Murrieta Council votes to join task force on I-15 expansion

The Murrieta City Council voted unanimously this week to appoint two representatives to a task force regarding possible expansion of the 1...

The Murrieta City Council voted unanimously this week to appoint two representatives to a task force regarding possible expansion of the 15 Freeway.

Representatives of Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Menifee and the Pechanga Tribe met Nov. 30 to discuss the need for additional lanes of the freeway through the Temecula Valley. According to a city document on the City Council agenda on Tuesday, "traffic congestion between the I-15/215 Junction and San Diego County is ranked as one of the worst freeway segments in the United States by several publications, in terms of traffic and economic cost of congestion. The I-15 traffic congestion is a major economic and quality of life concern to all cities of Southwest Riverside County."

The "Move I-15 Through Temecula Valley" task force was formed, with the participating cities asked to appoint two representatives. The Murrieta City Council voted to appoint Mayor Jonathan Ingram and council member Kelly Seyarto to the committee.

The task force will meet regularly to address objectives that include, according to the City of Murrieta proposal:

-- Evaluate the existing and future Average Daily Traffic (ADT) of the 15 Freeway in that area, including Average Weekday Traffic (AWDT), congestion, commute delays, and levels of service.

-- Consider all options to accommodate peak travel through the region.

-- Ensure needed improvements along this segment of the freeway are programmed into the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).

-- Identify urgent needs to address traffic volumes along the freeway through the Temecula Valley corridor and begin conversations to communicate the urgency of this project at all levels of government.

-- Identify funding sources for the designation of appropriate funds at regional, state and federal levels.

-- Address the regional impacts to economic development and "quality of life" of all cities within Southwest Riverside County.

Murrieta City Council members approved a resolution to participate in the task force, but with the inclusion of a clause that the study should consider options for expansion of the 15 Freeway from Corona south to the San Diego border. The original section of freeway proposed for study was between the 15-215 split and the San Diego border.

"I'd like to see this extended from Corona to the county border, not just the section through Temecula," said council member Alan Long. "They (Temecula) have a problem today; ours will come tomorrow. My concern is that the funding goes to them but won't be there when we need it."

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  1. The biggest contributor to the traffic issue is the lack of metered on-ramps on this section of I-15, followed very closely by the horribly designed on-ramp from Winchester Road to NB I-15. The cheapest solution is to fix these two problems and then expand the number of lanes. ABSOLUTELY NO FAST-TRACK LANES!

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