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Ventura County Focus | East County / THOUSAND OAKS

Foes of Road Project Cite Study, Petition

July 14, 1998|JASON TAKENOUCHI

Opponents of an embattled road project added fuel to the controversy Monday when they released an independent analysis blasting a city-sponsored traffic study and filed a petition opposing the project.

The planned roadway, an extension of Borchard Road in Newbury Park, is set to have portions with a 12% slope, far steeper than the city usually allows. By comparison, the Conejo Grade has a 7% slope.

A city-funded road study by Ventura-based Willdan Associates criticized the plan last week and recommended a variety of safety measures, including a raised median and a prohibition on use of the road by trucks heavier than 10,000 pounds.

But a new study commissioned by local homeowners takes both the road project and the Willdan study to task.

The new study, by a traffic engineer who serves the city of Hermosa Beach, calls the Willdan review "contradictory and fraught with errors."

Among those errors, the new report contends, are a 30% underestimation of traffic volumes on the planned road and flawed engineering comparisons.

The result, according to the report, is a road that would endanger drivers and residents.

Opponents of the road extension also filed a petition with the City Council on Monday that they said bears the signatures of 800 local residents.

Final word on the road's future could come at a City Council meeting at 6 tonight, when the council will consider changes recommended in last week's Willdan study.

Project opponent Jim Nelson said he hopes the petition and the new study will sway the council.

"It should put them in a position where they don't have a choice but to reject the recommendations and try over, because there are so many problems," he said.

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