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Pedestrian walkway near Hillel Center construction site is restored, forgoing barrier

A pedestrian walkway to La Jolla Village Drive and Torrey Pines Road from La Jolla Scenic Drive North has been restored.
Pedestrian access to the intersection of La Jolla Village Drive and Torrey Pines Road from the northwest end of La Jolla Scenic Drive North has been restored, with new asphalt paving.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

A pedestrian walkway from the northwest (cul-de-sac) end of La Jolla Scenic Drive North to the intersection of Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Village Drive reopened Aug. 5 after a plan was shelved to provide access protected by a K-rail barrier a block away.

The walkway also has been partially repaved in asphalt.

The K-rail barrier was to be installed to help improve pedestrian safety on the east side of the construction site of the Beverly and Joseph Glickman Hillel Center after weeks of requests by La Jolla residents and San Diego city officials.

A K-rail barrier is to be installed to help improve pedestrian safety near the construction site of the Beverly and Joseph Glickman Hillel Center after weeks of requests by La Jolla residents and San Diego city officials, though no date had been announced as of Aug. 1.

The barrier was a compromise after the original pedestrian walkway was closed in June for the construction. The walkway is considered the most expedient way for people in that area to get to the UC San Diego campus on foot.

Reopening the walkway is a safer and easier solution than the K-rail, according to San Diego spokesman Scott Robinson.

The barrier would have been placed along the east side of the construction site between La Jolla Scenic Drive North and La Jolla Village Drive until the original access route was restored.

The closure of the narrow walkway raised concerns among several residents who expressed their worries to the office of City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla.

This area is where construction of the Hillel Center closed a walkway from the northwest end of La Jolla Scenic Drive North.
This area is where construction of the Beverly and Joseph Glickman Hillel Center caused the closure of a walkway to the intersection of Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Village Drive from the northwest end of La Jolla Scenic Drive North. The walkway has been restored.
(Bing Maps and La Jolla Light)

Their emails, obtained by the La Jolla Light, began in mid-June, just after the walkway was closed (construction began in September but contractors waited until UCSD’s spring session was finished in June to close the path). A sign indicated the walkway would be closed through Oct. 21.

“This walkway is essential to the La Jolla Shores Heights neighborhood for easy and safe access to the southwest entrance to the UCSD campus by foot or bike. … [The closure] is very inconvenient and dangerous,” Kris Colvin wrote in a letter to the editor published by the Light.

Rob Bookstein, who lives near the construction site, said he doesn’t oppose the Hillel project but said the closure of the accessway endangered pedestrian safety, as detours to La Jolla Scenic Drive North meant people would have to walk along the street unprotected from cars.

A pedestrian detour around the construction — south on Cliffridge Avenue to Glenbrook Way and then north on Torrey Pines Road — adds significant length to one’s route, Bookstein said. ◆