By Mike Loranger
I’m not expecting everyone’s agreement, but only asking for an open-minded look at a different point of view.
Not one to air San Diego Country Estates Association dirty laundry for all of Ramona to see, but for whatever reason, a “Petition to Oppose the San Vicente Road Relocation and Improvements” was sent to all the SDCE homeowners in an official SDCEA mailing, leading me to conclude that somehow and for some reason our association has taken a stance against improvements to a very public thoroughfare in Ramona.
I enjoy and respect the steps the SDCEA has shown over the years to support and protect the rights of homeowners, but feel in this instance they have put their noses where they do not belong. If a group, including the SDCEA Board of Directors, opposes improvements outside the SDCE, they have every right to act privately, in which case I feel they should use neither SDCEA official mailings, nor collection resources, to their benefit.
The SDCEA petition itself dumbfounds me. I understand that we as Californians seem to sometimes defy all logic when we make decisions, but the arguments I have been exposed to as to why San Vicente Road (SVR) should be left “as is” make my head spin. These are the reasons that are stated in the petition (followed by my comments):
•The proposed new road would not eliminate the major causes of accidents on the road: excessive speed, driving under the influence and inexperienced drivers. (These are the three main causes of mishaps on ANY road. While “elimination” is a worthy goal, “reduction” is a realistic goal.)
•The proposed new road, with the same 50 mph speed limit, would only encourage people to drive faster, therefore less safe. (So an improved road will be in fact less safe? I can’t follow this logic. It is beyond my comprehension.)
•Horseback riders would not ride on a trail a few feet from 50+ mph traffic. (There is currently NO horse trail on SVR. If the equestrian community desires a safe trail, I ask they get involved in the planning process and lobby for the safety measures that will meet their needs, not stop the project.)
•The $40 million plus cost of the project ($10 million per mile) is excessive for the project and not wanted by the community it is to serve. (Although I tend to agree that the cost seems excessive, this is the cost of doing business in the State of California. That said, I can’t think of better use for our road taxes. To further state in a petition signed by a subset of individuals that these improvements are not wanted by the entire community is at best disingenuous.)
•We like the rural tree lined nature of the present road. (Take a good look at those trees when next you travel SVR. Many are scarred with the marks of automobiles that have been embedded into their trunks over and over again; also of note, damaged guardrails inches from travel lanes, automobile body parts and glass littering the road, jagged rocks inches from the pavement, blind curves without sufficient shoulder areas for emergency parking, SVR homeowners making left turns over double yellow lines, and the always fresh supply of skid marks departing the roadway heading off into bushes, trees, rocks, power poles, etc.; the list of extreme hazards on SVR is long.)