San Juan Capistrano

                       Council Approves Signal/Crosswalk
                         at Rancho Viejo & Paseo Espada                           
                                                                      by Clint Worthington

For the past ten years, residents along Rancho Viejo Road south of Ortega Highway have asked for a crosswalk in order to safely cross the street to get their prescriptions filled, eat at the restaurants and visit the stores in the retail center across the street from their residences. Previous City Council members including Councilman Sam Allevato who has been on the council for more than ten years, have been telling them "no" for one reason or another.

Rancho Viejo at Paseo Espada
Last November a new majority City Council was elected. The crosswalk was put on the agenda for discussion early on by Mayor Pro Tem Pam Patterson. During that council meeting, after City Council Member Sam Allevato stated that we had gone over this issue a couple of times before and it could not be done, Mayor Derek Reeve gave a directive to staff saying, “I don’t want to hear how it won’t work, I want you to come back and tell me how it (a crosswalk) will work.” It took several months, but staff came back with several proposals to give the residents the crosswalk they have been requesting.

One of the objections to a crosswalk and signal raised by Councilman Allevato was the estimated $350,000 cost. But it makes no sense that Allevato would support spending up to $1.6 million of taxpayer dollars to “improve” the northwest open space with split rail fences and amenities such a bathrooms for rarely used parks over a life-saving signal and crosswalk that will be used up to 25 times per day per staff estimates, especially by the many seniors who live in the area.
Fortunately, after ten years the council approved the expenditure and the residents will get their crosswalk. Many thanks to the new City Council who got the job done.

Clint Worthington is a locomotive engineer who is a founding member of the Capistrano Taxpayers Association. He has lived in San Juan for more than 30 years. 

1 comment:

Matt Gaffney said...

When I was on the Traffic & Transportation Commission we looked at this idea. Traffic Engineers are really leery of crosswalks, they give the pedestrian a false sense of security, not everybody stops. This intersection has poor visibility from cars heading southbound on Rancho Viejo road. Since this crosswalk will be signalized that should alleviate that hazard. Hopefully pedestrians will be safer crossing there now. Alan Oswald fought every step of the way to avoid crosswalks. Fortunately the city now has George Alvarez an outstanding Traffic Engineer.

Copyright © 2014, All Rights Reserved - LLC