Public Waiting to See Effects of Road Opening on Intersection

Students cross from east to west across Menifee Road, with the "road closed" signs a...

Students cross from east to west across Menifee Road, with the "road closed" signs at the end of the current road not quite visible in the background.
"Sure, I've seen a lot of near misses," said Raymond Roberson. "You try not to get angry at them. People have a bad day, and sometimes they don't pay attention."

Roberson, 74, has worked for five years as an afternoon crossing guard at the intersection of Menifee Road and Aldergate Drive, helping students and parents cross the street from Freedom Crest Elementary School. He has decided to have a "wait and see" attitude about the effects of increased traffic at that intersection from the new stretch of Menifee Road, which will open after a brief ceremony at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Some might not be as patient. Menifee 24/7 has been contacted by several parents of Freedom Crest students who are concerned that traffic coming down the hill from the half-mile stretch previously called the "missing link" will be a danger for pedestrians at that intersection.

"This road leads to a stop sign in front of a school which already has horrible traffic issues and now you're going to add a busy traveled road on which people are going to fly through because they think it's a short cut," wrote one reader.

"My boys ride their bikes to the park by themselves because we don't get much traffic unless it's school time, but now people will be flying down Menifee Road," wrote another.

Granted, there will be much more traffic crossing through the school zone when the new road opens. Currrently, the north-south traffic at that intersection is primarily confined to drivers using the short stretch of Menifee Road right before the "road closed" sign to park and pick up students.

"I think they'll have to study it," said Jennifer Pignoni, the other crossing guard at that intersection. "Some don't want the road to open, but others do because of the convenience."

It's an issue city officials plan to monitor closely before deciding whether any action should be taken. There's no doubt the road is going through; now the decision becomes one of whether a traffic signal, additional crossing guards or additional traffic enforcement will be necessary.

City Manager Rob Johnson said Monday that City Engineer Jonathan Smith has discussed the situation with scho