2013-01-24 / Community

Intersection changes aimed at cyclist safety

A city intersection will be made safer for bicyclists with a $115,300 federal grant.

The Highway Safety Improvement Program grant, awarded through CalTrans, will be used to extend a left-turn pocket at Avenida de Los Arboles and Westlake Boulevard.

The change would reduce conflicts between vehicles going north through the intersection of Avenida de Los Arboles and Westlake Boulevard and cyclists making a left turn onto Avenida de Los Arboles by prohibiting left turns from the curbside lane, a staff report said.

The number of left-turn lanes would be reduced from three to two, the report said.

To make up for the loss of a lane, the left-turn area in the median on Westlake Boulevard would be extended 400 feet, said city engineering associate Kathy Lowry.

“(This will ensure) cyclists can . . . safely get through the intersection,” Lowry said at the Jan. 16 Traffic and Transportation Advisory Commission meeting.

The project will be designed in-house, and the City Council will decide when to put it out to bid, Lowry said.

“Hopefully by this time next year the project will be complete,” she said.

Commissioner Sharon McMahon said she approved of the plan.

“I have been in a bicycle in an intersection trying to turn left and it’s scary,” she said. “This is a great project. It’ll be helpful not just for the cars, but for the cyclists.”

In addition to the federal grant, the city hopes to also receive a $100,000 grant from the California Resources Agency to construct a paved bike path from Avenida de Las Flores into Conejo Creek Park North. The project would cut travel times for bicyclists by providing access betweenAvenida de Las Flores and Janss Road, a staff report said.

The city will be notified whether the grant request was approved in the spring.

Anna Bitong

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