By Connie Bull
Thank you, Betsy Bargo, school bus driver,
letter April 18: “Let’s Rethink San Vicente Road Project.”
I, too, must speak up as I have lived in San Diego Country Estates since 1989 and I fear for my community's safety during proposed plan. You can NOT make roads safe for unsafe drivers.
When SDCE project for 3,451 residences was approved by San Diego County supervisors for build out in 1972, San Diego County required developer Ray Watt to bring in a second road — Vista Ramona — for SAFETY reasons.
Made sense then, more sense now, as the Estates is a handful short of total build out of those 3,451 residences. Not to mention the homes back in Four Corner’s Area whose only outlet is through SDCE & Ryland Homes, which abut SDCE on the west. A combined population of about 15,000 to 20,000 people plus pets, including horses, who require their own road space, in case of any emergency. There is no other way out!
We need both roads/four lanes/two lanes going OUT in an emergency like ‘03 & ‘07 fires. Not one lane out, both lanes out/both roads.
Now, the wisdom of San Diego County is to widen San Vicente, spending $40 million, to make it safe (??), cutting down many of our beautiful oak trees, disturbing the habitat/while ignoring pot holes, the weeds growing up the middle of Ramona Oaks, and other places, plus poorly patched road repairs throughout.
What about the countless fatal and serious injury accidents that happen within SDCE on straight roads? What does the wisdom of SD County plan to do to make those straight roads safer?
Answer: You can NOT make roads safe for unsafe drivers.
We have had two catastrophic fires, ‘03 and ‘07, where residences were evacuated via both roads. How would we have managed with one road/Vista Ramona, and perhaps, just perhaps, one lane of San Vicente during the expected 1.5 to 2 years of construction time to widen San Vicente? We have a diversity of residents: Senior citizens, elderly with special medical equipment needs during transporting, heart patients with high blood pressure already, terminally ill residents, physically handicapped persons, pregnant mommies.
What is SD County thinking? Residents should use Rancho Santa Fe as the example of a maintained two-lane, curvy, road going through their entire community. Many deadly accidents as well in RSF, yet it remains a two-lane road through a lovely area of trees, homes, village, etc., and the residents have fought against widening many times and won! They already know, it would become a racetrack just like San Vicente will become, and still not be safe. What is SD County thinking?
Why would SDCE residents be willing to allow SD County to subject us to UNSAFE living conditions for 1.5 to 2 years, given our high risk/history, for fire alone? Many of us have spoken to road expert professionals who tell us there are other options for curve corrections that don’t require $40 million or 1.5 to 2 years of time.
Now if WE can find this out, why can’t SD County?
Who truly benefits from the letting of this contract under the cover of “safe road?” Hmmmm.
People, speak up and be heard. Silence is approval.
Shame on SD County for knowingly subjecting all 15,000 to 20,000 residents, into an unsafe living environment for 1.5 to 2 years. The uncertainty of our safety during that time is stress enough much less we would have to face an emergency evacuation itself.
You can NOT make roads safe for unsafe drivers.
Law enforcement testified to that, but SD County didn’t listen.
Do we say Highway 67, Supervisor Jacob and others? Your first obligation is to our community Safety. You have failed with this plan . We will not be safe.
I too, along with others, ask that SD County revamp/redo this project to minimal road repair, or be held solely responsible for the stress of unsafe living conditions, and subsequent consequences, if this plan goes through as is.
It is in everyone’s best interest that SD County reconsider our community safety, cut your costs and put remaining money toward long overdue road repairs within the community.
People, speak up and be heard. Your silence is approval.
Connie Bull is a Ramona resident.