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Should Laurel Curve Stay Closed Off?

After a spate of accidents, Caltrans has put up barriers along Laurel Curve, where Wednesday there was another major accident. Is this the best solution?

County Supervisor John Leopold is holding a meeting at the Santa Cruz Summit next Wednesday to talk about what should be done about Laurel Curve, the dangerous spot on Highway 17, where there was a and another .

"Two weeks ago after a heavy rainstorm, Caltrans made a unilateral decision to that connects to Laurel Road," Leopold wrote to his constituents.

"Although Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) had reportedly been considering this closure for awhile, there was never a public forum to discuss the impacts on the surrounding community."

Now, the supervisor says, more than 100 families who live around Laurel Road are complaining that they are forced to make dangerous U-turns on 17 and adding 30 minutes to trips to school and work.

"It's a dangerous curve, no doubt about it," said Leopold in an interview. "It's unforturnate that they speeded up the trafic there and then blamed it on the turnouts."

He said Caltrans made the decision without consulting the local residents. The barriers are temporary, but a decision needs to be made on whether they should stay.

"Government does not work best when we dont talk with our constituents," said Leopold. "I want people in the community to work with Caltrans and see if we can work out a solution."

The meeting will be held 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Loma Prieta Community Center, 23800 Summit Rd. Officials from the CHP and Caltrans will attend.

Liz Payne April 13, 2012 at 02:34 PM
I think it should be semi-permanent. A study should be done on the effect it will have on fatal accidents at the turn-round points of Sugar Loaf and Summit - only time will tell. I suspect that calculated cross overs at these locations verses loosing control at Laurel would result in less fatalities.
EJ April 13, 2012 at 03:27 PM
It's the drivers not the road so I don't believe spending millions to "fix" it will help. You need to do the simple stuff first! Put those speed bump things on either side of the approach to the curve. Triple the price of tickets for speeding & unsafe driving on Hwy 17. First time is a ticket. Second time vehicle gets impounded and county gets revenue from fees. Also, drivers found to be at fault for accident must pay for first responders.
Johnri April 13, 2012 at 06:23 PM
How many people drive over 17 each day? How many fatalities at Laurel Curve? How many people live in the neighborhood?

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