How to cripple Main Street business and destroy land values, way of life

By Diane Chapman

If you live in Ramona, the Southern Bypass will affect you. As I read more about this project and after to speaking to citizens who live on Keyes Road and the surrounding area as well as various businesses on Main Street, there appeared to be one gaping question.


The following highlights why this project must be taken off the county’s Top Ten Road Projects for Ramona.

Main Street Businesses

The most obvious problem with this plan is the devastation it would create on the businesses along Main Street. With traffic flowing around Main Street, the decrease in potential customers, especially in tough economic times, would put many out of business. This plan was rejected in the mid-1990s by the Ramona Community Planning Group but with the current makeup of the Ramona Community Planning Group it has found favor.

As I handed out information sheets about the bypass to many business owners on Main Street, the overwhelming question was “Why? We depend on this traffic for our livelihood. Why would they do this to us?”

We have heard our Chamber of Commerce state that they want Ramona to become a “destination” point. They have been silent on this matter and I hope to hear them support the very people who create the destination.

Adjacent Homes and Communities

Quiet rural areas in the valley would experience tremendous volumes of traffic, noise and pollution that they haven’t experienced before. This would open these areas to industrialization and development. Can you imagine if your area was targeted to divert weekend traffic going to Julian or the desert through your rural area, an area you had every right to expect would stay rural and not have a 50 mph roadway on your street or near your home. And you certainly would not expect to bear the burden of this foreign traffic flow from outside our area.

Property owners as well as business owners will have to disclose this bypass if they intend to sell.

Longer and More Time Consuming Route

This proposed bypass is about one third longer, and there will be a comparable number of traffic stops. So this route will take traffic longer to cross Ramona than Main Street. That is not an improvement. And most likely, it will not be used for the small population of people it was intended to serve, and thus will be a huge waste of time and money.

Ignores the More Pressing Traffic Problems

Besides the monetary cost and devastation of business and property values, the southern bypass will take our eyes off the more critical traffic and growth problems in Ramona. The Montecito Ranch and Cumming Ranch developments will mean significant traffic loads onto 67 and getting into and out of Ramona. The focus should be on improving Highway 67 and addressing the growth from the new residential areas.

What Can You Do?

Attend these two public meetings to opposed the Main Street bypass:

•Monday, March 24, 7 p.m., Ramona Community Center, 434 Aqua Lane, across from the rodeo grounds.

•Thursday, April 3, 7 p.m. Ramona Library Community Room, 1275 Main St.

Diane Chapman is a Ramona resident.

Related posts:

  1. Main Street Bypass alternative
  2. County, Ramonans meet to reshape Ramona’s Main Street
  3. Grassroots group meets in town hall
  4. A look at Main Street’s empty shops
  5. Pedestrian suffers non-life-threatening injuries from Main Street accident

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Mar 22 2014. Filed under Commentary. 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.

27 Comments for “How to cripple Main Street business and destroy land values, way of life”

  1. Mike

    The idea that Main Street business will decline to the point of a ghost town is just too sensational for a rationale person to entertain. If I want to go home (SDCE) than I want to go home. If the route home caused me to pass stores I would not stop any more or less than if they didn't. The point is, if I want to go to a store, I will. I am not tempted merely by driving by them. No one else is either.

    Where are you getting this proposed route information? I have seen nothing on paper regarding how the county expects to create this connection or where they might place stop signs, etc. I contacted the county and could not get any information on a draft map or similar. Please share your vetted information.

  2. Don Kedick

    The Southern Bypass is the County's back door way to develop and industrialize Ramona. Stop the Southern Bypass NOW.

  3. JimC

    The southern bypass will actually have little impact on Main Street businesses. The vast majority of people using the bypass will do so on their way home to SDCE. Let's call this what it is – just another attempt by the same group of residents to block progress that will improve the quality of life for the rest of us. Ramona Street extension, southern bypass – same people, same message, same unfounded fear tactics. They simply don't want additional traffic on their roads and are now trying to expand the circle of fear to Keyes Road and others to try to drum up support from those residents. For the other 99% of us who do not live along Dye Road, Warnock Road or Ramona Street, they want us to continue to deal with ridiculous traffic so that they are not inconvenienced.

  4. Joe Cahak

    Jim you cold not be more correct. The impact to business will be minor at best and with improved and safer parking, may actually increase. I look forward to having shorter commutes to the Estates and also a safer more WALKABLE community town center that the bypass will help us achieve. It is a minor group with personal reasons for not liking the bypass. They certainly have been insensitive to the greater community needs more so than their own. People needing or wanting to go to the hills will no longer clog the downtown that making shopping near impossible. Good grief people we loose 1-2 pedestrians per year on Main Street due to the high traffic volume. We need this by bypass.

  5. Carlynne Allbee

    I am old enough that I remember the same arguments about the ruination of business from two different towns: Alpine when Interstate 8 was going to bypass it and Norco when Interstate 15 was going to pass it. In both cases, the people got their towns back where people could safely cross a street to shop and business benefited. True, you aren't talking about an interstate, but the concept is the same. When I travel through Ramona on a normal day, I don't dare slow down to look for shops to visit in fear that cars behind me won't slow down. Even on Christmas morning, as I travel to my sister's home in Julian, traffic on Ramona's Main Street has been increasing dramatically. I am not saying the Southern Bypass is the answer, but do look at the benefit to the local businesses.

  6. Don Kedick

    So you buy a home in SDCE to live in the country, but you want a highway built so you can get down to the city faster. Go live in the city.

    • Guest

      The southern bypass has been talked about for as long as I can remember. People who bought their houses along that stretch of roadway did so with the knowledge that a road could be built to SDCE. Now they think they can outshout everybody else to get their way. Aren't these the same people who complained that the dairies were ruining their wells? Can't have it both ways.

    • Mike

      Actually Don, you are correct. That is exactly what I want. I want my home here but I want access to the city life to be fairly quick and easy when I choose to engage in it. Since we haven't invented the teleport yet (come on Trekkies hurry up!) or flying cars this is the next best thing.

  7. Neon

    Main Street is a horrible place to visit as it is now….there is way too much traffic (almost none of it stopping at businesses by the way) and it offers nothing quaint, pleasant, relaxing or beautiful to attract people to it. The businesses there are not exactly thriving but merely surviving. Reduce traffic, create a median with trees, add sidewalk cafés and we might actually be able to achieve something similar to Grand Ave in Escondido or Cedros in Solana Beach. Open your eyes to the potential Ramona!! Because as it stands it's an eyesore and we are all going ELSEWHERE to spend our money.

    • Mike

      Neon I agree. My wife and I have lived here for a few years and she has very little clue of what stores/shops exist on Main St apart from the big name retailers. I told her the only way I was able to experience it was to park at one end and walk 10-15 blocks up on one side and back down the other.

      But most of us just drive by and cannot see or understand what there is. The storefront signage is poor and the businesses are so crammed next to each other I don't see a workable solution to it. If there was less commute traffic than people would feel more comfortable slowing down and looking left/right as they drive. Then maybe they might pull in and spend a dollar. As it is now, Main St is really more of a highway getting people from point A to B than anything else

  8. NIMBY

    The way I see it this isn't really about protecting Main Street business anyway. Traffic on Main St and Hanson Lane are downright dangerous. This bypass is necessary. Just glad it's not in my backyard

  9. Joe Cahak

    Mike Main St is a highway and is clogging our downtown and choking it. The land for the south bypass will never be more available and lower cost than now. Waiting on a solution and delaying it will only hurt more homeowners as more move in and build and cost us taxpayers more to fix in in future years. I think the number of responses here gives a fair indication of the community desire for this to happen. So my comment would be that we have to continue to voice our support for this project to keep it moving forward like I did for San Vicente Road and this planning group did for the fix to Hwy67 and Dye Rd interchange coming next year. Things are slowly moving forward to better traffic solutions. it just takes time and people willing to support solutions and willing to make the sacrifices. Ramona has been NIMBY for way too long.

  10. Former Ramona Res

    Ramona should look at the success of the Lincoln Bypass in northern California. Bypassing traffic has been a huge win for their struggling downtown. See

  11. Joe Cahak

    RCPG approved placing the South bypass back on the Ramona road priority list. We won the argument. Thanks to Carol Fowler, Jim Piva, Dennis Sprong and Carl Hickman. Great job representing the best community interests.

    • Guest

      Well done. Thanks to all the RCPG members who get it and are interested in the good of the community, not a small group standing in the way of progress. The community won last night!

  12. Bob Loblaw

    I would like to know who appointed Joe Cahak to be Ramona's Traffic Engineer.

  13. Joe Cahak

    Jealous Bob? No one did. I had an interest and I volunteered and worked it for over 12 years. I got to know the agencies, people, the issues and the politics. I wanted to see our dangerous roads get fixed and I was willing to spend the time and effort to do so. I worked WITH the RCPG and county to learn the issues. I used my engineering background to contribute to the Ramona Master Road plan and see that we had a transportation plan for the future. I pressed for and go a lot of good things done for OUR community. I'd sure like to see some more people as interested in real solution for the community. Oh and I am not willing to let BS and false information take over the dialog. Thus my recent effort on the South Bypass. I might point out that Supervisor Jacob encouraged me every step of the way, because she could see I was interested in community solutions not rhetoric and personal recognition.

  14. Sassy

    Ramona at this time is NOT a destination point, we are an inconvenience for travelers who want to get from point A to point B. The town is working hard to become a destination point but is not getting the support of many who live here. Hubby and I have an agreement, if it's not in Ramona, maybe we don't need it, or at least don't need it today. Seems to me that all this discussion is mainly brought on by the glorified "Estate" people who want things easy just for them. Maybe a monorail should be built just for those folks.

    • guest

      Our destination status will revolve around the wine industry. This will only be improved by better transportation infrastructure. I'm not really sure what you mean by "glorified". Every reference I find to the estates seems to demonize them as if they just moved in. The neighborhood was started almost 45 years ago.

  15. Not a SDCE Resident

    If this string of posts has accomplished anything, it has made clear that there are a number of people living in Ramona who hold nothing but disdain for those who live in SDCE. I don't live in the estates; I used to, but I didn't like it. It just wasn't for me, but that doesn't mean that I have any bias against those who live there. I think people need to understand that a lot of services and infrastructure in Ramona are funded by property taxes and the estates provides a significant contribution to our property tax base. Considering the population and the relative price of housing I would assume that the 35% or so of people in the estates likely account for nearly 50% of the tax base. Maybe those who wish to throw stones at people living in the estates should consider that.

    • Ramonan

      Regarding your statement "I would assume……" the word is parsed into "ass-u-me". Perhaps better to cite actual data, as opposed to "ass-u-me-sumptions". And by the way, where does your data regarding 35% of the populace (those choosing to live in the Estates) paying 50% of the taxes paid by Ramonans come from? Maybe you are correct, but maybe not. It would be nice to be able to do a "fact check" on your statements to ascertain whether your statement is accurate or not.

      Just curious about the assertion you made.

      • Joe Cahak

        How about some fact checking on any of the CFARR statements. I believe we can easily show that their assertions are false and made up to to gin up the community. I have no problem doing surveys or other means to get the real facts out there. I believe the real facts will support what the planning group is trying to accomplish. This community has been subject to many times to false and misleading statements touting "facts" that are completely worthless. Now in the last case by "Not a SDCE resident" it is easy to do a back of the envelope assessment to see that it cannot be too far of f the mark. Perhaps the asumption on your side Ramonan is off the mark. Whether we live in the Estates or not, we do not deserve to be any less considered or have less of an opinion about the community as all the CFARR members have presumed and made statements about what "WE" in the Estates deserve. Again your opin is just that an opinion with any real or moral merit. The RCPG got it right and is representing the community majority and CFARR is clearly not and doing everything they can to try to manipulate the facts and public opinion in the media to attach RCPG and anyone from the community who disagrees with your "facts" that are so easily dismissed as false. So who assumed what?

        • Ramonan

          Must have hit a hot button! My comment referred to assumptions stated without any supporting information as to how the assumption is arrived at. I.e., is it a wild guess, is there supporting information (data) – just how did one arrive at the conclusion? I have pondered, from time to time, just how much in taxes does the community of Ramona pay to the Fed, state and county in the form of income, property, sales and other taxes (not to mention fees), and how much actually comes back to the community?
          I did not mention this CFARR group you refer to. The only thing I know about them is what I have read on these threads. I did not mention surveys. I made no statement regarding any of our citizens having any less say in community affairs, nor did I make any comment whatsoever regarding RCPG. The fact of the matter is I believe each member of the community has a vote – regardless of where they choose to live within the community – and each vote counts equally. And, yes, I think the RCPG – some members whom I have known for nearly 40 years – are doing a good job.

      • Joe

        Actual data is found from the 2010 census. It

        SDCE accounts for 36% of all families living in the Ramona area (3,686 families according to 2010 census), and accounts for 47% of the the total income (285.6 million, 2010 census).

      • Not a SDCE Resident

        The reason why I used words like "assume" is because I don't have all the numbers. Census data shows that 36% of Ramona residents live in SDCE. The 50% of taxes came from looking at the relative property values of estates properties versus "in town" properties. True, there are many properties that lay outside the averages, but for the most part, the property values in the estates are higher than those in town. Look on Zillow – there are a bunch of houses valued in the $100K range. My statement was never intended to be a research paper – just an opinion based on observations.

        • Ramonan

          Not a SDCE Resident,

          Thank you for taking time to explain how you arrived at your conclusion. Once again, I don't necessarily dissagree with your conclusion, I was more interested in the basis. Now I can look at the Census data and see if the numbers are addressing households, or total population.

          Thanks again

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