"The geometry of the intersection is kind of skewed," said a city engineer.
After years of watching cars speed through the intersection by her Vista home, Betty Haver got her traffic sign on Tuesday, October 13.
After much discussion, the Vista City Council voted unanimously to place “Yield” signs on east and westbound traffic. The 97-year-old, who has lived in Vista since 1976, says the traffic on Warmlands and Calle Sinaloa streets has increased and drivers can't see each other.
"Several years ago, I wrote requesting that the town of Vista install a stop or yield sign," she wrote. "Today again we had a close call with a car speeding through on Warmlands Street without hesitation. Please do something about this hazard."
But across the street, Mary Kelleher had different ideas.
"Currently, there is no problem with traffic on Calle Sinaloa. The problem may be with the new residents who are using Warmlands — they do not slow down or use any caution when exiting or entering the dead end of Warmlands," she wrote the council.
Kelleher lives on the northwest corner of the intersection in a subdivision at the northeast edge of Vista. Like her neighbor, she has lived on Calle Sinaloa for more than 25 years. She was the only person to respond to a survey the city traffic engineers sent to all the residents in the area. While she wanted to see traffic slow down, she didn't think a stop sign was suitable.
"What about speed-bumps?" Kelleher asked.
Vista traffic engineers looked at the intersection and found traffic was pretty light. And there have been no accidents in the past three years. But they could see where drivers on eastbound Calle Sinaloa have a huge blind spot because of the angles of the intersection. That alone qualifies it for a stop sign, according to Sam Hasenin.
"The geometry of the intersection is kind of skewed," he said. “[A stop sign] guarantees that a vehicle eastbound will not just proceed through the intersection." If you're stopping eastbound, then you stop the westbound traffic, too, he noted. But the oddness of placing a stop sign to hinder through-traffic in favor of traffic from a dead-end street was troubling to some council members.
"I would do a four-way stop," mayor Judy Ritter said.
Councilman Cody Campbell saw it differently. "We don't want to change it up so much that it becomes an inconvenience for local residents," he said.