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Shores group asks for action on new crosswalk striping, pedestrian beacons, roundabout study at intersection

The La Jolla Shores Association acted July 14 to ask the city of San Diego to improve traffic conditions in The Shores.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

LJSA board also voices objections to two state housing bills.

The La Jolla Shores Association board voted unanimously to request that the city of San Diego move forward with new crosswalk striping and pedestrian beacons at the intersection of Vallecitos and La Jolla Shores Drive.

The motion, made at the association’s July 14 meeting online, also included a request for a formal study of a roundabout at that intersection as a possible longer-term solution to concerns about reckless driving and congestion in The Shores between La Jolla Shores Drive and the ocean.

The intersection of Vallecitos and La Jolla Shores Drive
The La Jolla Shores Association wants new crosswalk striping, pedestrian beacons and a formal study of a roundabout at the intersection of Vallecitos and La Jolla Shores Drive.
(Bing Maps / La Jolla Light)

At a special meeting June 18, LJSA voted unanimously to ask the city for new crosswalk striping and beacons at a few intersections in The Shores after a traffic accident at La Jolla Shores Drive and Vallecitos in which two children and their mother suffered minor injuries when they were hit by a vehicle while crossing the street.

The La Jolla Shores Association voted unanimously to ask the city of San Diego to install crosswalks with flashing beacons and pedestrian striping and signage at various intersections throughout the coastal portion of The Shores at a special LJSA meeting June 18.

In the weeks after the special meeting, Shores resident Susan Wiczynski, LJSA President Janie Emerson, city traffic engineer Gary Pence and Steve Hadley, representing San Diego City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, met to discuss the viability of the June requests, Wiczynski said.

“We learned [the requests are] possible” at Vallecitos and La Jolla Shores Drive, Wiczynski said.

“There would have to be a new streetlight installed,” she said, “and there would have to be some sidewalk connections made between the existing sidewalks.”

Emerson asked for a motion to limit the request for crosswalk striping and a study of roundabouts to Vallecitos/La Jolla Shores Drive, as the city indicated a longer list of intersections could be less likely to receive action.

Housing bills

The LJSA board also voted unanimously to communicate to LaCava its objections to two state housing bills and encourage Shores residents to oppose the bills to state legislators following a presentation from La Jolla Community Planning Association President Diane Kane.

The association previously wrote a letter opposing Senate Bill 9, written by state Sen. Toni Atkins, a Democrat who represents the 39th District, which includes La Jolla. The bill would streamline the process for a homeowner to create a duplex or subdivide an existing lot in a residential area.

The bill is expected to be voted on by the Legislature in the weeks after the summer recess, along with Senate Bill 10, which Atkins co-wrote with state Sen. Scott Weiner, a Democrat who represents the 11th District, which includes San Francisco.

SB 10 would enable cities to upzone areas close to job centers, transit and existing urbanized areas to allow up to 10 units on a property without having to go through the lengthy California Environmental Quality Act review process.

Supporters of the bills say they would create more opportunities for much-needed housing in California.

The Bird Rock Community Council heard warnings about the possible repercussions of two state Senate housing bills during its July 6 meeting, with those opposed possibly more concerned with what is not in the bills than what is.

At the LJSA meeting, Kane said SB 9 “works with splitting single-family lots into two parcels and allowing those to be developed into additional duplexes and with accessory dwelling units. They are also eliminating the requirement for parking and getting requirements on owner occupancy.”

Kane said SB 9 raises “a great deal of concern that this would just be a giveaway to developers who could buy lots and single-family areas, split them and redevelop them at much greater densities.”

SB 10 “can upzone any parcel in the single-family zone ... if you were in a transit-rich area,” Kane said, adding that parts of La Jolla are within a half-mile of bus line 30 and considered transit-rich.

She said the bills currently would not be in effect in the coastal zone, as the California Coastal Commission would have to approve amendments to the building codes there.

LJCPA “was quite concerned about this,” Kane said, and wrote a letter to the City Council voicing its objections.

Hadley said LaCava “obviously wants to address the housing shortage that we’ve got but is now kind of monitoring [these bills] and is aware of some of the extremes that it can go to and has obviously tried to address that.”

Hadley said he is not “aware of anything locally in the City Council discussion that’s going to address some of what Diane is pointing out.”

Emerson said “the actions that we can take here is … to put on our website a way for people to get on some of these petitions and letter-writing drives to send their opinions to Sacramento.”

“The second part of the action is … to meet with the City Council member and discuss our displeasure ... and how to remedy it for our local area,” she said.

LJSA board member Andi Andreae voiced objections to the housing bills. “I think we should speak loud and clear that we’re opposed to this,” Andreae said.

The La Jolla Shores Association next meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11. For more information, visit lajollashoresassociation.org.