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Residents say years-long fight to solve Carmel Valley traffic problem hits literal dead end

Village Center Loop Road
Posted at 5:58 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 22:03:01-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Carmel Valley residents fed up with increasingly horrendous and dangerous traffic are demanding the city complete the long-planned Village Center Loop Road, which they say will ease congestion in the area.

They have created a website, PHR (for Pacific Highlands Ranch) Traffic Nightmare, to help put pressure on Mayor Kevin Faulconer to finish the project.

With six schools within just a few miles of each other, the morning and afternoon rush before and after school has lead to increasingly long commute times. Some residents say it can take 45 minutes to travel just two miles.

Village Center Loop Road, which leads to two major schools and a shopping center, could give drivers a second option to get through the area. However, the road currently stops at a dead end, approximately 700 feet from where it would reconnect with the main artery, Carmel Valley Road.

"It's just a dead end. It needs to be fixed," says resident Danielle McCallion, who also serves on the Carmel Valley Planning Board. "It seems so simple. 700 feet. Why can't we come to an agreement on 700 feet of property?"

The developer of a nearby housing project has already agreed to build the road and the city has money budgeted for its portions of the project.

However, the land through which the completed road would be built is currently undeveloped, but it privately owned. City Councilmember Barbara Bry attempted shortly after taking office in 2017 to bring all the sides together to negotiate a fair price for the property.

However, only the Mayor's office can sign off on a deal and after initial discussions stalled, Bry tells 10News no recent effort has been made to reach a deal, despite her frequent requests.

Residents say that puts safety at risk, with numerous reports of children hit by impatient drivers running red lights and making dangerous, illegal turns on red lights.

10News reached out to a spokesperson for Mayor Kevin Faulconer, but did not hear back. Efforts to track down the real estate investor who owns the land needed for the road were unsuccessful.