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Burma/Olive Hill junction to get stop sign

The yield sign for northbound traffic on Olive Hill Road at the intersection of Burma Road will be changed to a stop control.

A 4-0 San Diego County Board of Supervisors vote November 19, with Supervisor Ron Roberts absent, approved the first reading and introduction of the ordinance amendment to change the yield directive to a required full stop.

A second reading and adoption is scheduled for the supervisors’ December 10 meeting, in which case the new regulatory control would become effective on January 9.

The county’s Traffic Advisory Committee had reviewed the possibility of an all-way stop control at the intersection on August 1 and September 19 and recommended against an all-way stop while also recommending that the existing yield sign for northbound drivers be replaced by a stop control.

Olive Hill Road curves at Burma Road; the portion of Olive Hill Road south of Burma Road is 27 feet in width while the segment east of Burma Road is 34 feet wide.

Burma Road, the west leg of the intersection, is 32 feet wide.

Six residents requested a review of the intersection, stating that northbound cars traveling at high rates of speed at Olive Hill Road lose control or fail to stop at the intersection, thus causing property damage across the intersection at Lakeridge Estates.

The residents also stated that cars along Burma Road travel at high rates of speed.

The entry onto Olive Hill Road from Lakeridge Estates is at the bottom of a hill, and residents must use caution to avoid accidents.

Olive Hill Road, which is classified as a light collector on the county’s circulation element map, has a 50 mph speed limit which is certified for radar enforcement.

The speed limit on Burma Road, which is not classified on the circulation element map, is 45 mph and is enforceable by radar.

Both roads are striped two-lane roadways, and Olive Hill Road has edge striping along both sides of the road.

The primary function of an all-way stop is to assign a more positive right-of-way at an intersection where a one-way or two-way stop control has been ineffective.

All-way stop controls are most effective on high-volume intersections with nearly equal volumes of traffic on all legs, although an all-way stop control can also be warranted at a location with a demonstrated accident problem susceptible to correction by an all-way stop, for example, right-angle collisions.

An August 2008 traffic survey indicated an average daily traffic volume of 1,850 northbound vehicles on Olive Hill Road south of Burma Road, 2,130 westbound vehicles on Olive Hill Road east of Burma Road, and 1,090 eastbound vehicles on Burma Road west of Olive Hill Road.

A July 2004 traffic survey calculated an average daily volume of 1,560 northbound, 2,170 westbound, and 1,220 eastbound vehicles, and a December 1989 survey produced an average daily volume of 1,350 northbound, 1,640 westbound, and 640 eastbound vehicles.

Between July 31, 2003, and July 31, 2008, seven collisions were reported at the intersection.

Four of the seven reported collisions involved inappropriate driving behavior by northbound motorists, and the TAC felt that neither the volume nor the accident problem guidelines warranted an all-way stop.

The TAC also felt that an all-way stop control would punish the majority of motorists for the inappropriate actions of a few and feared that such a restrictive control would exacerbate current conditions.

Unwarranted all-way stop controls often have a high non-compliance rate and can create a false sense of security, and motorists often speed up to make up for perceived lost time at such intersections.

The TAC believes that the negative impacts of an unwarranted all-way stop would exceed any potential benefit.

The TAC felt that the best measure to increase the level of comfort for Lakeridge Estates residents would be to install a left-turn pocket for the driveway, although physical constraints and right-of-way limits do not make that feasible.

The existing yield control has been in place for at least 38 years, and due to residential development along Olive Hill Road since its installation the intersection’s operating conditions have changed and the TAC believes that the yield control is no longer able to provide the necessary level of control for current conditions.

Typically a stop control is used when the safe approach speed into an intersection is under 10 mph and a yield sign is preferred when the safe approach speed is between 10 mph and 20 mph.

The stop control will force northbound motorists to assess conditions prior to entering the intersection and will also create gaps for Lakeridge Estates residents seeking to enter or exit Olive Hill Road from the driveway between the neighborhood and the road.

The Fallbrook Community Planning Group’s review of the intersection indicated support for a TAC review of the operating conditions but did not express support or opposition for an all-way stop.

The Planning Group had supported retention of the yield control in 2004, when the intersection had previously been reviewed by the TAC.

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