Road Right Of Way Issues in RSF

By Marion Dodson

 April 4, 2021

The street and roads in our community allow for dedicated right of ways. In driving around our community I find the streets are well enough maintained by the County; however, the right of ways are another matter.

According to the County of San Diego Public Road Standards, our residential roadways are generally classified as “Collector Series with NO Improvements” which means it provides for two 12-foot travel lanes and two 8-foot shoulders.

Driving in our residential neighborhoods we should have roadway shoulders that allow for pedestrian and bicycle use on either side of the roads. Instead, I see rocks and boulders, vegetation of many heights, etc. that, in many cases, prohibit walking and bike riding that are allowed within the 8-foot shoulders by the County. I recently saw a baby buggy having to ride in the street because of obstructions in the shoulder along the roadway.

Sharp jagged rocks along roadsides are also a hazard.

I should also mention that some of these obstructions could also cause harm to cars and people using our roads. Hitting a large rock could force a car to turn into the opposite roadway, damage their car and tire or worse. Remember, these obstructions are not allowed and the owner of the adjacent property could be held responsible for damage caused by their allowing obstructions on the County right of way property adjacent to their property.

Recently I have noticed an increasing amount of this misuse of the County right of ways. The rules are simple: the 8 feet outside of the roadway are for pedestrian and bicycle uses. Many people use this shoulder space for guest parking, trash pick-up, etc. which is a temporary use for these services; however, putting rocks and boulders or having dense vegetation in the 8-foot shoulder is wrong and dangerous to others.

I would appreciate your giving some attention to this issue. Many of our residents may not know that there is an 8-foot shoulder on both sides of our roadways that belongs to the County. There should be an 8-foot area that is clear of large rocks and vegetation that inhibits pedestrian and bicycle use and sometimes even visibility on our roadways.

Please take a good hard look at our residential roadways, especially now that school is starting and children will be walking or riding to our schools again. Help protect our community by keeping our right of ways safe and open for public use.

Editor’s note: Should a motorist get injured due to permanent obstructions on the road abutting your property, it is very possible that you, the property owner, will be held legally liable. Not the County and not the Association. Something to ponder.

Leave a Reply