By Jeffrey Weinstein, AIA
The San Diego Superior Court Judge ruled that “the City of Santee hadn’t adequately considered” how the proposed project “could affect wildfire evacuations”. The judge said the plan didn’t fully address whether residents “would have time to flee during an emergency”, the same issues Ojai Valley residents would face with a single-lane Maricopa Hwy.
Although the defeated project’s environmental report was found to be “inadequate and misleading”, neither Caltrans or the City of Ojai are required to prepare a similar environmental impact report for Maricopa Hwy because Caltrans claims Lane Reduction on Maricopa Hwy is “Categorically Exempt”. Caltrans claims “There is not a reasonable possibility that the project will have a significant effect on the environment due to unusual circumstances”, which we all know to be untrue due to the history of wildfire in the Ojai Valley.
Caltrans also claims “there will not be a significant cumulative effect by this project” which we all know to be untrue due to the increased number of vehicular and bicycle accidents due to Lane Reduction and the now 18-month old Demonstration Project. Speaking of increased accidents due to bike lanes, the link below from a “cycling and running” candidate for San Diego City Council believes “lanes for cyclists have become de riguer in the sense of being politically correct, but they are unwise and dangerous”.
In the meantime, while the City of Ojai moves forward with a plan that will be decided in a Ventura County courtroom, let’s end the Lane Reduction Demonstration Project now (before we have any more vehicular and bicyclist accidents), and please restore Maricopa Hwy to its original condition, as supported by the overwhelming majority of Ojai Valley residents.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Citizens Journal
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