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Plan to Curb Illegal Use of Disabled Parking Is Winner

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dear Street Smart:

Earlier this year, the city of Oxnard started a program where volunteers would patrol parking spaces for the disabled and ticket illegally parked cars.

At first, I saw them around quite a bit, but in recent months, I have not noticed any ticket-writing.

I was very impressed with their work and thought they did a great job.

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Is this program still in effect?

William F. Langley, Oxnard

Dear Reader:

The program is alive and well.

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Fewer tickets are being written of late because most motorists have stopped parking illegally in the spots for the disabled, says Sgt. John Crombach, who supervises the city’s traffic unit.

“I think after a while people started to figure out that they weren’t going to get away with it,” Crombach said. “It’s really been a successful program.”

In January, Crombach selected four disabled residents who had applied to work as volunteers. He trained them in the art of ticket-writing and sent them out to scour shopping malls and city streets for parking scofflaws.

In the first few months, the volunteers wrote hundreds of the $290 tickets, Crombach says.

“At first, they were really busy,” Crombach said. “But lately, things have slowed down quite a bit.”

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Dear Street Smart:

Each day as I exit the Santa Paula Freeway at the eastbound off-ramp for Victoria Avenue, I am frustrated that there is no right-turn lane.

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There is always some insensitive driver who pulls smack into the middle of the right lane, which leads straight into the Government Center.

This blocks anyone who wants to make a right turn on red onto Victoria.

The problem could be solved if a right-turn lane were installed.

This light is long (more than one minute) and always causes me grief.

Can we get a right-hand turn lane?

Marsha Gibson, Ventura

Dear Reader:

You will get your right-turn lane.

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But first you must wait.

The intersection is on Ventura’s list of projects in need of improvement, but it is fairly low on the list, Traffic Engineer Nazir Lalani said.

Other projects, including relieving congestion at clogged intersections and repairing crumbled roadways, take top priority, Lalani said.

So the addition of a lane at Victoria and the Santa Paula Freeway is five years or more down the road.

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Dear Street Smart:

Is it possible to install some passing lanes on California 118 between Moorpark and Oxnard?

As it is now, there are few opportunities to pass slow vehicles. This often creates a dangerous situation when impatient drivers pass illegally.

It would be a great help if there were a few passing lanes. It is very frustrating to be stuck behind a car going 40 m.p.h. in a 55-m.p.h. zone.

Can anything be done?

Bruce Leeds, Moorpark

Dear Reader:

The state Department of Transportation is aware of the problems on California 118, but a state funding shortage has pushed back plans to widen the roadway.

“We have a project report that calls for widening the road from two to four lanes, but we don’t have the funding to do it,” Senior Engineer Luu Nguyen said.

In addition to a funding shortage, most available money is being diverted to earthquake repairs and seismic retrofitting of bridges, Nguyen said.

Because of the budget crunch, even installation of a few passing lanes would be too costly, Nguyen said.

According to Nguyen’s most optimistic estimate, the widening project would not begin until after the year 2000.


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