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La Jolla’s Coast Walk Trail is on path for continued upgrades in 2022

Coast Walk Trail is continuing to undergo maintenance projects.
(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

After a year of changes, La Jolla’s Coast Walk Trail will continue to undergo maintenance projects in 2022.

Brenda Fake, president of Friends of Coast Walk Trail, updated the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board on the nonprofit’s recent efforts to rehabilitate the trail, which overlooks the marine reserve between Coast Walk and Goldfish Point.

She also laid out the group’s goals for 2022 at T&T’s virtual meeting Feb. 16.

Friends of Coast Walk Trail has worked with the La Jolla Parks & Beaches board and the city of San Diego to carry out improvement projects on the trail for 12 years, using about $200,000 in privately donated funds, Fake said.

La Jolla’s Coast Walk Trail is nominated for a nationwide award that honors “exceptional contributions toward the interpretation, appreciation and protection of vernacular buildings and cultural landscapes.”

In 2021, Friends of Coast Walk Trail repaired a fence and a view platform. “I don’t think people realized how [in] disrepair it was,” Fake said. “The whole thing almost went on the wrong side of the water when we were taking it down.”

The group also planted Torrey pine trees at Goldfish Point and replanted California golden poppies, repaired the walking bridge railings, installed new post-and-chain safety barriers next to the Coast Walk overlook, cleaned up dead vegetation and more.

Fake said last year also saw an increase in community engagement, with several La Jolla Eagle Scouts, high school students and other community members volunteering on many projects.

In 2022, Fake said, Friends of Coast Walk Trail will plant “a lot of native revegetation along the trail area” and remove invasive plants.

The group also will collaborate on three Eagle Scout projects to finish the fence repairs at Goldfish Point and will work on slope repairs and continue community outreach with students at The Bishop’s School and La Jolla High School.

Old signage will be replaced with new signs containing an updated logo and a QR code for a “History Hike,” which offers “a little history of the entire trail going back to the 1900s,” Fake said.

She said the trail’s popularity has grown along with other outdoor activities during the COVID-19 pandemic and as trail apps and social media posts described the trail’s accessibility and beauty.

The rising popularity, however, is “a double-edged sword,” Fake said. “We can love this thing to death if we don’t watch it.”

She said San Diego’s Parks & Recreation Department doesn’t oversee the trail; it’s technically under the purview of the Transportation Department, as it’s a “paper street,” meaning it exists as a street only on paper.

The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board meets Feb. 16 online.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

“There had been plans in the early 1900s to put a road along the cliff there,” Fake said, but the city realized it would not have been safe to do so.

Though no road materialized, it remains part of the Transportation Department. Fake said she understands that the department doesn’t have the money to maintain a trail when there are potholes and other road conditions to repair.

She said the city has been “extremely helpful in making sure that they remove roadblocks so we could do this work.”

Steve Hadley, representing the office of City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, said Fake’s organization “has provided an incredible model for the kind of public-private partnership that [LaCava] really believes the city is going to need to depend on in the future as … funds are even more strained.”

For more information, visit friendsofcoastwalk.org.

Other T&T news

Board opening: T&T Chairman Brian Earley said there is an empty seat on the board after member Cody Decker resigned. Decker, co-owner of Decker’s Dog + Cat, which has locations in La Jolla and Bay Park, said he is busy working to open a third store.

T&T is looking for a replacement board member in concert with La Jolla Village Merchants Association Executive Director Jodi Rudick, as Decker represented LJVMA on the T&T Board.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board next meets at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, online or at a location to be determined. To learn more, email bearley1@san.rr.com.