Rainbow residents protest commuter shortcuts - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Rainbow residents protest commuter shortcuts

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RAINBOW (NEWS 8) – Rainbow residents are upset with the huge increase in traffic which they are blaming on GPS apps like Waze that re-routes commuters off the busy Interstate-15 right into their rural neighborhood.

While Rainbow’s population is 1,800, during rush hour, it doesn’t feel so small for residents.

Rainbow families posted signs that read, “Keep Rainbow rural, get back on the I-15.”

One resident told News 8 that traffic has become so bad, she was nearly t-boned driving down her street.

“We are right in the midst of it, tiny, tiny, tiny town of Rainbow and it is quite frustrating,” said Rainbow resident Teena Elder.

GPS apps have given commuters a shortcut to bypass the congested I-15 by driving through Rainbow and its winding roads.

On Monday, residents held a mini-protest.

The protests is why the Rainbow Planning Board Group posted a notice cancelling its July meeting. The cancellation notice of the Rainbow Planning Group meeting was posted on the door of where the group would have met, it reads:

"In the interest of safety and security for our members, other meeting attendees, and members of the general public, the July Rainbow Community Planning Group meeting is hereby cancelled.  This cancellation is a result of recent notifications and reported threats of “flash-mob” style protests organized by persons using social media, which have the potential to incite large crowds and turn violent.  Scheduling of future meetings will be postponed until we are able to contact Police, Fire and other local authorities to establish appropriate safety, security and crowd control procedures.

Recent internet videos allegedly depicting an individual or individuals harassing motorists as they attempt to traverse public roads in Rainbow may be viewed as having the potential to exacerbate on-going traffic problems or incite violent or erratic behavior.

While the Rainbow Community Planning Group has been working with the County of San Diego in seeking solutions to various traffic problems, the Group does not support or condone behavior by individuals who may be attempting to impede or otherwise interfere with the flow of traffic on County public roads."-Gary Drake, Chairman of the Rainbow Community Planning Group 

A spokesperson for County Supervisor Bill Horn said the Department of Public Works, DPW, met with constituents who reached out to Horn’s office on Wednesday. 

Rainbow residents said they just want their small town back.

A spokesperson for Supervisor Horn said Cal Trans told DPW additional funding would be needed to widen Interstate 15. DPW requested California Highway Patrol increase enforcement to watch for speed and reckless drivers. 

Rainbow residents were also concerned about the un-posted 55-miles-per-hour speed limit on Rice Canyon Road.

The county said it will collect speed data to determine any changes.

Full summary from Spokesperson Anita Lightfoot, Supervisor Bill Horn's office:

  • Heavy traffic is reported from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm on Rainbow side roads due to commuters trying to bypass I-15 traffic.  Four constituents from Rainbow contacted Supervisor Horn's office to voice their concerns.  Our office spoke with one resident at length who said she would share what she learned with the others. We referred all four constituents to DPW.
  • DPW reached out to Caltrans.  Their response was that additional funding is needed to widen I-15.
  • DPW called and spoke with all 4 constituents and followed up in email
  • DPW called and emailed CHP to request increased monitoring of roads in Rainbow.  They will follow-up on the request.
  • DPW completed modified striping at Rice Canyon Rd. and Rainbow Hts. Rd.
  • DPW met with 3 Rainbow residents on 7/19/17 (the 4th was invited but didn't attend) and discussed:
    • The intersection of Rainbow Heights Road and Rice Canyon Road
      • Currently the intersection is stop controlled on the south leg (northbound Rice Canyon Road). DPW recently striped the centerline through from southbound Rice Canyon Road to Rainbow Heights Road. There is vegetation on the southeast corner of the intersection that limits sight distance. DPW will trim vegetation.  DPW will be collecting counts to determine if we can recommend an all-way stop at this location.
    • The intersection of Rainbow Valley Boulevard / Camino Rainbow / 8thStreet
      • The residents concern is mostly excessive speeding along the curve from Rainbow Valley Boulevard to Camino Rainbow in both directions.  DPW will coordinate with CHP to heighten enforcement of the area for excessive speed and potentially unsafe driver behavior.
    • The intersection of Old Highway 395 / Rainbow Glen Road / Rainbow Valley Road
      • The concern raised here is that the north/south traffic volume on 395 during peak hours does not have any gaps and motorists entering from Rainbow Glen Road or Rainbow Valley Road have to navigate heavy oncoming traffic. There have been recent collisions in this intersection.  There may not be enough room to stripe in refuge and/or acceleration lanes at this location. Sight distance did not appear to be a factor here either. The residents acknowledge that the problem with limited gaps is only during rush hours.  DPW does not recommend any action at this time.
    • Residents were concerned that Rice Canyon is an unposted 55mph speed limit road.  DPW will collect speed data to see if we can take a recommendation to the Traffic Advisory Committee.

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