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West Ventura County Focus

Proposed Interchange Work Stirs Concerns

November 01, 1995|NICK GREEN

A proposed $7-million revamping of the Carmen Drive interchange on the Ventura Freeway has some residents of a nearby Camarillo residential enclave alarmed over its possible effect on the neighborhood.

Sixteen residents of the Sunshine housing tract south of the freeway have formed a committee to oppose the interchange upgrade, apparently because they believe it would increase traffic.

The proposed improvements represent the second phase of a project designed to alleviate traffic congestion at the Carmen Drive over-crossing. In a $4-million first phase, slated for completion in April, crews are widening and rebuilding the overpass.

The larger, second phase consists of realigning and widening Ventura Boulevard, bringing the boulevard closer to 10 residences and a mobile home park, and installing freeway ramps and a traffic signal at Granada Street. Completion is dependent upon state highway money availability.

The council has scheduled a public hearing on the latest part of the project at its 7:30 meeting tonight at City Hall, 601 Carmen Drive.

Committee organizer Karen Cory declined comment on her group's concerns until after the council meeting. But at an April, 1992, city meeting held to discuss the project, Cory and other residents said the proposed on-ramps and off-ramps at Granada Street would increase traffic at the only intersection that connects the subdivision to the rest of the city. Residents wanted the ramps moved west of the intersection.

Project planners say a different roadway configuration is unacceptable and would cost more. Dan Greeley, municipal engineering director, dismisses any traffic increase in the neighborhood as "inconsequential."

Still, some residents support the project.

"It will help with our privacy," said Chapel Drive homeowner Tom Selke, whose living room window provides an unobstructed view of the 12,000 vehicles that use Ventura Boulevard daily. "It will cut down on the noise."

A planned embankment topped by an eight-foot-high wall would shield Selke's home from the elevated roadway.

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