It has been brought to the Pearl Chase Society:s attention that the temporary pedestrian bicycle bridge over Mission Creek between the Lighthouse Building on Cabrillo Boulevard and the ocean was voted by the City Council to be made permanent. This utilitarian prefabricated bridge was plunked down across Mission Creek to provide pedestrian and bicycle transit while the new Cabrillo Boulevard bridge was under construction. Despite the fact that the new Cabrillo bridge is designed to be wide enough to accommodate pedestrians, bicycles and trolleys, City staff recommended to the City Council that the temporary bridge be made permanent to save money and provide additional safety. The City Council without much notice approved the bridge’s permanent status.
This bridge never would have been approved had it been proposed as a permanent structure, because everything about it is in conflict with the design guidelines for El Pueblo Viejo, at whose gateway it is situated. The City Council should have been informed about this dramatic inconsistency with the meticulous historic redesign of the Cabrillo Boulevard bridge over Mission Creek, which has been a multi-year project.
Part of the beauty of Santa Barbara is its unobstructed ocean views. In order to preserve the views and discourage honky tonk commercial development along the beach front, a group of citizens including Harold Chase and his sister Pearl Chase formed the East Beach Improvement Association in 1924, The Association proceeded to buy all the beach parcels between then East Boulevard and the ocean and hired designer Charles Cheney of the Omstead Brothers landscape architectural firm to design an improved East Boulevard with ocean front landscape. East Boulevard was widened and renamed Cabrillo Boulevard, Palms and a lawn were planted. The Association then sold the land to the City for a parkway .
The temporary bridge interferes with the view of the ocean from Cabrillo Boulevard and compromises the uncluttered view that has existed for almost 100 years. The bridge’s tacky appearance is a detriment to Santa Barbara. The Pearl Chase Society, dedicated as we are to the preservation of historic sites, respectfully asks that the temporary bridge be removed as originally planned.