See the first draft of the design (PDF)
A first cut at a traffic design for the much-anticipated rebuild of the North Gate has arrived. Now the question is, will it meet the community's goals for the project?
The design modifies a plan the Rancho Murieta Association board approved five years ago and submitted to the Pension Trust Fund for Operating Engineers last year. The PTF committed to rebuilding the North Gate using $1.4 million in funding under the terms of the Mutual Benefit Agreement signed with the RMA. The North Gate is owned by RMA and operated by the Community Services District Security Department.
On Friday, the CSD Security Committee got a first look at the newly arrived preliminary design. "The goal was to try to keep residents out of the visitor lane so the gate officers only have to deal with visitors and then we could stack them deeper and wouldn't be under such pressure to get people in and keep them out of the roadway, keep them out of the intersection," Security Chief Greg Remson explained to the committee. But with the PTF design, "You still have the issue of residents using the visitor lane and you've only added about three car lengths by moving that gate," he said.
Under the plan RMA approved, the guard building would be moved up Murieta Parkway past the intersection with Lago Drive to provide more stacking room for vehicles entering the community from Highway 16. The RMA plan has two lanes for residents proceeding up the parkway, a visitors' lane, and a dedicated left-turn lane to Lago Drive for residents only.
The PTF design moves the guard building a shorter distance -- about 30 feet from its present location -- and eliminates the residents-only Lago turn lane, replacing it with a U-turn configuration that would allow both resident and visitor traffic.
After Director Steve Mobley observed that the U-turn component appears to have two traffic lanes, Remson pointed out that people in the visitor lane who wanted to go straight up the parkway would have to cut across U-turn traffic.
The plan includes provisions for a portico and a trellis over all three lanes of traffic at the guard station, which caused some members of the committee to ask whether large commercial vehicles could be accommodated. In 2006, the South Gate was damaged when a truck hit the trellis structure that spans the resident lanes after getting into the resident lane instead of the visitor lane, which isn't covered.
General Manager Ed Crouse said the CSD received a courtesy copy of the plan. Security officers and gate officers will be asked to weigh in about how they think this configuration would work, and their comments will be sent to the RMA, he said.
The RMA Maintenance Committee will discuss the design at its meeting Monday.