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Caltrans Drops Controversial Plan To Put Roundabouts On South County Highway To Slow Traffic


Caltrans has dropped a controversial plan to try to improve safety on a busy South Coast highway which included installing a series of roundabouts.

Highway 126 between Santa Paula and Fillmore has been the scene of a number of deadly head on accidents over the years, because there’s no center divider between westbound, and eastbound traffic.

Caltrans added some rumble strips, speed reduction signs, and other minor improvements to try to slow traffic, and reduce accidents. The agency also came up with a proposal: Build a concrete median barrier, and install a series of four roundabouts between the two cities.

But, the plan drew widespread community opposition over the impacts on commuters, as well as how it might slow emergency response times for public safety vehicles. Ventura County Supervisors went on the record as opposing the concept.

Now, Caltrans officials say they’ve decided to drop the roundabout and median proposal. They say that they agree with opponents that the safety improvements made in 2012 have made a difference. They say they will monitor the safety issue, and if they feel changes are needed, will start a new process to work with the community to come up with a plan.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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