Ramona Community Planning Group approved the idea of hosting a transportation summit for the community after it was proposed by a member at the group’s March 4 meeting.
Planning group member Bob Hailey told the group that he, along with members Jim Piva and Kristi Mansolf, attended the coffee hosted by San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob on Feb. 25, and the Highway 67/Dye Road intersection was a much discussed topic.
Hailey referred to comments made earlier in the March 4 meeting when resident Joe Minervini asked the planning group to take the Dye Road extension off the top 10 road priority list.
“Take that off your top 10 list and put the Dye Road and Highway 67 intersection on the list,” said Minervini. “As for losing money already expended, so be it.”
Citing his reasons that the Dye Road extension project should be abandoned, Minervini said the changes won’t make the road safer, won’t alleviate traffic and is 25 percent longer in distance for a driver to travel across town versus taking Main Street. He questioned how businesses on Main Street would feel about traffic being diverted to the proposed bypass.
Resident Donna Myers also spoke against the Dye Road extension at the meeting.
“We have a $7 million project for a road that has no beginning; it has no end. And it cuts through our agricultural area,” said Myers. “For our children and our grandchildren we need to save our rural environment and our Ramona agriculture and farmland.”
Myers also spoke against the Ramona Street extension project, saying it was tabled because a minimum of 12 violations were counted that overrode every safety design.
“It was supposed to be quick and easy,” she said. “It was supposed to be without problems. Now we’re into a half a million dollars of expenditures, wasted money, and our third design.”
Mansolf, planning group member serving as the panel’s secretary, had announced at the beginning of the meeting that the Ramona Street extension project would be back on the agenda in a couple of months after a 30 percent redesign is completed, relocating the aqueduct and the Ramona Municipal Water District line. The public will be able to see the redesign before the project proceeds further, Mansolf said.
Hailey noted that the road priority list has been in place for many years, but there have been concerns by residents about how priorities have been placed.
“I think it’s important that in light of a lot of things that have gone on in recent years that have impacted greatly our circulation elements in town, I would like to propose that we, as a planning group, host a transportation/traffic summit,” said Hailey.
Hailey added that he did not want the county running such a summit. He said he wants to hear from the community instead of one person who says he’s speaking for the residents.
Hailey also said he didn’t think there is transparency on what money has been expended as far as the design of the road projects and there has been an assertion that some projects are shovel-ready, yet the planning group is not informed.
The motion to host a transportation summit passed with members Matt Deskovick and Dennis Sprong voting no; Chad Anderson and Paul Stykel were absent. No date or location for the summit was set.