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Traffic board discusses long-range Village Visioning plan for La Jolla

A rendering from a master plan for La Jolla shows trees on each street in The Village.
(Courtesy of Trace Wilson)

The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board was the latest community group to hear the La Jolla Village Visioning Committee’s proposal for a master plan for La Jolla’s streetscape.

The plan, which garnered approval in concept from the La Jolla Village Merchants and La Jolla Shores associations earlier this month, seeks to beautify and unify designs throughout La Jolla.

Village Visioning Committee member Trace Wilson, a La Jolla architect, presented the plan as a discussion item during the T&T Board’s virtual meeting March 16.

“The idea is to really take all of La Jolla as a master plan and bring all these incremental ideas for traffic and transportation and beautification and bring it into essentially one document that we can plan into the future,” Wilson said.

He added that the plan would cover the next 20 to 30 years.

La Jolla Community Planning Association President and Visioning Committee member Diane Kane said the plan is being assembled by a team “of very skilled volunteers who’ve been meeting almost weekly for the last year and a half.”

Wilson said the master plan includes “smart and non-trendy streetscape improvements throughout La Jolla,” involving medians, crosswalks, midblock crossings and traffic-calming devices.

La Jolla is underdeveloped, he said. “We have a lot of vacant parking lots, and as we look into the macro future of shared transportation and multimodal opportunities, the need for a better mix of housing in The Village … is very important.”

The plan would give streets in The Village their own identity and character, which would help in finding one’s way around, Wilson said.

The plan currently is conceptual and includes renderings for The Village, Windansea, Bird Rock, Nautilus Street through Muirlands and more.

Kane said the plan will return to the various local planning groups as “we get into the nitty-gritties.”

Wilson said the next steps are to look at funding sources. He said he thinks money should come both from private donations and public infrastructure funds.

Citing dangers to drivers along Via Capri, La Jolla resident Sven Zabka presented several ideas for improving the street to the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board during its March 16 meeting online.

Other T&T news

The La Jolla Christmas Parade route is in yellow. The red areas indicate additional closures for parade setup.
The La Jolla Christmas Parade route (in yellow) will be unchanged for 2022. The red areas indicate additional closures for parade setup.
(Courtesy of La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival)

La Jolla Christmas Parade: The board unanimously approved plans for street closures and no-parking zones for the 66th annual La Jolla Christmas Parade, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4.

Parade president Ann Kerr Bache said the event, themed “Grand Ole Christmas” and celebrating the history of La Jolla and its long-standing businesses and institutions such as Warwick’s bookstore and the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, will include its usual Holiday Festival before the parade from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The parade route — unchanged from previous years — will travel on Girard Avenue, turn left on Prospect Street and finish outside the La Jolla Recreation Center.

Parking spaces and streets along the route will be blocked starting at 8 a.m. the day of the parade, Kerr Bache said. The route will be cleared by 4 p.m.

A few other streets will be blocked for parade setup, event volunteer Rick Dagon said.

Baraat: The board voted unanimously to delay a decision on street closures and no-parking zones for a baraat, a celebratory procession held before an Indian wedding ceremony.

The board deferred its decision to its next meeting on Wednesday, April 20. The wedding in question is scheduled for Saturday, June 25.

During a baraat, the groom rides a horse surrounded by his family members before being welcomed by the bride’s family at the wedding location.

Event planner Meenakshi Jain asked the board to approve the closure of Coast Boulevard between Prospect Street and just west of Girard Avenue from 9 to about 11 a.m. The wedding will be at the La Jolla Cove Hotel & Suites.

Board member Tom Brady said Jain needed to obtain more information, including how many police officers would be needed to help direct traffic.

Board members also agreed to take up a larger discussion of private events like these that involve a road closure during busy months. In February, T&T approved a road closure for a baraat on Memorial Day.

Several T&T members and residents raised concerns about the impact of such closures on traffic and parking in La Jolla during the summer, with some advocating a framework or policy for street closures parallel with the local summer construction moratorium. ◆