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.
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.
- Caltrans studies concrete barriers for State Route 67
- Planners reconsider support for median barriers
- Ramona planners reconsider support for median barriers
- Caltrans seeks public opinions on SR-67 medians
- Caltrans puts Route 67 median options online
Short URL: http://www.ramonasentinel.com/?p=29541