Potholes Plague Rancho Santa Fe Roads: Residents Demand Action

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Potholes Plague Rancho Santa Fe Roads: Residents Demand Action

Rancho Santa Fe, California – February 26, 2024

Residents of Rancho Santa Fe are increasingly frustrated and concerned about the growing menace of potholes that mar the roads of our picturesque community. The issue of deteriorating road conditions has become a pressing problem, with locals worried about the risks and dangers posed by these road craters.

Potholes, a common sight on many roads, present significant hazards to both drivers and pedestrians. They can cause vehicle damage, including flat tires and damaged suspension systems, leading to costly repairs. More alarmingly, they pose a serious safety risk, particularly at higher speeds, where hitting a pothole can lead to loss of control and potentially life-threatening accidents. Pedestrians and cyclists are also at risk of injury if they encounter potholes unexpectedly.

By example, these two dangerous potholes on El Mirador near the intersection of Las Colinas have been getting bigger by the week as recent rains wreak havoc with our streets. A pothole forms when rain lands on asphalt and flows to lower points on the road. Vehicle tires then force the water deep into small cracks and crevices. Over time, the pressure breaks off small pieces of the asphalt road. A small pothole can quickly become wider and deeper as more traffic goes over it.

The County of San Diego holds a legal obligation to maintain roads in safe conditions and promptly repair potholes to ensure the safety of residents and visitors. According to California law, government entities, including counties, are responsible for maintaining public roads and can be held liable for accidents and damages resulting from neglected road maintenance.

Efforts to address the pothole problem in Rancho Santa Fe must be swift and comprehensive. Regular road inspections and maintenance schedules should be implemented to identify and repair potholes promptly. Additionally, increased community engagement and awareness campaigns can encourage residents to report potholes promptly, facilitating quicker repairs and improving overall road safety.

The proliferation of potholes on Rancho Santa Fe roads poses a significant risk to public safety and underscores the importance of proactive road maintenance efforts by the County of San Diego. By working together and prioritizing road safety, we can ensure that the roads of Rancho Santa Fe remain safe and accessible for all residents and visitors.

Reporting Potholes:

Residents are encouraged to report potholes promptly to the agency responsible for road maintenance. In the case of Rancho Santa Fe, the County of San Diego’s Department of Public Works is the designated authority. Reporting potholes can be done through various channels, including the county’s official website, where residents can submit requests for road repairs or call the Public Works department directly at 760-510-2453.

Other phone numbers for reporting road problems in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County appear on other county websites. There is a hotline during normal business hours (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) 877-684-8000 Toll Free or 858-694-3850.

If the problem happens outside of normal hours, call the County After-Hours Answering Service at 858- 565-5262.

San Diego County also has an app called “Tell Us Now.” When you see a pothole, snap a picture on your cellphone, add a few words such as its location, and report it to the County using Tell Us Now. The app is for reporting non-emergency problems to the County of San Diego and then tracks the progress of a reported problem so when you report a pothole, you can follow up to see that it’s been repaired. You can also use the app to report problems related to pricing and scales (e.g. gas pumps, grocery stores), mosquitoes (e.g. green pools, dead birds, mosquito breeding), air quality (region wide), and code compliance (e.g. graffiti, abandoned vehicles) within unincorporated San Diego County (including RSF).

Filing Claims for Pothole Damage or Injury

San Diego County has a self-insured program for public liability. If you want to file a claim for damage or injury from a pothole, you can do that here on the County website.

Is Filling Potholes Really the Answer?

The San Diego Union Tribune quoted Eric Edelman, the Carmel Mountain Ranch/Sabre Springs
Community Council Chairperson as saying “We hear about the streets all the time. Street repairs
are reactionary. They fill potholes but those are a temporary fix that come right back. The
streets need to be paved”.

City of San Diego Streets: a Related Concern

Rancho Santa Fe is in unincorporated San Diego County, not the City of San Diego, but the city’s recent audit and survey about road conditions may be of interest. The City’s 87-page audit released February 12, 2024 says San Diego’s decision to delay a comprehensive evaluation of its streets by three years has led to inefficient repair decisions because city officials haven’t known where repairs are most needed. A comprehensive new survey indicates the quality of San Diego’s streets has dropped sharply since a similar survey in 2016, rating well below “satisfactory.” Officials say annual spending on road repair should more than quadruple. David Garrick writes an excellent summary of the City of San Diego’s road situation here.

City of San Diego’s Street Paving Map displays the Citywide street network and provides information on when a street may be paved (pending funding), what the pavement condition is, and the date of the last paving project.

About Rancho Santa Fe Post:
The RSF Post is a community-focused news site dedicated to providing residents with timely and relevant news and information about local events, issues, and developments. We aim to serve as a platform for community engagement and dialogue, fostering a sense of connection and unity among Rancho Santa Fe residents.

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