What is this project?
The Espola Road Safety Improvement Project is a two-part project that will improve safety for those who walk, jog, cycle or ride horses along the stretch of Espola Road that falls between Poway High School and Twin Peaks Road.
Specifically, it targets the west side of Espola Road, from Mountain Road (just north of Twin Peaks Road) to Willow Ranch Road (about a block south of Titan Way, at the south end of Poway High School).
The first step is “undergrounding” utilities in the area. This means that the overhead powerlines and other equipment will be moved underground, aesthetically improving the road way and removing obstacles from the proposed pathway.
The second part of the project is creating a safe access by installing a decomposed granite (DG) pathway. The pathway will be generally set back from the main road and include a lodge-pole fence as a protective barrier.
Why are we doing this?
This stretch of Espola Road has been the subject of discussion for more than 25 years as it’s one of the few sections that has not been upgraded along this widely-travelled corridor.
At one point, the City Council looked at – and rejected – the idea of widening it to a four-lane roadway. Staff later proposed a compromise: a three-lane roadway (a travel lane in each direction plus a continuous center left-turn lane) along with a list of other improvements that would relieve traffic, increase capacity of the existing roadway and improve safety for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. City Council ultimately decided that while there wasn’t a significant enough need to widen the road, the other safety improvements were needed.
Most of this section has no pathway, outside of a narrow dirt trail directly alongside the busy road. Pedestrians have to navigate uneven walkways, utility poles, street signs and more – all while keeping an eye on cars travelling at speeds of 45 miles per hour (and higher).