Thursday, December 25, 2008

MAC Mulls MO Parking Options

Safety issues include recommendations for four-way stop at Alvarado and El Roblar

By Sondra Murphy
In an effort to create a safer traffic situation in Meiners Oaks, the Ojai Valley Municipal Advisory Council voted Dec. 15 to recommend several changes in the 500 block of El Roblar Drive.
The council recommended to Ventura County that a four-way stop be installed, complete with crosswalks, at Alvarado Avenue and West El Roblar Drive. As part of the joint motion by council members Jerry Kaplan and Russ Baggerly, the council is also recommending that a current bus stop in the 400 block of West El Roblar be moved closer to the corner of Alvarado Avenue, both for safety purposes and to open up parking options in the area. Baggerly also moved to create a loading zone on the south corner of El Roblar Drive near Alvarado Avenue.
It was after much discussion by the council and community that the recommendation was agreed upon. Nazir Lalani Public Works Agency was present to explain the study his agency completed last month regarding creating several “No Parking” zones that concerned local merchants in the burgeoning commercial area.
Those Public Works recommendations discussed by MAC last month were created based on site line visibility at the corners of Poli and Alvarado avenues.
After exploring reducing the speed limit, roadway berms and bike lanes, the council felt that stops signs, which Lalani said cost about $300 each to install, would be most effective in increasing safety in the 25 mile-per-hour neighbor-hood. Lalani said reducing the speed limit would be more expensive.
With the addition of stop signs to the council’s recommendation, Lalani said 40- to 65-foot “No Parking” zones would likely be unnecessary, as stop signs allow drivers to better observe vehicles or pedestrians and he said the agency would reassess if shorter “No Parking” zones, if any, should be called for.
Most of the public attending the meeting seemed satisfied with the MAC’s recommendation, as it allowed for continued merchant parking while addressing the safety concerns that initiated the Public Works study.
Increased Highway Patrol presence was brought up as necessary to prompt drivers into slowing down along the road. “Police are the key to safety,” said resident Laurie Dunn.
“Courteous drivers wouldn’t hurt, either,” said Baggerly.
The further issue about public parking and more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly features in Meiners Oaks proves a greater hurdle to clear, as funding for such a project is lean. Lalani said most county communities rely on very competitive grants to cover the costs.
Council member Florencia Ramirez suggested the council consider some long-term mitigation to the parking concerns. Baggerly asked executive director Steve Offerman to seek possible funding sources.
The Ojai Valley Municipal Advisory Council usually meets the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Oak View Community Center, 18 Valley Road. The public is always welcome to attend. Agendas and information are posted on 1st District Supervisor Steve Bennett’s web site at For more information, contact Offerman at or call 654-2703.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

if it ain't broke don't try to fix it. This is just a waste of time and money. don't worry as the months go buy more of these businesses will go out of business as the looming depression comes forth. When the businesses gone the parking problem is fixed . perhaps the businesses should be torn down for homes.