Pedestrian-only Areas in Germany

By Montecito Journal   |   August 23, 2022

I saw a letter by Jeffrey Harding about CVR and removing the parklets. He just wants it to go back to the way it was – this is a mistake in my opinion.

I am from Germany originally and know of the commercial value of pedestrian-only areas. Check out some images of this small city (about the size of Montecito) called Bad Toelz ( and especially the “Markstrasse” which is the main road through the old town. When I was a child in the ‘60-‘70s it was still open to car traffic. It has been converted to a pedestrian-only area a long time ago and is one of the main attractions for tourists! Parking is in lots at the edge of old town and people have to walk to any of the shops and restaurants in the old town.

Montecito has an opportunity to do this also! There is lots of parking down behind the buildings towards 101. I would propose Montecito redirect traffic from CVR down to the parking lots and close CVR all together. Another option might be to make CVR one way from Olive Mill westward and only allow parking on the north side since parking is more restricted there. Then have traffic routed one way towards the parking lots starting at the gas station by the stop sign on the west end of CVR.

This would free up room along CVR to create dedicated outdoor dining areas instead of the parklets. It would also allow a wide walkway to be designed that weaves around and through the restaurant patios to allow access to stores.

The Main Street in Bad Toelz just has cobblestones and two fountains plus flower planters in the summer, which could be nicer but makes it easy to use. Delivery trucks can still get in during dedicated times. It also has farmers and other markets regularly. I think that if CVR would be redesigned so that people were forced to park behind the buildings, they would get used to it and it would make the whole shopping and restaurant experience along CVR attractive for locals and visitors alike.

Eberhard Brunner

CVR Parklets

I have been in business on Coast Village Road for nine years and it is my belief that parking has always been an issue. If some businesses want to complain it should be to us, at 1236 CVR, and those at 1235, 1236, 1226, and 1230 CVR.

Our lease at 1236 CVR states that we have reserved parking spaces for patrons of each business in our building. Unfortunately, these spaces are never available to clients of our businesses as everybody parks in the 1246 designated lot to go shop on CVR or to attend the Farmers Market on Friday. 

Retail is down across the country and in our backyard for many reasons. The 2020 lockdown caused businesses to close their brick-and-mortar doors thus pushing and training people to shift to shopping online. This is one of the many effects the pandemic has had on businesses, however not one that can be solved by adding parking to the street when in reality, some CVR retailers should question themselves about their offerings to our community and tourists passing through. The Montecito demographics have changed with migration to our coastal town that occurred during the pandemic. A new wave arrived in Montecito during the pandemic, I’m not sure our retail offerings have changed to match the needs of our new and growing community! I hear many people, clients, and tourists comment: “Where do you shop around here? There is nothing!”

As one of the few business owners whose business is actually being affected by the lack of parklets on CVR, I STILL BELIEVE that the parklets should remain as the good they bring to CVR outweigh the bad. Parking has, and will always be an issue on this road, removing the parklets will not solve this. 

The fact is, the parklets are bringing a lot of good exposure to all businesses on CVR and it will be sad to see this go away. 

Outdoor dining has made our city feel alive again in many more ways than one. It is my belief that this is a GREAT gift that COVID-19 has brought not only CVR, but also other parts of Santa Barbara County like State Street.

The parklets should stay, as they bring more seating, more foot traffic, more revenue, and more new customers for local businesses therefore creating a huge benefit to the city as well (tax revenue/tourism/etc.).

To the city, I propose you this: what if the city instated a permit system to allow parklets to businesses that are willing to pay for it? – a process that has been enacted by other cities to accommodate parklets! 

This system will generate revenue for the city, ensure that the benefits of increased foot traffic for local businesses remain, and it will appease residents by, hopefully, ensuring that one day, parking meters do not make their way to our CVR – further urbanizing our beloved beach town.

Joel Mallet

Parking and Parklets

There is primary reason to take to take out the parklets: One group of merchants (the restaurants) should not be able to do more business on the backs of all the other merchants and professional offices on Coast Village Road!

The parklets served an emergency purpose that is now gone and they should be gone as well!

From a health and environmental standpoint, the 20% reduction in available parking spaces also has hundreds of cars prowling for a parking space each day, spewing out poison from their exhaust. Bad for the people eating in the parklets, a medical fact!

Warmest best,

Ernie Salomon

Time to Learn a Lesson

It seems as if Mr. Rinaldo Brutoco stubbornly ignores the lessons of the Ukraine/Russia war while he denigrates natural gas, the cleanest of the fossil fuels and nuclear, a key clean, safe, and green energy source. Has he learned nothing of the leadership folly in Europe and their reliance on an autocratic government as their key energy source? Germany especially errored in shutting down their nuclear plants, something they are trying to reverse now. European countries, now desperate for more natural gas, are building LNG terminals to accept natural gas from the USA which has ample supply once the Biden administration allows them to produce and ship it. Maybe this pending energy bill in congress will allow that. But, in the meantime, Europeans are turning to the dirtiest fossil fuel coal, to support their natural gas capacities for the upcoming winter. Such are necessities. Sometimes heat waves require the AC and when it is 104 degrees no one worries about the energy sources. That goes for required heat when freezing cold temperatures arrive. It is one thing to preach about energy sources in the pleasant coastal town of Santa Barbara and quite another to do so in Bavaria in December. When you are traumatized by the actual effects of climate change you need energy to cope with them and you want the switch to “Go ON” no matter the source.

Most reasonable people can agree that low-carbon green energy is an important energy goal for our country and solar, hydrogen, and wind, but also hydro and nuclear, need to be part of the solution as we transition away from fossil fuels over the next couple of decades. And plentiful U.S. natural gas will be a key fuel in the transition. The next generation of nuclear is a key solution and one advance is Small Modular Reactors or SMR’s (something promoted by Bill Gates) which are safe, clean, and carbon-free. The Department of Energy views small-footprint SMR’s as a key source for power, desalination, and other industrial uses and will play a pivotal role in protecting our environment and promoting energy security. And just like in making a Tesla, mining, milling, manufacturing become part of the carbon-unit mix that is required if we are going to innovate and move forward.

I would not be so quick to criticize Fareed Zakaria when he supports natural gas and nuclear as part of the present solution Mr. Brutoco, it makes you seem absurd.

J.W. Burk

Blinders On?

To the Editorial section of the Montecito Journal.

Do you have blinders on? Why are you not publishing letters to the editor about national and worldwide issues? Do you not care that our Republic is being systematically taken apart by the left, including a senile president who cannot even put his jacket on?

Isn’t it the job of the press to keep citizens informed so they can make wise and informed decisions?

Case in Point:

Do you not care that out of control spending by our politicians is increasing inflation? Do you not care that the IRS, the DOJ, and the FBI are being weaponized against average Americans who disagree with the leftist agenda? Do you not care that 87,000-armed IRS agents will be unleashed on average Americans? Do you not care that the full weight of the federal government is being used to target former Pres. Donald Trump instead of being used to deal with America’s many problems?

Going forward, please do your job. Keep your readers informed about what is happening in the real world.

Diana Thorn

Popcorn on the Fifth

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump and the GOP were enraged at Hillary Clinton’s handling of potentially classified material as Secretary of State. A congressional investigation was established to get to the bottom of this alleged scandal. When several Clinton aides pleaded the Fifth Amendment, Donald Trump said, “The mob takes the Fifth Amendment. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

Since 81.2 million voters removed Trump’s humongous rear end from the White House, this Crown Prince of Corruption and his henchmen have been singing a different tune. Eric Trump, John Eastman, Roger Stone, Alex Jones, Jeffrey Clark, and Michael Flynn have each pleaded the Fifth Amendment more than 100 times. Amateurs! On August 10, at a four-hour sworn deposition in a New York civil case regarding the Trump Organization’s business practices, Trump “took the Fifth” more than 400 times. Some say that Donald Trump is the most corrupt president since Warren G. Harding. That is (as he would say), “so unfair.” In reality, compared to Trump, Warren G. Harding is like Mother Teresa.

As far as the handling of potentially classified material, let’s see what’s in those fifteen boxes (some clearly marked “Classified”) that Donald Trump illegally transported to Mar-a-Lago. The FBI’s search warrant was legally obtained and legally executed. How will the Fox puppeteers and their MAGA marionettes justify Trump’s clear breach of national security? Get out the popcorn. This should be very entertaining. 

Robert Baruch  


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