That’s the conclusion of the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB), which has formally responded with a four-point plan it thinks will aim more directly at traffic problems that have been brewing over the years here.
The draft form of the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan was released in April by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). Its goal is to project the regional needs for public transit, highways, local streets, bicycling and walking. The public comment period ended on July 8.
As bad as traffic may be now, several factors threaten to make it worse: population growth, increased development of Liberty Station, a projected expansion of Naval Base Point Loma and more airport activity. All the while, no money has been set aside for two long-awaited interchanges between I-8 and I-5, the board asserts in a letter authorized at the PCPB’s regular meeting last month.
As a result, local streets get glutted by people trying to get in and out of the Peninsula, as if “there’s a Padres game everyday,” said Board member Jay Shumaker.
“SANDAG has provided for no funding for mitigating the traffic problems that have developed,” said Pete Nystrom, whose Traffic and Transportation Subcommittee wrote the letter. “Rosecrans has turned into a parking lot, all jammed up with people just trying to go home.”
To better serve the Peninsula, the letter suggested building more ramps and improvements allowing cars to bypass congested intersections and to provide alternatives to Rosecrans Avenue and Sea World Drive. Specifically, it asked SANDAG to look at four things:
The I-8/I-5 interchange: SANDAG’s plan gives this high priority but doesn’t identify the $220 million funding for the 8 East-to-5 North ramp, nor the $100 million for the 5 South-to-8 West ramp. The board asked SANDAG to research the possibility of putting a concrete abutment or other separation between the two lanes that make up the off-ramp from 5 North to 8 West, and turn one lane into an on-ramp for 8 East to 5 North. The ramp getting off 8 East could circle around the Rosecrans-to-5 North ramp.
Rosecrans bypass: Traffic engineering efforts could turn Nimitz Boulevard into a better north-south corridor, giving members of the Rock Church in Liberty Station, airport traffic and naval commuters an alternative to Rosecrans.
I-8 Extension: Instead of reaching a stoplight at the western end of I-8, a ramp across from Correia Middle School could be built to allow cars to go directly south on Nimitz Boulevard. A northbound ramp at the same location could allow direct access to 8 East.
Navy bus link: Successful programs that bring commuters to San Diego Naval Base at 32nd Street and elsewhere could be adopted here.