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Square 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.

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Shelley Wright's picture
Joined: 10/14/2007
Posts: 110
Post rating: 78

North Gate

Wouldn't it be easier, and less expensive, to move the gate house over to the grassy area next to the current "residents only" lane.  Guest lane could be moved over to that current "resident" lane.  There would be room for two resident lanes, one left turn lane onto Lago and one continuing straight onto the Parkway.  Having two resident only lanes should prevent a back-up.

 

Jeff Borghese's picture
Joined: 01/31/2010
Posts: 10
Post rating: 0

north gate

 Shelley, you make too much sense! You could never be on the decision making board.

Wilbur Haines's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 474
Post rating: 470

No land to work with

That idea was featured in one of the early designs.  Problem is, RMA doesn't own that grassy area to the East.  Nor does PTF.  It's part of the "apartments" parcel, zoned multifamily, and never annexed into RMA.  So neither party has any land on THAT side to expand into.

RMA DOES own the grassy area to the WEST of the entrance.  I have suggested several times that we could add a third "in" lane, greatly improving queing capacity, by adding a lane to the West and sifting everything one lane West so the added lane would be on the "in" side where the queing problem is.

Shelley Wright's picture
Joined: 10/14/2007
Posts: 110
Post rating: 78

North Gate

If they don't own the land how do they get away with the entrance wall and sign being on that area? Maybe a variance could be granted?

 

Janet Nicholson's picture
Joined: 10/28/2007
Posts: 235
Post rating: 380

I like it

Sometimes it doesn't have to be complicated, does it?  The KISS principle is always worth remembering.

Just realized I wasn't very clear.  I was talking about Wilbur's suggestion, not the proposed plan.  :<)

Wilbur Haines's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 474
Post rating: 470

PTF did it

Shelley, that stem wall and sign were built by PTF/RMPI  back when they still owned all the land.  Since then Parcel 1, the multifamily parcel which extends alomg the parkway from the highway to the RMA building, has been bought by another developer who is not a pary to the mBA and this gate renovation agreement.

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