The area where the housing development is being considered has seen a 28 percent drop in traffic volume along Mission Gorge Road since the 52 expansion has opened.
At the city council meeting where this issue was first raised City staff said one reason for the project is a response to the reduction in number of vehicle trips in the area. Since the SR-52 expansion, average daily vehicle trips on that end of Mission Gorge Road went from 39,000 to 14,000, affecting business, according to the city staff report.
Santee Mayor Randy Voepel listed the traffic drop as a reason why the area can handle an increase in traffic that the development would bring.
"With the completion of Highway 52 the traffic count has dropped dramatically in this area of town, Mission Gorge and West Hills parkway can easily handle the traffic," Voepel wrote.
Traffic volume changes on Mission Gorge Rd after the SR-52 expansion opened, according to the City of Santee:
- Mission Gorge Rd between Father Junipero Serra and Western City Limit: dropped by 7%.
- Mission Gorge Rd between Big Rock and SR 52 eastbound off-ramp: there was a slight increase of 2%. With the current average daily traffic of 14,400 it is still at a level of service A, meaning every car makes it through the light when it goes green.
- Mission Gorge Rd between SR 52 and SR 125: dropped by 29%
- Mission Gorge Rd between SR 125 and Carlton Hills: dropped by 28%