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The San Juan Capistrano City Council voted 3-1 on Nov. 1, with Councilman John Perry absent and Councilman Sam Allevato opposed, to allocate a total of $459,650 for a traffic signal and crosswalk at Rancho Viejo Road and Paseo Espada.
The Council previously approved the project in an effort to make it safer for senior citizens living off of Rancho Viejo Road to visit the shops and restaurants across the street.
The Nov. 1 vote increases the previous project budget of $378,970 by $80,680, which will come from the Capistrano Circulation Fee. Staff reported that the additional funds are needed to properly install about “1,200 lineal feet of underground electrical conduit.”
The majority of the Council was on board to increase funding, but Councilman Sam Allevato said the majority of the residents he has heard from don’t want a signal there, and he worries that drivers won’t see the new signal.
Councilman Derek Reeve countered that it’s the duty of the Council to serve residents, and that “members of that community have a right to cross the street.”
“When you have a physical impairment, it’s a deterrent,” Reeve said.“We have a duty to encourage participation in society and not deter it.”
City Manager Ben Siegel said the signal will be operational in December.