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La Jolla traffic board supports redesign concept for Camino de la Costa viewpoint

The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board supported a new design for the viewpoint at Camino de La Costa in La Jolla.
(Courtesy of Trace Wilson)

A concept to redesign the large space at the sharp bend in Camino de la Costa in the Lower Hermosa neighborhood got unanimous approval from the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board.

The design, brought to T&T’s July 20 virtual meeting by La Jolla architect Trace Wilson, who lives near the viewpoint, would address safety issues and upgrade the space, which is currently marked by painted lines indicating the curve in the road, along with a few parking spaces.

Residents’ concerns about speeding around the bend and nighttime gatherings of teenagers and young adults have persisted since last summer, when the T&T Board supported putting pylons — plastic reflective posts about 3 feet tall and affixed to the road — at the bend.

In May this year, Wilson told T&T Chairman Brian Earley and San Diego city traffic engineer Gary Pence that the gatherings can include up to 30 cars parked in the bend, often in red zones or on the striping in the widest part of the bend.

Some of the drivers perform “doughnuts” or other stunts there, and the next morning, trash and other detritus are left on the ground, Wilson said.

The current conditions at the Camino de la Costa viewpoint need a redesign, La Jolla architect Trace Wilson says.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Pence said during the May meeting at the viewpoint that he would look into adding the pylons to help. Earley said at the July 20 T&T meeting that there are no updates on the pylons’ installation.

Wilson said the speeding and parties continue and that about a dozen residents have shared photos, videos and text messages about noise and dangerous driving well past midnight several nights a week, as recently as July 19.

Wilson noted that California’s new $308 billion budget contains a $2 million allocation to repair the decrepit staircase that leads to the ocean from Camino de la Costa and he hopes his redesign for the viewpoint can coincide with the repairs using any funds left over.

The viewpoint currently does not have ramps and parking accessibility as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Wilson said “we want to make the state aware of that as they do these improvements.”

“If we have a plan, I would presume [state officials] would agree now is the time to upgrade [for] ADA while they’re down there spending that kind of money and work redoing the stairs,” he said.

Wilson’s design includes raised bulb-outs on either side of the viewpoint and a raised median in the center, with ADA access connecting the two sidewalks. He also designed one-way access to the viewpoint.

Currently there are five parking spots in the space, and Wilson’s plan would add three more, including two ADA spaces, making use of what he called “inefficient space on either side.”

He added that more parking spaces are important to the California Coastal Commission for coastal access.

“From a traffic-calming standpoint, [the design] creates an impediment that motorists must slow down when they see this. … It also doesn’t allow that kind of fishtailing action that the kids are doing,” Wilson said.

Earley called the design “a huge upgrade from what it is now.”

Steve Hadley, representing the office of City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, said LaCava has an Aug. 4 meeting scheduled with the city’s Engineering & Capital Projects Department “to ask specifically about next steps and when money is going to be available.”

Hadley said he would take the design concept to that meeting.

La Jolla traffic board also continues discussion of approval standards for street closures for private events in The Village.

Other T&T news

T&T officers: The board unanimously approved the slate of officers nominated at the June meeting. Continuing in their positions for another one-year term are Earley as chairman, Dave Abrams as vice chairman and Donna Aprea as secretary.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board next meets at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, online or at a location to be determined. To learn more, email bearley1@san.rr.com. ◆