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Articles

Traffic headaches are likely our own fault

This is part two of a four-part series looking at tourism and its impacts on the community. In the next three stories we will look at the perceptions and realities surrounding those impacts and the community’s ability to change.
Editor's note: this story was revised March 24 at 10 a.m. to include additional information. 
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Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News reporter
There is little doubt that the volume of traffic in downtown Ojai increases with weekends. One has only to walk along the Arcade on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning to figure that out. The extent to which this is related to tourism, though, is not as easy to determine.
One problem is that there appear to be no current traffic counts measuring the difference between weekday and weekend flows in the city. Ojai Public Works Director Greg Grant said March 17 he was not aware of any traffic studies done within the past five years measuring this. And according to Michael Comeaux, public information officer for Caltrans District 7, the California Department of Transportation knows of no studies or counts showing traffic flow broken down by the days of the week in Ojai.
Comeaux said he sees the overall volume of traffic as high for the region, with tourism playing a likely role. “For one thing, Ojai is an attractive mountain community,” he said. “And second, it's in Southern California, which means the everyday volume of traffic is higher than California in general.”

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