By Karen Billing
Traffic volumes have declined on Del Dios Highway in recent years, according to Ivan Holler, Rancho Santa Fe Association covenant administrator.
At the RSF Association board’s May 17 meeting, Holler said that loop counters are installed on Del Dios Highway just east of El Camino Del Norte and are used to count both eastbound and westbound traffic. In 2003, the annual average daily trips were 20,232. In 2011, the average was 15,992. The same average has been seen in the first few months of 2012.
The peak traffic times occur during June and July, attributed to San Diego County Fair traffic.
The opening of SR-56 in 2004 is one of the main contributors to the decline in use. There has also been an 11 percent drop from 2007 to 2011, which Holler said can be attributed to the rise in gas prices, the general economic downturn, as well as improvements on Interstate-15’s managed lanes.
“You look at commuters having more choices and you can see that in the trends,” Holler said. “Overall it’s good news, however, in the long term we still expect traffic on Del Dios to increase as the population continues to grow and the economy improves.”
Holler noted that roundabouts continue to be studied for Del Dios. While the roundabouts wouldn’t create additional traffic because the highway will remain just two lanes, Holler said it could lead to the improvement of operation at the intersections.