Residents debate priorities for roads

By Karen Brainard

When it comes to road projects in Ramona, many residents have opinions and different priorities.

Recent news that two road projects could possibly be delayed to fund improvements for the State Route 67 and Highland Valley/Dye Road intersection was brought up at the Ramona Community Revitalization Steering Committee meeting hosted by County Supervisor Dianne Jacob on Nov. 20.

Because the intersection is believed to contribute to traffic back-ups, Caltrans has developed a project report with ways to improve traffic flow. Caltrans is responsible for SR-67, a state highway, while Highland Valley and Dye Roads are county roads.

At last month’s Ramona Community Planning Group meeting, Chair Jim Piva said Caltrans reported the improvements cannot move forward because there is no funding. County staff suggested the intersection project could be funded if Ramona Street Extension could be delayed for four years and the Dye Road Extension for one year. Piva said he would bring it up for a vote on the Dec. 5 planning group meeting.

Realtor Carol Fowler, who serves as chair of the Revitalization Committee’s Economic Development Subcommittee, questioned the logic of delaying other road projects for that intersection.

“It seems like they keep fixing that intersection in hopes of helping the back-up, but it never does,” she said.

Fowler suggested the problem might not be the intersection but the highway, which decreases from four to two lanes west of town.

“That’s a decision for the community,” responded Jacob.

The community must decide if the intersection is a higher priority, said Jacob.

Fowler said she doesn’t want to see money put into the intersection and then have the same traffic problems while other projects are delayed.

“The money will not be wasted if the community decides to move forward with this intersection project…and put off some of the others,” said Jacob, adding that widening Route 67 from Lakeside to Dye Road most likely won’t happen until 2030. “This has been targeted as a priority. It had been touted as a way to help the flow of traffic through town, so I think you need to look at it and see,”

Jim Cooper, a planning group member and chair of the Revitalization’s Parks and Recreation Subcommittee, commented that Caltrans is looking at major reconstruction to help improve the flow at that intersection.

Among features proposed in the report are widening Highland Valley Road at the intersection to incorporate two eastbound left turn lanes and widening Dye Road to include two westbound left turn lanes. The estimated cost of the project is $10.5 million.

Also at the meeting, Mike Aguilar, project manager with the San Diego County Department of Public Works, presented the status for county road projects in Ramona. He noted that the schedule for the 13th Street bridge over Santa Maria Creek has been delayed due to issues with Caltrans on the road and bridge design. Although the project will be federally funded and 13th Street is a county road, Aguilar said the state transportation agency is administering the funds and so it has to agree to the project components.

Below is the schedule of projected road completion dates. The Dye Road and Ramona Street schedules could change, depending on the planning group’s Dec. 5 vote.

Dye Road Extension

Design: 3rd quarter 2013

Right-of-way: 4th quarter 2015

Construction: 2nd quarter 2018

Ramona Street Extension

Design: 1st quarter 2014

Right-of-Way: 4th quarter 2014

Construction: 3rd quarter 2017

San Vicente Road

Improvements

Design: completed

Right-of-Way: to be determined

Construction: Spring 2015

13th Street/Maple Street Bridge

Design: 3rd quarter 2016

Right-of-way: 2nd quarter 2017

Construction: 3rd quarter 2019.

Related posts:

  1. Dye/67 intersection improvements could delay other road projects
  2. County presents road project updates
  3. County updates planners on road projects
  4. County provides status report on Ramona road projects
  5. Piva, Jacob react to news Caltrans working on Dye/67 intersection

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Posted by Staff on Nov 25 2013. Filed under Featured Story, News, Ramona. 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.

6 Comments for “Residents debate priorities for roads”

  1. Ramona Resident

    The County needs to cut off all new housing building permits until the appropriate infrastructure has been put in place. Traffic getting into and out of town is awful. It is ridiculous to think we can add a single house without making the mess worse.

  2. Ex-Ramona Resident

    This is the reason I moved out of the area…people that have moved in to Ramona in the last 30 years or so have decided that if they could get the County to stop issuing building permits that some how it would solve the problem. Well 'Ramona Resident' you are wrong…

    • Ramona Resident

      You missed the point entirely. I am not against issuing building permits. I am against issuing building permits unless the infrastructure is built to support the new residents. You can't have one without the other and maintain any measure of a quality lifestyle. This is not a "no growth" position. I am in favor of growth, but it has to be done in a rationale, comprehensive way. Increasing road capacity to support population growth should hardly be a controversial stance.

      • Ex-Ramona Resident

        I did not miss the point, and I understand your sarcasm…you did not see my point. Building permits generate revenues for infrastructure but it is misappropriated, as usual, by our county/state government. A solution here would be if people that work "down-the-hill" would create businesses in Ramona, then the traffic congestion could be reduced. I am talking about "real" businesses, not support or tourism jobs like fast food, markets or wineries. Those create more problems…

  3. Oliver

    As long as Hwy 67 remains two lanes it would seem that appropriating funds to other road projects would be a wiser move.

  4. Honest Resident

    Please do not delay the Ramona Street extension. It would benefit several hundred of Ramona parents everyday. Let's make the State fix the highway and not redirect our precious limited funds. There are only a few strident voices against the Ramona St. project. Don't let them make traffic miserable for the rest of us!!

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