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Supervisors approve all-way stop at Fifth and Huffstatler

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

An all-way stop control at Fifth Street and Huffstatler Street was approved by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

A 3-0 county board of supervisors vote Wednesday, April 5, with Terra Lawson‑Remer and Nathan Fletcher absent, approved the first reading and introduction of the ordinance. A 4-0 vote Wednesday, May 3, with Fletcher absent, approved the second reading and adoption. The ordinance will be enforceable Friday, June 2, although the county’s Department of Public Works may install signage earlier.

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.

Huffstatler Street motorists already needed to obey the stop sign at Fifth Street while Fifth Street traffic had the right of way in the absence of a pedestrian or an emergency vehicle. Huffstatler Street has a 26-foot pavement width. It is not classified in the mobility element of the county’s general plan. The road has centerline and edge line striping.

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 also has a pavement width of 26 feet. The road has a two-way left turn lane and white edge line striping. The mobility element classifies Fifth Street as a light collector.

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.

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.

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 reported 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.

A unanimous voice vote at the Dec. 9 meeting of the county’s Traffic Advisory Committee recommended an all-way stop for the intersection.

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


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