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Roadway requests need to wait a year

OCEANSIDE — A City Improvement Project, or CIP, workshop held June 1 to gather residents’ input on needed roads, traffic lights and sidewalks left some of the 13 residents who attended disappointed.
Council postponed voting on the CIP budget to allow time for community input. The workshop was anticipated to be the “last chance” for residents to have their voices heard on needed roadway projects for the 2010 to 2011 fiscal year.
“I have concerns that dialogue tonight will not change it (the CIP budget list),” Joan Brubaker, Oceanside resident, said.
The workshop opened with a brief overview of how the city prioritizes CIP funding, followed by city staff stationed at enlarged budget sheets and ready to answer residents’ questions. “Our intent is to be as transparent as possible,” Scott Smith, city engineer, said. “We have no emotional ties to the projects.”
A dozen city engineers, managers and directors were at the workshop to gather community input and pass it on to council for direction, but the CIP list that earmarks funds for the coming year is not expected to change. “Anything you don’t see on those charts, we don’t have funded,” Smith said.
Others who attended the workshop felt OK with the promise that “maybe next year” their requests will make the CIP list. The process to funnel requests through study, design, committee reviews and council, with allowable time for public notice, takes time.
One request that may make next year’s list is to have funds set aside to build a second road, in addition to Melrose Drive, to connect the community of Jeffries Ranch with SR 76. The city has OK’d $75,000 from the Transnet unfunded project budget to study possible roadways. “We’re hoping they (the study team) might come up with something new,” David DiPierro, city traffic engineer, said, “We want them to come up with two alternatives for us to look at.”
Once a study, design and review of the road is completed, funding can be OK’d. “This time next year maybe its something we can take a look at doing,” DiPierro said.