From the "Gridlock Files"…

 The “Award-winning” Rancho Viejo & Junipero Serra intersection

By Kim McCarthy

During a City Council Meeting awhile back, I watched as then-Mayor Sam Allevato gushed over staff as they were presented a “Project of the Year” award from the American Pubic Works Association for “improvements” to the intersection of Junipero Serra and Rancho Viejo Road. Then-Mayor Sam was all smiles as he held the award while posing for a photo op with other bureaucrats.

Since then, every time I attempt to get through this gridlocked million-dollar intersection (no less than 4X a day), it occurs to me that the award should have been for “the latest traffic nightmare” brought to you by the City of San Juan Capistrano, at taxpayer expense.

If you don’t travel this way (but instead get your share of gridlock on the other end of town with the “Ghost Train” at Del Obispo where traffic is regularly backed up) let me offer you a glimpse of this traffic nightmare. The City has erected pylons separating the lanes. This forces cars into lanes that ultimately back up traffic even more. I have heard from so many neighbors and friends about their frustration level with the traffic congestion created by this intersection that it’s a small wonder the City finally hired a consultant to “fix” this “award-winning” million-dollar intersection.

When I went down to City Hall to ask why this intersection hasn’t been fixed, I was assured that they have hired a consultant and the intersection will be better than ever, plus safe! Does it bother you as much as it does me that it’s Other People’s Money that paid for the intersection “improvements” and it’s the same taxpayers who are now forced to pay to “fix” the “improvements”?


Note to City: Please do not spend more taxpayer dollars needlessly on consultants due to poor planning. I urge you to use common sense solutions such as; changing the “turn only” lanes to accommodate traffic both turning and going straight through the intersection; eliminating (or at least reducing the volume of) the landscaping and sidewalk-to-nowhere that no one uses and the landscaped median in order to create additional traffic lanes. Either of these common sense solutions would help to relieve the traffic congestion.

If you would simply ask and listen to your constituents instead of accepting awards from faceless bureaucrats who don’t live here and don’t have to deal with the traffic caused by that intersection, we would be better off. Remember that we are your customer and your revenue source; we ask you to please stop needlessly causing problems and hiring consultants to fix them with our money!

Note to SJC Taxpayers: Please write to the City with your solutions and comments at: cityclerk@sanjuancapistrano.org . It is up to you to protect your quality of life by making sure that your voice is heard.

November 2nd can’t come soon enough; two local City Council seats are opening up. City elections are perhaps even more important to your daily quality of life as the state and national elections. Please check out the local candidates to make sure they are representing your interests and not just those of cronies or faceless bureaucrats.

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