Oxnard Blvd Bike & Pedestrian Path Approved by City Council
Summary prepared by Frank Nilsen
The Oxnard City Council approved Item O-1 on 11/25/2003, staff's recommendation for a new bike/pedestrian facility along Oxnard Blvd between Vineyard Avenue and the Oxnard Transportation Center (OTC), the City's intermodal public transportation (bus/train) hub.
Cynthia Daniels with the Transportation and Planning Department reported that funding for the $3 million+ facility has been secured via two Congestion Management and Air Quality (CMAQ) grants, one through the City, the other from the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC). She then introduced the City's consultant on the project, Juan Diaz, of Korve Engineering, who gave a presentation.
Several design options were studied. The one recommended (and approved) is a 2.5-mile, combination class 1/class 3 facility. In short, the facility will parallel the east side of the Union Pacific rail-road tracks as a class 1, and join city streets as a class 3 in two places: Vineyard Ave/Craig (a frontage road near the RR tracks), and Oxnard Blvd south of 2nd Street with a possible class 1 to the train platform at OTC. The trickiest section is crossing Gonzales, where bikes will share the pedestrian crosswalk.
Implementation includes securing access and right-of-way (mostly from Union Pacific RR), design and then construction from Dec 2004 to May 2005.
One person from the public spoke on this item, a Mr. Banjales with "the rail-road" (presumably Union Pacific). He voiced safety concerns over the proximity of the facility to the rail-road tracks. Councilman John Zaragoza commented that a minimum separation of 35' is required, and that the two rights-of-way will additionally be separated by a 3.5'-high block wall.
Mr. Banjales also complained that the City's creation of bike lanes along Pacific Avenue has INCREASED traffic congestion, and urged the Council NOT to sacrifice car lanes on Oxnard Blvd for the sake of bikes and peds. (!!!)
On a far brighter note, councilman Bedford Pinkard commented that this new facility has a wider focus in that it will eventually join a future facility along 5th Street to the east, and connect Oxnard with Camarillo through the county-wide bike network proposed by the County of Ventura in their Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.
Mr. Pinkard also voiced an urgency in getting bike/ped projects online quickly and mentioned one proposed project specifcally, the Santa Clara River Bikeway (extending along the river's south bank between U.S. 101 and Harbor Blvd). Mr. Pinkard stated that he is looking forward to providing harbor and beaches access for ALL of Oxnard via "bike paths with mini parks along the way." Sounds nice!
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