On Monday morning, March 18, hundreds — if not thousands — of Talmadge and City Heights commuters found themselves trapped in long lines of traffic trying to access Aldine Drive through Talmadge.
With horns honking and fists shaking, unhappy drivers may have forgotten that notification had been posted along Fairmount Avenue and Aldine Drive warning that that two new stop signs would be installed along this busy, accident-prone corridor. The stop signs were installed along Aldine at 47th Street on Friday, March 15.
One stop sign controls northbound traffic to Fairmount; the other controls eastbound traffic to the Euclid and Monroe intersection. Morning commuters quickly discovered that their routine drive is no longer convenient or efficient to access Fairmount Avenue and I-8.
Most drivers were substantially delayed by the ensuing traffic snarl that stretched four or more blocks on the three major streets leading to Aldine Drive.
Since the 1990s, this section of Aldine Drive has been identified as a failing roadway, with its average daily traffic count now nearing 17,000 cars (6000 is capacity). The street wasn’t built to accommodate this level of traffic, but as density in Talmadge and City Heights increased, it became a preferred outlet.
City traffic engineers and the Kensington/Talmadge Planning Group agreed to install these stop signs so commuters would be discouraged and seek other streets. Commuters should now return to the major thoroughfare designed for such heavy traffic — El Cajon Boulevard leading to Fairmount Avenue. Future traffic counts will determine if the new signs have been a successful remedy.