The number of vehicles traveling the Del Dios Highway through Rancho Santa Fe is down and has been going down for nine years, according to the Rancho Santa Fe Association. Photo by Tony Cagala

Association finds traffic on Del Dios Highway decreasing

RANCHO SANTA FE — The number of vehicles traveling the Del Dios Highway through Rancho Santa Fe is down and has been going down for nine years. 

“Since 2003, the data shows that there has been an overall decline in the number of average daily trips,” said Ivan Holler, planning director for the Association, during his report at the May 17 meeting. “The largest declines occurred from 2003 to 2007 and from 2007 to 2011.”

He said there are seasonable fluctuations in traffic volumes with the highest occurring in the summer and the lowest volumes in the winter.

“Seasonable increases in average daily trips are likely due to increased traffic generated by events such as the San Diego County Fair, which occurs from mid-June through July 4 each year,” he said.

He said another reason for increased trips is the racing season in Del Mar, which runs from mid-July through early September.

When the number of trips decreases, it usually coincides with the holiday season in November and December.

“Another factor that has resulted in long-term traffic reductions on Del Dios Highway is SR 56, which opened in July 2004 and provided a new freeway alternative between I-5 and I-15,” Holler said. “The Association had long anticipated that SR 56 would relieve some pressure from Del Dios Highway and slow the rate of traffic growth. So far that data has supported that prediction.”

He said also helping the decrease in traffic is the downturn in the economy and the higher gas prices, plus improvements to the HOV lanes on the I-15 may have helped reduce the number of cars that pass through Rancho Santa Fe each day.

“Although the declines have provided some means of traffic relief, it is likely that future increases in the number of trips across Del Dios Highway will occur as the region continues to grow,” Holler said. “The Association should continue to monitor these traffic volumes and aggressively pursue regional road improvements that add connectivity so that viable alternative routes will be available.”

Traffic loop counters are installed on the Del Dios Highway just east of El Camino Del Norte and are used to count both eastbound and westbound traffic.

In other Association news, there seems to be a lot of support for sponsoring a farmers market in the Village on Saturdays.

Also, the board approved a boundary adjustment between property owned by Herbert and Paula Engel and Karen Montgomery at 6924 and 6866 Las Colinas.

The adjustment, approved by the Art Jury on April 2, would transfer 0.287 acres from the Montgomery parcel to the Engel parcel. The adjustment would reconfigure the Engel property as a flag lot, with the driveway located on the narrow portion of the property.