Escondido City Manager Jeffrey Epp this week sent out an announcement to city employees heralding the beginning of the new road widening project for less than a mile of East Valley Parkway-Valley Center Road.
This is a project that has been anticipated locally for many years, since the bottleneck creates traffic jams from time to time, but especially this time of year when activity at nearby Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center maxes out the road’s throughput ability on weekends.
According to city officials, “The East Valley Improvement project began this week with a few growing pains.” Throughout the weekend, and starting again early this week Escondido’s engineering staff have been making adjustments to the signal timing for those four signals at the East Valley Parkway/Valley Center Grade area during the evening commute and stayed on site to monitor the effectiveness.
This is the text of Epp’s announcement:
“For those of you who drive East Valley Parkway towards Valley Center on the way home at night, for those of you who live in that area of town, and for those of you who have friends that drive that way and are griping at you since you are a city employee:
“We have finally started the widening project to clear out up that bottleneck. In the years that the bottleneck has existed, traffic has only increased. Congestion, especially during commuting times, has become the new normal. Now our project starts and it seems to suddenly get much worse.
“Throughout the weekend, and starting again yesterday (Monday) our Engineering folks have been making adjustments to the signal timing for those four signals during the evening commute and stayed on site to monitor the effectiveness. These timing changes will improve through-traffic flow. The timing changes will also take all the fun out of shortcutting through the adjacent neighborhoods.
“Yesterday, congestion began at approximately 4:15 pm. They were able to make adjustments so that by 6 p.m. traffic was flowing well through the work zone. According to reports, heavy traffic congestion is now limited to the area between Beven and James with an improving trend. City staff were going to implement new timing plans today based on what they have learned and observed. Adjustments and monitoring will continue.
“In addition, we have signs going up to identify the project, the contractor, and most importantly, the link to the website which has information about the project and the schedule. This information will be updated regularly as the project moves along. A photo is attached.
“It may also be helpful to refer inquiries to the website. Here’s the link: www.escondido.org/east-valley.aspx