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Traffic problems need to be fixed in Rancho Santa Fe area

After I wrote a letter, “Traffic Lights or Roundabouts in RSF — Go with the Safest Option” on Nov. 29, 2012, I received quite a few responses and comments from Covenant members in my neighborhood.  I decided to do more research about this issue.  I spent a couple of days visiting or talking to almost all the neighbors who live on both sides of Paseo Delicias(S6) between the intersections of Montevideo and El Camino Del Norte, including the neighbors on Caminito de Conejos and Paseo Delicias. The following summarizes the main feedback I received from these neighbors:

  1. The fact is that there are over 20,000 cars on Del Dios(S6) every day and all of the residents of Rancho Santa Fe should realize that we can never stop these people driving their cars back and forth through our town, no matter if we choose to install stop signs, roundabouts or traffic lights. In other words, with this heavy traffic along S6, there is no more rural character in this town any more.  Safety really becomes the most important issue now. We must treat safety as our top priority and solve this issue immediately.
  2. All my neighbors agree that there should be some traffic control — like stop signs, roundabouts or traffic lights between the intersections of Paseo Delicias(S6) and El Camino Del Norte for the sake of safety. I was told that there was a stop sign in place before.  However, the county took it away a couple years ago because it caused more of a traffic jam along S6. Now it is turning out to be more risky and dangerous for all the neighbors who are going in and out of their driveways because both eastbound and westbound traffic can drive at high speed without having to slow down or stop!  In other words, the consensus among all the neighbors is that there must be something done to fix this speeding problem by installing traffic lights or constructing roundabouts.  All my neighbors made similar comments over this matter.
  3. Not only will roundabouts cost over $6 million to build, but they utilize a lot of land, natural resources and take a lot of time to build.  Why don’t we just spend less than $1 million to install traffic lights at the proposed intersections and save the $5 million to fix the other traffic hazards in our Covenant?  For example, the intersection of La Granada and Avenida de Acacias is a hazardous intersection around the R. Roger Rowe School. A parent was actually hit by a car while on her bicycle crossing the intersection.  I feel the intersections around the school are unsafe for our children.  Drivers have been observed to be talking on their cell phone or texting while driving around the bordering streets of the school.  Not enough visible signs, lights or speed deterrents are installed to keep the drivers from speeding or from being distracted.
  4. The bottom line is that we need to fix the traffic problem along S6. Now we need to choose between roundabouts or traffic lights. If the Rancho Santa Fe Association still insists on a no traffic light policy, then we should quickly act by building roundabouts to reduce the potential risk.  We cannot let the cars drive back and forth between the intersections of El Camino Del Norte and Paseo Delicias without any traffic management.  Meanwhile, if anyone asks my opinion, well, I still prefer the traffic lights.  It saves a lot of money and preserves existing natural resources.  We could certainly use the money saved from installing traffic signals elsewhere in the Covenant on road safety mitigation.  In addition, it will be more efficient to install traffic lights instead of spending 18 months to two years to build roundabouts.

Nobody will or can deny the fact that Rancho Santa Fe would still be a beautiful town, even if there may be three traffic lights along highway S6. More than that, those new signals would actually add more colorful lights to this small town as it opens its warm arms and welcomes younger generations who are moving into this beautiful community with its excellent schools!
Wei Zhang

Concerned Covenant Resident Living on Paseo Delicias

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