Caltrans willing to look at changes to Creek Road/Highway 33 intersection

Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News reporter
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has unveiled a tentative plan for improving the driving conditions at the southern end of Creek Road: Convert a northbound passing lane of Highway 33 into a southbound merging lane for motorists making left turns from Creek Road.
“This only a conceptual idea,” stressed Caltrans traffic engineer Ashraf Hanna during a Caltrans community meeting March 23 at the Oak View Resource Center. “It has not been through all the conceptual steps of study, discussion and approval.”
The purpose of the meeting, he reiterated, was only to present the idea and to hear public input. About 30 Ojai Valley residents were on hand for the meeting.
One of the main problems with turning left from Creek Road onto Route 33 is that the driver must essentially cross three lanes of traffic, Hanna said. Two of those are northbound; the target lane is southbound. Moreover, he added, the traffic there can be heavy at certain times of the day, and it can be fast: Drivers traveling south out of Oak View often speed up as they cross through the last traffic light there. Visibility, he said, can be tricky for drivers emerging from Creek Road as well as for those approaching along the steep uphill curve on Highway 33.
The intersection, Hanna noted, has been the site of few traffic collisions. A northbound motorcyclist died there Oct. 8 after colliding with a turning car.

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