Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Santa Margarita, Green Canyon, Rainbow Glen signals funds in 2020-2021 budget

The Tuesday, Aug. 25, approval of San Diego County’s fiscal year 2020-2021 budget included funding for traffic signals at the intersections of East Mission Road and Santa Margarita Drive, South Mission Road and Green Canyon Road and Old Highway 395 and Rainbow Glen Road.

The county Board of Supervisors’ 5-0 vote included $5.1 million for six traffic signals on a countywide basis and also approved an environmental study for a seventh signal and funding for non-signalized improvements at four intersections. The supervisors also approved $2 million for guardrails throughout the county.

The county’s Traffic Advisory Committee reviews requests for traffic signals and makes a recommendation whether or not to place an intersection on the Traffic Signal Priority List. The board of supervisors makes the final decision whether or not to place an intersection on the Traffic Signal Priority List although most TAC recommendations are ratified. The county supervisors placed the intersection of East Mission Road and Santa Margarita Drive on the Traffic Signal Priority List in April 2011. The intersection of South Mission Road and Green Canyon Road was placed on the Traffic Signal Priority List in January 2017. The supervisors’ decision to place Old Highway 395 and Rainbow Glen Road on the Traffic Signal Priority List was made in November 2019.

If an intersection is placed on the Traffic Signal Priority List, priority points rather than the amount of time the intersection has been on the list will determine the next intersection in the unincorporated county to be signalized once funding permits. If a developer funds a signal, that intersection is not part of the Traffic Signal Priority List, and the California Department of Transportation has jurisdiction over any signals involving a state highway. Priority points are based on vehicular volume, pedestrian volume, flow interruption reduction, hazard reduction, coordinated movement potential and special conditions. The county’s Department of Public Works reviews intersections on the priority list annually to revise priority points. Design readiness issues may allow a lower-ranked intersection to be signalized first, as can grant funding for a specific intersection.

In addition to the Fallbrook and Rainbow traffic signals, the 2020-2021 budget includes funding for signals at two intersections in Rancho San Diego and one intersection in 4-S Ranch. An additional $200,000 will fund the environmental studies and design plans for a signal at a Valley Center intersection. Roundabouts for three Rancho Santa Fe intersections are also included in the budget as is the Environmental Impact Report for non-signal improvements at a Twin Oaks intersection.

The guardrail improvements will repair and improve existing end treatments with a new design which will absorb more energy on impact and thus likely reduce the severity of injury to any vehicle occupant who is involved in a collision with a guardrail.

Normally Transient Occupancy Tax revenue is used for Community Enhancement grants, but the coronavirus shutdown reduced lodging in unincorporated San Diego County over the final four months of fiscal year 2019-2020 and TOT revenue declined. The county supervisors appropriated $2,787,770 from the general fund to bring the total Community Enhancement budget to $5,784,175. The 2019-2020 budget included $5,675,400 for Community Enhancement grants.

In past years the specific allocation of community enhancement grants has been part of the budget process. For fiscal year 2020-2021 each county supervisor will allocate funding from their community projects budget at subsequent board of supervisors’ meetings.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].

Author Bio

Joe Naiman, Writer

Joe Naiman has been writing for the Village News since 2001


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