Q: Carol Dement of Menifee said the southbound on-ramp to the 215 Freeway at Van Buren Boulevard in Riverside does not have a guardrail but should because it’s a sharp turn and seems dangerous. Dement asked if it was possible for a guardrail to be installed at this location.
A: The 215 southbound on-ramp from Van Buren Boulevard is a “signalized four-leg intersection where each leg meets almost perpendicular to each other,” explained Caltrans Spokeswoman Terri Kasinga. One of the advantages of this type of intersection is reducing speed as vehicles approach because of the almost 90-degree turn, she said.
That being said, the latest available accident records from July 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2021 (42 months) show there was one over-the-embankment accident along the ramp’s left side, Kasinga said. The accident was caused by a speeding driver who could not complete the right turn entering the on-ramp from eastbound Van Buren Boulevard, she said.
To make this location safer, Caltrans plans to install an approximately 500-foot-long guardrail along the left-side of this on-ramp, starting from the top of the ramp, Kasinga said. Our reader should expect to see this within a few months.
Q: Steve Hinkle of Menifee asked about the newly opened interchange on the 15 Freeway at Railroad Canyon Road in Lake Elsinore. He observed that the northbound on-ramp has been reduced to one right-turn lane. “It used to be the right lane is for entering the ramp and the middle lane gave the option of also turning right or going straight,” he said. “This one lane for entering causes a major backup for all the cars coming from the cities east of there. It’s going to get worse as many new neighborhoods are being built now.” He asked for the reason for this configuration.
A: As part of the Riverside County Transportation Commission’s 15 Freeway-Railroad Canyon Road project, the left lane of the northbound on-ramp was converted to a carpool-only lane.
From Railroad Canyon Road, only drivers in the far-right lane may turn right onto the on-ramp. Drivers in the middle lane on Railroad Canyon Road are restricted from turning right onto the ramp to avoid entering the carpool lane; these drivers can access a second northbound 15 on-ramp from Grape Street by turning left at the intersection of Railroad Canyon Road and Grape Street, said Cheryl Donahue, Public Affairs manager for the Riverside County Transportation Commission, which was the project’s lead agency. More information about what was done for this project can be found at https://www.rctc.org/projects/i15-railroad-canyon-interchange-project/.
New projects in the IE
Finally, the Inland Empire is seeing several new infrastructure and paving projects being done with funds from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the California Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, according to a Caltrans news release.
Caltrans said the California Transportation Commission last month allocated over $3 billion for transportation infrastructure improvements and projects statewide. One of the projects is on Highway 74 in the Hemet area, from Winchester Road to Fairview Avenue, to rehabilitate pavement, install fiber optic/vehicle detection stations, and upgrade curb ramps to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
Do you commute to work in the Inland Empire? Spend a lot of time in your vehicle? Have questions about driving, freeways, toll roads or parking? If so, write or call On the Road and we’ll try to answer your questions. Please include your question or issue, name, city of residence, phone number and email address. Write [email protected] or call 951-368-9670.