Since the park opened in June 1999, residents have been upset about
the additional traffic on their street and want a freeway ramp to divert
it. Residents want the ramp as long as Fern Lane is closed to traffic
from the freeway and sports park.
In the past, Caltrans has rejected any ramps as long as it didn't
include access to Fern Lane. Caltrans officials have also said the
offramp is not a high priority on their spending list.
Dozens of Fern Lane residents showed up at City Hall Tuesday night to
again push for the freeway ramp. Similar to a meeting in April, they
talked about speeders, noise and traffic and how it is not safe for their
children to be playing in the frontyard.
"You used to look forward to sleeping in on the weekend," said Ken
Steele, president of the Fern Lane Homeowners Assn. "Not any more. The
traffic and noise start at 7 a.m."
Fern Lane homeowners have petitioned the city for four speed humps
between Carrie Lane and Delisle Court to slow traffic, and the city's
Transportation & Parking Commission will consider the request on June 26.
Residents said they look at ramps, rather than speed humps, as the
answer. The problem is overcoming Caltrans policy and the cost, which can
run $840,000 for northbound ramps and $7 million for a full interchange.
Council members were sympathetic to residents. Mayor Dave Weaver said
he is willing to close Fern Lane at the park as long as it can be opened
for emergencies and regional tournaments. He said the cost for a
northbound ramp of just under $1 million can be split between the city,
state, county and federal governments.
"I think the city should pay its share for the residents," Weaver
said. "We are talking about spending $250,000 for A Noise Within. We can
put up money for an offramp."