On Tuesday, December 17, 2002, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors acted to modify and supplement the traffic management improvements approved for Santa Rosa Road in July. Following neighborhood rejection of a plan to create a local assessment district to pay 1/3 of the cost for a traffic signal at Santa Rosa Road and Yucca Drive, the Board approved use of Norweigan Grade Funds to cover the total cost.
In clasic County form, the projects approved by the Supervisors are only vaguely defined in the formal documentation available, and an implementation schedule is yet to be defined, but the community seems to believe they have 'won'. In addition to $93,000 worth of "warning" groves at the edges of the traffic lanes, and $6,000 worth of additional signage dealing with caution concerns, there will be a $20,000 traffic calming median and monument sign installed at the West end of the Valley. All of these items will be paid for by funds which are being diverted from their original purpose of improving the Norweigan Grade road.
The Supervisors required that spending be limited to insure that adequate funds are available to pay for future maintenance of the Yucca Drive signal. This reservation could result in some of the approved projects being reduced to match the available funds. At the same time, there are hopes that future deposits to the Norwegian Grade Fund will provide for even more.
As the construction at the Moorpark / Santa Rosa Road intersection has demonstrated, without detail design commitments these assumed 'wins' can end up being very hollow. The County staff is given (takes) a lot of latitude in implementing the guidance provided by the Supervisors.
Unfortunately, the County's refusal to endorse and follow the current transportation plan, and their failure (refusal) to update the plan they don't like, will probably result in significant portions of these transient enhancements being lost to the next round of 'improvements'.
Improving road safety was clearly defined as the goal of the community when it became involved in the County's approval process. Hopefully the approved improvements will fulfill this goal when they are implemented.