By Dave Schwab
The wisdom of breaking the $26.5 million Torrey Pines Road Corridor Project into four segments was questioned at a Feb. 24 La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board meeting.
“We should look at breaking the project down into much smaller — $1 million to $3 million — more bite-size pieces and actually get funding for those and take those on,” suggested Joe LaCava, president of the La Jolla Community Planning Association, the community’s advisory board to the city on land use.
A Bird Rock resident, LaCava said slope stabilization and aesthetics would be his two highest priorities for the road improvement project.
The T&T meeting was a follow-up to a Jan. 19 forum hosted by First District City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, during which city engineers laid out a conceptual plan without a lot of specifics about improvements designed to widen sidewalks, calm traffic and increase safety for pedestrians and bicyclists as well as stabilizing slopes.
On Jan. 19 the city proposed dividing the project up into four distinct pieces:
• Segment 1, Prospect Street to Coast Walk;
• Segment 2, Coast Walk to Viking Way/Hillside Drive;
• Segment 3, Viking Way/Hillside Drive to Little Street, and
• Segment 4, Little Street to La Jolla Shores Drive.
At that time city engineers also expressed a preference for which segment to do first — Segment 4, the entrance to the Village from La Jolla Parkway, which is the longest segment and least costly because it has very few retaining walls.
Several people who live along Torrey Pines Road and others talked about what they’d like to see accomplished:
“It doesn’t really matter what segment goes first, as long as we could just get a (traffic) light somewhere so we could cross to the other side of the road,” said Linda Sherman.
“I’d like to see a big sign saying ‘entering a residential neighborhood,’ so people know they’re leaving a freeway,” said Kate Adams.
“Our main focus is walkability, and we suggest having a safe crossing every 300 feet, which is not going to happen here,” said Leah Ostenberg, program manager for Walk San Diego, a nonprofit promoting walkable communities. “So we’re suggesting at least one safe, lighted crossing giving pedestrians a protected crosswalk on this road. We also suggest having narrower lanes which would slow the traffic down.”
There was no action or vote taken by the traffic board, which will continue public discussion of the proposed project at its next meeting March 24.