The first step toward an approved pedestrian refuge island — on La Jolla Boulevard near the intersection of Mira Monte — should begin within 90 days, Council member Barbara Bry’s representative, Mauricio Medina, told the Bird Rock Community Council (BRCC) at its April 2 meeting. Medina reported that an order was issued by the City in late March to start with a temporary island constructed of stanchions.
“These are stanchions we can all get behind,” Medina joked to laughter from the audience, referring to the hotly contested stanchions at the foot of Playa del Norte.
The idea of a refuge island — a place for pedestrians to safely stand if traffic will not allow them to make it all the way across the crosswalk — was propsed to the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board last year by resident Zoe Kleinbub, then passed by the La Jolla Community Planning Association.
Medina told the audience that a permanent concrete island, with flashing lights, “still needs funding, so they’re waiting on that.” However, he added, “I think they’re amenable to doing it in 2019, which is encouraging.”
Forward Street drainage
There has been no solution proposed for what locals have coined “Lake Forward,” the uncomfortably sizable body of water that forms on the east side of La Jolla Boulevard at Forward Street whenever it rains heavily. However, the City Storm Water Division has acknowledged a problem, which BRCC secretary Barbara Dunbar said “is huge, because the problem preceded the roundabouts.” (At the time, Dunbar said, BRCC asked for a storm drain to be installed there “and we were told, emphatically, no because the water would then go into the ocean and contaminate the ocean and potentially cause cliff-erosion problems.”)
The latest wrinkle is that the weight of the water may be exacerbating this problem and causing others.“The perception is that the road is dropping further, and I think that’s probably true,” Dunbar said, noting complaints from people who claim their cars are bottoming-out as when they turn right onto Forward Street from northbound La Jolla Boulevard.“Something has changed in that area over the last several months,” Dunbar said.
In other BRCC news…
- Benches coming! By the end of 2019, four new mosaic art benches, by artist Jane Wheeler, will be installed along La Jolla Boulevard. Bird Rock Coffee Roasters has sponsored two medium-large benches, a smaller memorial bench has already been installed near 5637 La Jolla Blvd. and a larger memorial bench is scheduled to be placed north of that.
- Foundation gala: The annual Bird Rock Foundation Gala and Silent Auction is Saturday, April 13 at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel, 9700 N. Torrey Pines Road. Tickets, $135, at birdrockfoundation.org
- MAD at bad drivers: Dunbar reported an upcoming quarterly inspection of the Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) this month. “At that time, we’re going to follow up with the City regarding safety issues and enhanced visibility at the traffic-calming sections of the hardscape.” BRCC requested additional yellow striping around the perimeters of the roundabouts, as well as additional reflectorized dots. “Those simple things actually make a huge difference reducing the drive-overs and accidents that we have.”
— Bird Rock Community Council next meets 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 7 at Bird Rock Elementary School, 5371 La Jolla Hermosa Ave.