On the afternoon of Friday, August 31, 2018, a car exceeded a safe speed up Franklin Ridge Road in Civita in Mission Valley.
Since there are no crosswalks, stop signs, or traffic lights for this half-mile stretch of road, there was nothing to deter the car from accelerating to excessive speeds up the hill.
At the top of the hill, in the location where the freeway connector is to be built, the driver lost control of the car, careened through an intersection, crashed through trees and a fence, was launched in the air, rolled three times down a hill and came to rest several feet from the neighborhood dog park.
We understand that this is only one accident, and at this stage of development in Civita the streets are underdeveloped, making them an attractive nuisance and inviting high-speed fun.
At the same time, we should take note that this half-mile stretch of road is designed as a runway, with zero physical speed deterrents. While speeding will be an issue going both ways, this road is built on a steep incline, where the downhill speeders may be even more of a danger. Even when Civita is completely developed, this type of road will be attractive to high-speed drivers.
In approving the freeway connector, the City knew that both Via Alta and Franklin Ridge will receive a Failing grade in their ability to handle the traffic from the connector. Their rationale is that if cars are always bumper to bumper on the roads, then people can’t speed.
The issue with this rationale is that the half-mile stretches of Via Alta and Franklin Ridge roads in Civita go through a densely populated residential community. These roads are permanently flawed because the steep slope and the curves of the roads prevent crosswalks from ever being installed. Bumper to bumper traffic will wall off the residents from each other and from the community amenities and elementary school.
Whether it’s the speeders on the roads late at night or the bumper to bumper traffic in the day, either way, it looks like the City of San Diego has committed Civita to an unsafe and unwalkable environment.
Luckily no one was hurt in this incident. Is this a one-off accident or is it a prelude to more accidents, injuries, and fatalities to come?