La Jolla Shores Association looks to traffic board for ideas to help ease ‘danger’ on some streets

The La Jolla Shores Association discusses traffic conditions between La Jolla Shores Drive and the beach.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

The La Jolla Shores Association voted May 12 to ask the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board for suggestions to improve what Shores resident Michael McCormack called “a real danger zone.”

McCormack said the streets between La Jolla Shores Drive and the ocean are not only full of cars but also scooters, pedestrians and bicyclists. “Usage is skyrocketing,” he said, with speeding cars creating hazards for all users.

He said The Shores should “implement a different yield paradigm,” with clear signage instructing car drivers to yield to “anything on wheels and pedestrians,” and for anything on wheels — bikes, scooters, etc. — to yield to pedestrians.

“That would change the entire dynamic in the streets,” McCormack said.

He also said reducing the speed limit on those streets to 10 mph would improve traffic conditions and encourage people to use the streets “and not feel threatened by cars.”

LJSA President Janie Emerson said an idea being revisited is changing certain streets near the beach to one way, which was previously dismissed, as opponents felt it would encourage speeding.

It also would reduce parking spaces, Emerson said, which goes against California Coastal Commission rules about free parking availability in beach zones.

During board discussion, some advocated for speed bumps or traffic signals to be placed on the streets, while board member Phil Wise said, “This is a neighborhood with a lot of people … it’s going to be very difficult to change” driving conditions.

Emerson suggested the board “send this as an issue to Traffic & Transportation and ask them to research it and come back with ideas as to how to solve the problem.”

Other LJSA news

Torrey Pines Gliderport: Area resident Bob Kuczewski asked LJSA to write a letter to the city of San Diego asking for changes to address land owned by the city but leased to a private company.

He proposed that LJSA’s letter include requests to reactivate a city advisory board for the Torrey Pines Gliderport, institute a flight waiver program, remove private membership and insurance requirements and remove fees charged to the public.

The requests stem from “continual abuses of the public’s rights” at the Gliderport, Kuczewski said.

LJSA board member Mary Coakley Munk said: “I think we need to know more. This is a very detailed issue.”

Trustee Dede Donovan said she would like to “hear the other side; there’s always two sides to every story.”

John Shannon said he also would like more information and to hear from “the other side.”

The association agreed to form a subcommittee to look into the issue and return at the next meeting with details before deciding whether to send a letter.

Lifeguard report: Lt. Lonnie Stephens of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said La Jolla Shores lifeguards are noticing an increase in water activity and beach usage, resulting in an uptick in rescue counts.

About 225,000 people visited The Shores’ beaches in April, Stephens said, with lifeguards performing 5,100 preventive actions, or “warnings that we make to people out in the water.”

Sixty-one water rescues were made at The Shores in April, along with 14 cliff rescues and 40 medical aids.

The department is looking at posting more signs in “strategic areas,” Stephens said.

“Always swim near a lifeguard,” he said. “Please check in with your lifeguards when you come to the beach and we’ll let you know where those safe areas are.”

Next meeting: The La Jolla Shores Association next meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, online or at a location to be determined. To learn more, visit ◆