RANCHO SANTA FE — Following an April Town Hall Meeting at the Garden Club, the RSF Association board of directors voted to install traffic signals rather than roundabouts on May 7.
The Town Hall meeting helped the board make their decision, since members discussed roundabouts or traffic signals options for three proposed intersections along the Paseo Delicias/Del Dios corridors.
Association Manager Bill Overton said during the Town Hall meeting that members expressed both pros and cons about traffic signals and roundabouts. An unofficial straw poll at the conclusion of the gathering revealed 120 in favor of traffic signals, 11 in favor of roundabouts and 37 who wanted to do nothing.
“Something needs to be done with traffic control for the community based on complaints and the rising number of cars passing through Rancho Santa Fe,” said Overton, adding that he was advised a 2013 meeting revealed around the same percentages.
Overton advised the board that staff thought it was time to make a vote.
“Staff’s recommendation is for the board to direct staff to write to the county that we prefer signals as a community,” he said.
While one member in the audience thought there should be more to learn about the two options, director Heather Slosar shared her views.
“The good news is that we’ve been elected by the community to represent what’s in the best interest of the community,” she said, adding how they received input from members in as many ways as possible. “We do respect the community and the desires of the community.”
Director Jerry Yahr said the community has had a chance to come out and speak out regarding this issue.
A traffic control committee was also in place for many years.
“I feel that we have adequate information in terms of the community to make a vote,” he said.
Director Philip Wilkinson admitted he is a big supporter of rural characteristics and roundabouts. He thought the roundabouts were far superior to the traffic signals.
However, due to the sense of urgency, he said traffic signals would be a better decision at this time.
Director Rochelle Putnam believed if traffic signals were voted on, which they were, that the Association remains involved through the progression.
“I think it’s really critical to stay engaged with the process and work with the county to mitigate our concerns about lighting, the aesthetics and safety, so that we can make sure that not only our community members, but the people who pass through here and come to work here every day are well served,” she said.