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La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board greenlights new pedestrian beacon for Torrey Pines Road

A new HAWK beacon similar to this one on Torrey Pines Road near Princess Street is to be installed at 2552 Torrey Pines.
A new HAWK pedestrian hybrid beacon similar to this one on Torrey Pines Road near Princess Street is to be installed at 2552 Torrey Pines. The lights above the crosswalk flash red and cars are required to stop when a pedestrian activates the signal.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

A new pedestrian hybrid beacon for Torrey Pines Road won unanimous approval from the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board at its June 17 meeting.

The new crossing mechanism planned for 2552 Torrey Pines, called a high-intensity activated crosswalk beacon, or HAWK, will replace a blinking pedestrian crossing installed in 2018. A timeline was not stated.

Similar to the HAWK recently installed on Torrey Pines near Princess Street, the new beacon will feature overhead traffic signals activated by pedestrians wishing to cross the road at the La Jolla Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, stopping cars for safe crossing.

“The city wants to put in a controlled pedestrian hybrid beacon because there really isn’t a safe way to cross the street,” T&T Chairman Dave Abrams said, citing complaints to himself and the city of San Diego about a lack of safety when using the closest existing crosswalk, located around a curve at the bottom of a hill often subject to speeding drivers.

Other T&T news

This is the planned route for the La Jolla Christmas Parade, scheduled for Dec. 6.
(Courtesy)

• La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival: Event chairwoman Ann Kerr Bache told the T&T Board that the 63rd annual parade and festival are slated for Sunday, Dec. 6. She said the event committee has filed for a special-events permit, “as we always do,” noting that the city normally issues permits the month of an event.

A representative of the city special-events team told the Light that the team is hoping a parade will be feasible in December, depending on county health guidelines.

Kerr Bache said “the parade lends itself to social distancing” and that there may be special guidance ahead of the event.

The festival portion has been moved from the Recreation Center to Wall Street, and the committee plans to “close off Wall Street from Girard [Avenue] to the alley,” along with the usual temporary closures along the parade route.

The T&T Board voted unanimously to approve the planned street closures.

Parking spaces: Abrams said the city plans to convert the four white-curbed loading zone spaces at 7863 Girard Ave. to green-curbed, short-term 30-minute parking between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily, except Sundays and holidays.

The spaces near the corner of Girard and Wall Street, which Abrams said “have been very problematic,” would remain three-minute passenger loading spaces from 4 to 10 p.m. daily, according to an email from city senior traffic engineer Gary Pence that Abrams read to the board.

The La Plaza shopping center valet parking program that currently operates Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays “will be allowed from 4 to 10 p.m. daily at the discretion of the La Plaza management and conditioned upon city approval of their pending valet permit renewal application,” according to the email from Pence.

Abrams said the city will post new signs at the designated parking spaces to reflect the changes.

He said the plan is now “pending ... implementation and completion within the next couple of months.”

Steve Hadley, representing the office of City Council member Barbara Bry, whose district includes La Jolla, said he would check with the city to see if the timeline can be moved up.

The Traffic & Transportation Board next meets at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 15. To learn more, email manana@san.rr.com.