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Nancy Miller

Both driving and walking, Nancy Miller says she has experienced the danger of traffic that's too fast on Jackson Road.

→ The last 10 years of vehicle accidents in our area

The effort to get the speed limit on Jackson Road reduced to 45 mph through Rancho Murieta is being led by a woman who puts her argument simply. It’s a safety issue, Nancy Miller says, and it’s the right thing to do.

She spoke at the Community Services District meeting Wednesday, the night after her argument was carried to the Rancho Murieta Association board by Director Joanne Brandt. The RMA board unanimously agreed to write a letter to the state, supporting the change.

Miller, a retired educator who has lived here seven years, comes by her concerns first-hand. Like every Murietan, she drives Jackson Road, frequently visiting her son and family in Murieta South. Like few Murietans, she crosses Jackson Road regularly as a pedestrian.

“I walk from here to the Plaza – that’s my little routine – and standing at the corner there to cross, with a lot of other pedestrians and golf carts, the cars just feel overwhelmingly fast,” she said at her home the other day. “I was at that corner one day when I witnessed an accident. ... I’ve been at the signal when the logging trucks have come barreling through, because they can’t slow down fast enough, because their load’s too heavy perhaps.”

Just that morning, she said, she saw a truck carrying a big load, maybe unable to stop, roll through a red light.

She doesn't think the problem is Murietans; she believes it's people who pass through on their way to somewhere else.

She cites a few special problem areas – the sudden downhill turn at Lone Pine Road, the curvy section between the gates, the narrowed roadway at the bridge, and a curve in the area of Van Vleck Road. In her time living here, she said, there have been two fatal accidents in the Van Vleck Road area.

“It’s just too much,” she said. “It’s just too fast. I think it can be avoided with a 45 mph speed.” She wants the speed limit reduced between Lone Pine and Ione roads, about 3.6 miles.

At Wednesday’s meeting, she urged the CSD board to join the effort, saying it could help focus the attention of the bureaucracy.

Director John Merchant, who has tried unsuccessfully to push the RMA and CSD to take action on Scott Road, called it “a major step” that RMA was willing to endorse the effort to change the speed limit on Jackson Road. Merchant also wrote a Forums post Sunday at RanchoMurieta.com, encouraging Murietans to share feelings about this question, pro or con, to let the CSD know about the community’s sentiments.

Miller started her fight 18 months ago, sending emails to government officials.

She explained, “When I first sent out email inquiries – you know, who do I contact? – I felt like I was Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ meeting up with the Scarecrow, because everyone was going (pointing with her arms) this way and that way. ‘Contact the Sheriff’s Department.’ The Sheriff’s Department says ‘Contact the CHP.’ The CHP is saying ‘Contact Caltrans.’”

Personal issues took her out of the battle for a time, and when she returned she found help in the office of Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost. “They jumped on it immediately and said it’s a legislative issue. It has to have a bill passed to get it (addressed),” Miller said.

She contacted Assemblyman Ken Cooley and state Sen. Tom Berryhill, our representatives. She heard back from Cooley’s chief of staff, answering questions for him and now awaiting a further conversation, but hasn’t gotten any response from Berryhill.

She has partnered with Brandt, the RMA director, and Brandt made a presentation at the RMA meeting. “To know that the RMA board is supporting this effort means a ton,” Miller said.

She added later, “I think this is an opportunity for our politicians to be real heroes, you know, and really represent the people, like the RMA board did....”

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Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
Post rating: 706

Hwy 16 and big rigs

Just a few days ago I was waiting at the light to go to the Plaza.  The parametics and fire trucks were pulling out with their lights and siren on, the light changed to red for all traffic so they could enter the intersection.  I wondered why they didn't pull out immediately.  A few seconds later a big rig who could not stop went through the intersection.  The emergency vehicles were then able to pull out, I did see that the big rig had pulled over once he crossed fully through the interseciton.

Had the firemen not waited for him to go through, they would have t-boned or rear ended.  

Myrna Solomon's picture
Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 427
Post rating: 745

Another reason to lower the speed to 45 MPH

Beth, this is one more reason to lower the speed limit to 45 MPH. Before the light, many residents were killed just crossing the street, or trying to turn left into our community. We should do the next step now and lower the speed limit. 

Myrna Solomon

Graig Miller's picture
Joined: 05/16/2011
Posts: 18
Post rating: 24

Highway 16 Issues

CSD Board-

In 2012 I watched as an elderly man stood on the side of Jackson Highway while his wife’s body lay, expired, just a few feet away.  He stood as his motorhome and boat were fully engulfed in flames.  A fleet of motorhomes with all of his closest friends remained stopped on Jackson behind him as they looked on.  Emergency personnel were using the Jaws of Life to cut the driver of the other vehicle (a truck) and strap him to a board and race him to a local hospital.

In 2015 I lay in bed when I heard the explosive impact of two vehicles colliding in the exact same place on Jackson Highway.  I ran down from my house with a fire extinguisher to find a woman screaming.   Her children were trapped inside of their burning car while her husband was deceased behind the wheel.  I scaled the barbwire fence, shredding my arm in the process, to help as best I could.  The fire extinguisher bought enough time to break a window and rescue the children from the car, where they watched their dead father’s body burn.  The scorch marks on the road, scars on my arm, and nightmares serve as continued reminders to me of the horrible events of that night.

There are many lives that were dramatically altered from these two incidents.  Unfortunately, there are countless additional events that have occurred along Jackson Highway between Stonehouse and Ione roads.  The traffic along the road as a result of Jackson Rancheria, businesses and an increase in population has all outgrown the current rules and infrastructure. 

Lowering the speed limit through this stretch is a simple change that has the potential to reduce the frequency of these events.

I’m disappointed that Mr. Pasek recently dismissed Nancy Miller’s suggestion of endorsing support for a reduction of speed along this stretch of highway.  I’m also disappointed that Mr. Pasek doesn’t seem to realize that it is common for all levels of government to create resolutions and recommendations for these sorts of situations affecting their constituency.  Going to our legislature with an RMA and CSD endorsement would show a collective and united feeling from our community that the desire from our rural community is to put a premium on safety over arriving at our destination approximately one minute earlier.

I can’t imagine not supporting this recommendation to our lawmakers and I pray that no more deaths occur as a result of the unsafe speeds at which people travel through our community.

Jacque Villa's picture
Joined: 07/11/2009
Posts: 539
Post rating: 701

Jackson Rd.

Mr. Miller, I could not agree with you more....in my 30 plus years here, there have been many accidents that could have been avoided  with slower speed limits.  Seems Mr. Pasek does not get it......In the area between the gates, animals have been know to jump out into traffic also. Also, as you approach the Equine center, there should be a warning sign to slow down before they go around the curve so that hopefully the 18 wheelers could slow down and not go through the intersection on red lights !!!!  I support lowering the speed limits......

Sue Frost's picture
Joined: 05/22/2017
Posts: 20
Post rating: 41

Letter of Support

I am going to be writing a letter to the State in support of a speed reduction this week.  Let's get this done!

Sue Frost
Sacramento County Supervisor, District 4

Cheryl McElhany's picture
Joined: 09/01/2007
Posts: 38
Post rating: 44

Drive 45

Thank you, Nancy and Joanne, for bringing this recommendation to the community's attention.  I totally agree with this change and will send an email out to our 985 SOLOS members asking for their support of Drive 45 as well. SOLOS has always been concerned about the problems to our community from the increased traffic congestion and pass-thru traffic as more and more development comes to the areas.  Reducing the speed limit and adding some proper signage, such as, warning signs regarding the speed limit change will be helpful,  and help with enforcement as well. 

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