Road improvements are a benefit rather than affront
Dr. Robert D. Argyelan
I must be getting old. I remember when the sanctity of life was more important than the preservation of a tree, even 150 trees, all of which are a renewable resource, unlike that of a human life. I also remember when we listened to each other, communicated our thoughts, and found satisfaction in working to find resolution to differences of opinion through honest discourse.
I read with interest the discussion of the San Vicente Road improvements and found myself agreeing more with the expressions of Mr. Spencer, Ms. DaSilva and Mr. Loranger for they embrace more greatly an understanding of the need for changes to be made to this roadway. Like Mr. Spencer—both he and I served as presidents of the San Diego Country Estates Association in the past—I appreciate the right of the association’s board of directors to take a position on community development.
Like he also, I recognize that a position contrary to road improvements is only the opinion of four of the five members of the board of directors and not necessarily a reflection of the opinions of the people who reside in the Estates.
Homeowners were not queried as to what it is that they want with regard to the road. Rather, they received only a petition that argued in opposition to improvements. Perhaps the public might have been better served had the board of directors educated their homeowners rather than merely try to influence them to agree with the opinion of the board.
However, a petition in opposition is what homeowners received and it cited the board’s rational in asking for signatures of support. The petition recognized that the speed limit would not change from its current cap. It made the assumption that a straighter road, one without the current dangerous curves, would encourage greater speed rather than making the assumption that such a road improvement would decrease the cause for many of the accidents which have occurred on the road over the course of many years.
The board in its petition cited that the improvements would include a horse and bicycle trail, but then made the assumption that no horse or rider would want to travel alongside cars traveling at 50 mph. They did so rather than assuming that equestrian riders train their horses for such roadway conditions as evidenced by the scores of horseback riders in the Estates who trail ride along both Gunn Stage and San Vicente roads where vehicles travel at speeds far greater than 50 mph. I would guess that those same riders would not mind the opportunity to ride down to Barnett Preserve and enjoy another piece of the local geography.
The board’s petition also cited construction costs of $40 million. Such funds are being paid for by SANDAG and the county through past collection of transportation taxes and is not a new cost to anyone living in Ramona. If there is one point of agreement with the board, it would be on the project requirement mandating that the Ramona Municipal Water District assume the $5M+ cost of moving pipeline to accommodate the road improvement. The board would be wise to work with RMWD to explore the possibility of shifting that cost back to local government as part of the improvement rather than shifting that cost to water ratepayers.
There certainly may be an inconvenience to us all as road improvements are made; perhaps it might be negotiated that those improvements be made at less inconvenient times of the day. And, yes, those improvements will entail the removal of large and old oak trees which, while beautiful, are too close to even the current roadway. As the road improvements are made, its edges will be brought to another tree line while new trees will be planted for each one removed.
The road improvements, it should be noted, should not be viewed as an affront to the lifestyle of those living in the Estates but rather as a benefit to the residents who live along San Vicente Road and to the safety of all those who travel its course. Past boards of the association have repeatedly expressed concerns to the county about the safety of the road in asking that improvements be made.
That road has taken too many lives, regardless of cause, that anyone should consider action opposing safety improvements. I must be getting old because I remember when even one life would have be worth the sacrifice of any such temporary inconvenience.
Dr. Robert D. Argyelan is a Ramona resident.
- Carefully consider condition of road
- Jacob to meet with residents on road project
- Estates board drops opposition to road project after meeting with Jacob
- Reasons for supporting San Vicente Road project
- Reasons for petition campaign against San Vicente Road project
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