How to cripple Main Street business and destroy land values, way of life

By Diane Chapman

If you live in Ramona, the Southern Bypass will affect you. As I read more about this project and after to speaking to citizens who live on Keyes Road and the surrounding area as well as various businesses on Main Street, there appeared to be one gaping question.

WHY?

The following highlights why this project must be taken off the county’s Top Ten Road Projects for Ramona.

Main Street Businesses

The most obvious problem with this plan is the devastation it would create on the businesses along Main Street. With traffic flowing around Main Street, the decrease in potential customers, especially in tough economic times, would put many out of business. This plan was rejected in the mid-1990s by the Ramona Community Planning Group but with the current makeup of the Ramona Community Planning Group it has found favor.

As I handed out information sheets about the bypass to many business owners on Main Street, the overwhelming question was “Why? We depend on this traffic for our livelihood. Why would they do this to us?”

We have heard our Chamber of Commerce state that they want Ramona to become a “destination” point. They have been silent on this matter and I hope to hear them support the very people who create the destination.

Adjacent Homes and Communities

Quiet rural areas in the valley would experience tremendous volumes of traffic, noise and pollution that they haven’t experienced before. This would open these areas to industrialization and development. Can you imagine if your area was targeted to divert weekend traffic going to Julian or the desert through your rural area, an area you had every right to expect would stay rural and not have a 50 mph roadway on your street or near your home. And you certainly would not expect to bear the burden of this foreign traffic flow from outside our area.

Property owners as well as business owners will have to disclose this bypass if they intend to sell.

Longer and More Time Consuming Route

This proposed bypass is about one third longer, and there will be a comparable number of traffic stops. So this route will take traffic longer to cross Ramona than Main Street. That is not an improvement. And most likely, it will not be used for the small population of people it was intended to serve, and thus will be a huge waste of time and money.

Ignores the More Pressing Traffic Problems

Besides the monetary cost and devastation of business and property values, the southern bypass will take our eyes off the more critical traffic and growth problems in Ramona. The Montecito Ranch and Cumming Ranch developments will mean significant traffic loads onto 67 and getting into and out of Ramona. The focus should be on improving Highway 67 and addressing the growth from the new residential areas.

What Can You Do?

Attend these two public meetings to opposed the Main Street bypass:

•Monday, March 24, 7 p.m., Ramona Community Center, 434 Aqua Lane, across from the rodeo grounds.

•Thursday, April 3, 7 p.m. Ramona Library Community Room, 1275 Main St.

Diane Chapman is a Ramona resident.

   
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