Dear Street Smart:
We live in the Buenaventura Mobile Home Estates, and the lack of a stop light on a nearby road is very dangerous.
The problem is at the intersection of Darling Road and Wells Road, also known as California 118.
Traffic is so heavy on Wells Road that it is almost impossible to get onto it from Darling.
There are nearly 300 coaches in this park, and many of us agree on the need for a signal.
With all the construction on the roadway and the nearby Saticoy Bridge, are there any plans to install a signal at this intersection?
Herman and Clara Rudin
Good news: Caltrans is installing a traffic signal at Darling and Wells this week.
"We've had a lot of calls from people who are concerned about this intersection," said Ventura Traffic Engineer Nazir Lalani. "We agree that it is very dangerous, and we think this signal will improve conditions."
A second signal will be installed at nearby Citrus Drive, north of the Santa Paula Freeway.
Once the signals are installed, Lalani says, Caltrans and the city of Ventura will synchronize the lights all the way from Telegraph Road to Nardo Street.
Dear Street Smart:
I've been commuting between Ventura and Camarillo for some time and am unhappy with the slowdown going north on the Ventura Freeway where it narrows from three to two lanes at Vineyard Avenue.
Every night when I go home, I end up in a backup that sometimes stretches for two to three miles.
There seems to be a relatively simple solution to this problem.
Caltrans could close the northbound on-ramp from California 1 where it merges with the northbound Ventura Freeway, and instead put in a third freeway lane going north.
There doesn't seem to be much traffic coming from the California 1 on-ramp anyway, and drivers could use the Vineyard on-ramp instead.
This would be an easy way to solve the slowdown problem.
How about it?
Caltrans is all too aware of the problem you write about, and fixing it is at the top of the agency's list of road improvements.
However, shutting down the California 1 on-ramp is not quite what Caltrans has in mind, Traffic Engineer Ali Peykanu says.
"We have examined all the options in this area very carefully," Peykanu said. "Closing Route 1 might be good for some drivers, but it would cause a lot of problems for others."
On its current schedule, in 1996, Caltrans is planning to begin a $57.6-million project to widen the Ventura Freeway to four lanes in each direction from Vineyard Avenue to Johnson Drive.
Dear Street Smart:
I resent a traffic signal on Lynn Road in Thousand Oaks that is red more often than necessary.
The signal is between Hillcrest Drive and the eastbound Ventura Freeway ramp.
Its purpose seems to be to help cars turning south onto Lynn from the westbound Ventura Freeway.
I don't mind stopping when there are cars actually making the turn, but more often than not, there are no cars turning, and I have to wait for no apparent reason.
Would it be possible for the city to install a sensor so that the signal would only change when cars are actually present?
This seems to make more sense than having the signal automatically turn red when there are no cars in sight.
It may be possible to alter the signal to make it traffic-sensitive, a state Department of Transportation spokesman says.
But the agency must first check out the problem to make sure that installing a sensor would not trigger other traffic tangles nearby.
Meanwhile, Thousand Oaks Assistant Traffic Engineer Roy Meyers says the city would consider picking up half the cost if Caltrans agrees to install a new trigger device.
"It seems like it would be a good idea to have sensors there," Meyers said. "It would help traffic flow more smoothly."
Responding to concerns of parents and teachers at Madera School in Simi Valley, the City Council has approved the installation of a traffic signal at Royal Avenue and Vaquero Drive.
The signal is scheduled to be installed by the time children return to classes in the fall.