Caltrans’ SR-67 study prompts more questions, concerns

By Karen Brainard

There seem to be no easy answers when it comes to options to prevent collisions on State Route 67.

That was the opinion of Caltrans’ officials and Ramona Community Planning Group members after a presentation of the state transportation agency’s Median Barrier Corridor Study for Route 67 on Dec. 5.

Richard Estrada, project manager for Caltrans, explains the four proposed build options for a median on State Route 67 to the Ramona Community Planning Group and to the approximately 40 people attending the Dec. 5 meeting. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

Caltrans Project Manager Richard Estrada noted the presentation was information only and they will come back to the community when the draft environmental report is completed, most likely in spring 2014. Estrada said they are meeting with small community groups that include residents who live near Rockhouse Road and SR-67.

“We’re doing as much outreach as we can because we want to hear what your thoughts are,” he said.

Estrada reviewed the median barrier study that covers the 12-mile stretch of the highway from Willow Road in Lakeside to Shady Oaks Road in Ramona. Four options are proposed for the center of the highway to prevent head-on collisions:  a concrete barrier, a metal barrier, a high tension cable barrier, and a median buffer. A fifth option is “no build.”

A benefit to the cable barrier, Estrada said, is that drainage patterns would not have to be altered as they would with a concrete barrier.

Planner Jim Cooper said he researched the cable barrier, which costs less and offers more visibility.

“The biggest detraction from cable is motorcycles. They hit that and it’s like hitting a knife edge,” he said.

RCPG member Carl Hickman asked what Caltrans’ goal is with the study and proposed options.

“Reduce the number and severity of all collisions in this footprint,” responded Estrada.

Hickman, a licensed traffic engineer with the county, asked that Caltrans’ officials bring data on the number of collisions and where they are happening on the highway when they return in the spring.

Estrada said SR-67 is a unique corridor because there are so many driveways and side streets off it. To add a concrete median barrier would prevent some of those homeowners from making a left turn unless there is a gore point in the barrier so they can cross through.

Planner Dennis Sprong noted that would also make it difficult for emergency vehicles when responding to a call. In addition, he said other types of collisions could increase with a barrier.

According to Estrada, because one lane would be removed for a barrier where there are three or four lanes, Caltrans is looking at a high friction surface that would help vehicles stop sooner if the pavement is wet and traffic backs up.

In response to a question about adding an extra lane, Estrada said any of the build options would be paid for with SHOPP (State Highway Operation and Protection Program) funds  that can only be used for safety projects and cannot be used to add capacity.

To view the barrier options, visit www.dot.ca.gov/dist11/Env_docs/67FeasabilityStudy/index.html.

Related posts:

  1. Caltrans studies concrete barriers for State Route 67
  2. Planners reconsider support for median barriers
  3. Ramona planners reconsider support for median barriers
  4. Caltrans seeks public opinions on SR-67 medians
  5. Caltrans puts Route 67 median options online

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Dec 11 2013. Filed under Archive, Featured Story, Government, 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.

2 Comments for “Caltrans’ SR-67 study prompts more questions, concerns”

  1. Guest

    As a fellow sped by me and cut in right where 2 lanes become 1 headed south towards Poway, I noticed he was also talking on a hand-held phone. Enforcement of existing traffic laws will go a long way in reducing dangerous habits exhibited by so many inconsiderate drivers on this road. Barriers will not change this. NO BUILD!

  2. Karen, Here's some information that Ramona could use for traffic data on SR67. The Jamul Action Committee has been trying to get SR94 safer for years. http://jacjamul.com/?p=2753

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