The Menifee City Council Wednesday night will consider a plan that would finally bring improvements to one of the most complex and controversial traffic problems in the city.
Council members will vote whether to approve an agreement with the City of Lake Elsinore to share equally the $89,622 cost of paving a dirt portion of Holland Road. Approximately 1,200 feet in length at the border of the two cities, this narrow stretch of bumpy road has been a growing cause of concern since Herk Bouris Elementary School opened in August.
Originally a tractor path for local farmers and still a private road owned by four property owners -- including council member Tom Fuhrman -- this portion of Holland Road is one of the few routes to Herk Bouris Elementary, which is just across the Elsinore border.
In September, the City of Menifee announced it had established the right to pave that portion of private road because of a legal standard regarding prior public use of private property. The work still had not begun by the time rainstorms made traffic there even worse in December, resulting in a call to action by concerned citizens.
City officials hope to receive approval by the city council and have the paving project completed by mid-January. That would still leave the area with a road barely wide enough for two lanes, with no sidewalks for pedestrians, and with poor sight lines because of severe dips in the road.
But at least it would be a start, says neighborhood resident and former mayoral candidate John F. Smith, who recently organized the group Citizens for Honest Government.
"The safety of our children has been compromised for far too long, as a result of the city’s failure to act on the severe hazardous conditions on Holland Road that we have had to endure for years," Smith wrote in a press release distributed on behalf of the group.
This is only the latest chapter in a story that has had more twists and turns than the road itself.
Wednesday's meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 29714 Haun Road in Menifee.