San Diego made new traffic light a priority ... 8 years ago

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Mark Powell kept watching cars speed down the main road less than half a mile from where he is raising two daughters - so he asked the city of San Diego to add a traffic light.

He was elated when he got a letter from the city saying it studied the intersection of Governor Drive at Lakewood Street in University City and said it would put it on the priority list for a new traffic light.

That was in 2010.

Fast forward to the end of 2017, and there is still no light, crosswalk, or stop sign leading from Governor Drive into his neighborhood. And it's the only way in or out.

"If you have a priority list, and you're on it for eight years, I don't think you're really a priority," Powell said. 

The city's April 6, 2010, letter, from Senior Traffic Engineer Gary Pence, says funding for new traffic lights is limited, and that it can take more than a year to acquire the money.

But Powell said eight years is another thing entirely.

He contacted the city when his oldest daughter, Arielle, was 7. She's now 15 and closing in on a drivers license, facing the same problem as every other driver in the area.

The only difference, Powell says, is that University City has grown tremendously since then.

"We've got the expansion of the UTC mall, we've got buildings and biotech companies coming in with new jobs, which is all good," he said. 

Powell says he always gets the same answer from the city - there's no money available.

Councilwoman Barbara Bry's office said in a statement that it's working to get the light installed. 

"Our office was made aware of this issue in the summer of 2017. Since then, we have been working with Mr. Powell and the city’s traffic engineering department to resolve the issue," the statement said in part. 

The city says some money is set aside for planning the light, which will $300,000 cost, but there is nothing set aside for construction.

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