Ramona planners reconsider support for median barriers

By Karen Brainard

Ramona Community Planning Group members are reconsidering support of center median barriers for State Route 67, as proposed by Caltrans, after receiving new information at a meeting with public safety officials.

At a public meeting in August, Caltrans unveiled its State Route 67 Median Barrier Feasibility Project that considers five options for the center of the highway from Willow Road in Lakeside to Shady Oaks Drive in Ramona: a concrete barrier, a metal barrier, a high tension cable barrier, a median buffer, and “no build.”

At its Sept. 5 meeting, several RCPG members voiced support for concrete median barriers to prevent head-on collisions.

That changed after planner Dennis Sprong told the group at its Oct. 3 meeting that he was in favor of a median barrier until he talked to emergency responders. Sprong attended a meeting Sept. 24 that was attended by members from the sheriff’s department, California Highway Patrol, County Office of Emergency Services and Department of Animal Services, Ramona Fire Department/Cal Fire and Caltrans. Areas of concern, Sprong pointed out, were the possibilities of accidents increasing with concrete barriers, longer emergency call response times, and more difficulty enforcing speed.

Lt. James Bovet of the sheriff’s Ramona station said that when members of the public safety groups looked at Caltrans’ proposal, all responded, “The road just needs to be widened.”

San Diego Association of Governments plans to widen the highway to four lanes from Mapleview Road in Lakeside to Highland Valley/Dye Road in Ramona by 2030 with construction possibly starting in 2021.

Some planners questioned why Caltrans was even proposing the barriers and whether the study is just to appease those calling for more safety measures along the highway, the site of many serious accidents and fatalities.

The planning group decided to table the discussion until it receives more information. t

A Caltrans spokesperson said Caltrans has been receiving public comments about the median barrier proposal but cannot reveal how many until an environmental impact report is completed, expected in spring 2014, when a public presentation will be given.

According to Richard Estrada, Caltrans project manager, the agency is analyzing the alternatives and reviewing public comments which he said are split between those for and against median barriers.

To view the median options and submit online comments, visit www.dot.ca.gov/dist11/Env_docs/67FeasabilityStudy/index.html.

Related posts:

  1. Planners reconsider support for median barriers
  2. Ramona planners debate pros, cons of SR-67 median barriers
  3. Caltrans studies concrete barriers for State Route 67
  4. Caltrans puts Route 67 median options online
  5. Caltrans to host meeting today on SR-67 safety measure options

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Oct 23 2013. Filed under Featured Story, News, Ramona, Sheriff/Fire. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

4 Comments for “Ramona planners reconsider support for median barriers”

  1. Guest

    Thanks. NO TO BARRIERS!

  2. Future planning?

    Knowing that the inevitable solution will be to widen the road, why isn’t the Ramona Tree Trust also planning for the future and planting new trees that will be removed in the colonnade as the road gets widened from Kmart to Etcheverry and beyond? It may be 10 years before it’s widened, but the road right of way already exists and therefore the trees currently growing there will be removed, not moved. C’mon, Diane. Let’s see some planning there, too.

    • Guest

      You make a fantastic point! This should have been done years ago. I suppose it must be just too much to ask to have our elected officials, or whoever is in charge of the highway, to think proactively.

      • Torry

        CalTrans is in charge of the road, and they are not very fond of the eucalyptus; trees. To them they are nothing but a liability. There are community volunteers like Diane who work to plant more trees, but I am sure they have quite limited resources. In my opinion, we will never see extra lanes added through the colonnade. It will be too much of a fight, too expensive, and less necessary once Ramona St. goes through and Dye Rd is improved. Just a guess though.

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