Here in the Temecula Valley we are fortunate to have the Rancho California Horsemen's Association (RCHA). The RCHA is the voice of equestrians and horse lovers in the Temecula Valley. This group is dedicated to preserving trails. Working with the County of Riverside, they strive to create a network of trails backed by legal easements so equestrians can ride throughout the Valle de los Caballos, Wine Country, and out to Vail Lake, Lake Skinner and Diamond Valley Lake. The RCHA works with local governments (city, county, state) to designate and maintain a network of local and arterial trails (i.e., local “loops” as well as trails linking to major cross-county networks). They also facilitate a network among local horse lovers so that the beautiful trails and horse-keeping areas can be enjoyed together.
Recently, the RCHA organized Safer Street Crossings. They have been working with the Department of Transportation and the CHP to increase the safety at the 7 street crossings in Wine Country (5 along DePortola, one on Glenoaks Road and one on Anza Road). Larger "YIELD TO EQUESTRIANS" signs have been installed, and they appear to be having a positive effect. The RCHA is launching an educational program to help both motorists and equestrians follow safer practices at these crossings. Flyers have been distributed to wineries in the area as well as homeowner's associations to explain to motorists how to behave when they approach the Yield signs. In addition, local reporters have agreed to write articles helping to educate the public. This effort is being co-sponsored by RCHA, the Riverside County Department of Transportation, CHP, and the Temecula Visitors and Convention Bureau.
If you are an equestrian riding in these areas, it will help if you do the following at the crossings: Wait for gaps in traffic before entering the striped areas Make sure motorists are fully stopped before you enter the crossing zone, and be aware that motorists BEHIND the first car can sometimes try to pass by going around the stopped vehicle Be courteous and acknowledge when motorists slow down and stop for you. Ride defensively - don't assume motorists understand that they should stop. Report any difficulties (and positive suggestions) to email@example.com The CHP will bring its trailer and flashing signs out for our next group ride, to see if these help. Fortunately, there are experienced representatives in the Traffic Department and CHP contributing to RCHA's effort.
Roundabout and striped crossing on Rancho California Road are also in progress for the Safer Street Crossings project. Work has already begun on the first roundabout at Anza Road and Rancho California Road. Two horse crossings are planned on the east (first) and west ends of Rancho California. These will be specially designed with solar powered flashing Yield signs, and stopping points well back (20-30 feet) from the crossing. The first of these will be set up along with the first roundabout, as a trial, and will be located near Wiens winery. For more information on the Rancho California Horsemen Association, please go to their website.
Beth Butler Barbour, Realtor®
Allison James Estates & Homes
PO Box 891568
Temecula, CA 92589