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It must be election time for District 7, because that’s when the question of extending Tierrasanta Boulevard east to Princess View Drive becomes a hot topic in the press again.
The Tierrasanta community has opposed the extension of the four-lane road for decades, primarily because city traffic engineers have told us that the speed limit would be immediately raised to 55 miles per hour and a significant portion of the vehicles currently using Friars Road would shift north to our community.
The road extension would require the construction of a huge bridge and the loss of homes in Allied Gardens to accommodate the massive infrastructure required for the road. The last cost estimate given to our community put the road extension and other improvements at more than $200 million.
And what would extending the road do to our “Island in the Hills”? Students crossing Tierrasanta Boulevard to attend Serra High School, Jean Farb Middle School and De Portola Middle School would be directly affected. Imagine the scene before and after school with students crossing the road with its 55-mph speed limit. We are a walkable community and the road extension would affect pedestrian safety.
Traffic wouldn’t affect just Tierrasanta. Princess View Drive and neighboring streets would have to be expanded to accommodate the increased traffic, affecting the quality of life in their neighborhoods just as much if not more than in Tierrasanta.
The completion of State Route 52 reduced the need for extending Tierrasanta Boulevard. New residential, commercial and industrial uses proposed in the communities of Mission Gorge/Grantville/Allied Gardens are putting pressure once again on extending the road. Proposed mitigation for the pending projects calls for putting funds into the road extension project, but nowhere near the amount needed to construct the bridge, let alone cover the costs of condemning homes and expanding local streets.
The city needs to rethink traffic flow in the Mission Gorge/Grantville/Allied Gardens communities and the cumulative impacts that the proposed new projects would have on the local quality of life. Let’s put to rest this multi-decade debate over the Tierrasanta Boulevard/Princess View Drive connection and come up with realistic and creative solutions to the area’s current and future traffic congestion.
Deanna Spehn lives in Tierrasanta and is the editor and co-publisher of Tierra Times.
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