Residents in Uproar after Median Goes Up on Hwy 62
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
MORONGO VALLEY - Cal Trans says Highway 62 in Morongo Valley has seen an uptick in fatal car crashes recently. To make it safer - they've put up delineators, also called continuators. That median, though, is causing some problems with residents. Cal Trans says they put up the barrier to divide the highway so pedestrians don't cross and so it's obvious to oncoming traffic where the divide is. The community says they were never consulted. Cal Trans decided to hold a community information meeting to speak with the public. "They could have done it so many other ways than just sticking some cones on the highway,” says Postmaster for Morongo Valley John Miloser.
Resident Sue Lund worries for her horse business. "I’m up and down the highway quite often with a horse trailer. My road got blocked by the delineators making it impossible to make a left turn,” says Lund. Another resident says the delineators are so flimsy, they don't offer protection. In fact, he says it makes it worse. "It's not a solid barrier. Cars can come bursting through there, right in front of you and you can't see them till they're right in front of your face,” says Morongo Valley resident Jack Tunnicliff. “There’s no visibility.”
Cal Trans says they went over all the options and this was the safest. "It's for the safety of the traveling public, and for community safety and pedestrian safety. This is an interim measure until the permanent project goes to construction," says spokesperson for Cal Trans Terri Kasinga. The permanent project won’t begin until 2015 leaving residents with this median for a while. "One of my biggest concerns is that we have to make dangerous U-turns on the highway in order to get back to our roads that were blocked off,” says Tunnicliff.
The community and Cal Trans can agree on one thing. "It is a very dangerous section of the highway,” says Lund. "It's tragic. There have been so many fatalities on this highway. You drive up the road and there are memorials all over,” says Kasinga. There are no plans to take down the delineators as of now.