San Clemente's Intersections From Hell

Help Patch find the worst street interchange in town -- and maybe get someone to fix it.

How often do we find ourselves in an impossibly long line waiting to get through an intersection in our quaint town? Or at that scary intersection where you have to nose out into traffic to see what's coming, only to have a speeding SUV nearly clip you?

Everyone has an intersection they love to hate...

  • The one with the left-turn signal that doesn't let enough cars through each time
  • The blind intersection where moving forward means risking a wreck
  • The four-way stop that needs a signal
  • The street corner where drivers regularly run red lights
  • The signal where traffic backs up forever
  • The metered freeway on-ramp that seems interminable – or the off-ramp that backs up to Mexico

For several weeks, Patch has been asking readers to vote on their favorite places around town. But we also want to hear about unfavorites – from yuckiest public restroom to worst graffiti – in hopes of spurring public officials, merchants or others to fix things up.

We’re kicking off our Patch Patrol feature with annoying traffic intersections.

Tell us about the street corner you dread the most, where it is and why you hate it. Vent, fume and fulminate all you like, but please keep the language clean. We’ll take nominees this week and vote for the worst traffic nightmare next week.

Here's a few suggestions to get the ball rolling, which include intersections people have complained about publically or which city staff have recently considered for improvements:

  • Pico Avenue and I-5 interchange
  • Avenida Presidio and the I-5 interchange
  • Ola Vista and Avenida Cabrillo and the railroad tracks
  • Granada and Ola Vista

Tell us your least-favorite intersection in the comments.

— Roy Rivenburg contributed to this report. 

Christine Lampert April 03, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Driving past the high school on Pico toward the ocean, the recently remodeled left turn lane onto the freeway is only for entering the freeway, but there is no sign stating this until it's too late to merge to the right. The solution would be to place a sign back by the high school that states the left lane is "left turn only onto freeway - no through traffic". Also, this can be painted on the road far enough back so that drivers have time to move over. I have seen people stuck in the left turn lane time after time. They make desperate last minute merges to the right and it is dangerous.
Pauline Jordan April 03, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Was a passenger in a car that was rear ended while we were exiting the freeway at Pico-North in the right lane. This lane is confusing to many. Also constantly watch folks run the red ight. NEVER jump out into that intersection when the light changes!
Adam Townsend April 03, 2012 at 08:38 PM
I drive through that intersection every day, and I know exactly what you guys are talking about. There is a plan to totally re-do that interchange, but I'm not sure where the progress stands now. I'll find out and report. Here's the last article I did on the project: http://sanclemente.patch.com/articles/new-pico-interchange-recommendation-could-be-safer-save-businesses
colleen April 03, 2012 at 11:27 PM
I-5 and Palizada! The lack of left turn lanes is ridiculous, and the one left turn lane that exists is the least used. The whole area needs to be redone.
jeff s April 04, 2012 at 01:04 PM
This town has it great. These problems are trivial. I've lived here for years and giggle at "SC traffic" you see I work in seal beach / Los al. Waaaaaay more people and insanity. We got it good people.... Right here in our little bubble..


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