Editor’s note: Mr. Minervini sent this letter to San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Dianne Jacob
By Joe Minervini
As you are aware, many years ago a few people in Ramona wanted to re-route traffic away from Main Street because they thought Main Street was too congested certain times of the day. They came up with the Main Street Bypass plan. I call it the Route Traffic Through Quiet Residential Areas plan. Evidently, approximately 30 years ago a bypass route was originated and has been kicked around over the years by each of the successive Ramona planning groups. Because the plan existed, because it was there, some of the planning groups continued to support it and never asked:
“Do we really need this bypass?” “Are there any alternatives?”
Consider this, supervisor. If the taxpayers in the Ramona area were going to pay the whole cost of the four separate road projects that comprise the Main Street Bypass, projected at over $25 million, do you think they would have let these four projects last this long on the drawing boards of public works? I recently asked 10 Ramona residents if they have ever heard of the Ramona Main Street Bypass plan. Only two out of 10 responded affirmative. Doesn’t the county have more priority road projects to tend to?
Some on the planning group say we need the bypass to relieve congestion on Main Street. The only time Main Street is congested is during peak traffic. What street in San Diego County is not congested during peak traffic hours? My understanding is that traffic has not increased on Main Street in the past few years.
I spent three hours waiting to be heard at one of the recent Ramona planning group meetings. I explained how, for a lot less money, congestion on Main Street could be lessened and quiet residential areas would not be invaded with big trucks, loud motorcycles, etc. My suggestions were acknowledged positively by a few of the members.
Below are my suggestions to ease congestion on Main Street, for many millions less in cost. The timeliness of this letter is critical because one of the four Main Street Bypass road projects is totally unnecessary—the Dye Road Extension Phase 1. I believe you currently are doing an environmental study on this one. It will not achieve any substantial benefit to the residents of Ramona. It will not save driving time. It will not be any safer. I will debate my assertions with anyone. That’s how sure I am.
Here are my separate projects that will ease congestion on Main Street with less cost in dollars and less impact on quiet residential areas:
Widen 14th Street on both sides of Main Street with two left-turn lanes, one straight-through lane and one right-turn lane.
Montecito Road on both sides of Main Street, same as above.
Dye Road/Highland Valley intersect with Highway 67. Widen Dye for at least 1/4 mile with two left-turn lanes, one straight-through lane and one right-turn lane. Also widen 67 southwesterly for 500 feet from Dye so that it can accept traffic from Dye.
If you would like to see my recommendations in person, call me next time you come to Ramona.
Joe Minervini is a Ramona resident.