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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Moorpark

Officials Call for Removal of Stop Sign

May 17, 2000|KATRINA DEAN

Moorpark school officials have asked the city to remove a recently installed stop sign at Gabbert and Poindexter roads that sometimes forces school buses to idle with the vehicle's back end hanging over railroad tracks.

After the city installed three new stop signs at the intersection, school bus drivers heading south on Gabbert found they could not stop without exposing the vehicle to an oncoming train.

"One of my drivers came in and said, 'You should see this. It's scary and dangerous,' " said Jane Lavallee, transportation supervisor for the district. "I went out there and saw for myself."

Lavallee met with her drivers and told them to completely clear the tracks before stopping.

"To do that they have to be at least six feet away from the tracks, which puts them in the middle of the intersection," she said. "But I think that's safer than being on the tracks."

School district officials have sent a letter to the city asking officials to remove the sign or repaint the road markings to avoid any hazard for the school buses.

"My concern is that . . . it puts kids in danger," school board President Greg Barker said. "We come down Gabbert with at least one school bus full of kids every morning, and I'm not sure they considered that when they repainted the stripe."

Public Works Director Ken Gilbert said the city is working on a solution, but in the meantime, Mayor Pat Hunter said he would like to see the stop sign removed.

"If it is placing the back of the bus in peril then we need to remove it," he said. "Then the traffic engineer can look at the intersection and see if there is a need to stop southbound traffic or find some other way to accomplish the stop safely."

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