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Bird Rock has unsafe crosswalk to bear

bird rock CROSSWALK.jpg
In this photo of the intersection of La Jolla Boulevard and Camino de la Costa, the sign on the right side does not flash. The sign on the left side is missing.
(COREY LEVITAN)

A crosswalk pole at the northeast corner of Camino de la Costa and La Jolla Boulevard — missing since being ripped out in a Feb. 4 hit-and-run accident — has yet to be replaced.

“It has been reported several times,” said Barbara Dunbar, Bird Rock Community Council secretary during the group’s June 4 meeting. “We have tried to get the City to reinstall it. Obviously, that costs money, and that may be part of the issue and I don’t know what else. But it is something that is a real serious safety concern.”

All east-west crossings bookending Bird Rock’s five roundabouts allow pedestrians to traverse La Jolla Boulevard after activating signs that flash. Since the accident, there is no northbound sign and the southbound sign no longer flashes when its button is pushed.

“If you’re crossing from the west side to the east, you don’t necessarily know that the flashers aren’t working,” Dunbar said.

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Two weeks ago, Melissa Hall tried navigating the crosswalk from east to west. (Her house sits right behind the missing pole.) A driver nearly ran her over after taking a blind right turn onto northbound La Jolla Boulevard.

“The guy was speeding and didn’t see me,” Hall said. “If I would have taken that first step, I would have been killed.”

Although Hall didn’t realize the crosswalk was broken, most locals observed by the Light observed from 2 p.m to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 6 seemed aware. No pedestrians used it to cross La Jolla Boulevard, though three used the crosswalk on the roundabout’s south side.

“I’ve had some close calls,” said a woman walking two dogs, who declined to give her name. “Cars come into Bird Rock very fast and a lot of them don’t realize to stop because there are no flashing lights anymore.”

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More LaMattery battery

Local realtor James LaMatterysaid he’s working with former City Council member Donna Frye and San Diego director of impact investments Bob Foster to develop a ballot initiative that would prohibit bills such as SB 50 and SB 330 from becoming law. He said it’s “going through the process with the Secretary of State it has to go through before we can even gather signatures.”

The news was delivered along with the identical presentation LaMattery gave at both the Jan. 9 La Jolla Shores Association and the May 9 La Jolla Town Council meetings. (LaMattery said he plans to deliver his message to all 52 San Diego City community planning groups.) The presentation claimed that the proposed bills would “build more apartments, not single-family homes” in La Jolla, which is true. It also said it would eliminate La Jolla’s 30-foot height limit, which is not.

SB 330 doesn’t eliminate height limits, but empowers the City Council to elect to make exceptions to limits on a case-by-case basis. When the Light corrected LaMattery, he replied: “Trusting this City Council is going to be a difficult one when they removed any requirements for parking when even the bills SB 50 and SB 330 left in half a space.”

In other BRCC news

The Torrey Pines Road Slope Restoration Project is proceeding despite the summer moratorium. However, said Council member Barbara Bry’s representative, Mauricio Medina, construction is taking place at night and should be finished shortly. (Crews are currently restriping the road.)

Wheat and Water, 5737 La Jolla Blvd., will host a Bird Rock community happy hour, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 18.

— Bird Rock Community Council next meets 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 2 at La Jolla Masonic Lodge, 5655 La Jolla Blvd.


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