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University City traffic light partially funded nine years later

Posted at 3:23 PM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 20:22:41-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A near decade-long push to get a traffic light installed at a residential intersection along Governor Drive is inching closer to success.

The city has partially funded the light at the intersection of Lakewood Street and Governor Dr. and it's now in the design phase. The news comes almost nine years after resident Mark Powell complained to the city about speeding drivers.

Powell received a letter from the city in April 2010 that acknowledged a safety issue and said the intersection would be placed on its "priority list" for a traffic light, pending funding.

"If you're put on a priority list, and it's been a decade, you're obviously not a priority," Powell said. "They've failed on multiple levels to get this completed."

The intersection is on a long stretch of Governor Dr. that leads from Genesee Avenue to the 805. It has a 35 mile-per-hour speed limit, but there is no traffic light or stop sign to slow drivers as they pass Lakewood St.

"By copy of this letter we will request that the police department consider this location for radar enforcement," the city said in the 2010 letter.

Meanwhile, Powell says the safety issue is getting worse because University City is going through a building boom. The area is seeing new high rises, plus the expansion of the Westfield UTC mall.

Powell's daughter, Arielle, 16, just got her driver's license and commutes to University City High School daily, making a left onto Governor from Lakewood. It's the only road that leads out of the neighborhood.

"I get nervous in the morning because I don't want to be late for school having to wait for all of these people, because traffic on Genesee builds up really fast," Arielle said.

A new traffic light can cost a minimum $300,000 to install.

In a statement, councilwoman Barbara Bry said she was glad to learn that the city had approved the light and that it has been partially funded.

"This project is a testament to our engaged community who brought this to my attention," Bry said. "Residents deserve timely responses from the City of San Diego along with a reasonable timeline for when a project will be completed.”

The partial funding will put the traffic light on a list of a signals with a shorter timeline for completion, a spokeswoman for Councilwoman Bry said.