Answers to your questions

Q. Does the County have four-lane plans for Via de la Valle, Paseo Delicias and Del Dios?
A. County staff has recommended 4-lanes on those streets in the past, and most likely will again in the future. View a slide from their 2020 General Plan here. The San Dieguito Planning Group has been successful keeping them out of the plans - for now. However, right-of-way widening already exists along Via de la Valle/Del Dios corridor at the polo fields, Polo Point, Morgan Run from the west and Cielo, Hacienda Santa Fe and Crosby from the east. A new 4-lane expansion is also approved for Del Dios at Via Rancho Parkway. Roundabouts can block future widening efforts. Read more on our future page.

Q. Will the Village Church lose land or parking spaces?
A. The Village Church will not lose land. The parking spaces it will lose were already given to the County of San Diego in 2008, in exchange for a variance to build a larger sanctuary. In addition, a 2008 signed agreement grants Association-owned land to the Church to replace those spaces.View the agreement here.

Q. Are roundabouts too expensive?
A. The actual cost of roundabouts and signals are very comparable, especially over a decade or more, as signals have a much higher upkeep cost. The San Diego Department of Public Works now estimates each roundabout may cost as little as $1M. Cost will probably increase depending on eminent domain fees. In addition, roundabouts satisfy National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) making the project eligible for Federal funds.

Q. Will Covenant residents have to pay for the roundabouts?
A. Covenant residents and the Association will pay nothing. The County will pay for everything except some of the landscaping. Roundabouts are an investment that will protect us from future 4-lane expansions. In addition, roundabouts satisfy National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) making the project eligible for Federal funds. We also understand that developers from Cielo and Crosby will be assessed part of the cost.

Q. Does the County prefer roundabouts or signals?
A. The County EIR report states that roundabouts are a superior choice. They are currently requesting a preference from Covenant residents via a recommendation from the Association Board.

Q. Does the third party study that is floating around prove that roundabouts won't work?
A. RSF staff asked the County to study the privately-prepared third party report. The County engineers read the report, concluded that is wrong, and decided to leave their EIR intact.

Q. Are roundabouts safer than traffic signals?
A. The County, State, and Federal governments have monitored roundabouts for safety and efficient traffic movement and found them to be superior to signals by a wide margin. View safety concerns here.

Q. Don’t traffic signals move traffic through faster than roundabouts?
A. Roundabouts actually move traffic through faster than signals. Traffic flow through roundabouts is smooth and steady, especially for the people that use them every day. Traffic signals create backups. We see this occurring during peak hours at the intersection of Del Dios and Via Rancho Parkway.

Q. Won’t the intersections be smaller with traffic signals?
A. Intersections with traffic signals will be widened to over 50’ and others will be even larger. There will also be much more pavement than currently exists at those intersections. Roundabouts are a single lane with beautiful, landscaped interiors. They will appear smaller once they are landscaped.

  Q. Will the County take more land from residents to build roundabouts?
A: Yes, this is true. A few RSF Covenant residences may lose a total of 9/100ths of an acre, over the 3 intersections. The non-Covenant vacant lot on El Monte Video lose 12/100ths of an acre. Each landowner will be paid fair market value for the land - tax free. The RSF Association will lose the most land - a total of 0.294 acres.

Q. How does the County conduct eminent domain for right-of-way?
A. The County hires a consulting appraiser to provide an appraisal for the property rights to be purchased from the property owner. The highest and best use of the land of the subject property is used to determine the fair market value of the property rights purchased for the project construction. Each landowner will be paid fair market value for the land - tax free.

Q. Doesn’t the traffic signal at Via Rancho Parkway and Del Dios works well?
A. The eastbound backup at 4 PM at that traffic signal is up to one mile long. Based on the County’s traffic-flow simulations, traffic signals in Rancho Santa Fe may follow a similar pattern.

Q. What does the San Dieguito Planning Group Think of Traffic Lights?
A. The Community Right-of-Way Development Standards” for the San Dieguito Planning Area. Section 3.9. state: “Traffic signals are highly destructive of the rural character of the area’s scenic roadways. They shall only be allowed where safety concerns cannot be otherwise mitigated.”View here.

Q. How do roundabouts affect older drivers?
A. Older drivers are more likely than other drivers to be wary of roundabouts, but they also are particularly likely to benefit from them in terms of improved safety. In 2013, 38 percent of fatal passenger vehicle crashes involving drivers 70 and older were lighted intersection crashes, compared with 25 percent of fatal crashes involving drivers younger than 70. A study in six communities where roundabouts replaced traditional intersections found that about two-thirds of drivers 65 and older supported the roundabouts one year after construction.

Q. Do drivers like roundabouts?
A. Drivers may be skeptical of or even opposed to roundabouts when they are proposed. However, several Insurance Institute studies show that opinions quickly change when drivers become familiar with them. A 2002 Institute study in three communities where single-lane roundabouts replaced stop sign-controlled intersections found 31 percent of drivers supported the roundabouts before construction, compared with 50 percent shortly after. Follow-up surveys conducted in these six communities after roundabouts had been in place for more than one year found the level of public support increased to about 70 percent on average.