Nearly 60 people turned out last month to hear more about a planned 16-mile transportation corridor through Southwest Riverside that would see a main thoroughfare run through four cities, including Lake Elsinore and Wildomar.
During the Nov. 17 workshop at the Murrieta Public Library, local residents and leaders also offered their input for the proposed Historic Highway 395 Corridor that would make the 16-mile stretch from Temecula northward to Lake Elsinore along the west side of the 15 Freeway (see attached map).
Now that public feedback is available for all to view (click here to see a graphic of the feedback generated during the Nov. 17 workshop, or click on the attached PDF file).
The workshop was part of the Historic Highway 395 Corridor Study that seeks to develop a comprehensive transportation and land use plan for the shared north-south corridor. Read more about the study .
Challenges and opportunities were identified during the workshop, and attendees also offered their ideas on what the planned corridor should accomplish. Some saw the roadway as a “destination” in Southwest Riverside that could attract tourists to the area if a mix of businesses and residential were developed along the historic highway. Others viewed the corridor as a possible high-speed route that could help alleviate congestion on the heavily traveled 15 Freeway.
But concerns were expressed, including reservations about how the corridor would help bring traffic to Old Town Murrieta given the planned roadway’s current path. Some also worried the corridor might not complement the rural character of nearby communities. (about Wildomar’s plans for a historic destination that could potentially be situated along the corridor.)
Old Highway 395 was once a significant roadway through what is now considered Southwest Riverside. The route entered Temecula heading over to Old Town, up Front Street onto Jefferson Street, then jogged left at Ivy Street through Murrieta, and continued north into Wildomar and Lake Elsinore. In the mid 1900s, the highway shifted east through Menifee and Perris Valley.
During the workshop, several people urged that the proposed corridor have a consistent theme throughout all four cities and pay homage to the route’s history with signage and markers.
Caltrans is the primary source of funding for the Historic Highway 395 Corridor Study and it’s far from being complete. Alexa Washburn, program manager for the Western Riverside Council of Governments, said the study will last through 2012, with additional public workshops planned in all four affected cities starting in the spring. WRCOG is providing administrative leadership and coordination on behalf of the four cities during the study.
The public is encouraged to learn more about the Historic Highway 395 Corridor Study by visiting the project website and signing-up for email updates at www.highway395corridorstudy.org.