By Karen Brainard
The county anticipates construction on the San Vicente Road Improvement Project will start in the spring.
Steve Ron, project manager with the Department of Public Works (DPW), gave a presentation to the Ramona Community Planning Group at its Sept. 5 meeting, informing members that a post and rope barrier can be added between the proposed pathway and the bike lane, as requested by equestrians, and that the county cannot install a left turn lane on San Vicente Road at Gem Lane because that location does not justify a turn lane.
Construction to realign and widen San Vicente Road from Warnock Drive to just east of Wildcat Canyon Road for safety purposes, originally scheduled to start this fall, was delayed because agreements could not be reached with the owners of two pieces of properties needed for right of way, so the county initiated eminent domain proceedings. Ron said the county expects to take possession of the parcels by December and go to the county supervisors in January 2014 for authorization to advertise and award a construction contract. Construction would probably start two to four months after that, he said.
According to Ron, the equestrian community had requested a landscape barrier between the road and the pathway.
“And that turned out to be somewhat expensive for us to install and very expensive to maintain,” he said.
A post and rope barrier — similar to a split rail fence with thick rope used for cross rails, was suggested by equestrians, but for safety reasons the county wanted clearance area around it, according to staff.
After meeting with Supervisor Dianne Jacob Ramona equestrians and parks and traffic staff, Ron said it was determined that the 10-foot wide pathway that would act as a horse trail could be narrowed to 6 feet, 8 inches, which would allow room for a 2-foot, 4-inch clearance area, and an 8-inch berm between the pathway and the 5-foot bike lane.
“And now we have enough room to put up a post and rope barrier instead of landscaping,” said Ron.
Every 40 feet there will be a gap, he said, so horses could pass. Calling the barrier a “visual wall,” Ron said the posts will be 3 feet high, and the 1 1/2-inch rope will be about 2 feet off the ground.
The RCPG approved the post and rope barrier 9-1, with Jim Cooper, who preferred that a more visible and weather-proof white 2-inch nylon rope be used, opposed. Members Chad Anderson, Torry Brean, Richard Tomlinson and Kevin Wallace were absent.
Planner Eb Hogervorst noted that there were two fatalities in one week — 18-year-old Victoria “Tori” S. Richeson on Aug. 22, and 74-year-old Kenneth Crane on Aug. 29.
“It can’t happen soon enough,” Hogervorst said of the road project.