Pala Pauma Sponsor Group to discuss traffic, safety on Hwy 76
July 31, 2013The public safety issues resulting from the present and future growth traffic levels on Hwy 76 will be discussed at the Aug. 6 meeting of the Pala Pauma Community Sponsor Group (PPCSG).
The impact of growth affects all road way in Pauma Valley, but especially Hwy 76 between Pala del Norte Road and Pala Casino which the County General Plan (GP) identifies as a road segment where the adverse impacts of adding travel lanes is considered not to justify the resulting benefit of increased traffic capacity.
The GP contemplates retaining a Level of Service E/F, below the County desired standard (LOS D). Under the County definitions this means that Hwy 76 will see "breakdown of traffic flow … queues form[ing] … with vehicles experiencing brief periods of movement followed by stoppages."
"Currently available traffic studies for this road segment estimate today's traffic volumes at around 10,000, or so, vehicles per day and project that they will essentially double over the next fifteen years" said Charles Mathews chairman of the PPCSG. "This growth comes from the expansions of local casinos and housing growth in development such as the approximately 2,000 units at Meadowood, some 800 units at Warner Ranch, and some 40 units at Shadow Run Ranch."
Many consider much of Hwy 76 east of I-15 to be especially dangerous because of sharp corners with restricted visibility, narrow lanes and the absence of safe passing areas for most of its length. However, because of the natural beauty of the landscape through which it winds, the road has also been adopted as a County Scenic Highway.
Mathews told The Roadrunner, "The challenge facing the community is to recommend the right balance between protecting public safety from the effects of growth and the desire to maintain the natural rural feeling of the ambiance of Pauma Valley."
The proposed revision to the Zoning Ordinance and County Code regarding 'Signs and Banners in Right of Way.' (available at: http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/dpw/environment/envrnsvcs.html) will also be reviewed at the Aug. 6 meeting of PPCSG will be held at the Pauma Valley Community Center, 16650 Hwy 76, Pauma Valley, starting at 7 p.m., at which community input on both projects is welcomed.