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ORANGE : La Veta Gets Arterial Status Over Protest

August 20, 1994|LESLEY WRIGHT

A section of La Veta Avenue will widen from two to four lanes as traffic increases over the next 20 years.

The City Council named the street as a modified secondary arterial highway to bring it into conformity with their master plan and to ensure the city's continued eligibility for $70 million in Measure M transportation funds.

About 100 neighbors packed a public hearing this week to try to stop the council from taking any action, even if that meant conflict with the county and loss of funds for a variety of roadway projects. Council members listened for nearly two hours to protests but then explained that the move was the best way to protect the neighborhoods from uncontrolled traffic growth.

"I believe we cannot stay still," said Councilman Mark Murphy. "We have got to take a proactive plan."

The improvement options presented by City Traffic Engineer Bernie W. Dennis were the result of a community committee that had studied the issue for about 18 months.

That committee formed after the city removed the section of La Veta between Cambridge and Glassell streets from a study for a $25-million project to prepare arterial roads for traffic growth. The committee offered three options for the council to consider.

A "no project-no change" option would remove the street from the master plan of arterial streets and put the city at risk of litigation from nearby cities. Another would provide devices for traffic control and a third, which was approved, made the street a modified secondary arterial highway.

The measure meant the city can widen the street from 34 to 46 feet and add two traffic lanes in a series of phases when and if traffic demands it.

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