Ventura residents who live in the hillside neighborhoods behind Ventura High School now have a number to call to have Poli Street opened for ambulances and other emergency vehicles to pass.
Fulfilling an agreement with the Ventura City Council, the school district has installed a hot line in the high school’s attendance office that will be used only to receive emergency calls from hillside residents.
The number is 648-CALL, or 648-2255.
When school officials receive a call on the line, they will remove the barricades that close off Poli Street between Seaward Avenue and Catalina Street during school hours.
The school district and city agreed last year to at least temporarily close that section of Poli Street to boost campus security and decrease traffic noise on campus.
But many hillside residents have objected to the closure, saying that because the barricades make it more difficult to enter and leave their neighborhood, a safety hazard is created in the event of a fire or other emergency.
As part of a compromise designed to keep the street closed, the school district agreed to install the emergency phone.
“It’s in response to some concerns of the City Council in reference to emergency access of hillside residents,” said Joseph Richards, assistant superintendent of the Ventura Unified School District.