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SLOCOG looking to close left hand turn lanes near El Campo

Posted at 11:28 PM, Mar 21, 2019

The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments is taking steps to make Highway 101 and El Campo safer.

SLOCOG invited community members Wednesday night to weigh in on preliminary results from their traffic studies of the notoriously dangerous El Campo intersection.

They are proposing to close the left-hand turns on the highway except during emergency situations.

A recent traffic study surveyed this intersection of Highway 101 in Arroyo Grande, an intersection known for collisions.

New data shows safety can be increased by restricting left-hand turns across oncoming traffic.

“Motorists will still be able to go right in and right out of the existing intersections and there would be provisions for emergencies and crossovers,” said Peter Rogers, SLOCOG executive director.

Rogers says this approach will result in fewer collisions or low impact collisions if any were to happen.

18-year-old Jordan Grant lost his life at this intersection in October.

Now his family is demanding change saying this temporary fix is a step towards saving a life.

“It’s what we needed to hear and we believe that to be true,” said James Grant, Jordan Grant’s father. “We are trying to save the next Jordan’s life.”

The study looked at a worst case scenario meaning if all traffic took the same route, rerouted drivers would experience 2 to 7 minutes extra on their trips.

“There is no measurable decrease of the level of service at an intersection, there may be some increased delay but not to a measurable degree,” said Rogers.

One local worries those delays would increase in the event of a disaster.

“We already know these roads will be impacted and I want to see people have a choice,” said Victor Lund, an Arroyo Grande resident. “I don’t want to see a restriction on the roads we want to see road improvements.”

SLOCOG says the traffic study was expedited to find a solution fast.. but some are still pushing for a better long-term solution.​

“We want them to build an overpass, but we are not willing to say we’re okay doing nothing until you get an overpass,” said Grant.

A Caltrans District 5 spokesperson says the safety concerns are known and they want to hear from everyone to make the best decision.

“We don’t want to make a decision in a vacuum, we want to make that with the county, local businesses and certainly the public as we go forward,” said Jim Shivers, Caltrans District 5 spokesperson.

The final recommendations will be presented to SLOCOG where members can make a final decision at their April 3rd meeting in Atascadero.

You can still submit your comment here until March 26th.

Comments can be submitted to pio@slocog.org.