News Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News Rancho Santa Fe

Community opposes traffic light

Oceanside — A previously approved traffic light for Rancho del Oro Drive and Cameo Drive will be reinstalled, following a 3-2 vote by city council on April 6, in which Mayor Jim Wood and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez voted no.
The traffic light originally approved for Rancho del Oro Drive was taken down after strong community protest several years ago. A promise was made to residents that it would not be reinstalled.
“The light was approved by the Planning Commission and then it was removed without a vote of the council,” Councilman Jack Feller said. “That’s really not how we do things.”
The need for the light to be reinstalled was considered after a traffic flow study for the nearby Veterans Administration clinic found a light was warranted.
“The VA hospital doesn’t even mention that street to get to the facility,” community resident Maggie Conant said. “I don’t understand the necessity of it.”
Twenty-one speakers came forward to protest the light. Most said the present stop sign on the four-lane road is sufficient. An informal door-to-door neighborhood survey found that only 1 in 200 residents wanted the light.
“It’s a quiet out of the way community,” resident Susie Coker said. “We love our stop signs.
“What we heard tonight is that the neighborhood didn’t want it for several reasons,” Wood said. “A promise was made and our budget is tight.”
There were also concerns that a traffic light would cause drivers to speed up to beat the red light.
“It’s absolute crap to hear stop signs are safer than signals,” Councilman Gary Felien said. “Experts who analyze these intersection say a signal is needed for safety. A four-lane road with a medium down the middle is not a neighborhood street.”
The city traffic engineer concurred that a traffic light is the best bet to control traffic.
“A traffic signal is probably the safest control device you can install,” David DiPierro, city traffic engineer, said.
The $40,000 to install the light will be put in next year’s capital improvements projects budget.

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r alice April 12, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Congratulations to the City Council for standing up and approving the installation of this traffic light. It serves the total community not just the people who live in the neighborhood. A four way stop impedes traffic flow for a town that has a serious lack of north/south roadway. Is it possible that this light was planned long before some of the residents who are complaining about it even lived there?

Oside at RSF April 15, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Thanks Mr. Wood and Ms. Sanchez for honoring your word. As to the "crap" that stop signs are not safer, just take a look at Rancho Santa Fe (covenant). Not a single traffic light in sight. This includes the heavily traveled Del Dios Hwy. Hmm…

Maggie Conant July 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm

As of this date, traffic signals are installed. Our neighborhood prides itself on maintaining the integrity of a small town feel while Oceanside continues to grow. The neighborhood kids cross Rancho del Oro to get to other neighborhoods – as they all go to school and grow up together.

The city hid this light installation into the planning of the VA Clinic unbeknownst to the neighborhoods that it affects. And the VA Clinic isn’t even close to this light. Moreover, the Clinic doesn’t even reference Rancho del Oro as a means to get to its facility.

Our neighborhoods never had a chance to properly oppose the plan or its implementation.

The city has an agenda to put in an on ramp at the 78/Rancho del Oro and to do so will require the lights that were installed. It’s such crap that they City Council can’t be honest but finds a sideways approach to getting things done.

Is this they way we get things done in this City Mr. Feller? Just a reminder that politicians come and go. Fortunately, Politicans can be voted out.

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