B40 Drive repairs coming this summer

Dear Street Smarts, Q: Would you mind poking around with county public works on the long-delayed reconstruction of Branciforte Drive by Delaveaga Park? The landslide there took out the southbound lane three years ago and the metering light for one way traffic is getting a little old. Regards, Chris Pearson via email A: Work to repair the storm damage there is to begin this summer, according to county public works officials. Direct questions about the project to Russell Chen at 454-2160. Keep an eye on county road projects at http://www.sccroadclosure.org/. Q: After they installed the traffic light at Graham Hill Road and Lockewood Lane in Scotts Valley, the left-turn lane from southbound Graham Hill to Lockewood is controlled by an arrow signal. This is very inconvenient for traffic turning left from -- and traffic traveling north on -- Graham Hill. Would it be possible to change the left-turn signaling from 'arrow control' to 'Left turn yield on green?' That configuration seems more environmentally expedient, as well as having other less-tangible benefits. There are precedents in our county for this configuration. For example, all four directions at the junction of Soquel Drive and Main Street in Soquel. John King, Felton A: The controlled left turn pocket's intent is to increase safety here, said Jack Sohriakoff, senior civil engineer for county public works. "Graham Hill Road is a high speed -- posted 45 mph) -- rural arterial roadway, and the intent was to provide a deliberate separate turning phase to increase safety at this location," he said. "The traffic signal at Graham Hill and Sims Road has the same signal phasing sequence." Meanwhile, at Soquel-Main intersection where there is a “Left Turn Yield on Green” for all four directions, this is an urban area where the speed limit is slower -- at 25 mph, Sohriakoff added. There are several more intersections such as that throughout the county, he said. Q: It's well known what a mess traffic is during rush hour between Capitola and Santa Cruz. Capitola Road should be four lanes -- or three lanes with a 'reversible lane' -- during rush hour. We spent a lot of tax dollars to make Capitola Road two lanes by adding trees in the roadway with little curbs around them. Those should be removed, with no parking allowed during rush hour.  This would double the traffic capacity.  The only problem area would be that little snaky section between 30th and Maciel avenues. It wouldn't take much to remedy that.  Bruce Koehler via email A: While there are no plans to widen Capitola Road now, there is the potential for such a project in the future, said Jack Sohriakoff, senior civil engineer for county public works. " Capitola Road could potentially be widened to accommodate more travel lanes; however, there must be a nexus to begin reviewing that need which will involve extensive traffic engineering studies, traffic models, and a series of community meetings for public participation," he said.  "If it is ever decided to pursue studying the need to add travel lanes to Capitola Road, the County Board of Supervisors would have to approve it.  The board would also have to approve the funding for the planning process." If Capitola Road is ever widened, funding must be identified and approved by that governing body, as well, Sohriakoff added.
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