Stop signs coming for Palomino Road
Last updated 4/5/2007 at Noon
When the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 March 21 to ratify several recommendations of the county’s Traffic Advisory Committee, the supervisors approved enforceable stop signs for westbound and eastbound motorists on Palomino Road approaching McDonald Road.
The supervisors also agreed not to establish a parking prohibition on a 270-foot portion of Olive Hill Road. The Traffic Advisory Committee’s January 26 recommendations also included continuing review of a proposed Alturas Road parking prohibition to allow a nearby property owner to address concerns, so that segment of road will return to the supervisors at a later date.
Since an ordinance amendment is involved, the Palomino Road stop signs will return to the supervisors for a second reading and adoption April 18. If the ordinance is adopted on that date, the stop controls will take effect May 18.
The intersection of Palomino Road and McDonald Road is currently not controlled by a stop or yield sign or a traffic signal. McDonald Road has a 45 mph speed limit which is certified for radar while Palomino Road does not have a posted speed limit.
An October 2006 traffic survey indicated an average daily traffic volume of 1,510 northbound vehicles on McDonald Road south of Palomino Road, 1,320 southbound vehicles on McDonald Road north of Palomino Road, 540 eastbound vehicles on Palomino Road west of McDonald Road, and 120 westbound vehicles on Palomino Road east of McDonald Road. During the three-year period between April 30, 2003, and April 30, 2006, three collisions were reported at the intersection.
The Traffic Advisory Committee reviewed the road’s operating conditions, and the collision history indicated that some motorists may be experiencing difficulty crossing the intersection. Visibility is restricted by roadway design and heavy vegetation for westbound motorists.
Guidelines call for a stop control when the safe approach speed is under 10 mph and a yield control when the safe approach speed is between 10 mph and 20 mph. Since the safe approach speed for westbound motorists on Palomino Road was determined to be 5 mph, stop controls were deemed to be the most appropriate measure to formalize the existing driving pattern.
The Fallbrook Community Planning Group believes that the stop controls will also be beneficial with the future extension of Palomino Road, which eventually will be extended further west and will connect with Old Stage Road. That extension would increase traffic volumes entering McDonald Road.
The request for the Olive Hill Road parking prohibition would have covered the west side of that road between the south line of Highland Oaks Street and 270 feet south of Highland Oaks Street. The widening of Olive Hill Road may limit room for parked vehicles, and one of the two property owners along that segment of roadway expressed support for a parking ban.
Olive Hill Road is a rural open roadway with minimal parking demands, and no traffic safety issues justified the establishment of a parking prohibition. Eastbound motorists entering Olive Hill Road from Highland Oaks Street have adequate visibility to determine whether entering the intersection is appropriate, and parked vehicles would not impede the flow of traffic or create a sight restriction.