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Efforts continue to calm traffic on Main

Attempts to tame traffic in downtown Fallbrook continue and on Friday, Feb. 19, Sheriff’s Lt. Phil Brust will walk down Main Avenue with a policy advisor from Supervisor Bill Horn’s office to discuss problems and traffic calming solutions for downtown.

Brust is in the early stages of working with the county to achieve his goal of installing pole-mounted radar speed signs that detect motorists’ speed when they drive past the signs.

“There’s a problem that is kind of bigger than our community; the infrastructure is not keeping up,” he said.

One of those areas impacted is Main Avenue, which carries a 25 mile per hour speed limit.

Vehicles are driving through the sleepy downtown area at speeds faster than 25 miles per hour, Brust said, adding that the sheriff’s department is trying to slow down traffic.

Last summer, a proposal by the Fallbrook Village Association for two additional stop signs at the intersections of Elder Street and Main Avenue and Hawthorne Street and Main Avenue – which would turn both intersections into four-way stops – was denied.

Traffic surveys at both intersections were taken in February 2009, according to earlier reports, but authorities said they didn’t generate sufficient numbers of cross-traffic volume required for a four-way stop.

The study also concluded that a four-way stop sign could back traffic up to 300-feet on Main Avenue south of Elder, and also that there had been no correctable accidents in the past year, according to minutes from the June 19 meeting.

In December, however, the county did add a crosswalk to the intersection of Main and Elder. Neither Hawthorne or Elder had existing crosswalks.

Earlier reports show that from Jan. 1, 2004, to Dec. 31, 2008, three non-injury collisions were reported at Main and Elder.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Oceanside office, only one collision report was taken concerning that intersection from February 2009, to Jan. 31, 2010. No information was available on whether that collision involved an injury.

But a recent crash at Elder and Main on Feb. 5 around 2:15 p.m. resulted in a minor injury to Fallbrook resident, Belem Jara, 37. As a result of her injury, Jara has had to have therapy on her lower back, according to her husband, Adrian Jara.

The other party involved in the accident was Noel Balatico, a military policeman. Balatico said he had “taken a shortcut” down Elder Street to exit and avoid traffic on South Mission.

Driving a Honda Civic, Balatico said he followed the car in front of him through the intersection of Elder and Main when he collided with the Jara’s Honda.

“The stop sign was way back there,” Balatico said, adding that he usually stays on South Mission for his commute to and from work on Camp Pendleton.

Using a detour to avoid the traffic backup on South Mission during high commute times seems to be a common occurrence, explained Vince Ross, president of the Fallbrook Village Association.

Ross, who helped gather signatures for last summer’s proposal of the four-ways stops and presented the proposal letter to the county, is among those dedicated to easing traffic in downtown Fallbrook.

“We have a problem on Mission,” said Ross, explaining that many motorists avoid the four-lane road that was created as a bypass for the historic downtown district. “[Motorists] choose Main and Alvarado as often as they choose Mission Road.”

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