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South County residents petition closing El Campo intersection

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The San Luis Obispo County of Governments' (SLOCOG) decision to study the potential closure of the El Campo Road intersection on Highway 101 has many South County residents concerned.

The study was initiated at a Dec. 5, 2018, SLOCOG meeting after the death of Cal Poly freshman Jordan Grant in October 2018.

Grant was struck by a BMW that was in the process of making an unsafe left turn at the intersection.

Victor Lund launched an online petition on Dec. 10 via change.org to advocate for a safe long-term solution for the intersection without closing it altogether. Lund is a resident of the Falcon Ridge Estates in Arroyo Grande, a housing development that lies adjacent to Highway 101 and the El Campo intersection.

He said he and other residents worry about emergency evacuations, as the intersection plays a vital role in their emergency egress route. Their preferred solution, he said, is an overpass above the intersection, but that's a project that would need a consensus from the city of Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo County, and Caltrans.

"We really support the idea of studying it, but closing [the intersection] would have a major impact on our system of roads," Lund said. "Closing it would put additional pressure on already pressurized roads."

The petition already has 1,022 signatures.

At the Dec. 5 SLOCOG meeting, collision data from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records system showed that from September 2012 through Dec. 31, 2017, 16 collisions occurred, none of which were fatal. In 2018, two collisions occurred with one fatality, Grant's.

Local Caltrans officials said they were prepared to act on a solution but need local consensus about what that is. Δ

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