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La Jolla traffic board approves proposal for Mount Soledad roundabout

Intersection of La Jolla Scenic Drive South, Via Capri and Soledad Park Road
The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board approved a proposal for a roundabout at this intersection of La Jolla Scenic Drive South, Via Capri and Soledad Park Road.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board approved a proposal for a roundabout near the Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial after resident Serge Issakov said traffic conditions at the intersection of La Jolla Scenic Drive South, Via Capri and Soledad Park Road are “pretty sketchy.”

The proposed roundabout at the intersection would eliminate the “problematic situation” that arises when drivers or bicyclists try to turn left from Via Capri onto Soledad Park Road, due to “all the cars coming from La Jolla Scenic flying around that curve,” Issakov said at the board’s May 19 meeting.

Intersection of La Jolla Scenic Drive South, Via Capri and Soledad Park Road
Resident Serge Issakov says traffic conditions at the intersection of La Jolla Scenic Drive South, Via Capri and Soledad Park Road are “pretty sketchy.”
(Bing Maps / La Jolla Light)

He also said vehicles leaving Soledad Park and trying to continue straight onto La Jolla Scenic Drive South “have to wait for the two [traffic] streams to both have a gap to get across there.”

A roundabout would easily solve the problem, Issakov said, with the added benefit of slowing the “unnaturally fast speeds coming around that curve.”

T&T Board Chairman Dave Abrams called the roundabout “a great idea,” saying the intersection is “a hairy place to be. … I think it’ll enhance a smooth traffic flow.”

Abrams said he ran the idea past San Diego city traffic engineers, who “determined it was something that made sense.”

However, he said, the city added the roundabout to its “unfunded needs list. … They liked the idea; they just don’t have the money for it.”

Abrams said T&T approval would “add some gravitas to the whole thing [and] enhance the funding priority when the time comes.”

The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board voted unanimously to approve a request to vacate a portion of Cuvier Street as part of a plan to renovate the La Jolla Recreation Center.

La Jolla Boulevard pedestrian safety subcommittee

T&T also unanimously approved the final draft of a letter to the city asking for improvements along La Jolla Boulevard to increase pedestrian safety.

The letter, drafted by a subcommittee led by La Jollan Ira Parker, asks the city for several things, including a comprehensive speed zone survey along La Jolla Boulevard; enforcement of laws pertaining to vehicle movement, including scooters and bicycles; installation of lanes for bicycles and scooters; an increase in signs promoting pedestrian safety; repainting crosswalks; and installation of roundabouts at various intersections.

The letter follows months of work by the subcommittee to identify pedestrian safety problems and cull ideas from resident workshops. It asks the city for a “comprehensive plan” in collaboration with T&T, Parker said.

“This is a very good starting point” for the city, T&T Board member Brian Earley said.

La Jolla Shores traffic review

The board agreed to form a subcommittee to review traffic conditions between La Jolla Shores Drive and the beach, following a request by La Jolla Shores Association President Janie Emerson and other Shores residents.

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.”

“The issues are twofold,” Emerson said. “One is flow of traffic and keeping it going. The other is speed of traffic.”

Often, she said, drivers “barrel through” certain streets where “there’s not enough room when there’s parking on both sides.”

In other places, “we have stop lights and stop signs, and that impedes the flow of traffic and creates a tremendous amount of pollution for the people who live on the corners,” Emerson said.

Emerson said many suggestions for improvements have been made, including reducing speed limits, switching some roads to one way and adding speed bumps and roundabouts. But she added that roundabouts might negatively impact traffic coming from Torrey Pines Road.

Shores resident Michael McCormack asked T&T to consider “out of the box” solutions since “usage has gotten higher” on the streets, with cars, scooters, bicycles and pedestrians all sharing the space.

“Every time I ride my bike or I walk, it’s uncomfortable because a car is going 25 mph, [which] is too fast [for] 30-foot-wide streets with parking on both sides,” he said.

“The Shores is a disaster because it’s such a compact area,” resident Mary Coakley Munk said. “It’s reached the point beyond emergency.”

Emerson asked that Traffic & Transportation “take a look at this whole concept from a traffic standpoint.”

Abrams said “this is a tough one because there’s little consensus as to what should be done or could be done.”

A subcommittee tasked with coming up with specific recommendations might net “more immediate actions and real solutions,” he said.

Emerson and Abrams agreed that the subcommittee, composed of members of T&T and LJSA, will meet and report its findings at a future T&T meeting. ◆