A transportation summit, open to the public, will be hosted by the Ramona Community Planning Group (RCPG) at Olive Peirce Middle School from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 9.
RCPG member Jim Piva announced the plans for the summit at the planning group’s April 1 meeting. County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, along with representatives from California Department of Transportation (CalTrans), California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the county will be attending the summit to the discuss county road plans in the community, the status of transportation projects, concerns about state Route 67, and the Top 10 road improvement list, among other related topics, said Piva. The public will be invited to ask questions.
The idea of a transportation summit was suggested by RCPG member Bob Hailey at last month’s meeting after some residents spoke out in opposition to the proposed southern bypass. Hailey said the summit will be conducted by the planning group, not the county.
Ramona residents Joe Minervini and Donna Myers, who spoke at the March meeting, also addressed the board last Thursday about the possible impact on residents and businesses if the proposed road project to bypass downtown Ramona is completed. The bypass route would give drivers the option to take Dye Road to Keyes Road and then to state Route 78.
“Most people want to live in a nice quiet neighborhood so they can relax and enjoy life,” said Minervini. “Most people prefer not to be bothered with noise and traffic coming through their front yard and their backyard.“
He added that the southern bypass will take traffic off Main Street and put it in quiet residential neighborhoods.
Minervini and two other Ramonans addressed the San Diego Planning Commission about the southern bypass last month. According to Minerivini, the commissioners asked how businesses on Main Street would be affected. Minervini said he and others have polled merchants on Main Street from Third Street to Dye Road, and 95 percent of them said they are against the bypass plan.
“You have to understand that some of the decisions you make, like the southerly bypass plan, will affect the quality of life for many people,” said Minervini.
Donna Myers addressed the board with statistics, saying that every hour in the United States 200 acres of farm, forest and open space disappear forever.
“That’s 2 million acres every year,” said Myers.
Myers asked members if they can ethically support a $13 million bypass through an agricultural area that will not necessarily relieve traffic.
She referred to page 19 of the Ramona Community Plan, which states that, after construction of the proposed south and north bypass routes, it is probable there will be congestion on the two-lane portion of Main Street.
“Save our Ramona environment. No new roads through ag land,” Myers said.
Resident Ken Brennecke also spoke against the southern bypass, as well as the Ramona Street extension. He said planning group members have been elected to reflect the community, not ignore it.
“As more people along those routes are made aware of the potential damage to the rural life and the confiscation of their property, opposition will grow,” said Brennecke.
Another proposed road project to alleviate traffic in town is at the intersection of state Route 67 and Dye/Highland Valley roads.
Piva told the planning group that he and the other three members of the Highway 67 Subcommittee — Kristi Mansolf, Carl Hickman and Frank Coakley — will be meeting with CalTrans on April 22 to discuss the light at that intersection. Hickman, who works for the traffic engineering department of the county’s Public Works Department, has suggested a possible, inexpensive solution to help with traffic congestion by changing the timing of the signals. Piva said Hickman has positive information regarding this idea.
“We feel like there will be some real positive things that will come out of that meeting,” said Piva.