Ghost Village Road

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 24, 2019
Next week, thousands of costumed kids and their parents will descend on Coast Village Road, aka Ghost Village Road

Save the date for Ghost Village Road! The popular trick-or-treat event along Coast Village Road is next Thursday, October 31, from 3 pm to 6 pm. The event draws roughly 2,000 costumed kids, parents, and pets each year. Most of the lower village’s business owners will take part in the festivities, passing out candy and other treats to trick-or-treaters. 

Ghost Village Road has been happening each year on Halloween since 1996, and was originally organized by the Coast Village Business Association. The new iteration of the association, the Coast Village Association (CVA), continues to loosely promote the event, which has taken on a life of its own. “We make sure to remind our members, the majority of which are local businesses along the road, to be prepared with thousands of pieces of candy,” said Bob Ludwick, president of the CVA. “The business owners have really taken it upon themselves to offer really fun treats, play music, dress up, and get involved in the festivities.”

A few highlights: Here’s the Scoop owners Bob and Ellie Patterson will host their popular costume contest, seeking the most creative handmade costumes. “We want to remind the kids that you can only win if you make your own costume!” Ellie told us earlier this week. As always the pair will pass out their Worms ‘N’ Dirt gelato; those will allergies can request an alternative. 

Richie’s Barber Shop will participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, which offers an alternative for kids with food allergies who may not be able to partake in eating candy. “So many kids these days have food allergies, and they can’t enjoy Halloween like all the other kids do!” said Jessica Jay from Richie’s. “It’s simple: besides handing out the normal large amounts of Halloween candy we are also giving out an alternative for kids with food allergies. We want to bring awareness to parents that Ghost Village Road will be safe for their kids with allergies,” she said, adding that she hopes to encourage other business owners to offer a candy alternative for those that need it. For more information on the nationwide movement, visit 

The festivities will span from Montecito Country Mart to Olive Mill Road. Safety is the number one priority during the event, and drivers are urged to use care when driving in the area. The event is from 3 pm to 6 pm, on Thursday, October 31. 

CVA Traffic Symposium

Last Wednesday, October 16, the Coast Village Association held a Transportation & Traffic Symposium, the first of what is hoped to become an annual fall event. “We wanted to get everyone in the same room to talk about an issue that impacts us all, especially the business community on Coast Village Road,” said Trey Pinner, a member of the CVA’s Traffic & Safety Committee. 

The symposium, which was held in the conference room at Montecito Inn, was standing room only, and was attended by Coast Village Road business owners and Montecito residents. The content of the presentations touched on various traffic projects slated to impact Montecito, including the 101 expansion, parallel projects including the roundabouts at Olive Mill, San Ysidro Road, and Los Patos, improvements to Coast Village Road and Coast Village Circle, and improvements to public transportation. 

Fred Luna with Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) began the presentation by giving a background on the highway widening from Carpinteria through Montecito. The first three phases (seven miles) of the project, from Carpinteria to Sheffield, are fully funded with monies from Senate Bill 1, Measure A, and Caltrans grants. With the freeway widening through Montecito occurring as the last phase of the project, the funding, as well as the beginning of the design and permitting phases, are expected to occur early next year.

Caltrans District 5 Project Manager Scott Eades explained that the design of the Cabrillo Blvd interchange, dubbed “F Modified,” calls for reconstruction of the existing bridge in order to accommodate three lanes in both directions. The new interchange removes the current left-hand exit at Cabrillo, and adds a new northbound right-hand exit, as well as a new southbound freeway entrance at Cabrillo, which was removed during the Milpas project several years ago. The increased traffic issues on Coast Village Road and surrounding streets has long been blamed on the removal of the southbound entrance at Cabrillo Blvd. 

Parallel projects to the freeway widening are required to be at a certain design phase by the spring of 2020, in order to apply for funding in conjunction with the freeway widening. These projects include the roundabout at San Ysidro Road, a sidewalk at Eucalyptus Lane, the Olive Mill interchange roundabout, the Los Patos/Cabrillo intersection roundabout and railroad bridge, and the Milpas southbound off-ramp. The City of Santa Barbara’s Rob Dayton, Transportation Planning and Parking Manager, and Derrick Bailey, Supervising Transportation Engineer, discussed the roundabout at Olive Mill, which will include entrances and exits for Olive Mill, Coast Village Road, North Jameson Lane, and Highway 101. The project will require both Design Review approval and Planning Commission approval from both the City and the County since the intersection is bifurcated between the two jurisdictions. Because there will need to be a cohesive plan for the intersection, the City and County held a joint conceptual design review last Friday; there were not enough board members for a quorum. The project, which includes reconfiguring the intersection from a stop-controlled, 5-way intersection to a single lane roundabout, and includes adding sidewalks, landscaping, lighting, and directional crosswalks, will also be in front of a joint Planning Commission hearing early next year. 

Bailey also discussed the current paving of Coast Village Circle, as well as some traffic and safety mitigation measures that will be implemented on Coast Village Road. These include the removal of several parking spots on the east side of Coast Village Circle (near the Chevron Station) in order to allow for better traffic flow. The stripe that separates the lanes on Coast Village Circle will also be removed, as this is proven to slow traffic down. The crosswalk and the stop sign at Coast Village Circle and Coast Village Road, between the Chevron and Whiskey & Leather, will be moved north a few feet, in order to allow for better line of sight. A flashing crosswalk sign will also be installed on the existing crosswalk in the 1100 block of Coast Village Road.

Santa Barbara County Deputy Director of Transportation Chris Sneddon unveiled the plans for the roundabout at San Ysidro Road, the first time the renderings had been presented to the public. The project includes a single-lane roundabout at San Ysidro Road, North Jameson, and both the entrance and exit to Highway 101. It includes pedestrian access on every leg of the intersection, including crosswalks that connect with paved walkways through the medians or refuge areas; the roundabout also promotes bicycle accessibility, giving enough space for bicycles to traverse the lane. The preliminary engineering design of the roundabout is complete, and the Design Working Group, which includes two members of MBAR and two MPC commissioners, will review the project next, followed by the full board of MBAR and MPC, which is expected in the coming months.

Jerry Estrada, General Manager of Santa Barbara MTD, rounded out the panel of presenters by explaining that MTD helps to support traffic initiatives by offering several stops in Montecito and along Coast Village Road; the bus company is also vital in emergency situations, offering its services to help during evacuations. 

Following the presentations, several members of the audience asked questions to the panelists. Some voiced concern over the timing of the projects, and the potential of more congestion during construction. Eades responded that the various agencies are cognizant of the impact that road projects can have on the community, and will time them accordingly. “All of these projects will provide tangible congestion relief for Montecito for years to come,” he added. 

To learn more about Coast Village Association, visit 


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