by Sue R. Bauer, Ed.D.
Darren Kettle, Execute Director of the Ventura County Transportation Commission, launched our day of information/investigation of transportation vis-a-vis the local environment. Mr. Kettle’s cogent explanation of current transportation/traffic issues in the county painted a picture that enlightened the issues that face Ventura County today. For instance the need for car pool lanes, the congestion at the transition at the 23 to the 101 freeways, others–and the bottom line for many of these improvements to our transportation system lies in the lack of funding to move forward with needed enhancements.
I gained a better understanding of why the Rice interchange is taking so long to complete—a major reason being that it is a narrow and highly trafficked interchange. We also learned that the county’s transportation commission does not manage all improvements. Was anyone else surprised by these revelations?
- Want to find out who represents you on the Commission? Check out the list of commissioners.
- What do you think about 1991 being the last time that we had a gasoline tax increase? Are we overdue?
- What do you think about Ventura County not having a sales tax on transportation? Do you agree with Mr. Kettle that we need a sales tax measure on the ballot?
The presentation by Steve Brown, General Manager of the Gold Coast Transit system, illustrated clearly that we have a transit system that cares about the county’s constituency and strives for a high quality of service. I was impressed that community meetings are held to garner feedback.
Wildlife Biologist Justin Brown, Santa Monica Mountains NRA, helped us understand challenges faced by wildlife in the area (e.g., wildcats, coyotes, mountain lions). His presentation made clear that animals are restricted in their promulgation and well-being because of the elaborate roadway system in our area and neighboring Los Angeles County. Although one of the significant thoroughfares that wildlife should be able to easily transverse is very near the Sheriff’s station where I volunteer, I had never considered the importance of an unobstructed throughway for the animals. For more information about the animals, visit to the Urban Carnivores site.
- What wildlife traffic patterns might be right in your neighborhood that you will now notice?
- When are you going to schedule your cruise over to the Channel Islands?
Our day wound down with engaging presentations by Outdoor Recreation Planners Margie Steigerwald and Melanie Beck. Our field trip to a view site over the Rim of the Valley Corridor (including explanations of studies of the area), plus the hike to Vista Point made an indelible imprint on our memories of the rich natural resources that are right outside our backdoors. Along with this realization, we came away with a better understanding of our role in taking care of the environment and supporting efforts to enhance the transportation system.
- Plus are you as excited as I am about seeing the new visitor center opening 6/9/12?
- Hope you’ll make comments on this post. Would love to hear from you.
Thank you to all agency representatives who made the day one will be remember.
VCLA wishes to thank Steve Brown and Gold Coast Transit for sponsoring the session. Special thanks to VCLA Alumna Margie Steigerwald, National Park System for major assistance and coordination in planning the program for the day and to alumna Marisue Eastlake for volunteering at the session.
Dr. Sue R. Bauer has lived in Ventura County for over 30 years. On May 19, 2012, she retired from the position of Director of Client Services in the Information Systems and Services Department at California Lutheran University where her major focus was computer training. This year’s experience in VCLA’s Cohort XVII has revealed to Sue a wealth of opportunities to contribute to Ventura County. She has a special interest in Law Enforcement and sustainability of the County’s natural resources.