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Stop sign approved for Wisconsin and Fallbrook


Last updated 2/15/2007 at Noon

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 February 7 to ratify several Traffic Advisory Committee recommendations, including the establishment of a stop control at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Fallbrook Street.

The supervisors also recertified speed limits on Gum Tree Lane and Alvarado Street for radar enforcement and established a parking prohibition on a portion of Winter Haven Road. Action on the intersection of Summit Avenue and Elder Street was continued until the supervisors’ May 16 meeting, which will allow for more public participation at the Traffic Advisory Committee’s March 9 meeting.

The stop sign on Wisconsin Avenue will return to the supervisors February 28 for a second reading and adoption, and the ordinance amendment will become effective March 30. Wisconsin Avenue, which is not part of the county’s Circulation Element, ends at Fallbrook Street. The west leg of the intersection has a school crosswalk, but no stop control currently exists.

An October 2006 traffic survey indicated an average daily volume of 460 northbound vehicles on Wisconsin Avenue south of Fallbrook Street. That survey also indicated average daily volumes of 2,510 westbound vehicles on Fallbrook Street east of Wisconsin Avenue and 1,490 eastbound vehicles on Fallbrook Street west of the intersection. During the three-year period between April 30, 2003, and April 30, 2006, three collisions were reported, including one which entailed an injury.

Wisconsin Avenue resident Esmeralda Mendez, who walks her daughter to school, noted that motorists on Wisconsin Avenue look so intently towards Fallbrook Street for traffic approaching to the left that the pedestrians on the right are often not recognized or acknowledged. The Traffic Advisory Committee’s December 8 review noted that the safe approach speed for northbound motorists on Wisconsin Avenue is 7 mph, and guidelines call for a stop control when the safe approach speed is under 10 mph. The TAC also felt that a new school crosswalk on Wisconsin Avenue and updating school signage to current standards will also assist northbound motorists in determining when entering the intersection is appropriate; signage and street markings which are not regulatory do not require Board of Supervisors approval.

The recertification of the 35 mph speed limit on Gum Tree Lane between Stage Coach Lane and Hamilton Lane required special findings to allow continued radar enforcement at the current speed for the 0.76-mile segment. In order for a speed limit to be enforceable by radar, the speed limit must be set at the nearest 5 mph increment to the 85th percentile speed, although if special findings of conditions not apparent to the motorist are made the speed limit can be set at 5 mph lower than the prevailing flow of traffic speed. Periodic recertification for radar enforcement is required, and that process necessitates a new speed survey.

The last speed survey was taken in 2000, when the 85th percentile speed was 39.9 mph and 66.6 percent of the 75 vehicles were in the 10-mph pace of 31 to 40 mph. At the time the speed limit was allowed to be set at the nearest 5 mph increment below the 85th percentile speed, but in 2003 a change to the state Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices stipulated that speed limits were to be set at the nearest 5 mph increment regardless of whether it was above or below the 85th percentile. In 2006 the speed survey indicated an 85th percentile of 38.8 mph, which would require a 40 mph speed limit without special findings to continue radar enforcement. The 111 vehicles in the 2006 speed survey included 72.9 percent in the 31-40 mph pace. Both speed surveys were taken in the 1800 block of Gum Tree Lane.

The accident data between April 30, 2003, and April 30, 2006, noted two reported collisions along the stretch of road. That created an accident rate which is higher than the statewide average for similar type roads, thus enabling the Traffic Advisory Committee to make special findings during the December 8 review. Part of the segment is being reconstructed due to a new residential development at Gum Tree Lane and Stage Coach Lane, so the road segment will return to the Traffic Advisory Committee for further review after one year, by which time construction is expected to have been completed and the road’s operating conditions returned to normal.

The 35 mph speed limit on Alvarado Street between Stage Coach Lane and Live Oak Park Road needed no special findings, as a speed survey along that 1.27-mile segment indicated an 85th percentile speed of 34.4 mph.

The traffic prohibition on Winter Haven Road covers the north side of that street from the west line of Clearcrest Lane to 40 feet west of Clearcrest Lane. That parking prohibition, which will become effective March 28, is intended to maximize visibility for southbound traffic on Clearcrest Lane when looking west onto Winter Haven Road.


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