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VCCPG says no to speed limit increase on Valley Center Road


November 21, 2013
Among a slew of mobility-related discussion, the Valley Center Community Planning Group approved a motion to request that the San Diego County Traffic Advisory Committee (TAC) extend the 45 mph speed limit on sections of Valley Center Road for another 24 months.

"A higher speed limit in the area is just not appropriate," said member Bob Davis at the Nov. 18 Planning Group meeting. The motion passed by unanimous vote.

Davis, chair of the mobility subcommittee, also raised concerns that the speed feedback indicators along Valley Center Road are too small to be effective and not what TAC initially agreed to.

"They made a clear promise they were going to provide the large signs, not the small signs, and it would be as big or bigger than the sign at the high school," said Davis. "That's absolutely not what's in place. I would campaign that we ask them to take the existing sign poles that they have already put up and not move them, but put the correct signs on those poles. It's still a slap in the face, but it's better than what we have now."

Davis also suggested that the four signs were improperly placed. Chair Oliver Smith felt that the positioning of three of the signs was adequate, but he agreed that the sign on southbound Valley Center Road immediately after the traffic light at Lilac Road was "kind of strange."

"(Drivers) are still accelerating," said Smith. "Rarely do I go out there and find anything more than 45 (mph)." The Planning Group will continue to explore options to improve the feedback indicators.

"I think it makes a difference," said Ann Quinley, vice chair. "It's better than nothing."

Additional decisions by the board:

• The board voted to send a letter to San Diego County of Public Works inquiring into the causes of pavement failure on Lilac and Old Castle roads and learn if there is anything they can do to remedy the situation.

• The project to widen Valley Center Road at the bottom of the grade is now in the hands of the Escondido City Council and is targeted to start construction in the late summer of 2014. The project will cost an estimated $9 million. The mobility subcommittee will contact County Supervisor Bill Horn's office and continue to drum up support.

• Approved a recommendation to establish a 35 mph speed limit on Vesper Road between MacTan and Sunset roads, as well as a four-way stop at the intersection of Vesper and Sunset roads.

• Will wait to consider the proposed 77-acre solar project to be located at 29471 Cole Grade Road and Via Valencia. Many details still need to be sorted out, including issues involving fencing, landscaping, and minimizing the impact on a stream running through the property. "It's premature for us to make a decision," said Smith. "My guess is January when it might come back to the Planning Group for discussion and a vote on a motion."

• Recommended the appointment of Jeana Boulos to the Board of Supervisors for appointment to the Valley Center Community Planning Group. The office of Bill Horn will now review her application. Two open seats remain.

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