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STREET SMART

'Smart' Project on Beach Blvd. Will Be Done in Phases

January 31, 1994|CAROLINE LEMKE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dear Street Smart:

In recent months, Beach Boulevard has been widened and repaved from Stage Road in Buena Park to Hillsborough Drive just south of La Habra. I understand that this has been done as part of a Beach Boulevard "super street" project.

What I don't understand, however, is why the three lanes don't continue just a little farther north to West Imperial Highway, which is a major intersection used by a large volume of traffic.

Hillsborough Drive only provides access to one housing tract, and northbound through-traffic on Beach must still squeeze down from three lanes to two just north of there.

Dennis F. Hanrahan La Habra Not to worry. Construction on the segment between Hillsborough Drive and Imperial Highway should begin in the fall. The "smart street" (formerly known as "super street") project is being worked on in phases, but that does not necessarily mean the phases get done in order of geography.

As you know, Beach Boulevard flows through many cities and therefore requires a lot of coordinating among these cities and the Orange County Transportation Authority, which is overseeing the entire project.

Some segments received higher priority than others because they were easy to complete or traffic volumes were high and needed immediate attention, John Standiford, spokesman for OCTA, said. Some segments were pushed back on the schedule because traffic in the area wasn't as heavy, or there were difficulties, like obtaining a right-of-way, he said.

From an engineering standpoint, the segment between Stage Road and Hillsborough Drive was completed relatively quickly because all that was needed was widening the street and rehabilitating the pavement, Standiford said. Making improvements from Hillsborough to West Imperial Highway is more complicated because OCTA had to coordinate with the city of La Habra, which intends to widen a portion of the roadway as part of a separate project, and Caltrans, which has jurisdiction over West Imperial Highway, and Los Angeles County, which has jurisdiction over the west side of Beach Boulevard there.

Dear Street Smart:

Going north on Moulton ParkwayQ from Calle Aragon to El Toro Road, I notice tiny reflectors on the left side of the street. They are very helpful, especially when they designate a left turnout.

From El Toro to Santa Maria Avenue, there are none. This area is heavily traveled by older citizens, many of whom use the left turnout. In rain, fog and at night, we often start slowing down to locate the turnout.

This slows down traffic unnecessarily. Since this area will be more heavily used during the El Toro Y construction, I feel that it is doubly wise to correct this.

Bethel Tante Laguna Hills The stretch of Moulton Parkway you describe is under the domain of the county. A combination of painted striping and raised, reflective pavement markers called Botts dots are part of the standard road design for this area, said Ignacio Ochoa, traffic engineer for Orange County.

Ochoa said he will assign traffic investigators to look at Moulton Parkway between El Toro Road and Santa Maria Avenue. If Botts dots are lacking in this area, they will be installed, he said.

Dear Street Smart:

This is about confusing road signs on Marguerite Parkway. Going south on Marguerite it merges to one lane after Avery Parkway. Two signs posted on the right side of the road say "Lane Ends, Merge Right." But painted on the surface of the road are arrows pointing left to merge left.

For people who follow road signs and would like to be in the correct lane for turns and merges, this sign is very confusing. The road was paved recently. I think the arrows were painted wrong at that time.

Neela Mukund

Laguna Hills

Mission Viejo traffic engineer Shirley Land said your letter was the first time she has heard of some sign confusion on Marguerite Parkway at Avery Parkway. The roadway there was resurfaced last summer.

Land said her department will check out the area and if there is indeed a contradiction between roadside signs and arrows painted on the road, they will correct the situation. Land suggests that in the future, if there are questions or concerns about roads in Mission Viejo, to call her office directly. She can be reached at the Mission Viejo City Hall, (714) 582-2489.

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