Jamul residents say new casino creating dangerous road conditions

Posted at 8:55 PM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-30 09:07:31-04

JAMUL, Calif. (KGTV) - Eight months after a casino opened in Jamul, some community members say their worst fears are coming true.

For many Jamul residents, traffic has become unbearable during the Hollywood Casino's peak hours, and residents no longer feel safe on state Route 94.

The main artery through the community is SR-94, which residents say has been in desperate need of improvement for years. It's a curvy, two-lane road, and many parts of it have a safety rating of "F" by Caltrans.

Residents pleaded with the state to make improvements on the road before allowing the casino to be built.

"We feel our public agencies have failed the community and taxpayers at large," said Marcia Spurgeon, a 40-year Jamul resident. "We know it's a scary road and we worry every day."

On Friday morning, San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob will join residents in standing up to Caltrans.

Jacob and her team pulled SR-94 crash numbers from the first eight months of the casino opening and are concerned with the data.

According to the statistics, from October to May, there were 99 accidents on the roadway. That's more than the annual average looking at the last five years.

"We have data now showing exactly what we were concerned about," said Spurgeon. "There's a bumper sticker that says, 'Pray for me, I drive Hwy 94,' and it's very true."

On Thursday, a car crash on the highway caused a small brush fire near the casino -- raising yet another big concern for residents. Many worry that in a fire situation, traffic could become so congested it would be impossible for residents and people at the casino to get out.

A press conference held by Jacob and Jamul residents will be happening Friday morning at 11:30 a.m.

10News reached out to Caltrans for comment but did not receive a response.