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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

TAC recommends Osborne/Hutchison all-way stop


Last updated 2/8/2019 at 1:52pm

The Jan. 25 meeting of the county’s Traffic Advisory Committee included a recommendation for an all-way stop control at the intersection of Osborne Street and Hutchison Street.

The TAC makes recommendations on regulatory controls such as stop signs, traffic signals, speed limits and parking prohibitions, but all TAC recommendations are subject to San Diego County Board of Supervisors ratification. The county supervisors are expected to consider the Bonsall all-way stop April 10.

“It is time,” Teri Ardito, who has lived on Osborne Street for 20 years, said.

“The amount of traffic that's coming through there is the variable that's changed,” Brian Pennings of the California Highway Patrol, said.

Osborne Street and Hutchison Street are both striped two-lane roadways with 24 feet of travel way width. Osborne Street has an edge line and a road bed ranging in width from 26 to 30 feet. Hutchison Street does not have edge striping and its road bed width ranges from 24 to 36 feet. Osborne Street is classified as a “Light Collector” on the mobility element of the county’s general plan and has a 35 miles per hour posted speed limit. Hutchison Street is not classified on the mobility element and has no posted speed limit.

A traffic survey for the intersection was conducted Oct. 24. The 8,110 vehicles which entered the intersection consisted of 3,497 vehicles traveling eastbound along Osborne Street, 2,222 westbound motorists on Osborne Street, 1,698 southbound drivers on Hutchison Street and 693 northbound motorists on Hutchison Street. Between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., 1,090 vehicles entered the intersection with more than 250 drivers approaching from each way, and more than 200 motorists approached the intersection from each way between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. when 927 vehicles entered the intersection. The heaviest morning volume was between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. when 504 vehicles, including more than 100 from each direction, traveled through the intersection.

“I used to be able to get out of my driveway,” Ardito said.

During the 66-month period from April 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2018, the intersection had 15 reported collisions including eight which involved injury. Twelve of those collisions, including six which resulted in injury, were due to right of way violations. Nine of the right of way violations were between 7 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. or between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. A driver who ran a stop sign at 7:35 a.m. caused a three-injury accident, a three-injury accident was caused by an Osborne Street driver at an unsafe speed at 3:15 p.m. and improper turning led to a non-injury accident at 1:50 p.m.

“Everybody’s getting their right of way violated,” Kenton Jones, TAC secretary, said.

“They are happening during the peak hours,” Zoubir Ouadah, county traffic engineer, said.

Ouadah said that the typical driver needs a 7 1/2 second gap to enter an intersection when a vehicle is approaching. “It’s not allowing the seven and one-half second decision,” he said.

“When gaps decrease you should get more bad decisions,” Jones said.

The statewide collision rate for vehicles entering similar intersections is 0.23 per million vehicles. The collision rate for Osborne Street and Hutchison Street is 0.94 per million vehicles.

“It’s really scary to go through there,” Diana Bennett, who has lived on Hutchison Street for the past four and one-half years, said.

“Up toward Hutchison is a very steep hill,” Joyce Haliburton, who has lived in the neighborhood for 33 years, said.

The collisions included a family member of Hutchison Street resident Peter Smith being broadsided.

“It’s not safe to walk on that street,” Smith said.

The sight distance at the northwest corner of the intersection is 301 feet. A car driving at Osborne Street’s 85th percentile speed would need 294 feet to stop, and an 85th percentile speed means that 15 percent of the drivers are traveling above that speed.

The county’s Department of Public Works has installed a “cross traffic does not stop” sign on Hutchison Street, and past DPW efforts have included reducing the crest at the intersection.

“Even with all these treatments we’re at four collisions within the last calendar year,” Ernie Bartley, DPW senior civil engineer, said.

All four of the collisions between February 2018 and September 2018 were due to right of way violations, and two of those involved injury. Bennett added that drivers looking east face the morning sun, and three of the 2018 collisions occurred between 7:40 a.m. and 8:10 a.m., while the other was at 5:05 p.m.

“This has been an ongoing problem,” Haliburton said. “It’s not a new problem. It hasn’t gone away.”

Haliburton’s husband, Ron, said that Osborne Street is now used by motorists seeking to avoid traffic on East Vista Way.

“Things have changed the last few years,” he said. “It’s only getting worse.”


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