La Jolla traffic board hears request for ‘critical’ temporary no-parking zone in Windansea

The La Jolla traffic board heard a request for a temporary no-parking zone on the east side (left) of Neptune Place.
The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board heard a request for a temporary no-parking zone on the east side (left) of Neptune Place until a collapsed bluff and storm drain on the other side are repaired.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Resident says a storm drain failure on Neptune Place is causing a pedestrian danger worsened by street parking making the road narrower for traffic.


The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board heard a request this week for a temporary no-parking zone near Windansea Beach but took no action and will revisit the issue in June.

Suzanne Baracchini of the Preserve Windansea Beach Association asked the board May 16 to back a temporary no-parking zone on the east side of Neptune Place between Westbourne and Nautilus streets, citing safety issues from pedestrians having to walk onto the street to get around a cordoned-off section of the bluff above the beach that awaits repair of a faulty storm drain.

The issue was listed on the board’s meeting agenda as an action item, but not enough members were present for a quorum, so it could not take a vote. The item will reappear on next month’s agenda.

A no-parking zone would need to be implemented by the city of San Diego.

According to a city notice reissued earlier May 16, the repair project requires an emergency coastal development permit to replace two stormwater inlets, 39 feet of 18-inch storm drain pipe, 30 feet of curb and gutter and 15 feet of wooden bluff fence, put in a new 20-foot-long, 6-foot-tall concrete retaining wall, backfill bluff and slope erosion and fix the sidewalk.

Last month, work was estimated to begin after Labor Day in September upon the end of the summer coastal construction moratorium. However, San Diego spokesman Tyler Becker said May 18 that the project “is still in the design phase” and “no final schedule has been confirmed.”

The storm drain failure has caused the sidewalk to collapse, impacting public access to Neptune Place, said Baracchini, who also is a board member of the La Jolla Community Planning Association.

Though the street is open for two-way traffic, the parking allowed on the east side of the block “essentially makes that road a one-lane road,” she said.

With the barricade around the collapsed bluff, “people have to walk into oncoming traffic to go from one section of the sidewalk to the other,” Baracchini said.

“Until this bluff is fixed, there should be no parking there,” she said.

She added that it might be OK to allow parking at certain times, like early morning, when Windansea is less crowded than it is at sunset.

T&T Chairman Brian Earley and Vice Chairman Dave Abrams agreed that something should be done.

“It’s pretty critical that we get the word out that [the no-parking zone] is needed,” Earley said. He estimated a 12-month no-parking period, as the drain repairs might begin in roughly three months and last nine months.

“There’s a current hazardous situation that’s ongoing … and should be addressed,” Abrams said.

Other T&T news

Nautilus Street medians: La Jolla urbanist and architect Trace Wilson led a second discussion — following one last month — of his proposal to improve the condition of the medians along Nautilus Street between Fay Avenue and West Muirlands Drive.

There are seven medians along that stretch of Nautilus, built in 1955 with asphalt, Wilson said. “They haven’t been improved since.”

A rendering of local architect Trace Wilson's proposed improvements to medians on Nautilus Street (right).
A rendering of local architect Trace Wilson’s proposed improvements to medians on Nautilus Street (right) is shown alongside his photo of current conditions.
(Trace Wilson)

The medians are overgrown with weeds, and Wilson aims to beautify them by replacing the asphalt with a combination of coral aloe plants and large cobblestones treated for weed prevention.

The medians would then require very low maintenance or water, he said. “This is a low-hanging-fruit initiative. … It’s time to improve these existing assets.”

Wilson said he has met with a commercial landscape contractor and has come up with a rough initial estimate of $75,000 for the seven medians.

“We should do them all at once because there’s a lot of traffic control to do,” Wilson said. He added that he believes it would be a two- to four-week effort.

Wilson said he has spoken to many neighboring homeowners about funding for the project and has received $10,000 from an anonymous donor.

He hopes more people who live near and use that portion of Nautilus will contribute. For more information, email

The median proposal will return at the next T&T meeting for a possible vote.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board next meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, at the La Jolla/Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave. Email ◆