Transforming State Highways to Complete Streets

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

What would you do if three state highways within your City limits were relinquished to you by the State? The City of Oxnard was presented with this question, and they took it to the public.

Beginning in 2008, the actions of the California Transportation Commission, by way of Senate Bill 1366 (Negrate McLeod), resulted in the relinquishment of portions of State Route (SR) 1 (better known as the Pacific Coast Highway), SR 34, and SR 232 to the City of Oxnard. The City would now administer the operations and maintenance of these designated state highways within the Oxnard city limits. Consequently, the City would have greater control over their local transportation segments.

The relinquishment of these facilities began the City’s journey to find a transportation solution that would serve all users, essentially creating complete streets corridors that would serve their community for years to come.

In 2013, the City was awarded a Community-Based Transportation Planning Grant by Caltrans, which would allow the City to study these corridors in depth to find alternatives that would meet their needs. Omni-Means, having a breadth of experience developing and delivering complete street projects, was then retained to prepare the Oxnard Corridor Community Transportation Improvement Plan, also known as the OCCTIP. The project’s theme was “Transforming State Highways to Complete Streets”.

The purpose of the OCCTIP was to develop corridor plans for portions of the three state highways (The Pacific Coast Highway [SR 1], SR 34, and SR 232).

Community Member Commenting on Alternatives

Omni-Means and the City  set out to develop a truly community based project; therefore, with assistance from Moore & Associates, Omni-Means hosted over a dozen public workshops where various different corridor improvement alternatives were presented.

At these workshops, it quickly became clear there was a strong desire by the City’s residents for improved mobility along the corridors. The workshops were held during the day, in the evenings, and on weekends at various times in order to accommodate all residents wanting to provide input on this important community-enhancing project. The workshops were also hosted at a variety of venues, such as the local high school, the community college, public library, and city buildings, all of which are located along the study corridors.

In addition to the residents, many stakeholders, including downtown business groups, were involved in the workshops and provided valuable input. The residents and stakeholders overwhelmingly supported several of the suggested corridor improvements.

Major outcomes from the OCCTIP included shifting the alignment of Oxnard Blvd. between Vineyard Avenue and Robert Avenue to the east to provide for a green space and transit stops, and reducing a wide section of former freeway on Oxnard Blvd. between Channel Islands Blvd. and Pleasant Valley Road to provide for reduced travel lanes, land for new residential development, and the expansion of College Park with new access. Suggested corridor improvements included:

  • Bike lanes for entire corridor
  • Curbs, gutters, and sidewalks
  • Wider sidewalks, whenever feasible
  • Medians, whenever feasible
  • Transit stops
  • Appropriate high energy efficiency lighting
  • ADA compliance upgrades, where required
  • Safest possible crosswalks, bump-outs and bulb-outs
  • Low-water landscaping with consistent theme
  • Signage/wayfinding
  • Street furniture, decorative lighting, public art, etc.
  • Incorporate grant and  developer improvements in progress
  • New roundabouts and/or  signalized intersections
  • ITS traffic control to improve traffic flow
  • Remove truck route  designation on Oxnard Blvd
  • Rice Avenue/5th Street UPRR flyover
  • 5th Street expanded to four-lanes from/to Rice Avenue

In addition to providing the conceptual design drawings, Omni-Means developed the cost estimates, a phasing plan, and provided direction for transportation funding through various local, state, and federal programs and grants.

The plan was accepted by the Planning Commission on April 19, 2016 and approved by the City Council on June 7, 2016. The final OCCTIP report can be found at:

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