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TAC recommends all-way stop at Fifth and Huffstatler

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The county’s Traffic Advisory Committee has recommended an all-way stop control for the Rainbow intersection of Fifth Street and Huffstatler Street.

A unanimous voice vote at the Dec. 9 TAC meeting approved the recommendation for an all-way stop. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors must approve that regulatory control. TAC secretary Kenton Jones expects the Board of Supervisors to hear the proposed all-way stop in April 2023.

“It’s definitely a school-related intersection,” Jones said.

In many cases, an all-way stop is for intersections where the streets have approximately equal volumes of traffic. In terms of vehicular traffic that is not the case for Fifth Street and Huffstatler Street, but the presence of Vallecitos Elementary School and Rainbow Community Park just east of the intersection creates significant pedestrian traffic. The all-way stop was requested by Vallecitos School District administrators.

The intersection immediately to the east of the school and park is Fifth Street and Rainbow Valley Boulevard. An all-way stop already exists at that intersection. “This is about equidistant to the other side of the school,” Jones said.

Currently Huffstatler Street motorists must obey the stop sign at Fifth Street although Fifth Street traffic has the right-of-way in the absence of a pedestrian or an emergency vehicle. Fifth Street has no posted speed limit although, by state law, the maximum speed limit for a two-lane road is 55 mph. The intersection is within the school zone which has a 25 mph speed limit when children are present.

Fifth Street has a pavement width of 26 feet. The road has a two-way left turn lane and white edge line striping. The mobility element of the county’s general plan classifies Fifth Street as a Light Collector.

Huffstatler Street also has a 26 foot pavement width. It is not classified in the mobility element. The road has centerline and edge line striping.

A traffic survey of the intersection was taken Oct. 11. The vehicular traffic approaching the intersection consisted of 2,174 eastbound and 645 westbound vehicles on Fifth Street and 269 northbound and 136 southbound motorists on Huffstatler Street.

The largest hourly volumes were 565 vehicles between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., 529 motorists between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., and 435 drivers between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. The heaviest morning traffic was between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. and consisted of 157 vehicles.

Only one collision at the intersection was reported during the 60-month period from Nov. 1, 2017, to Oct. 31, 2022. That provides an intersection collision rate of 0.253 collisions per million vehicles entering, which is slightly above the statewide average for similar intersections of 0.25 per million vehicles. “Low volumes tend to do that,” Jones said of the collision rate.

The California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices provides guidelines to be considered in an engineering study when evaluating an intersection for an all-way stop control. An all-way stop control may be considered to control vehicle/pedestrian conflicts near locations which generate high pedestrian volumes including schools.


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