By Chris Frost
Oxnard-- The Public Works and Transportation Committee, Sept 8, recommended that the City Council adopt a resolution, amending the Oxnard Truck Route Map.
The action will remove trucks on Oxnard Blvd from the US 101 Freeway to Gonzales Road and Vineyard Avenue from the 101 Freeway to Oxnard Blvd.
On May 21, 2019, the City Council approved removing the truck route designation along 5th Street between Oxnard Blvd and Rose Ave and the truck route designation along Oxnard Blvd between Gonzales Rd and the Five Points intersection. Oxnard Blvd meets Saviers Rd to the south and Wooley Rd running east-west.
Those areas have narrow streets and small corner radii that cannot accommodate large truck movements on the roadway and intersections.
City Engineer Tatiana Arnoudt presented the item to the committee and said some trucks are still using Oxnard Blvd.
"This is problematic for a number of reasons," she said. “One, the tight turns at most street corners, especially in the downtown area. This also contributes to traffic congestion, especially during peak hours."
She showed the committee a photo of a truck going northbound on Fifth Street, heading towards Oxnard Blvd.
"What you don't see in this picture is the truck hit one of our fire hydrants," she said. "This is clearly an issue that needs to be resolved. We're hoping that removing the additional portions of the truck route from the truck map will lessen trucks trying to go down the blvd."
The original prohibition of trucks in the area between Oxnard Blvd and the Five Points intersection did have some success, she said, especially from the 101 Freeway, which requires further restrictions.
"This is enforceable by the Oxnard Police Department, per city code section 8-65, which includes the enforcement of truck routes within the city limits," Arnoudt said. "Should heavy trucks be seen driving on roads not designated as truck routes within Oxnard, police officers have the authorization to pull them over and issue citations accordingly. This assumes they are not making deliveries, which are permitted under state laws."
She suggested alternate routes on Rose and Rice avenues, which are better suited for truck traffic and "much wider" and will remain unchanged.
"New signage and sign modifications will cost approximately $5,000," she said. "This is mostly for removing existing truck route signs out there on the boulevard and installing new signs that prohibit trucks on Oxnard Blvd. This will remind the truck drivers they are not supposed to be out there. The state gas tax fund operating budget has sufficient funds this fiscal year for this purpose."
Committee Member Tim Flynn asked where they'll post the new signs.
"They're going to be posted right off the 101 Freeway," Arnoudt said. "As these truck drivers are getting off the freeway, within the city limits, we're going to post no heavy trucks down Oxnard Blvd signs. We're also working with CalTrans to make sure they see the signs on the freeway, as well, so they are not tempted to exit the 101 onto Oxnard Blvd."
During public comments, Pat Brown agrees with the action but noted it is only part of what must be done.
"The truck signs on the freeway coming southbound on Ventura to Oxnard, the two big white signs that direct the trucks off at the boulevard needs to be removed," she said. "Signs need to be put up at Rice Ave off the freeway, so the trucks get off there, rather than Oxnard Blvd. That needs to happen because what you want to do isn't going to make any difference. Those signs on the freeway will continue to direct the trucks off at Oxnard Blvd."