Friday, March 5, 2021

Stand-Still Traffic on Silver Strand Infuriates Commuters (Video)

Coronado Cays Traffic
Monday morning traffic on the Silver Strand going into Coronado. [Submitted photo]
Traffic on the Silver Strand has been deemed “the worst commute in the nation,” according to to Coronado Cays native and resident Daron Case.

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Over the past several years, traffic has continued to increase on the roadway going into Coronado. Monday through Thursday, between the hours of 6:00 AM and 8:00 AM, the Strand turns into a parking lot.

“The traffic backs up five miles,” says Case. “From what I understand from other Cays residents, the traffic has been getting worse, steadily, over time, culminating in the 45 minute commute we have, right now, which is pretty outrageous.”

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Daron Case
Daron Case, urges upset drivers along the Strand to call Caltrans. [Photo by Ruth Klamper]
Case, who has adapted the nickname ‘Captain of the Cays,’ grew up living in the Cays and reminisces about the days it used to take him 10 to 15 minutes to drive onto the island. Now, he says it takes his family much longer to drive from his home to his children’s schools.

“What my wife says she didn’t sign up for is a 45 minute commute from the Cays into town to take the kids to school, which is essentially the worst commute in the nation right now.”

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After watching his family and friends suffer through hours, collectively, of stand-still traffic, Case has decided to resume his ‘captain-like’ duties and take control of the ship issue.

Change.org Petition
The online petition that Daron Case started has over three hundred signatures.

“I only started last week to press this issue. When I brought it up to our city council and Mayor Tanaka, their initial response was surprising to me. Their response was sort of boiler plate political speak that ‘there is more traffic around the nation’ and ‘we are doing what we can, please be patient over the next several years as we try to solve this problem.’ That’s when I realized what we have here are several public agencies and organizations involved in this issue. Including the City of Coronado, Caltrans, CCHOA, and the Navy.”

Over the course of several meetings, these organizations will reach an agreement on what the problems are in regard to traffic, and what the solution must be. However, the solution could take days, weeks, months, or even years to implement.

“What I thought we needed was someone outside of that system to come in and force this issue and, as Captain of the Cays, that’s what I am trying to do.”

Within the past few days Case has generated a lot of attention on the Silver Strand stand-still traffic using social media, primarily the Coronado Cays Happening’s Facebook page to vocalize his concerns and urge the community to ‘rise up.’ He started an online petition urging Caltrans to extend the length of time at Tarawa Road favoring northbound traffic, extend the length of time at Rendova Road favoring northbound traffic, and synchronize the Tarawa and Rendova Road traffic signals to insure all northbound traffic, which successfully traverses the signal at Tarawa Road, will also successfully traverse Rendova Road.

Traffic on the SilverStrand
Drivers wait at the stoplight on Tarawa Road, as pedestrians cross the intersection. [Photo by Ruth Klamper]
The petition also calls on Caltrans to allow cross foot traffic, if present, only during every 2nd traffic signal change, install a sensor which detects traffic emanating from the east side of the Amphibious Base, attempting to cross to the west side of the Base or to proceed north on the Strand toward the Village, and increase northbound and southbound exit lanes.

Daron Case
Daron Case spent Monday morning picketing at the entrance of the Cays. [Photo by Ruth Klamper]
On thing is for sure, the Captain isn’t sitting back and waiting for likes on his Facebook posts or signatures to accumulate on his petition. He’s picketing street corners along the Silver Strand, asking drivers to honk if they are frustrated about sitting in traffic, and reminding commuters to call Caltrans and ask for immediate action to take place.

Caltrans representatives initially responded to callers by saying, they were “unaware of traffic issues on California State Route 75.” Even though locals have been calling on the organization to resolve the congestion issue for years, Case says nothing has been done.

“This is a public safety and welfare situation that requires immediate action,” says Case.

Daron Case
Daron Case stands on the side of the Silver Strand holding homemade signage that encourages commuters to call Caltrans. [Photo by Ruth Klamper]
“What I would like to see happen is the Coronado Police Department to post public service officers at the relevant traffic lights in front of the Naval Amphibious Base during the rush hours, to direct and facilitate the smooth flow of traffic along the Silver Strand,” says Case.

Meetings have been held this week to discuss the pressing issue of Silver Strand traffic and, this morning, City officials and Caltrans representatives monitored the NAB traffic lights, so adjustments can be made.

Additionally, Caltrans has agreed to provide a cost data analysis and timelines for new ‘adaptive signals’ for the traffic lights in question. “This is the ‘long term solution’ that we have been looking for,” says Case.

As for the short term solution, CalTrans also approved the City of Coronado to station CPD officers at the relevant lights during rush hours to direct traffic. “The ball is now in the city of Coronado’s court to implement this short term solution,” says Case.

“You can bet I will be monitoring this situation and continuing my efforts to draw awareness to this issue. Our efforts to draw awareness to this issue have definitely resulted in some action from the City Council, which resulted in the meeting with Caltrans today and what, we hope, will be some short term and long term relief to this traffic. We are achieving some success!”

If you are interested in contacting Caltrans, please use the contact information below:

Caltrans District 11
Address: 4050 Taylor Street, San Diego, CA 92110
Telephone Number: (619) 688-6699

E-mail: CT.Public.Information.D11@dot.ca.gov

Sign or learn more about the petition:  https://www.change.org/p/department-of-silver-strand-in-coronado-is-now-the-worst-commute-in-the-nation-caltrans-please-fix?recruiter=270588551

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Ruth Klamper
A graduate of Florida Southern College, Ruth has worked for ABC, CBS, and FOX affiliates, as well as the Home Shopping Network. She has traveled the world on mission trips and looks forward to planning her next adventure abroad.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: manager@coronadotimes.com
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