Sojka Proposes Freeway Improvements

Candidate for Simi Valley Mayor Steve Sojka is proposing improvements to the 118 freeway, according to the news on his website this morning. Sojka is proposing landscaping improvements on the primary freeway and the on and offramps. This is another of Sojka’s Quality of Life improvements, and another that makes use of Community Development Agency funding rather than tapping into Simi Valley’s general fund.

The detailed release is as follows:

Mayoral candidate blasts state’s ability to maintain the Ronald Reagan Freeway to Ronald Reagan’s standards

SIMI VALLEY – Simi Valley City Councilman and Mayoral candidate Steve Sojka today announced an ambitious public-private partnership proposal for beautification of the Ronald Regan Freeway (118) over the next 12 to 18 months. The program will have minimal direct cost to Simi Valley taxpayers, and will result in landscaping and other improvements along the freeway corridor including its on- and off-ramps.

Councilman Sojka will present details to the Simi Valley City Council at its meeting on Sept. 20, and ask for the Council’s support to direct staff to develop a comprehensive plan to bring back for Council approval.

“My vision is to create a scenic green corridor along the entire Simi Valley portion of the 118 Freeway by developing a collaboration of public and private partnerships that will enhance the aesthetics and improve the image and quality of life for all of Simi Valley,” Councilman Sojka said. “These improvements could be funded through Community Development Agency funds, Adopt-A-Highway proceeds and volunteer projects by Community Service Organizations with minimal cost to Simi Valley residents. My goal is to complete this ambitious project for the immediate beautification of the 118 freeway.”

Steve Sojka is Simi Valley’s representative to the Ventura County Transportation Commission. With VCTC, Sojka has worked in collaborative efforts to bring much-needed traffic and transportation corridor improvements to his hometown of Simi Valley.

These improvements include the 118 Freeway widening, the Madera Road-West City entrance improvements, the Erringer Road bicycle lanes-landscaping project between Royal Avenue and Fitzgerald Road, and the brand new Bus Facility CNG fueling station.

Councilman Sojka recently met with California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and City officials to develop Sojka’s plan to beautify the 118 freeway through landscaping and maintenance with public-private partnerships.

Steve Sojka has been a Simi Valley City Councilmember since 1998, twice served as Mayor Pro Tem, and is currently running for Mayor. For information about Steve Sojka for Mayor, visit www.sojkaformayor.com or www.facebook.com/sojkaformayor.

11 thoughts on “Sojka Proposes Freeway Improvements

  1. Actually Laura, Caltrans has been working on those darn ramps for at least three maybe four years. I certainly hope it gets done in MY lifetime! I have always pushed hard for the landscaping in our community, but I have to tell you this has been the hardest, and keeping it clean?? Well that’s a whole other subject especially with the 400/600 trash trucks traveling it day and night…. (You knew I was going to get the trash truck in there didn’t you?) 🙂

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  2. Laura,
    Even when CalTrans does complete the landscaping, they don’t maintain it and it’s dead within two years……….how’s that for government spending?>??

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  3. Sure Laura, I like it because it so simple and does not cost Simi Valley taxpayers directly. The CDA gets its funding by freezing property tax values at a certain year’s level, and any values above that each year (as property values increased over the years) must go into the CDA account and can only be used for community development projects for the community’s benefit. That is exactly that this project is, a project for the community’s benefit.

    If CDA funds are used, it does not impact the City’s general fund, which means it would not impact the City’s ability to fund services such as police, roads, etc.

    Then, read the rest of Sojka’s release. “These improvements could be funded through Community Development Agency funds, Adopt-A-Highway proceeds and volunteer projects by Community Service Organizations with minimal cost to Simi Valley residents.” Adopt-A-Highway funds, meaning donations from businesses and organizations that pay into a fund to get their signs along the freeway. And Community Service Organizations would provide donations and labor to do the rest.

    Tell us how any of this would contribute to “costing the Federal government $1.3 trillion more each year than it brings in.” Enough with over-dramatization in this campaign.

    Sojka’s plan is simple and straightforward, and meets a community need, and proposes to do it relatively quickly. That’s why my post was a simple statement of support; no need to prose poetically all about it like too many comments on this blog. I’m not voting for the candidate who uses the most words. I’m voting for a candidate who simply gets things done that we need.

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  4. Landscaping in today’s economy where government funds are already too thin is a bad idea in my opinion. How about fixing some of the streets in Simi Valley first before focusing on landscaping?

    If this plan only included private funds I’d be all for it but let’s stop using public funds for more than basic needs and flowers/grass on the side of the road is not basic need.

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  5. Well said Laura. The view that the taxes our government collect from each of us is free money, is very short sighted. We need to use those funds for city projects that have no other source of funds and/or need supplemental funds. Caltrans receives plenty of money from the state for these projects
    The problem with Caltrans is that once a new project is slated for a stretch of highway, they discontinue maintenance for that portion until the project is completed. Thus all the dead landscaping.

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  6. Look, if Caltrans would allow private enterprise to landscape and maintain our freeway, I say we precipitate by allowing the business to place signage advertising the business that financed the landscaping. (Tastefully done, of course). In all the years I have lived here and been on the City Council, I’ve see Caltrans plant trees and flowers on the 118 off ramps and within 2 to 5 years it’s deader than a door nail. Want an example? Take a look at the Park Brides at each off ramp. They NEVER water anything, and the only time they come and whack the weeds is if someone (mostly me) ask the City Manager to call them and take care of the mess. Another example, look at the off ramp at Stearns……. So NO, I will not support using CDA money. It would be like throwing good money after bad. Oh and by the way, Caltrans has one man for every thirty-seven (37) miles of freeway.

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  7. Barbra: Glad to see you don’t like the idea of using CDA money. I agree it would be a mistake and a waste of money. Lets keep using CDA money for services we can control. If we have that much for aesthetics, improve to looks of our streets. Mr. Sojka’s idea is a campaign motivated concept that sounded like a “motherhood” proposal, but instead is a poorly thought out idea that would waste money.

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  8. I just think we need a little common sense when we start spending that kind of money. I agree with Steve that we need to do something with the freeway because it’s ugly…but I would perfer private enterprise if we can go that route, cause I know it will get done and get done right.

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