Aptos Pines resident seeks relief from school-bound traffic on Freedom Boulevard

Dear Street Smarts, Q: I am a resident at the Aptos Pines Mobile Home Park at 7515 Freedom Boulevard in Aptos. Every morning when Aptos High School is in session, the traffic going into the school blocks access to our park. There have been several occasions where our residents have been injured while attempting to exit the park, only to be broadsided by an oncoming car. The county put up a very small sign reading, "Do not block intersection," which is frequently ignored because the street isn't marked to reflect an intersection. Our request for such markings in the past has been denied because of the distance from the intersection of Soquel Drive and Freedom, and because of the recent addition of two traffic lights within yards of each other -- on Soquel at Dover Drive and Madison Lane. What steps do we take to have the county install a traffic signal on Freedom at the entrance to Aptos Pines? We feel a traffic signal is the only way to prevent accidents in the future. We are quite concerned that family vehicles filled with school children will be the next victims. Thank you, Terry Crovo, Aptos A: This problem is something your home owner’s association has been working with the county to try to mend for years, said Jack Sohriakoff, senior civil engineer for the county’s public works department. And the ball is in the association’s court, he said. “I’ve been discussing this issue with them off and on for many years but I do not know what they plan on doing,” he said. “We have never discussed signalizing their entrance.” Adding a signal to your intersection on the county’s dime may not be possible because your road is private property, said Sohriakoff. “We cannot expend public funds on this project,” he said. He encourages you to talk with your home owner’s association for updates on its plans to remedy the situation. “Anything that happens out there will be privately designed and funded by the park,” he said. “The Department of Public Works may have to review any improvement plans and issue an encroachment permit for any work done within the county road right-of-way.”
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