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Should Laurel Curve Stay Closed Off?

After a spate of accidents, Caltrans has put up barriers along Laurel Curve, where on April 11, 2012 there was another major accident.

Santa Cruz County Supervisor John Leopold is holding a meeting at the Summit in Los Gatos on 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.

The Laurel Road exit is located south of Scotts Valley and about 12 miles south of Los Gatos' main entrance to the freeway.

"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 , 23800 Summit Rd., in Los Gatos.

Officials from the CHP and Caltrans will attend.

KATHRYN April 14, 2012 at 03:13 PM
The primary cause of accidents anywhere on Highway 17 is that drivers just don't respect the speed limit! This is one of those roads where it is very important to not exceed the posted limits. Perhaps it is time to reduce the speed limit to 35?
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz April 15, 2012 at 12:50 AM
I agree with Kathryn. I don't think anyone drives the speed limit. And if they did there wouldn't be this problem anywhere!

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