By Collin Breaux | Email: cbreaux@picketfencemedia.com | Twitter: @collin_breaux

During a regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 3, the San Juan Capistrano City Council approved a proposed three-way stop sign at the intersection of Stallion Ridge and a San Juan Hills High School private road.

The city received a request from the Capistrano Unified School District for traffic control help on three legs of the intersection and the road is reportedly used for student drop-offs and pick-ups, even though CUSD discourages it. The road provides access for faculty and staff only. Traffic gets heavy during school day mornings and afternoons, an agenda report stated.

“I’m for it,” Councilmember Brian Maryott said. “It’s a tough area.”

The stop controls will be installed on a six-month trial basis.

“We don’t know if this is going to work or not,” City Manager Ben Siegel said. “What I’ve typically experienced is when you add some type of traffic control, people behave in some ways you can predict and some ways you can’t predict, which is why we’re proposing this on a trial basis only.”

Traffic on the road is anticipated to increase when construction of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints facility nearby is completed, according to city officials.

Under a joint-use agreement between CUSD and the facility, high school students will be allowed to park in the church parking lot east of the road during school hours, city records state. The stop sign will be monitored to determine effectiveness and effects on traffic congestion during the trial period. Findings and a recommendation to the council on whether to keep the stop signs will be presented afterwards.

Councilmember Derek Reeve said he agreed with nearby communities that the stop sign is “a little bit of overkill” since it’s not needed in most situations.

“If we’re going to have a stop sign and if it works, the only thing I would request is we have staff look into some sort of alternative—a blinking red light or what have you—that only works during that alleged 30-minute period where it’s needed,” Reeve said. “But, of course, we won’t know that until we have a stop sign there first.”

Estimated costs to install the stop signs and pavement markings are approximately $4,000 and there is “sufficient funding” available for those costs.

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comments (1)

  • Hello Mr.Breaux,
    This stop sign was put in place as a defense against car accidents which were caused by parents making an illegal left turn in the teacher parking lot. These parents drop their kids off in the teacher lot after driving through the teacher only entrance in order to save a few minutes. This practice of trying to save a few minutes of time by putting students lives at risk is an illegal action. This new stop sign only encourages parents to take the teacher entrance and to make an illegal left turn.

    The school is using stop signs as the cheapest option to combat these accidents because the best way to combat the risk of reckless parents is by stopping parents before they put people’s lives in danger. This could be done using a security guard, retractable road spikes, or even a camera that detects if the person entering the teacher lot is a teacher or not. These options would be considered to be too expensive even though they would decrease the risk of car accidents without causing traffic.

    Also, this action that has been taken by the school simply appeases the parents who break the law and ignores the students and parents who follow the law.
    -Nick W
    Age: 18
    Mission Viejo

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