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Bird Rock Coastal Overlooks Committee eyes Calumet Park improvements

The Bird Rock Community Council's Coastal Overlooks Committee wants improvements at Calumet Park.
The Bird Rock Community Council’s Coastal Overlooks Committee wants improvements at Calumet Park, such as trimming overgrown vegetation.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The Community Council also hears a plea for a new stop sign on Colima Street.

After chipping away at improvements at some of Bird Rock’s coastal overlooks, the Bird Rock Community Council’s Coastal Overlooks Committee is ready to take on its next challenge to spruce up Calumet Park.

The plan is to trim vegetation, replace boulders used to keep people away from the bluff and replace the benches at the cliffside park at 5435 Calumet Ave.

The Coastal Overlooks Committee formed three years ago and has made minor aesthetic changes to some of the overlooks and view areas, such as removing overgrown vegetation and improving the seating area at the Moss Lane overlook, member Mary Lynn Hyde told BRCC during its Oct. 5 meeting.

Now eyeing Calumet Park, Hyde said: “The vegetation is so overgrown that sidewalks are encroached on, hedges are so high you can’t see the view, others block the sight lines from the street, many boulders are missing, creating easy entry to the unstable bluff edge, and the benches are in disrepair. So there is a lot that needs to happen.”

She said she has spoken with San Diego Parks & Recreation Department representatives and “we have our fingers crossed that [landscaping] will happen soon. Unfortunately, the Bird Rock coastal parks are not the only ones with vegetation and maintenance issues — all the shoreline parks face similar issues. These pocket parks and scenic overlooks have seen a lot of use from the public, not just our local community.”

In addition, a fund has been established to collect donations to replace a bench at the Forward Street overlook. To make a tax-deductible donation, checks can be made payable to BRCC and mailed to Bird Rock Community Council, 5666 La Jolla Blvd., PMB 168, La Jolla, CA 92037. Note “Forward Street bench” in the memo.

La Jolla Hermosa Park also has been on the committee’s radar, though Steve Hadley, representing the office of City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, said the Parks & Recreation Department has indicated its crews would be stepping in to improve the park at 5780 Chelsea Ave.

“They would like to do some brush abatement and trimming in La Jolla Hermosa Park, rather than use volunteers,” Hadley said. “Since they are in charge of that, we’re not going to argue with them but will continue to push them to do the work themselves if that is the route they choose. … They don’t intend to drag their feet and do things slowly, but sometimes it works out that way.”

Hadley asked for local residents, specifically Hyde, to keep an eye on the park over the next month. “If nothing gets done, we’ll heckle them again,” he said.

Other Bird Rock news

New stop sign? In the interest of promoting social distancing at Bird Rock Elementary School, campus leadership is considering using an entrance it has not used in the past to welcome students at the start of the school day — and it would like an additional stop sign installed at the location to help make it safer for students crossing the street there.

Mike Littleton, representing the Bird Rock Foundation, which raises funds for BRES, said the school is looking to increase usage of the entrance at the intersection of Waverly Avenue and Colima Street. There is currently a stop sign facing Waverly, but not one on Colima, though there is a striped crosswalk across Colima.

“Several folks at the school are working on getting a stop sign there because there will be kids crossing the street,” Littleton said.

Bird Rock Elementary leaders would like an additional stop sign at the intersection of Waverly Avenue and Colima Street.
Bird Rock Elementary School leadership would like to see an additional stop sign at the intersection of Waverly Avenue and Colima Street.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Hadley offered to consult on whether to reach out to the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board and to be a liaison with traffic engineers.

He said traffic engineers would want to study the area to see if it warrants a stop sign. If they determine it doesn’t, the City Council can intervene. “There is a City Council policy [that allows the council], with the support of the community, to request a stop sign even when they do not meet traffic engineering warrants,” he said.

La Jolla architect and urban planner Trace Wilson suggested going to T&T and the La Jolla Community Planning Association to garner support to “try and make it happen.”

Seeking students of service: U.S. Rep. Scott Peters (D-La Jolla) is seeking students in his 52nd District interested in joining the military to nominate for one of the five U.S. service academies. Attending a service academy comes with a commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation. Among other requirements, candidates must be at least 17 but not have passed their 23rd birthday as of July 1 of the year of admission to an academy.

Nominations close Oct. 29. Learn more at scottpeters.house.gov/academynominations.

Next meeting: The Bird Rock Community Council next meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, online. The meeting will be immediately followed by BRCC’s annual Maintenance Assessment District review meeting. In December, the board typically has a holiday gathering in place of a meeting, but it isn’t sure how or whether that will occur this year. Learn more at birdrockcc.org. ◆