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Public pressure grows for safety improvements at U.S. 101-El Campo Road interchange

The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments Board was urged Wednesday morning to make immediate traffic safety measures at the interchange of U.S. Highway 101 at El Campo Road in southern San Luis Obispo County.

Several speakers spoke for, and some against, closing the interchange completely or closing the left turn option from El Campo Road onto northbound Highway 101 at the SLOCOG Board meeting in San Luis Obispo.

Emotional testimony in favor of immediate safety changes came from the family of 18-year-old Cal Poly student Jordan Grant who was killed in October at the Highway 101-El Campo Road interchange while riding his motorcycle.

A memorial to Jordan Grant sits near the intersection along the highway.

The CHP said at the time of the incident the driver of a vehicle looking to turn left from El Campo Road onto northbound U.S. 101 pulled out in front of Grant as he was heading southbound on the highway causing the deadly collision.

Jordan Grant died at the scene, the driver of the vehicle involved was not arrested.

Grant’s father, mother, family members and supporters wearing “We Stand With Jordan” t-shirts with his photo on the front, urged the SLOCOG Board, which includes a Caltrans representative, to make immediate traffic safety improvements at the El Campo Road-Hwy 101 interchange to prevent further injury or loss of life.

They cited previous Caltrans and SLO County studies over the years that looked into traffic safety issues at the El Campo Road interchange at U.S. Highway 101.

Others who spoke Wednesday morning said any changes at the El Campo Road-U.S. 101 crossing will have profound impacts on traffic circulation in the area and create a hardship for those who live in neighboring residential communities.

SLOCOG has no authority to initiate immediate change, citing Caltrans jurisdiction.

But the SLOCOG Board has called a meeting next week of the main stakeholders involved in the issue including Caltrans, the County of San Luis Obispo, the City of Arroyo Grande and the CHP, to see what can be done immediately to address the traffic safety concern.

A traffic study will also be commissioned looking into the impacts of a total or partial closure of the El Campo Road – Highway 101 crossing on neighboring communities and traffic circulation in the area.

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