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Outlet Parking Based on Total Square Footage of Stores

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dear Street Smart:

My question concerns parking at the new Oxnard Outlet Mall.

I’ve been to the mall several times on the weekend and, each time, it was clear that there is not nearly enough paved parking at the mall.

Cars end up having to park in very dusty, unpaved lots.

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I’m surprised that the city would allow a developer to build so many new stores without requiring adequate paved parking.

Shopping at the Rose, the Wal-Mart center that opened last year just down the road, has a huge paved parking lot.

Why doesn’t the outlet mall?

Antonio Soto, Oxnard

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Dear Reader:

The answer to your question is simple, although perhaps unsatisfying.

The city of Oxnard bases its parking space requirements not on the number of stores at any particular location, but on the total square footage of stores at the site.

For shopping centers such as the Oxnard Outlet Mall and Shopping at the Rose, the city requires one parking space for every 225 square feet of shopping area, says Linda Windsor, associate planner for the city.

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Believe it or not, the number of paved parking spaces at the outlet mall actually slightly exceeds the requirement.

The mall, which is about 147,000 square feet, has about 675 parking spaces.

These numbers are, of course, dwarfed by the Wal-Mart center, which contains a mammoth 500,000 square feet of shopping area accompanied by 3,500 parking spaces.

But more parking spaces are on the way at the Oxnard outlet. As part of a plan to build a second phase of stores, Windsor says, the developer will also pave a second parking lot.

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Dear Street Smart:

I’m really fed up with a glitch in the design of an intersection in Ventura.

The problem is in trying to turn left from eastbound Telegraph Road to southbound Victoria Avenue.

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While the far-right lane on Telegraph is set aside solely for cars turning right, a second lane is designated for both right-turning cars and for those continuing to go straight.

The problem is that although the signal is designed with a right-turn arrow, if you end up in the second right-turn lane behind a car going straight, you are stuck until the straight-ahead light turns green.

Aside from being a major irritation, this fault in the design of the intersection causes unnecessary traffic backups.

I’d appreciate the city’s attention in addressing this problem.

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Paul Hill, Ventura

Dear Reader:

The city is all too aware of the problems at this troublesome intersection.

A project scheduled to begin by the end of the year will ease the traffic congestion at the intersection, Traffic Engineer Nazir Lalani says, although it is not designed to solve your particular concern.

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The biggest complaints that the city has heard about this intersection are that the left-turn arrow from westbound Telegraph onto Victoria is too short and that there are not enough lanes heading south on Victoria.

Under the new plan, a second left-turn lane will be added on westbound Telegraph and another lane will be added on southbound Victoria.

Your concern about cars turning right from Telegraph onto southbound Victoria is harder to address, Lalani says.

After studying the problem, the city has concluded that the only way to solve it would be to add another lane so that two lanes would be set aside exclusively for cars turning right.

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Doing so would mean cutting into property owned by surrounding businesses, and the city is investigating the possibility of doing just that, Lalani says.

Yet another problem occurs at the intersection when students from nearby Buena High School cross against the light en masse during school hours.

Lalani says he plans to make a report on the pedestrian problem to the Ventura City Council in September.

“We’re chipping away at the problem bit by bit,” he said. " We’re trying to do everything we can to get the traffic running smoothly there.”

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Dear Street Smart:

Caltrans recently made a change in the striping on the Moorpark Freeway that could be a safety hazard.

The change is at the northbound on-ramp to the Moorpark Freeway from the eastbound Ventura Freeway.

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Until a few weeks ago, the ramp continued as two lanes all the way from the Ventura Freeway onto the Moorpark Freeway. Now the two lanes are merged into one--right near a big curve in the road.

Many drivers who are used to the old way are not slowing down to merge. I’ve already seen several near-misses.

Why was this change made and can anything be done to clear up the confusion?

Chris Miller, Thousand Oaks

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Dear Reader:

The striping change on the Moorpark Freeway will help more than hurt, says Bob Houle, traffic engineer for the state Department of Transportation.

Before the change, traffic coming from Los Angeles on the Ventura Freeway was forced to squeeze into one lane before entering the Moorpark Freeway.

What Caltrans has done is shift the lanes so that the heavier flow of Los Angeles traffic now has two lanes entering the Moorpark Freeway, while the lighter flow of traffic coming from Ventura has only one.

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“It’s the lesser of two evils,” Houle said. “We’d like to have two lanes on both directions. Since we can’t do that, we wanted to give more space to the direction with more traffic.”


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