead with 101 freeway construction and set aside the access route “for the time being.” Horne added that “representatives” of the UCSB Board of Regents and Administration were supporting him.
Senator Hollister said in Santa Barbara Saturday that he agrees the only solution is to separate the two projects. The Senator had just returned from Sacramento where he told incoming Highway Commission head Max Gillis, that 101 construction should “go ahead and get underway.”
C. A. Storke, co-publisher of the Santa Barbara News-Press, said, “Everyone agrees that 101 is much more in need than the access road. It is extremely unfortunate if it is delayed.”
The Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Barbara Farm Bureau sent Hollister to Sacramento Friday to request the separation.
“A separate budget can be set up for the Ward Boulevard,” Hollister told Highway officials.
Another stumbling block, the proposed G7 intersection at Highway 101, was criticized by Van Horne. “We are asking your commission to delete the G7 intersection from the freeway plans in favor of an intersection at Patterson Avenue,” Van Horne told the Commission.
The G7 route would connect with 101 at a point approximately 2000 feet above Patterson Avenue. This would involve building two interchanges practically next to each other — a plan financially impractical.
“The Patterson Avenue intersection is of great value in Santa Barbara County’s master road plan,” Van Horne stated. “It has been generally felt that when the Ward road is constructed, it could be brought into 101 at this Patterson Avenue intersection, or at any other intersection as a special project.”
The G7 Route, originally selected by the Highway Commission, is now being held up by protests from the Santa Barbara area.
Sen. Hollister said he favored the B1 route over G7 because of its direct approach to the campus. “Funds in Santa Barbara County are so short that if an access road is built at the present time, the B1 route seems the most feasible.”
T. M. Storke, co-publisher of the Santa Barbara News-Press, favored the E route and said that “the Board of Regents wants the access road to connect at the ‘Y.’
Co-publisher C. A. Storke, evidently referring to route E, said in a News-Press editorial October 9 that his greatest concern is the safety of the college students. “Each day that goes by increases the hazard encountered by 2,500 students of the Santa Barbar College in their daily travel between the campus and the city of Santa Barbara.”
Nearest date for construction on the proposed 101 freeway is spring of 1959. Hollister said he is hopeful that some way can be found to start work on the freeway before that time.