Bird Rock board seeks $50,000 to replace pedestrian-activated crossings on La Jolla Boulevard

The Bird Rock Community Council requested $50,000 in state funding to help replace pedestrian crossing signals.
The Bird Rock Community Council requested $50,000 in state funding to help replace outdated or malfunctioning pedestrian crossing signals on La Jolla Boulevard.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

To help replace malfunctioning pedestrian crossing signals along La Jolla Boulevard, the Bird Rock Community Council has made a $50,000 budget request to the office of state Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner.

The existing signals — which have flashing lights that when activated indicate a pedestrian would like to cross — are more than 15 years old, “are in constant need of repair and are much less effective in getting the attention of drivers on La Jolla Boulevard than modern signals would be,” said Community Council President Joe Terry.

For the record:

11:13 a.m. May 5, 2023This article was updated to correct the type of funding request made by the Bird Rock Community Council.

Therefore, “new, highly visible signals ... would make La Jolla Boulevard safer for pedestrians,” Terry said. “That would help Bird Rock remain a walkable community; benefit the merchants along La Jolla Boulevard, which would enhance economic development and benefit the Bird Rock community as a whole; and support [San Diego’s] Climate Action Plan by decreasing the use of automobiles in Bird Rock.”

The funding request has been submitted, but it’s unclear when the BRCC will receive a response from Boerner (formerly Boerner Horvath, who dropped the second half of her last name following her divorce). Boerner’s field representative Mariah Kallhoff said the office intends to “have a better idea” by Monday, May 15.

“The funds will be in everyone’s pockets by March of 2024,” Kallhoff told the board during its May 2 meeting. “Once I know who is getting what money, I will let everyone know.”

In the meantime, Terry said the board is looking for volunteers to check the signals frequently and report any lights “that are flashing for no reason, only work intermittently and/or flashers are not visible or fail to work when someone pushes the button.”

Such malfunctions can be reported to the city of San Diego via the Get It Done app and to the BRCC at

Other Bird Rock news

Neighborhood signs: A plan to create neighborhood signs or sculptures to bookend the Bird Rock commercial district is “moving ahead,” Terry said, with board representatives meeting recently with local architect and urbanist Trace Wilson to nail down designs for the community to review. The sculptures would be installed in roundabouts along La Jolla Boulevard.

BRCC Vice President Joe Parker met with Wilson and requested three design options: rocks with pelicans on top; rocks with a pelican logo incorporated into the sign; and rocks with pelicans separate. Parker said the team needs to confirm the maximum height and size of the signs that the city would allow.

“Once we have the drawings, we will set up a community meeting to … decide which design they prefer and start the permit process,” Terry said.

MAD report: The May 2 meeting doubled as an annual review of the Bird Rock Maintenance Assessment District.

MAD representative Barbara Dunbar said San Diego recently inspected the MAD area and its care “with emphasis on trees, tree wells, public right of ways, potential trip hazards … irrigation, landscaping maintenance and pest management.”

After the inspection, “it was determined that major tree shaping and higher canopy pruning should take place in late fall” but that regular, lesser tree trimming will be done in the interim, Dunbar said.

Coastal overlook: Bird Rock resident and BRCC volunteer Don Schmidt said the BRCC’s Coastal Overlooks subcommittee is looking to replace a bench at the Forward Street overlook.

“There is $1,700 in private funds … so we are going to work with the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board and the city of San Diego … to make sure we can take the bench away and replace it with the right bench,” Schmidt said. “We’re going to get the ball rolling on that.”

Next meeting: The Bird Rock Community Council next meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, at Bird Rock Elementary School, 5371 La Jolla Hermosa Ave. Learn more at ◆