Thousand Oaks eliminating traffic lanes- Meeting on this Thursday

Editorial

By George Miller and Susan Kline

Yes, you read that right. Instead of adding road capacity to reduce congestion and transport more people faster, Thousand Oaks is doing just the opposite.  This is a part of a nationwide campaign. Safety is cited as the justification.  But, some  say it is linked to Agenda 21, which aims to get people out of their cars, walking, or into public transit.  The only catch is that Thousand Oaks is laid out for driving. Things simply aren’t “walkable” as planners indoctrinated in “Sustainability” concepts would hope. Most destinations are miles away, not yards. With well over a hundred thousand people in Thousand Oaks and one of the highest cars-to-people ratios around, this can lead to major problems and frustrations.

calming

Typical layout for the appraoch

Remember these buzzwords for what they are doing:

– Calming lanes

– Road Diet (We are NOT making this up)

-Complete-Street

What they are doing is narrowing down roadways to only one lane in each direction in most cases, greatly reducing the capacity and average speed of already crowded roads. The empty space remaining is filled with extended turn lanes, bike lanes, parking, foliage or just stripes.  This has been done with ten major secondary city arteries already. The Police and Public Works Depts. are said to be solidly behind this. This is progress, folks.  We have already heard and read endless complaints about Lynn Road, the major North-South artery West of Moorpark Road.

Dramatic safety improvements are cited. One might conclude that damage must be minimal when cars can’t move.

A fawning article in Tuesday’s “Star” newspaper (warning: “paywall”) extols the virtues of this approach, quoting officials and enthralled citizens alike as being all for it while providing only one example of someone who doesn’t like it, immediately contradicted by another resident.

A 2011 article in the Acorn documented the situation and claims at the time, with the Avenida de los Arboles project. “Noncompliance is evidence of an unwarranted stop sign,” said Jay Spurgin, Thousand Oaks Public Works Director.  Curiously, he did not use that logic for speeding tickets, which noncompliance might similarly suggest a desire for people to get where they’re going more expeditiously. That might suggest providing a few arteries designed for cars to go faster and safer instead of returning to cow-paths- with stripes.  Further safety gains might be achieved by prohibiting residents from leaving their living quarters.

Now, there’s also a new state law that says cars must pass at least 3 feet away from a bicyclist.  Per Damien Newton, in “New Green Bike Lane in Thousand Oaks, “About a year ago, Thousand Oaks also instituted a road diet on a major stretch of Avenida de los Arboles , adding bike lanes and calming traffic, though  some neighbors were upset that planners also removed a stop sign in the process, because traffic was naturally slowed by the other changes made as part of the project.” bicycle traffic is nearly nonexistent most of the  time. 

Thousand Oaks resident Bill Hicks said: “what do you think would have happened if these grandiose ideas were subject to a vote by the Citizens of Thousand Oaks? This is an example of City Council Members listening to Sacramento, Washington D.C. and beyond instead of the constituency that voted them into office. Maybe voters should pay more attention to the records of who they vote for.”

A meeting will be held at 6:30 P.M. this Thursday where you may learn more and express your views:

Civic Arts Plaza- Oak Room

2100 Thousand Oaks |Blvd., T.O

http://toaks.org/hillcrest

_______________________________________

Susan Kline is President of CAPR (Citizens’ Alliance For Property Rights) Ventura County, a Realtor & civic activist, residing in Thousand Oaks.

George Miller is Publisher of Citizensjournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard (formerly in Thousand Oaks).

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2 Responses to Thousand Oaks eliminating traffic lanes- Meeting on this Thursday

  1. Greg Muller February 21, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    A friend who was there said that the public was overwhelming opposed to this, except some cyclists. I have no problem with bike lanes, as long as driving lanes aren’t eliminated. City officials tried to plow through objections with their predetermined outcome- surprise, surprise.

    Reply
  2. Citizen Reporter February 20, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Forwarded by “Susan”:

    Subject: RE: T.O. A21 eliminating traffic lanes!

    I need to do another sit-in on Arboles and document the activity. Moorpark/Arboles is backed up for blocks at rush hour because they’ve eliminated lanes.

    No bikes, no pedestrians – just lots of cars sitting through two-four traffic light rotations. This is crazy.

    Reply

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