Los Angeles-Type Traffic on the 76

My Dad works at JCPenney in Carlsbad. The drive from his house in Bonsall is approximately 12 miles. Normal drive time to work with no traffic is approximately 20 minutes. My Dad's current drive time to work is 50 minutes. The drive back from work is the same story.

Although there are many factors that can cause this Los Angeles-type traffic, one sticks out above the rest: the two-lane highway, aka the San Luis Rey Mission Expressway, aka the CA-76. This two-lane highway begins at the I-15 and, going west, ends at the Melrose Drive intersection. After this it becomes a four-lane highway until the I-5.

This throughway may have flowed well in the past, but times have changed. The drivers from Bonsall would benefit greatly from an expansion. In comparison, the CA-78 has more than four lanes from I-5 to the city of Ramona. Of course, the CA-78 could benefit from some more lanes, but Bonsall has yet to have the pleasure of a four-lane highway. Bonsall is growing. The CA-76 needs to catch up.

Watch the traffic on the morning commute.

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I must point out an inaccuracy regarding the number of lanes on Highway 78. From Interstate 5 to Escondido, 78 is at least four lanes until it reaches Ash Street/Center City Parkway in Escondido. The eastbound highway then becomes a surface street with traffic lights from Ash to San Pasqual Valley Road. At San Pasqual Valley east of Escondido, Highway 78 resumes as a two lane highway all the way to Ramona, with an occasional center turn out road. 78 continues through Ramona, again with two lanes, all the way to the Anza Borrego Desert. This Google Street View link shows 78 from San Pasqual Valley Road.

Highway 78 is also very congested during peak commute times. If one chooses to move to a semi-rural area, I don't believe it is reasonable to expect interstate worthy roads for one's commute. Both Bonsall and Escondido outside city limits would most likely be considered rural areas.

"Rural" or not, the population growth off of the 76 corridor has boomed over the last 15 years. Simply stating that this area is rural and the residents should know this is what to expect does not give justice to the fact that multiple surrounding communities (even those in Riverside Co) use the 76 as a commuter highway and as an alternate to Ortega Hwy. I invite anyone to go for a little tour on the 76 at peak commuter hours to personally review if it needs improvement.

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