Source: Valley Roadrunner

Road changes needs our approval

by Kim Harris

March 13, 2014

News from Tuesday nightís Valley Center Community Planning Group (VCCPG) meeting left me a little surprised when members began discussing a letter they intended to send to the San Diego County Department of Public Works Department (SDCDPW).

According to the letter, and Michael Craneís article on A1 in this edition of the Roadrunner, Public works has planned to remove 650 feet of median on Valley Center Road south of Sunday Drive to make room for the proposed Butterfield Ranch Development. Like VCCPG members, I was shocked when I began hearing rumblings about the move.

In the letter, VCCPG pleads with the county to not destroy the landscaped median that runs along Valley Center Road. Valley Center medians look nice, but while their appearance is appealing to the eye, they serve a greater purpose, increasing safety on VC Road.

Medians physically separate opposing lanes of traffic, so they help prevent vehicles from crossing into opposing traffic lanes. They can stop pedestrians from crossing at unsafe places and act as a refuge for those who cross anyway but might not be able to make it across the entire stretch of road. They reduce headlight glare distraction and provide a safe place to make those pesky left-hand turns. Letís not forget to mention, by removing left turning vehicles from through traffic, medians help to maintain driving speed. These are just a few facts I found by doing a quick Google search on benefits of medians. I bet there are plenty more out there for those with the time to really research the issue.

How about this tidbit, according to one study conducted by Iowa State University, four lane highways with medians are 40 percent safer than four-lane highways without them. This isnít the first time Iíve heard that tidbit either. Two other places I have lived quoted similar numbers prior to installing medians on their four lane highways.

The fact that VCCPG was not notified or included in the discussions regarding one of the main thoroughfares through Valley Center concerns me to no end. So I called SDCDPW to try and get some answers as to how exclusion such as this could occur. Needless to say, I got nowhere Ö fast. The office is open until 5 p.m., but Tom Herzberger, the field supervisor I was referred to was not in to answer his phone.

I think that SDCDPW needs to answer to residents of Valley Center regarding this issue and I believe that they need to address the VCCPG directly when making decisions that affect Valley Center. To do so shows cooperation, to ignore the people who live here and who care about our community, just goes to show county leaders donít really give a hoot about what is best for Valley Center.