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Long Road Ahead for Seaside Bike Path and Trail Plan

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dear Street Smart:

Once a week I like to ride my bike through Oxnard and Ventura.

My favorite routes run along the ocean, but there is no continuous beachfront route.

Are there any plans to establish a continuous bike path along the beach?

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Irene Adelson, Oxnard

Dear Reader:

How does a 220-mile-long trail system complete with long beachfront path sound?

As you read this, just such a project is in the works.

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Ron Blakemore, administrator of the county’s Regional Trails and Pathways Program, is busy seeking approval from 50 or so government agencies before taking the trail proposal to the Board of Supervisors next month.

The proposal includes a path that would follow the beach near Harbor Drive, wind though Mandalay State Beach and continue through McGrath State Beach and on to Channel Islands Harbor.

It could be years, however, before the path is actually built.

“It is a mammoth project,” Blakemore says. “We’re just getting started.”

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Dear Street Smart:

There is a “no right turn on red” restriction at a Camarillo intersection that I think is unnecessary.

I frequently drive west on Pleasant Valley Road, turning right onto northbound Las Posas Road.

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Right turns on red are not permitted, so I often get stuck waiting until the light turns green.

What makes this so infuriating is that rarely is there any cross traffic.

I suspect someone from traffic engineering will say the signal restriction is intended for late afternoon, when there is a lot of traffic coming from Point Mugu.

But the bottom line in my opinion is that the restriction should be removed.

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Dan Murphy, Camarillo

Dear Reader:

The city of Camarillo does not share your opinion.

At least not for now.

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The speed limit on Las Posas north of Pleasant Valley is 50 m.p.h. South of Las Posas it is 50 m.p.h.

Because traffic is moving at such high speeds, it would not be safe to allow motorists to turn onto Las Posas on a red light, says traffic engineer Tom Fox.

However, in 1996 the city is planning to completely overhaul the intersection, Fox says.

As part of the project, the city is considering a redesign that would allow right turns on red.

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Dear Street Smart:

I wrote in several months ago about a problem with the timing of lights on New Los Angeles Avenue.

You responded that the delays were caused by missing or damaged traffic detectors. But the timing problems persist.

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Why are the lights on New Los Angeles Avenue still not synchronized?

Sometimes you can get through without hitting a single red light, while other times you are forced to stop at every light.

The way it is now is like living in the dark ages. Is there any reason why the traffic can’t go smoothly through there?

Michael Zarky, Moorpark

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Dear Reader:

Yes, there is a reason.

The signals at Park Lane and Liberty Bell Road are timed to change color simultaneously, but as you have noted, there is no guarantee this pattern will continue farther down the road, namely at New Los Angeles Avenue and Moorpark Road.

The reason? High traffic volume and an abnormal traffic signal.

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The heavy traffic flow at that intersection prompted Caltrans to install a signal outfitted with several left turn arrows and specially timed green, red and yellow lights, says Caltrans traffic engineer Bob Houle.

What this means is that the signal is timed to function on its own, ensuring that traffic gets through the intersection smoothly.

Since this signal does not operate on a “normal” timing schedule, it would be impossible to match its green lights with those of others down the road, Houle says.


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