Traffic board seeks reflective posts on Lower Hermosa street and discusses project funding priorities

The La Jolla traffic board voted to seek "flexible delineators" at the areas on Camino de la Costa indicated by white dots.
The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board voted to request “flexible delineators” at the three areas on Camino de la Costa indicated by white dots in this photo illustration.
(Courtesy of Trace Wilson)

La Jolla’s Traffic & Transportation Board voted Aug. 18 to ask the city of San Diego to add “flexible delineators” — plastic reflective posts about 3 feet tall and affixed to the road — at certain points along Camino de la Costa in the Lower Hermosa neighborhood.

The motion was made after extensive discussion of potential traffic-calming measures, which area resident Trace Wilson contended are needed near the scenic overlook at the sharp bend on Camino de la Costa between Avenida Cresta and Avenida Cortez.

“Mostly kids are screaming around [in their cars] and fishtailing and losing control and crashing” in the road’s bend, Wilson said.

In September, Wilson supported the board’s discussion of another resident’s request for a roundabout at the intersection of Camino de la Costa, Vista de la Mesa and La Cañada Street. That request has not yet been pursued further.

Wilson said he has spoken with about a dozen neighbors about ideas for traffic calming and brought up addition of a small park at the bend and addition or adjustment of parking spaces. He said further actions might include fixing the viewpoint’s stairs and railing, which he said are badly deteriorated and corroded.

However, he said more immediate measures are needed. He added that he’s “been up 10 to 12 evenings over the last 14 days from 10 [p.m.] to 1 a.m., just sort of documenting what’s going on out there.”

La Jolla resident Catharine Douglass said flexible delineators would be a “very inexpensive, maybe quick intermediate fix to this.”

Once a temporary measure like delineators is in place, “we can think more about the perfect solution in terms of the long term,” Wilson said.

Steve Quinn, who also lives in the area, agreed that speeding, reckless drivers are a problem, and he commended Wilson for his ideas.

A motion to add flexible delineators just before and after the sharp bend, as well as along the existing striping at the bend ahead of the overlook parking, was approved, with board member Donna Aprea abstaining, saying the discussion was “too confusing.”

Board member Tom Brady suggested that Traffic & Transportation work with La Jolla Parks & Beaches at the groups’ next meetings on more permanent ideas for traffic calming that also would repair the overlook and beautify the area.

The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board meets Aug. 18 online.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Capital improvement projects

The T&T board also took up La Jolla Community Planning Association President Diane Kane’s request for a T&T list of projects proposed for city funding, which LJCPA would then review and prioritize.

The prioritization is necessary as “we only have so many dollars for so many contracts,” said Vicky Joes, chief of staff for City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla. “The prioritization from the community is incredibly important to have the council member go out there and fight for this.”

Kane said “we have to be fairly united as a community as to what we prioritize. If we can get our community together to decide what we want, I think we have another opportunity to get some of this stuff realized.”

The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board this week discussed the possibility of a traffic light at the intersection of Torrey Pines Road and Hillside Drive and decided to take up the issue further at its next meeting in October.

Board Chairman Brian Earley said a roundabout approved by T&T and LJCPA for the intersection of Via Capri, La Jolla Scenic Drive South and Soledad Park Road is “really important” and belongs on the capital improvement projects list.

He also said Wilson’s concept to improve Nautilus Street (which T&T endorsed in July) should be added, along with other beautification projects.

Joes said some streets in District 1 are included in Mayor Todd Gloria’s “Sexy Streets” initiative, which is intended to prioritize road repairs in historically underserved communities. She said she wasn’t sure which streets are on the list.

T&T board member Natalie Aguirre suggested repaving of La Jolla Parkway should be added to the priority list.

Vice Chairman Dave Abrams said: “I have some confusion about all this, because there’s going to be a distinction between maintenance and upkeep vs. new projects, which in my view is a capital improvement project.

“A new roundabout, that’s a capital improvement project; paving and striping, that’s maintenance.” ◆