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

County approves plan to improve pedestrian safety in unincorporated communities

County Supervisors voted this week to make improvements for pedestrians at four intersections in the unincorporated communities of La Presa, Spring Valley and Fallbrook, and to make additional improvements at 17 different locations to improve pedestrian safety.

The Department of Public Works maintains nearly 2,000 miles of roadways, bridges, guardrails, signs, traffic signals and crosswalks in the unincorporated area. The county secured grants for both projects from the Highway Safety Improvement Program, a federal aid program to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries.

The program allows states to use up to 10% of the funds on safety projects. The funds will be used for the design and construction of improvements.

In October 2018, the Board adopted a plan to support efforts to promote active and safe travel options through pedestrian and bicycle improvements in the unincorporated areas. As part of the plan, the pedestrian safety data was gathered and ranked in each community.

Building on these efforts, to enhance the region's transportation system, the County also developed a Local Roadway Safety Plan to help identify roadway intersections with the highest safety needs to reduce injury and fatal collisions on the roads.

Among the four intersections listed below, there have been 12 reported pedestrian-involved collisions within underserved communities from January 2015 to December 2019.

Jamacha Road and Elkelton Boulevard (La Presa/Spring Valley)

Sweetwater Road and Troy Street (Spring Valley)

South Mission Road and West Alvarado Street (Fallbrook)

South Mission Road and Clemmens Lane (Fallbrook)

The intersections are also part of the County's General Mobility Element, which provides a framework for a balanced transportation system for people within the unincorporated areas.

These intersections are located on essential roadways that provide access within the unincorporated areas, which requires these roadways to be safe and efficient.

Installing high-visibility crosswalks, curb ramps, audible and tactile pushbuttons, and pedestrian countdown signal heads will improve accessibility and safety for pedestrians, including children and individuals with vision or hearing loss.

The purpose of providing pedestrian connections that are safe and continuous is to support and encourage people to walk for everyday trips. Active modes of travel are increasingly recognized as an important way of improving public health, incorporating sustainable practices, and increasing the quality of life in communities.

The total estimated project cost is $958,554, including design, environmental review, and construction support. Construction is scheduled to begin by June 2024 and completed by August 2024.

Of the 17 locations in the unincorporated communities that were identified in the Local Roadway Safety Plan for the implementation of pedestrian safety that include accessible pedestrian pushbuttons that beep/vibrate, and pedestrian countdown signal heads, two are in Fallbrook.

1. Fallbrook Street and Heald Lane

2. Fallbrook Street and Stage Coach Lane

The total estimated project cost is $576,107 including design, environmental review and construction support. Construction is scheduled to begin by the summer of 2024 and be completed by fall 2024.

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