Avenida de la Playa construction signs confuse tourists in La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) board member Izzy Tihanyi protested the confusing signage installed around the Avenida de la Playa construction site, during the March 8 meeting. “A student told me today that she was walking in front of The Shores Hotel, turned around the corner (on Avenida de la Playa) and there was all this yellow tape. She followed the sidewalk all the way to the next corner and then she realized there was no way out, and she had to go back all the way around the block,” Tihanyi said, adding that the sidewalks on both sides of the street have been blocked.

“The signage is just awful from every dimension,” she continued, noting that one of the “Road Closed” signs was actually hanging upside down.

City of San Diego Public Information Officer Alec Philipp told La Jolla Light that crews working at the Avenida de la Playa construction site regularly walk the pedestrian routes “to ensure that signs are properly posted and readable.”

City of San Diego senior engineer Steve Lindsay, who’s in charge of the Avenida de la Playa construction, wasn’t in attendance to provide his scheduled update on construction, so LJSA chair Nick LeBeouf read a communication from him wherein Lindsay stated confidence in the execution of the work within the Memorial Day deadline. “The update that I have is that they are on schedule, they’ve laid cement over the pipe today, and they should finish up before the moratorium (which starts Memorial Day weekend),” LeBeouf said.

Board members had expressed their fear of delays in the construction along Avenida de la Playa since November, for the fourth consecutive winter since the City began the stormwater and utility replacement project in 2013.

The La Jolla Shores Business Association, represented by president Angie Preisendorfer, communicated the low economic results of area merchants during this construction (and rain) season. “We are struggling down there because of all the construction on the streets,” she said, “Please, go to The Shores, buy a T-shirt, rent a board, get a kayak … do something down there!”

In other LJSA news:

Scripps’ building design “In Progress”: UC San Diego representative Anu Delori answered board members’ questions about the university’s plans to remodel and build an extension to the former NOAA Fisheries building on La Jolla Shores Drive. The project’s presentation at the La Jolla Community Planning Association brought residents’ complaints about the addition blocking ocean views from the street, and trustee Dede Donovan repeated those complaints to LJSA board.

“The architects are looking at the design and studying the design, it’s still on the drawing board,” Delori said, adding that the presentation “didn’t do justice” to the project and that UCSD is pressing to get the exact height of the project to show a detailed plan of how the views will be affected.

Election delayed: Although LJSA was supposed to hold board elections in March, human error caused a delay in the process and the vote will take place in May. There are six open seats with one- and two-year terms. Those interested may contact ljsa.org@gmail.com

Walter Munk Way: LJSA board voted unanimously to recommend the City of San Diego honor beloved local oceanographer Walter Munk by designating the public street running along the La Jolla Shores boardwalk “Walter Munk Way.” Trustee Terry Kreszewski highlighted the depth of community support behind the plan to recognize the scientist who discovered the underwater canyons that shape the marine ecosystems of La Jolla.

District 1 City Council member Bry’s representative, Daniel Orloff, told La Jolla Light, “Once there is ‘widely demonstrated community support,’ Council member Bry can take the steps to bring the honorary street name change to the Council.” To do this she will use a new City policy that went into effect two weeks ago and provides designation and signage for the new street name, but it’s not a complete street name change, which would include approvals from many City Departments.

“Our office will now be in charge of the next steps toward implementing the honorary street name,” Orloff added. Munk is turning 100 this year.

Police report: Northern Division Officer Larry Hesselgesser reported to LJSA that in February there were six car “prowls” in the Shores district, “which we call any kind of tampering with a vehicle,” and one residential burglary. In January, he added, two residential burglaries were reported in the district.

Map update: Trustee Mary Coakley Munk said she was glad to inform her colleagues that The Map replacement project (for a similar installation in Kellogg Park) is moving along with the support of Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Council member Bry. “I’m working with Park & Rec and the City Attorney to get final approval,” she said.

La Jolla Shores Association next meets 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 12 at 8840 Biological Grade. ljsa.org

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