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West Ventura County Focus

VENTURA : Plan to Ease Traffic at Intersection OKd

October 05, 1994|CONSTANCE SOMMER

Trying to unravel the snarled traffic at one of Ventura's most crowded intersections, the City Council has voted unanimously for a Caltrans proposal to widen the Seaward Avenue-Ventura Freeway interchange.

The proposal, which involves adding turn lanes and expanding the bridge over the freeway, replaces an earlier design that would have placed an on-ramp at Peninsula Street.

Council members backed away from that option after neighbors voiced opposition to the ramp, which they said would significantly increase traffic in their community and lower their property values.

"I came here tonight to thank you . . . for not turning Peninsula Street into a raceway to the freeway," Peninsula Street resident Joyce Trahan said Monday. "Who wants to live on the entrance to a freeway?"

Caltrans is scheduled to begin work on the $7.7-million project in 1997. The improved intersection will include state-of-the-art video surveillance equipment that would eventually allow the intersection's traffic to monitor itself. A computer connected to the cameras will "see" how many cars are backed up at a light and then adjust the traffic signal accordingly.

Specific improvements to the intersection include:

* Retrofitting and widening the bridge over the freeway from five lanes to eight lanes;

* Widening the northbound off-ramp on Harbor Boulevard by adding two extra turn lanes;

* Adding an extra left-turn lane on Harbor Boulevard north of Seaward Avenue; and

* Adding two lanes to northbound Harbor Boulevard, including a right-turn lane onto Seaward Avenue.

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