Crosswalk Lights Postponed

State budget cuts have postponed setting up flashing lights on California 33 at three crosswalks leading to Nordhoff High School in Ojai where one student has been killed and another seriously injured in the past five years.

California Department of Transportation engineers said they are unable to provide the $18,000 needed for the warning lights in this year's budget, despite promises that the beacons would be working before classes began last fall.

Caltrans engineers said they will resubmit the project for funding in July. If approved, flashing signals could be operating when classes start in September, they said.

Ojai Councilman Joseph DeVito, vice chairman of the Highway 33 Improvement Committee, said he will report the delay to the City Council but doesn't know if it needs to take further action.

"I'm disappointed," DeVito said. "But from what we hear of the state budget cuts, nothing surprises me."

Spurred by several citizen petitions over the years, the council prevailed on state legislators in 1989 to persuade Caltrans that warning signals for motorists were needed at the unmarked crosswalks.

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