By Jim Spencer
I won’t try to improve on Mike Loranger’s articulate defense of the planned San Vicente Road improvements (
Jan. 10, 2013), except just to add a few points.
While it does not surprise me that “some residents say they were not aware of the road realignment,” it nevertheless astonished me to read that the president of the SDCEA board had “never heard about the road improvements” in his three years on the board.
Where have these folks been? Over the past year, alone, there have been at least several articles about the planned SVR improvements in the
- The county has certainly not kept this long-planned project a secret! Perhaps this lack of attention on the part of some may explain the seemingly knee-jerk 11th-hour reaction in opposition to sorely-needed road improvements into our neighborhood. And maybe it also explains the questionable propriety of expending association resources to advance a singular agenda.
There is no question that the board of directors may take a particular position on any matter that impacts the community as a whole, as this project certainly will. But to actively solicit opposition by paying the expense of printing and mailing an argument against it and providing opposition petition forms for return on the association’s dime is, in my opinion, a stretch of the board’s authority.
That point aside, however, I would like to address some of the arguments against the planned SVR improvements. While it is true that no road design, anywhere, can eliminate the reality of stupid and reckless drivers, the planned improvements of SVR will at least make the road safer for defensive driving.
It is not only the recklessness of some drivers that cause accidents. The inability to take defensive action is also a major contributor. If, by easing some of the curves, and providing a couple of needed left-turn pockets, it makes it less likely for the inconsiderate driver to cause a collision due to the better driver being able to detect and avoid same, then the project would be worth it for that reason alone.
Furthermore, our fixation with trees throughout our community probably needs to be re-examined. I like trees as much as anyone else. But how many trees is a human life worth? Would we sacrifice 100 trees to reduce the likelihood of someone being seriously injured or killed on SVR? Would we sacrifice 145? At what point do we decide that it is more important to save a tree at the expense of a lost or ruined life? Trees can and will be replaced. Human life, not so easily.
I can no more speak for the entire community on this issue than can the board of directors. I encourage everyone, however, to carefully consider the current condition of SVR and ask themselves if they honestly don’t believe that improvements are long overdue. Even if one has signed a petition in opposition, he or she always has the right to change their mind and remove their name.
Jim Spencer is a Ramona resident.