The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) Board of Directors voted to support the restriction of left-turns at four at-grade intersections on U.S. Highway 101 between the Traffic Way and Los Berros Road interchanges. The Board reviewed findings from the El Campo Road/South County Highway Access Modifications Traffic Diversion Assessment and public comments to help inform their decision.
This traffic diversion study – funded by SLOCOG, the City of Arroyo Grande, and San Luis Obispo County – provides technical information pertinent to the understanding of potential detour routes, and operational and safety implications to off-system roadways that may be caused by these partial closures. U.S. Highway 101 carries an average annual daily traffic (AADT) of approximately 66,000 vehicles in the area, which is one of the few remaining segments of U.S. Highway 101 through San Luis Obispo County that has not been upgraded to freeway status.
Long-term improvements such as a new full-access interchange are not explicitly addressed in this assessment but are considered in SLOCOG’s 2019 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). As a result of today’s meeting, the new findings will also be incorporated into the 2019 RTP. More in-depth, project specific studies, such as California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), are required to progress any long-term improvements and this assessment does not replace the need for these studies.
“With continued growth in the region and heightened use of the roadways by residents and tourists alike, these intersections are becoming more and more problematic and the public response has shifted to support restricted access in the short-term,” said SLOCOG Board President Fred Strong. “This support and the support of our local jurisdictions allowed us to make the decision for limiting left-hand turns on and off U.S. 101 at four at-grade intersections in South County today.”
The City of Arroyo Grande has already submitted a letter to show support for the partial closure scenario, and the County is expected to submit a similar letter to the County Board of Supervisors later this month. “Caltrans intends to proceed with restricting left-turn traffic movements from U.S. 101 at El Campo Road and three other intersections along this route between Arroyo Grande and Nipomo. The schedule and details are still to be determined,” said Caltrans District 5 Public Information Officer Jim Shivers.
SLOCOG will reconvene the stakeholder group to discuss implementing this interim improvement later this month. See SLOCOG’s El Campo webpage for further details.
The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) is an association of local governments in the San Luis Obispo region. Its members include San Luis Obispo County and its seven cities (Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo) as well as unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County. The central purpose of SLOCOG is to examine common regional problems and suggest solutions. SLOCOG provides transportation planning and funding for the region, and serves as a forum for the study and resolution of regional issues. In addition to preparing the region’s long-range transportation plan, SLOCOG plans and provides funding for public transit services, highway and roadway improvements, and other alternative methods of transportation.