OCEANSIDE — After months of contentious community debate on whether to reopen Jefferies Ranch Road to SR 76, City Council voted unanimously Jan. 26 to OK and seek TransNet funds to reopen the road with a right turn in, right turn out to
The council also OK’d that a letter be sent to Caltrans and SANDAG to push the project forward.
While there is no absolute certainty that TransNet funds will be secured, an approved plan is the first step for the city to request the funds. “If you don’t direct us to move forward, we don’t have a project for funding,” City Manager Peter Weiss said.
Presently Jefferies Ranch Road is closed to SR 76 and access in and out of the Jefferies Ranch community is limited to Melrose Drive. The road was closed in April due to the widening of the SR 76 and safety issues with increased traffic volume and speeds at the intersection.
Options that were initially considered, like a traffic light at Jefferies Ranch Road and SR 76 or an easterly access road, were ruled out because of Caltrans requirements or environmental restrictions.
More than a dozen speakers stated their preference for a right turn in, right turn access out to SR 76, or to maintain a quiet closed street. Unlike earlier community input, many speakers offered a compromise on their ideal choice.
“Personally I’m loving it closed,” Christine Ruane, Oceanside resident, said. “Nobody is driving 55 miles per hour. If you reopen the road we would like speed bumps.”
“A right turn in, right turn out is already there,” Jennifer Robinson, Oceanside resident, said. “Why not give it back to us?”
The city will pursue TransNet funds in spring to cover roadway construction costs. Once funding is secured, the timeline to reopen the road is two or more years.