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Official Says Ventura Avenue Was Not Made for Shade


Dear Street Smart:


My distress comes from the fact that I recently moved to Ventura and discovered that there are very few trees on Ventura Avenue.

This means no shade, little beauty and less oxygen.

Ventura Avenue looks as if it has had little attention paid to the lack of trees over the years.

What about taking the ficus trees the city is digging up on Main Street and replanting them on Ventura Avenue?

I am a very concerned mother with children who need to see nature. Please consider this request.

Katherine Periolat, Ventura

Dear Reader:

Ventura Avenue, which is one of the oldest streets in Ventura, was not built with trees in mind, said city tree coordinator Tom Downey.

An eight-food-wide space is the minimum needed to plant a tree. Many residential side streets off Ventura Avenue have grassy sections near the curb that are roomy enough for trees.

But the sidewalks on Ventura Avenue are often narrow, with no room for vegetation of any sort, Downey said.

"Most of the avenue was developed for storefront businesses," Downey said. "To this day, there is no space for trees."


Dear Street Smart:

I wrote to you last May regarding the corner of Conifer Street and Oakleaf Avenue in Oak Park.

I asked that the county ban parking near that intersection because the parked cars block the vision of motorists trying to turn.

Unfortunately, when county workers came out to look at the intersection, school was out for the summer, so the problem had temporarily disappeared.

Now that school is well into the fall semester, the problem has resurfaced. The intersection is as dangerous as ever, for both motorists and pedestrians.

Jennifer White, Agoura

Dear Reader:

Last spring, Street Smart forwarded your letter to Butch Britt in the Ventura County Public Works Department.

After three visits to the corner of Conifer and Oakleaf, Britt and his inspectors decided there was no visibility problem at the intersection.

They did ask the owner of a large truck to park his vehicle elsewhere, so it would not block the view of traffic.

"We really did not see the type of problems that would lead us to prohibit all parking on those streets," Britt said. "When you do something like that, you have to look at it from all sides. The residents in the neighborhood would be pretty upset if we banned parking on their streets just because traffic gets heavy for a few hours each week."

But all is not lost.

Street Smart has forwarded your new letter to Britt, who said he will take one more look at the intersection to see if the problem has worsened.


Dear Street Smart:

All but one of the street railroad crossings in Simi Valley have been changed to the new surface coverings that are so nice to drive over.

The exception is the crossing just west of the Metrolink station on Los Angeles Avenue near Ralston Avenue.

Are there any plans to change this one as well?

Gayle Soles, Simi Valley

Dear Reader:

The city is planning to install the smooth rubberized railroad track covering at Los Angeles and Ralston, traffic engineer Bill Golubics said.

Six of the city's seven crossings were converted in 1992. The reason for the delay on Ralston is that the crossing is much longer and more costly to replace, he said.

While the first six crossings cost about $50,000 apiece, the last one will cost about $200,000.

The city has budgeted the project for 1996.

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