Riven Rock Parking Solutions

By Montecito Journal   |   January 25, 2022

A few days after New Year’s Day, Riven Rock Road was a mess due to the large number of vehicles parked on it. Some were on the dirt, but quite a few were on the roadway protruding over the white line. It must have been a ticketing bonanza.

People are coming from all over to visit the hot springs.

Ticketed cars still pose a hazard in terms of emergency vehicle access. The present solution isn’t working.

Two “No Parking” signs aren’t enough.

Because white lines on country roads are seldom enforced, and the public doesn’t expect there to be a problem if they park over them, a better solution is needed.

Here’s how to get cars off of Riven Rock.

Provide a reasonable number of parking spaces on upper Riven Rock, and/or on East Mountain Drive. Plants or rocks can be put on the dirt next to Riven Rock to prevent parking there.

Paint the curb on Riven Rock red. Inside the red, white letters can say “No Parking: Tow Away Zone.”

Or signs stating “no parking” could be placed every 15-20 feet. That would be very unsightly.

The first time a car parks next to the red a $200 ticket could be given (people are only being fined $37.50 now). The second time a vehicle is illegally parked, it can be towed away. This will work if a database is set up so the officer can check a license plate. If such a database isn’t feasible, then the vehicle can just be towed.

The public is well aware that they’re not supposed to park next to a red curb. The California DMV driver’s manual makes this clear. I spoke with a resident of Riven Rock, and he doesn’t have a problem with cars being towed if people do. The law is supposed to be enforced. Leniency could be shown to those who stop for a minute or so to drop someone off.

This is not a mean-spirited approach since it will be clearly stated on the curb that parking’s not allowed.

Too many vehicles block roads all over Montecito. Gardener trucks jut out on roads even narrower than Riven Rock. Where I live on lower Cold Spring Road, when the grammar school has an event, cars stick way out into the road, making passage of emergency vehicles more difficult.

An even-handed approach is fair and needed in Montecito. The fire department could send a mailer to Montecito residents asking them to do their part, and to watch where their gardeners park.

A public process is the right way to do things. Notices can be placed at the Hot Springs trailhead and in newspapers. A public process should allow neighbors on Riven Rock to get relief, but also be fair to hikers. Time is of the essence. A solution needs to be found before fire season arrives.

Hikers who want to visit the hot springs can also park at the Cold Spring or San Ysidro trailheads. Or they can park near the Mount Carmel Church, and walk an extra fifteen minutes to get to the Hot Springs trailhead. There are plenty of places for hikers to park. They can also take the public bus, or ride a bicycle.


Bryan Rosen

Bear Rambles

Shaken, but not stirred by an odd feeling, Carlos, The Bear, had a hard time deciding if he should risk going into Santa Barbara to see an upcoming concert. What with COVID, the hassle of an Uber and no date to join him, he was getting flummoxed when his computer screen lit up with a special weather statement. A Tsunami Advisory had been issued for the West Coast of the USA!

Deciding between KT Tunstall at The Lobero or Jason Isbell with Shawn Colvin at The Arlington would have to wait, the Tsunami warning had him freaked and he needed to find out more. The statement said the event would begin at around 7:45 am the following day, locally. Phew! He had plenty of time to look further into this alarming matter. He searched Google and found that the waves were created by an underwater eruption of a volcano in distant Tonga.

Curious, Carlos found video taken by a satellite of the explosive eruption. Good Grief!! It looked like an atom bomb. Then, just by happenstance he glanced at his barometer, there on the chart was a spike from the exact time the pressure wave passed through The Cito.

Oh my, Carlos thought, 2022 is starting off with a BIG Bang then grabbed his Go Bag and began heading to higher ground. As he walked up Romero trail he figured if he rode this one out, he’d try and make both shows!

Michael Edwards

The Golden Rule 

J.W. Burks’ letter, “Lady Justice Wears a Blindfold,” is disturbing for his opposition to CRT, Critical Race Theory. Why should the notion that teaching simple fairness, decency, including the stories of injustice, be viewed with such opprobrium? Does he really believe that being “anti-racism,” or “ethnic studies,” is “trendy”?

I taught an entire social studies unit about the Plains Indians to my 5th grade class. It was mandated by the L.A. Unified School District in the ‘60s. We learned about the rich culture, the fascinating customs, their sophisticated art – that was ethnic studies. Invariably kids asked, “But where did they go?”

Teachers were encouraged to deal directly with fair-play. One year I had twin sisters in my class. They were quiet, shy, studious. Their Orthodox Jewish mother dressed them NOT in the latest fashion. They were subtly rejected because they were socially pretty awkward, and they were plump.

You can be sure this teacher took on Solange, Debbie, and Karen, the three Smarty-Pants, well on their way to become “mean-girls,” when I caught them planning to steal the twins’ Kosher lunch bags and trade them for Swift’s salami sandwiches.

The next day I assigned the entire class to write about a time when they felt left out. Not a single child out of 32 failed to write something. Guess who wrote the most powerful story? Yep, Solange, who had been ousted by her step-mother’s children whenever she went to visit her remarried father. I lent her my copy of D’Aulaires’ Fairy Tales, she immediately turned to “Cinderella” and wrote a poem about being a step-daughter.

We read Eleanor Estes’ The 100 Dresses, one of the best children’s stories ever written about ostracization. I hope it’s still in print. The After-School Blue-Birds made a play out of it.

Another year, after a new boy from Texas joined my class and was ridiculed for his twang and odd gait, I decided on an experiment. I divided the class into two groups, (unbeknownst to them, all the kids who wore blue versus all the ones who wore any other color).

Then I kept all the blues in from recess, I told them to clean out their desks and keep quiet while I took out my coffee thermos and corrected papers. Confusion, anger, upset… One girl threatened to walk out. I threatened to keep her after school. After a few minutes, a delegation rose up to tell me how unfair… etc. 

It was time to come clean when the very confused multi-colored children returned. We held the best discussion ever of what it’s like to feel discrimination. The homework was to write a paragraph, “When I was a BLUE…” while the other half wrote how they felt to be sent out without knowing why their friends were being “punished.” At least three kids wondered if that was how it felt to be Black? One even wondered if her adopted Chinese cousin felt that way. Not a single parent complained!

Thanks to Bloom’s Taxonomy, there was a huge emphasis on “critical thinking,” in the ‘60s. Whether teaching science, math, language, or social studies. Kids can think critically regardless of age. Ask a five-year-old why it’s not a good idea to pick on his/her smaller sibling? (Preferably not while in the act.) His sense of injustice will emerge, I promise.

When I taught Early American History in 6th grade, starting with the 13 Colonies when we, the people, revolted from British rule… it made sense to the kids why we sought Independence. Inevitably, the history of our country’s prosperity led to the study of the South. It too should be taught, not to make white kids feel guilty, but to make us aware of its hurt and what to do about it.

Kids LOVE writing solutions to adult problems. It makes them feel mature and important. 

Call it CRT, I prefer to call it The Golden Rule.

Josie Levy Martin  


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