OCEANSIDE — Plans to widen College Boulevard from four lanes to six lanes got a unanimous 4-0 approval from City Council on Nov. 4. Councilwoman Esther Sanchez was absent.
The $24 million plan to improve the 2.1-mile stretch of College Boulevard between Waring Road and Old Grove Road includes adding extra lanes, meridians and a new traffic light to improve traffic flow on the road, which has had numerous fatal accidents.
Interchange improvements will be made to College Boulevard intersections at Waring Road, Olive Drive and Oceanside Boulevard by pulling back curbs to widen lanes and adding full-size right turn lanes.
Two extra lanes will be added to College Boulevard from Olive Drive to Aztec Street.
The widening of the stretch of College Boulevard that runs past the Rancho Del Oro Plaza Shopping Center will ease traffic flow for 46,700 vehicles per day. A traffic light will also be added at Aztec Street.
Some speakers expressed concern that widening the road will bring more traffic.
“I don’t see it as a major artery,” Tom de Mooy, an Oceanside resident said. “It will double, triple the traffic on College Boulevard and there are two major parks (on College Boulevard). Every person I talked to is against widening College Boulevard.”
De Mooy has talked to a lot of Oceanside residents. He collected 200 signatures in protest of widening the road. De Mooy said the focus should be on extending Rancho Del Oro Road to College Boulevard.
Others also wanted alternatives to be looked into. “It will not help the safety, it will increase the risk.” Kim Killgoye of Oceanside said. “There have been three fatalities within three blocks of my house. This project is not the answer. We need an alternate north south road.”
Most could see the road improvement plan as a plus, but not a permanent traffic solution. “It’s going to be a very short term,” Councilman Jerry Kern said. “We can’t expect all that traffic on Ocean Ranch to go down College. We have to plan for growth.”
Expansion of other traffic arteries, including Rancho Del Oro Road, is being looked into, David DiPierro, the city traffic engineer, said.
“We are in the process of updating city circulations,” City Manager Peter Weiss said.