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SR 67 Is a Problem and the Problem Needs to Be Addressed

SR 67 needs a central barrier of some type, whether that be a K-rail or a middle lane between cars traveling in opposite directions.

Caltrans has identified our particular stretch of roadway as a safety corridor: daytime headlights, radar speed signs and double-yellow lines with rumble strips have increased safety. The reduction in fatal collisions is documented, but preventable fatalities continue to occur.

, it is time to move to the engineering aspects of the solution. Options for our local stretch of SR 67 include returning the highway to one travel lane in each direction and allow absolutely no passing.

An unpopular option, but stretches from Adelanto to Kramer Junction (29 miles) have one lane in both directions with the same center divide line as we have—double yellow, reflective pavement markers and rumble strips—and no-passing posted.

When they do have a passing lane, it is on a straight section of road. Unfortunately,  SR 67 lacks this physical specification as a curvy mountain road and, with wide shoulders, most cars end up passing on the right side (shoulder) when vehicles slow to turn left.

Slowing down the speed limit on the entire road is another unpopular option. Bernoulli’s principle seems to be present with the change from two lanes to one lane as drivers speed up to get one car ahead. At least slow down the traffic around curves as you would on any curvy road.

Reducing speed on curves with a yellow flashing light to warn drivers seems to be missing from our section of highway.

A third option is to design two lanes in both directions and include a buffering middle lane to be utilized as needed.

SR 67 needs a central barrier of some type, whether that be a K-Rail or a middle lane that is primarily a buffer between cars traveling in opposite directions. For emergency reasons—CHP, fire, paramedics and evacuation in the event of fire—a middle lane that has flexibility for egress seems best suited.

Additionally, left-turn lanes and multiple driveways could be practically accommodated with a “middle lane buffer” design. The design of the middle lane buffer would vary as its role changes. Flexible, post-mounted reflectors can be installed to denote space not to be occupied by a vehicle for turning purposes.

Another consideration is wildlife and a middle lane buffer that would permit road crossings for most animals in our area. K-rails would not.

I believe this option is the best for our area. I would include the reduced speed limit on curves with a flashing yellow light, too. With respect to Caltrans, SANDAG and the CHP, there are no “bad guys” – SR 67 is a problem and the problem needs to be worked.

I have spoken with many people in the community who are representing Ramona at the various agencies with jurisdiction over SR 67. Unfortunately, a few have expressed defeat over the entire issue and suggest effort toward improving this highway is wasted at this time.

Giving up ensures failure. Reducing accidents on SR 67 is a process that has demonstrated a need for continued promotion and advocacy. This is a critical safety issue for Ramona.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Melissa Renner June 06, 2012 at 06:09 PM
There are approximatley 50 + private driveways and sidestreets that intersect HWY 67. K-rails would be an nightmare (and also a hazzard for residents trying to exit their driveways as they would not be able to see on-coming traffic as easily). Perhaps adding a curb-height median instead of just the current double (*quadruple) yellow lines. This would make it much easier to create necessary left-hand turn lanes. Better yet (with a heavy dose of sarcasm) add spike-strips down the center divide! You want to pass at a high rate of speed? I want you to blow out your tire!
Joe Cahak June 06, 2012 at 06:17 PM
While the suggestions are well intended, they again fail to be realistic. The speed limit on all of Highway 67 is already 55 and can not be lowered. It is as specified by California State law. On the third lane, if there is NO funds for any work, then the 3rd lane option is a no starter. We can't get any SHOPP or operational funds for any improvements, safety or operational. Also the 3rd lane where is does exist, has been and is being used as a passing lane and CalTrans opposes these 3rd lanes as they did, for this reason, when someone in Ramona recommend it to CalTrans several years ago. Also where the accident occured there is effectively already a 3rd lane there and it did nothing to stop this accident. I strongly believe the "rumble strip" in this case helped create the loss of control by the truck driver in this last accident. We are being given NO OPTIONS from CalTrans and SANDAG as there is no money. Yet they certainly have some lavish and opulant offices, pensions and salaries. I sure like seeing our tax money go to such a good cause! (gag.)
Vallery June 06, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Can someone PLEASE get Cal-trans to check the curve radius change near Rock House Rd. Coming into town most cars drift to the right because the radius gets tighter as you move thru the curve...then they compensate by moving to the left, I would venture this correcting halfway thru the curve in addition to the wet weather may have been a contributing factor to the cause of the accident last week.
Clariece Tally June 06, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Caltrans has no intention of ever adding a center median. This has been pointed out numerous times in several other articles. If you review their plan through 2035, all it mentions in a chart is a possible addition of one lane. So you can ask for center medians all you want but there is no funding designated for this. You can try pressing the issue with SANDAG but SANDAG will toss you back at Caltrans. The only correction in the works is the Highland Valley/Dye Road upgrade. That's it. No K-rail - no concrete barrier.
Judy June 07, 2012 at 01:32 PM
SLOW DOWN!!!
Teri Kerns June 07, 2012 at 02:44 PM
What if we (the community of Ramona) got together, and put plastic trash cans full of water down the center? Call for everyone to bring a trash can, bring a water truck out, and fix it!
Darryl June 07, 2012 at 05:51 PM
A lot of accidents could be prevented, if more drivers followed Judy's advice, and SLOWED DOWN. I see too many crazy morons driving 70 mph or more on SR 67. Many drivers get angry or annoyed with those that are driving 55 or 60. Many times I have gotten the middle finger or some idiot mouthing something angrily at me as they pass me. Just shows me the low level of intelligence of some people.
Clariece Tally June 07, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Because you would be creating a road hazard that's why you can't do that. The "trash can" barriers you refer to are also not full of water but a sand composite.
Glen Meckes June 07, 2012 at 10:49 PM
What about speed camera's? Has this been suggested already. The main factor is speed and since there is not enough law enforcement precence, camera's and heavy fines will work.
Loren June 08, 2012 at 02:28 PM
That can be a frustrating section of road where you sit behind a vehicle that plods along at 45mph for miles through the one-lane, and then magically speeds up to 60 where passing is possible...as if to race everybody or just present a nuisance. People get angry, and then act stupid. No amount of road "improvements" will fix that. Park your car there sometime and stand outside watching the crazy stuff that goes on, and the amount of wide-open throttles you hear where the two lanes go into one. A little law enforcement presence might help sometimes but it seems that cruising through Ramona checking for overdue registrations etc. is a bigger priority. Remember when people out in the Estates were losing their kids to those little curves in the road, and wanted the entire highway re-done? Staying off the gas pedal and paying attention to the steering wheel was, like, too much to ask. I don't hear those complaints much anymore, and when I drive through there I see everybody else driving pretty reasonable. What happened there to change things? Certainly the road wasn't altered.
Joe Cahak June 08, 2012 at 06:05 PM
San Vicente is being upgraded within 2 years and is already budgeted by the county. Nothing has change on the road, but maybe after the recent death on San Vicente a few months ago, people are more aware of the danger as hopefully will occur on Hwy 67 now that peope are more aware of the danger again.
Woody Kirkman June 09, 2012 at 05:26 AM
Ramona voters have approved a 1/4 percent tax to make hwy 67 four lanes all the way to lakeside, not once, but twice. The first time was in the 1980's, and then again in the late 1990's. We've paid the tax, and continue to pay the tax, yet Caltrans has spent the money elsewhere, (have you seen their new multi-million dollar building downtown?) Every ten years that go by the cost doubles. The engineering for the hwy 67 project has been done and redone over and over for the past 40 years, they just need to do it!
Clariece Tally June 09, 2012 at 03:29 PM
It's funny (sad funny) that you mention the tax. Caltrans has said that the revenue from that tax and the trans tax have been significantly less than anticipated. In other words, when you voted on the tax the numbers they sold you, the numbers were highly inflated in order in order to look good and make the tax seem worthwhile.
Joe Cahak June 11, 2012 at 02:35 PM
And like Supervisor Jacob warned us when the vote occured, as soon as SANDAG got the Transnet tax approved, They took Hwy 67 off the Tranportation plan for 30 years. SANDAG made us a false promise to get our vote. They next voted to put more than half of the money into public transportation, instead of our roads. Thanks SANDAG. They are even on record stating they want to force us out of our cars.
Gail Serfass June 12, 2012 at 01:46 AM
well i am visiting relatives in NJ and the NJ Turnpike has the concrete dividers that every has said here with the 67 articles that are going to help alleviate the accident problems....well guess what people....it doesn't ....on Sat I was stuck in traffic going to visit my brother-in-law because of an accident with someone speeding on the opposite side of the highway and the car hit the divider and low and behold ...it didn't stop it from hitting others....as a matter of fact ....i flipped over the divider, landed in the southbound lanes and caused other cars to go into the dividers along the highway for construction.....so guess what....they won't work....
Gail Serfass June 12, 2012 at 01:47 AM
so it is really just the people who are driving and you can do whatever you want to the road....it is not going to make the drivers slow down
Catryna White June 13, 2012 at 02:44 AM
67 is no dangerous than any other road. It's the people driving it, that have the problem and the fact that they manage to take others, out besides themselves. One thing is though; the promise to make 67 a 4 lane road has been going on since I was a kid, 40+ years ago. I remember. What a joke; what a lie.
Clariece Tally June 13, 2012 at 03:35 PM
At Joe - Our public transportation needs to be yanked into this new century. I'm a commuter to downtown and I save thousands every year by taking the express bus. My only disappointment is that the trolley system does not extend up to at least Mira Mesa. The attitude San Diegans have with regard to public transit is archaic and borders on the ridiculous. I ride every day with professionals who I can assure you bathe regularly and are able to string words together in a coherent manner. I think we need more express buses between the transits centers so we can even greater efficiency. So SANDAG moving trans tax funds to public transportation is a good thing.
Vallery June 13, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I love the Express Bus! I save about $600 a month going downtown to work between parking and gas. Clariece I take the 820 from the Henrys parking lot! Gald to see someone sticking up for public transpo!
Clariece Tally June 13, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Yup me too. But you're actual annual savings by taking the express bus is closer to 8,000 a year. Reduced car maintenance and significantly reduced gas adds up quick. With a little extra effort I don't even need to use my car at all during the week. I walk to the corner and pick up the 845 and it drops me at the 820. If the 845 were a little more convenient it would be perfect.
Joe Cahak June 14, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Clariece while public transportation in many cities is a good thing, it just won't work for Ramona. We do not have, nor are likely to get a system in Ramona that will get the majority of us to work and back in a timely manner. We've had trouble even keeping the NCT bus as it has never been economically feasible and they have wanted to end it for years.
Terri Linnell June 24, 2012 at 07:17 PM
They absolutely need to widen to 4 lanes and put in turn lanes from Archie Moore to Dye Rd. To go from 2 lanes down to one directly after a major curve is stupidity. I was always slamming on my breaks if I forget it's near rush hour. I tend to use Archie Moore to bypass the congestion. Not that it's faster, but it's safer than the stop and go in my opinion. Woody is right. They need to start letting the voters GET what they vote for. After all, it's our money, we voted to use it to fix things, and the county ignores our wishes, like we don't know the real problems and they do.
Long-time Ramona Resident June 25, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Thank you! This is a huge part of the problem. I want to place signs all along the 67 from Ramona which say "The speed limit is 55!!! Not 35 or 45!!!" This causes road rage to be stuck behind such an ignorant, inconsiderate person who won't even pull over when there is a mile of cars behind them. The road is not inherently unsafe, and does not need to be changed at all. Highway 67 is safely driven at 55 to 65. People who drive too slow or too fast are the problem, and always have been.
Clariece Tally June 25, 2012 at 08:33 PM
I think that's the issue for all "rural" route buses. I'm not sure a viable express service is realistic at this point. The assumption being you can get to Poway/Sabre Springs or Escondido transit centers.
Clariece Tally June 25, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I don't think anyone will argue the two to four lane widening. And that 4 to 2 lane sweep is a nightmare going into Ramona. But it's just not going to happen anytime soon -no matter how high you pile the bodies or how much we all stamp our feet.

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