Changing Baxter Road to Wildomar Trail: It’s all about timing

WILDOMAR, CA – ‘Where is Wildomar?’ is a question all too familiar to its residents and businesses. Nestled in between Lake Elsinore and Murrieta and only 11 years old, this fantastic city is getting ready to let the world –or at least Interstate 15 travelers– know just where Wildomar is.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is in the process of updating and installing new freeway signs on the I-15 from Rainbow Valley Blvd. (just south of Temecula), heading north through Wildomar. Part of this process will include Baxter Rd changing its name in the city of Wildomar to “Wildomar Trail.”


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The idea has been a long time in the making, but the timing of its execution could not be better. Originally, replacing the freeway signs alone was going to cost Wildomar over $300,000. However, city staff worked with Caltrans’ predetermined schedule to replace aging freeway signs and was able to have the signs created and replaced at no charge.

“Timing is everything,” said Wildomar Mayor Dustin Nigg. “This change will really help to put Wildomar on the map, literally, and at a very minimal cost to the city.”

With the freeway signs taken care of, Wildomar still had to figure out the cost to replace street signs and applied for various grants to do so. The Public Agency Risk Sharing Authority of California (PARSAC) offered a grant to update and replace non-reflective street signs within city jurisdiction and so Wildomar took that opportunity. PARSAC will be paying $14,500 to replace the street signs throughout Wildomar, with only $19,000 coming from the city’s general fund over the past several years.

The name change will affect five contiguous, differently named streets within Wildomar and combine them into a consistent name that will take you from one end of the city to the other uniting the east and west sections of the city.

Shopping Center, George Ave, Porras Rd, Baxter Rd and Central St will all be changed to Wildomar Trail; not only adding to the consistency, but also increasing public safety by alleviating the confusion that the I-15 Baxter Rd freeway exit in Wildomar is somehow related to the “other” Baxter Rd in Murrieta, which is east of the I-215 Freeway and the location of Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta.

“Any time we can take advantage of an opportunity to increase our brand identity, create more consistency and improve public safety in the city, that is something we want to do,” Mayor Nigg said. “Council and staff are very excited about this change.”

So, as you head out on the I-15 freeway, keep your eyes peeled for the “Baxter Rd” that was once between Clinton Keith Rd and Bundy Canyon Rd; when you see “Wildomar Trail,” you will know the answer to that all-time question, ‘Where is Wildomar?’

Submitted by City of Wildomar

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Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.