Neighbors take issue with La Jolla nursing home traffic, noise

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An ambulance leaves La Jolla Nursing & Rehabilitation Center on Torrey Pines Road, passing a condo building next door where residents say they are affected by noise and traffic from the convalescent home. Pat Sherman

By Pat Sherman

Residents of condominium buildings in the 2500 block of Torrey Pines Road say noise and traffic from an adjacent convalescent home is diminishing their quality of life.

They also say speeding traffic and congestion along the busy thoroughfare is creating a hazard for pedestrians who have to park along the opposite side of Torrey Pines Road, as well as vehicles trying to turn left onto Torrey Pines.

“We have on-site parking, but it’s not enough and they don’t have enough either,” said Ted Cosby, a resident of the condo building at 2510 Torrey Pines Road, pointing to the convalescent home directly adjacent his property, whose visitors and employees are often forced to park on the opposite side of Torrey Pines Road, dodging four lanes of traffic while crossing on foot. Cosby said he’s seen pedestrians stuck in the middle of the road for stretches, unable to cross. “You constantly have to jostle in between the speed racers on Fridays and Saturday nights,” said Cosby, who has lived in his unit for 16 years. “(Employees) get off at different times of day and night. … It’s a deathtrap.”

Audre Mckenzie, another resident of 2510 Torrey Pines Road, who serves on the property’s homeowner association board, said she’s seen accidents when people try to exit the convalescent home onto Torrey Pines, including vehicles that lost control and breached the sidewalk, destroying bus benches and cable boxes in front of her building.

“It’s a dangerous situation with the amount of cars, the change of staff and guests coming in and out of the convalescent home,” Mckenzie said, noting she is not aware of a pedestrian being hit.

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City officials say lighted crosswalks are not a viable option to keep pedestrians safe on this stretch of Torrey Pines Road as they cross back and forth from condominium buildings and a convalescent home.

As a remedy, residents are asking the city to install lighted crosswalks so drivers will be able to see when pedestrians cross, particularly at night, or a stoplight like one existing at another condominium building toward La Jolla Parkway.

A representative for the office of District 1 City Councilmember Sherri Lightner said the city’s Traffic Engineering department is completing a study of this stretch of Torrey Pines Road.

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City officials say signs like this one in front of the La Jolla Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at 2552 Torrey Pines Rd. were not installed by the city and will be removed. The city is investigating who painted the curb in front of the facility green.

However, Bill Harris, a supervising public information officer with the City of San Diego’s Transportation and Storm Water Department, said the requested pedestrian crosswalks do not work on this stretch of roadway due to a lack of a “specific location where pedestrians can be channelized across,” and will not be added. Instead, Harris said the city plans to install electronic signs alerting drivers to their current speed on either side of the road, as well as a “flashing beacon with pedestrian warning signs to alert motorists when there may be pedestrians crossing.”

“We don’t have a funding source for that yet,” Harris said, noting the signs aren’t eligible for funding by the city’s Transnet sales tax. “We’re going to be looking potentially for community service funds that would be available through city council offices (about $50,000), but we don’t know where that would come from yet.”

Harris said the two-hour parking signs posted in front of the convalescent home (La Jolla Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at 2552 Torrey Pines Road) were not installed by the city, and will be removed.

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