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....”