Planners keep two sections of bypass on priority lists

By Karen Brainard

Two of the three phases of the proposed South Bypass remain on Ramona’s recommended road priority lists.

The Dye Road Extension, also known as Phase 2 of the South Bypass, was included in a Top 14 list of capital improvement project priorities by a majority of the Ramona Community Planning Group at its April 3 meeting.

Phase 1 of the South Bypass, extending Dye Street from state Route 67 and Mussey Grade Road to Dye Road, didn’t make the Top 14 but was added to a list of road projects that the planning group is recommending the county pursue with Caltrans.

Ramona Community Planning Group Chair Jim Piva explains the three phases of the proposed South Bypass to a crowd at the group’s April 3 meeting. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

Many of the residents attending the planners’ meeting in the library Community Room booed the decisions as they walked out after the vote.

The planning group’s Transportation and Trails Subcommittee dropped the two projects from the RCPG’s 2009 Top 10 list when it met March 24, and presented its draft lists to the planners for consideration on Thursday.

The meeting room was packed with many residents voicing opposition to the South Bypass, saying it would hurt Main Street businesses, cut into people’s properties, destroy rural areas, and create unsafe roadways because drivers could increase their speed.

RCPG Chair Jim Piva told the crowd that the South Bypass Phase 3, from Warnock Drive to Keyes Road to state Route 78, has not been supported by the planning group.

“There is no Phase 3 even on the books at the county. So if your concern is in that Phase 3 area, come back in about 50 years … because that’s when the county or everyone else will probably be talking about it,” he said.

Joe Minervini, who lives on Cecilia Jo Road,  which would be affected by Phase 1, said that, if Phase 3 will not be addressed until 50 years from now, why not get rid of it because property owners have to disclose the proposed route when selling.

Resident Joe Cahak tells the reasons why a South Bypass was recommended years ago, as planners Carl Hickman, Dennis Sprong and Eb Hogervorst listen. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

Esline Witte said she moved from Santa Ysabel to Cecilia Jo Road to avoid the bottleneck at SR-67 and Highland Valley Road.

“I bought in Ramona because of the rural community. I was not  told of the South Bypass when I bought it,” she said.

John Hancock, another Cecilia Jo Road resident, said, “It seems to me Phase 1 and 2 are just shortcuts to the Estates.”

Resident Joe Cahak said he was a member of the master road plan committee that recommended the South Bypass years ago for several reasons.

“One was the amount of traffic headed to the Barona Reservation as well as to the Estates, about a third of the traffic through our community,” he said. “And the amount of traffic coming out of south Ramona, and certainly through our Main Street.”

Cahak and planning group members noted that a proposed North Bypass had been abandoned years ago.

“Throw away the South Bypass and we lock ourselves into the existing traffic problem, growing and increasing year by year for the rest of our lives,” Cahak said.

Several people acknowledged that Main Street traffic will continue to increase as the residential developments of Cummings Ranch,off Highland Valley Road, and Montecito Ranch, off Montecito Road, are built.

“I think we need to look at the community as a whole,” said Carol Fowler, who serves as vice chair of the Ramona Village Design Group.

Besides cutting back on traffic, Fowler said the bypass could help Ramona businesses.

Fowler said it is not safe for pedestrians to cross Main Street in Old Town.

Joe Minervini shows a diagram of the South Bypass Phase 1, which would extend Dye Street, by state Route 67 and Mussey Grade Road, to Dye Road. Minervini, whose property on Cecilia Jo Road would be affected, opposes the plan. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

“Who wants to go look at murals when you have to risk your life crossing Main Street?” she asked.

She also noted that there are a lot of vacant stores.

“A congested Main Street does not benefit business,” said Planner Torry Brean, who added that the bypass should be referred to as an alternate route. “In the long run it will make Ramona a more attractive destination.”

Planner Jim Cooper, however, said he has seen restaurants full of visitors who are traveling through  town on weekends.

“We have a town that I think is enjoyed by many, many visitors,” he said.

Safety has been cited as a reason for the Dye Road Extension, or Phase 2, which has 90-degree turns where Dye Road intersects with Ramona Street and again with Warnock Drive. Improvements would round out those turns.

Resident Ken Brennecke brought traffic collision statistics that showed that in the past five years five accidents have occurred at Ramona Street and Warnock Drive with no injuries or deaths, and nine at Ramona Street and Dye Road with just one minor injury.

“So I don’t really think safety is a consideration for the Dye Road Extension at all,” he said.

However, even if Dye Road were dropped from the list, it is still in the county’s Mobility  Element as part of the 2010 General Plan Update, according to Mike Aguilar, project manager with the county’s Department of Public Works.

Aguilar said the county is just asking for a Top 10 list and would work toward fulfilling it. However, he added, if the county has an opportunity to fund or proceed with certain roads on the Mobility Element, those projects will be considered.

Planners Scotty Ensign and Carl Hickman supported Phase 1 of the bypass, saying it will give Mussey Grade Road drivers an option to get to Dye Road. Once the SR-67 and Highland Valley/Dye Road intersection is improved, they said, traffic will flow faster during rush hours and it will be more difficult to turn off Mussey Grade onto SR-67.

A few people spoke against the Ramona Street Extension, but it remains on the list.

The planning group voted to submit the recommended lists (see sidebar) to the county for consideration by an 8-3 vote with Cooper, Richard Tomlinson and Kevin Wallace opposing. Donna Myers and Ensign recused themselves because they live on streets that were listed, and Matt Deskovick and Paul Stykel were absent.

Ramona Community Planning Group Capital Improvement Road Priority List

(not numbered by priority)

1. San Vicente Road, from Warnock Drive to Wildcat Canyon Road.

2. Ramona Street, from Boundary Avenue to Warnock Drive.

3. Traffic signal for 10th and H streets.

4. Mussey Grade slope and drainage improvements

5. Bridge over Santa Maria Creek on 13th Street.

6. Paving 13th Street from state Route 67 to Walnut Street.

7. Dye Road Extension (Phase 2 of South Bypass).

8. San Vicente Road from Wildcat Canyon Road to San Diego Country Estates limit — road improvement.

9. Sidewalk and pathway on east side of Ramona Street, from Boundary Avenue to Hanson Lane.

10. Sidewalk and pathway on south side of Hanson Lane, from Ramona Street to San Vicente Road.

11. Road improvement for alleyway from Fifth to 11th streets.

12. Create road from Boundary Avenue to Etcheverry street to align with Equestrian Trail (for secondary access to Hanson Elementary School on Boundary, which dead-ends.

13. Improve Etcheverry Street from Hunter Street to SR-67.

14. Improve Kelly Avenue from Pala to Etcheverry streets.

Projects important to the community that shall require county coordination with Caltrans

1. SR-67 and Highland Valley/Dye Road intersection.

2. SR-67 and 14th Street.

3. SR-67 and Montecito Road.

4. Phase 1 of South Bypass — new road from SR-67 and Mussey Grade Road to Dye Road.

Related posts:

  1. Subcommittee proposes dropping South Bypass from road priority list
  2. Meeting targets proposed southern bypass
  3. Main Street Bypass alternative
  4. Busy intersection remains priority for planners
  5. Review Road Priority Project list

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Posted by Staff on Apr 7 2014. Filed under Backcountry, 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.

18 Comments for “Planners keep two sections of bypass on priority lists”

  1. No to the bypass

    So Ramona residents have to pay the price for bad decisions made by those who CHOSE to live in the estates – how very disgusting.

    And of course once phase 1+ 2 are done, the thin end of the wedge will be in and phase 3 will suddenly be a "higher priority", I'm sure. Good luck to everybody who lives on Keyes, you're going to need it.

    • Guest

      More of the same scare tactics. Will the opponents of this plan ever stop with the lies? Phase 3 isn't even on the books yet – probably never will be.

      As for your estates comment, perhaps the same could be said for those who CHOSE to live along Cecilia Jo, Dye, or Keyes.

      • Ramona Resident

        I guess if you don't count the project having a name, a route, and a plan filed at local, county, state and federal levels then yes – phase 3 isn't even on the books. Of course claiming that would make you look like a self-serving idiot, but I'm guessing you're already fully aware of what you are.

  2. guest

    Phase 1 of the Southern Bypass and a better intersection at Highland valley would do more to improve traffic flow in and out of Ramona than any other road project on the table. It should be number 1.

  3. Mike

    I wish someone would offer me a fair market value for my house or land. There are plenty of other nice places to live besides Ramona. Just saying.

  4. Joe Cahak

    I would like to say that we are all living with many bad choices made over the years that locked in future choice restrictions. We did this thru going along with vocal self-interest groups ginning up the hysteria and hyperbole. You certainly bring up a lot of bigoted statements how the Estates have no rights. The community gave away the North Bypass. They gave away D street, negating any parallel route to Main St. Now the residents wanted us to again give away another potential route for the future. This would have been a big mistake.
    The very same "Concerned Group" otherwise known as CFARR who wants all the traffic to stay on Hwy 67 into town, also wanted 3 NEW pedestrian crosswalks across Main St from 8th St to 6Th St. Huh I asked. How do you do that with all the traffic already on the route. These people clearly showed their real interests with their arguments at the planning group. So we made the argument for the community and it's present and future needs. I am sorry but I have to say I never found your groups argument community based.
    When you lost the argument, you proceeded to harass Carol and I after the meeting. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. The CFARR group hostility tactic is well known throughout the community. When Mr Minervini doesn't like my information and facts, he calls me out to challenge me at one of the local parks to "debate" him. Yes a real gentlefolk group with the BEST community based interests at heart, aren't they?

  5. Joe Minervini

    To Cahak and others who wish the proposed Dye Street to continue to be on the books: you need to meet me at the intersection of Mussey Grade, Dye Street & Hwy 67 and explain to me how traffic will be handled…both a.m. and p.m. commute. Yes Cahak lives in the Estates and thinks Dye Street will be his shortcut….ok so he does not want to debate me, then maybe he can meet me at the above intersection and show me what his plan is for the intersection. That’s the fair way, the American way….all you want to do is dictate what you want.
    Joe Minervini 619/204-0391

  6. Joe

    I don't understand why there is so much hate and vitriol directed against those who choose to live in the Estates? We all choose to live somewhere. 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 estimate). It seems to me that when a section of the community brings in nearly half of all income into an area, it would be more beneficial for everyone to work as partners with them to grow together instead of berate them. It just makes certain people look petty and foolish.

    • Joe Minervini

      To whoever wrote the above…..I don't have hate and vitriol against the Estates…..I simply don't want to accept what the few like Cahak and Piva and Carol Fowler have to say about the positiveness South Bypass. I have asked Cahak to meet me at the proposed Dye street and explain how the traffic from Dye Street would be handled with Mussey Grade traffic. I have asked all 3 of them to debate me in public but none have accepted. Cahak told me he would rather "chew glass" rather than debate me. To me that's getting close to sounding like "hate." I have a few friends that live in the Estates…..one of which is even against the South Bypass. Lets stop bickering like a bunch of school kids and have a public debate……bring your facts to back up what you say. I'll even meet you all at the Par Lounge and buy the coffee or the beer.
      Joe Minervini….call me: 619/204-0391.

      • JimC

        You act as if Joe Cahak or anybody else against your position owes you a debate. Your issue is not with him, me, or anybody else – if you have an issue it is with the RCPG. Maybe you should take it up with them?

  7. Joe Cahak

    Mr Minervini, I do not need to meet you now or ever. I don’t owe you anything. I certainly will not meet when you call me out for the 4th time now. You seem to constantly forget that the rest of us have rights also. Living in the Estates does not mean we have no opinion, or that our opinions are worthless, as you and your group constantly are stating. I have spoken to you on the phone and you were rude, condescending, opinionated and hostile. When you don’t like the conversation, you make personal attacks. Face it Mr. Minervini, many of us just don’t agree with you and are willing to stand up to your bullying and tactics. Find another hobby as this one has taken you as far as you can go. I no longer consider your effort to be in the community interests and find the constant personal attacks against me and others less then honorable and reasonable.

  8. JimC

    I don't live in SDCE. Joe, above, makes a great point that SDCE is a vital, and financially beneficial, part of our community. The tone Joe Minervini and Ramona Resident have used in this stream and others elicits absolutely no sympathy from me. If you had a viable argument, and I'm not sure that you do, any support from me, the 36% of the population in SDCE, and the people who don't live off Dye Road was lost with the bullying and hateful way you have handled this. I can understand your position but I can't understand the need for the personal attacks. I mean, seriously, who would be crazy enough to "debate" any of you in public?

    • Joe Minervini

      Jim C…..whoever you are… "JimC"
      A real American habit is to debate issues, not run away from them and post things in absentia. Maybe you will have the fortitude to debate. You say I was hateful….can you be more specific ? If Cahak does not want to debate, maybe you can pick up the baton he dropped.
      Joe Minervini 619/204-0391

      • JimC

        Joe – you have no intention to debate anybody. I've read all your posts. You simply wish to browbeat an opponent, any opponent, in a vain attempt to win your point. Your futile attempt to insult me into a debate won't work. I have more important things to do with my time. I might have, if your opinion mattered or if I cared what you think, but I don't so I won't be calling. My internal fortitude is just fine, nonetheless, I have no desire to debate you. The debate is over and you have lost.

      • Yawn

        Give it up Joe. Nobody wants to debate you. You don’t want to debate anyway. You just want to pontificate.

  9. Paul

    I couldn’t say it any better, JimC. I’m a new resident of Ramona, but I can already see that this bypass is what’s needed to revitalize the Main Street business area. I travel down Wildcat every day, so the westbound commute doesn’t even figure into my opinion. I do, however, think the bypass will lead to a more pedestrian/visitor-friendly environment along Main.

  10. Honest Resident

    I am really frustrated by these whiners still fighting the proper completion of Ramona Street. How many years will you refuse to accept completion of a street on the master plan for 100 years? You are persistent, but harmful to our community. Your constant and frivolous objections keep the thousands of us taking children to Hanson Lane schools in extra traffic every day. Let's improve our community and improve our roadways.

  11. Mike

    I wish they'd buy my house at market value and build a road through it… Time to leave Ramona, the entire town is a big, nasty traffic jam. There are plenty of nice places to live. Just saying again.

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