In a step city officials hope will resolve one of Ventura’s most emotional issues, residents will now be able to design their own traffic controls--including speed humps and stop signs--under a new traffic management program.
According to a report, the city receives more than 200 complaints each year about excessive speed or traffic volume on city streets.
Under the new program--approved 6 to 1 Monday night by the City Council--residents could draw up their own traffic controls and have the city install them, as long as 67% of their neighbors agree to the changes.
For measures such as installing speed limit signs or putting out a radar trailer, the city would cover the costs.
For more radical measures, such as installation of speed humps or a barrier, residents would have to pay the costs.
Only Councilman Gary Tuttle voted against the policy, saying he had reservations about “traffic designed by citizens.”
“In a perfect city, in a perfect world, wouldn’t we want traffic engineers to make these decisions?” he asked.
But city Traffic Engineer Nazir Lalani told Tuttle that in cities across the country, residents are better than bureaucrats at deciding what they need to slow speeding cars in their neighborhoods.
Even as city officials unveiled the plan, residents were already on hand to talk about their neighborhood traffic problems.
Bill Basner, who lives on the 1700 block of Poli Street, said cars zoom by at up to 60 mph in a 35-mph zone.
Larry Pearson, who lives in the Ventura Keys, asked the City Council to build a barrier on Coral Street so visitors to nearby Marina Park cannot park on Bayshore Avenue or race back to Peninsula Street.
Several residents of Beachmont Avenue also turned out to support the plan.
Resident David Gladstone said he thought that it was a start, but said it needed some fine tuning.
He said the costs of physical improvements should be borne by all residents, not just those living in the impacted area. He also questioned how the city would define the borders of the affected area.
“That is open to subjective interpretation,” he said.