Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Fulton Street Extension Answer to Traffic Problems?
By Nao Braverman
The line of cars waiting to turn off Bryant Street onto Ojai Avenue at rush hour is getting longer as new developments spring up in the Bryant Street industrial area.
Commuters are frustrated and Bryant Street business owners worry that the increasing traffic has degraded the already-questionable safety of the intersection.
A partial solution is in the works, though some wonder whether it is the most sensible step to alleviating traffic snarls. At tonight’s Planning Commission meeting, commissioners will consider the Fulton Street extension project.
The proposed extension will connect South Fulton Street with Bryant Circle and allow commuters to access Bryant Street by turning onto Fulton.
The extension is just one of several traffic improvements that are to be implemented as Bryant Street developments arise. They include adding a right turn lane, continuing the Fulton Street extension to connect it to Fox Street and Willow Street, and possibly adding a roundabout in the future.
Because each project is partially funded by traffic mitigation fees charged to developers of the Bryant Street area when they apply for building permits, the traffic improvements will occur in conjunction with development proposals. If the building doesn’t happen, neither will the traffic improvements, explained city planner Katrina Schmidt.
For now the only traffic improvement being proposed is the extension of South Fulton Street to connect it to Bryant Circle.