Public concerns raised at contentious forum on deadly Arroyo Grande intersection

March 23, 2019

Supporters of making changes to the deadly El Campo Road and Highway 101 intersections

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

During a San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) public outreach meeting Thursday on potential fixes for a deadly Highway 101 intersection in Arroyo Grande, parents of a Cal Poly student who died in a crash at the intersection spoke out against landowners whom they say would like to develop a neighboring property. [Cal Coast Times]

A consultant for SLOCOG asked attendees to raise their hands if they supported making safety changes to the El Campo Road and Highway 101 intersection, and all but about four people showed support. Many speakers voiced their support for closing the intersection to left hand turns.

On Oct. 6, Jordan Grant, 18, was riding his motorcycle southbound on Highway 101 near El Campo Road. A man living in the Falcon Ridge Estates on the west side of Highway 101 attempted to make a left turn onto the highway, pulled out in front of Grant’s motorcycle, killing the Cal Poly student.

Grant’s parents, James and Becky Grant, have since lobbied local officials and Caltrans to stop allowing left hand turns across four lanes of the highway while they seek a permanent solution to the danger that the intersection poses. SLOCOG is conducting an assessment of the implications of restricting access to the intersection of Highway 101 and El Campo Road.

At Thursday night’s SLOCOG meeting, held at the Arroyo Grande Hospital Annex Conference Room, a consulting firm presented a study of traffic at the intersection. The Grants attended the meeting, as did Susan Smith, a woman seriously injured at the intersection.

Smith said she suffered a spinal fracture and brain injury. Her brain condition is probably not getting better, Smith said.

James Grant said the special interests of nearby landowners are preventing the intersection from getting fixed. Grant directed his comments at major landowners who want to develop land across the street.

The landowners want an overpass, and they believe if the intersection is closed the overpass will never be built, Grant said.

A Caltrans spokesman said the agency also wants to carefully study what the potential changes might look like before finding a solution.

The debate over the intersection has also sparked controversy in Arroyo Grande city politics. During her recent election campaign, Mayor Caren Ray Russom signed a petition circulated by the Grants demanding changes at the intersection and wrote a letter to Caltrans about the matter.

But, Ray Russom now claims the Grants have misrepresented her views on the matter and that she was not in favor of permanent closure of the intersection. Ray Russom threatened to have Change.org remove the petition.

On April 3, SLOCOG is scheduled to make a determination on what changes if any will be made at the intersection.

People wishing to have their voices heard can send their comments to pio@slocog.org on or before March 27.


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Noodly Appendages

What we have here is a bunch of people who are too ‘in a hurry’ to go up Valley Rd or down to Los Berros (where there is an actual modern freeway crossing), and are willing to do something horribly dangerous for you. It’s literally a couple extra minutes. Who wouldn’t I kill for a couple extra minutes tho, am I right? Caren Ray (you ran with that name you false thing, you keep it) is trying to ‘grow’ Arroyo Grande at the behest of our rotten supervisors who have identified south Arroyo Grande as the next development opportunity. An overpass will make annexation possible. Please resist the citification of this county. One selfish landowner is pulling the strings on Caren (at least where this proposed development is concerned).

$50. worth of paint and a few hundred in signs and the safety issue is solved. Period. NO LEFT TURNS is what the signs should say, not New Homes From the Low $900s!


kayaknut

Come on now we all know when the government is involved it won’t be just 2-3 hundred. After a few “Studies” costing at least 10,000 each, to close it off the taxpayers will be on the hook for $50,000 or more. I remember when the Brisco ramps were closed and the amount it cost to keep them closed and then the amount it cost to reopen them, I thought to myself, gee a private sector company could have done it for 1/10th the cost


Mjd

I think if we look at the integrity of the family of Jordan Grant, and we compare it to the integrity of Caren Ray Rossum, it’s pretty obvious who is lying, and caren ray Possum ought to be ashamed of herself.


While she may try to get the petition on Change.org taken down, the rest of us ought to try to get Ray Rossum removed from office, she is not worthy of our trust.


Speak truth to power.


Julie

Couldn’t help but notice Caren Ray Russom is not in the photo.


Noodly Appendages

Are you saying…Vampire?!?!