Bird Rock council looks to improve lighting on La Jolla Boulevard

The Bird Rock Community Council is embarking on a project to improve lighting on La Jolla Boulevard.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

In the latest of its safety- and aesthetics-related projects along La Jolla Boulevard, the Bird Rock Community Council is looking to boost the lighting on the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare.

BRCC President Joe Terry said at the council’s June 6 meeting that the board is working on a plan that includes improving the streetlights, installing new light fixtures and adding decorative lighting.

“The project will improve nighttime safety and the identity of Bird Rock,” Terry said. “If you go down La Jolla Boulevard now, there are some places that are well-lit and others are quite dark. It’s not very inviting.”

Thus, BRCC is working with various city of San Diego departments and the office of City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, to determine the types of lighting the city will allow in the public right of way. Once the board has more information, Terry said, it will get cost estimates for permissible alternatives, collect community input on those options and initiate fundraising.

Some blocks of La Jolla Boulevard have few or no streetlights installed by the city of San Diego.
Some blocks of La Jolla Boulevard have few or no streetlights installed by the city of San Diego and are illuminated at night by local businesses and lights on the medians.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Last year, residents in neighborhoods from La Jolla Shores to Bird Rock reported streetlight outages to the city in hopes of repairs, often with little or no response.

LaCava, who lives in Bird Rock, told the La Jolla Light at the time that on the block where he lives, four streetlights went dark in 2021.

“I filed a Get It Done report [on the city’s service request app], as did my neighbors,” he said. “When the lights came back on, we rejoiced, but we soon noticed that only three lights came back on; the one in front of my house did not. Then ... another one went dark.”

He said lights go out because of “a variety of factors,” including burned-out bulbs and faulty wiring.

Wiring problems are tough to troubleshoot, he said.

“In La Jolla, the wiring is very old and it becomes trickier to solve that,” LaCava said. “The city’s first reaction is to replace the bulb. But if the problem is not the bulb, they don’t go back to double-check. It’s incumbent on the resident to refile a Get It Done report.”

Pedestrian crossings

The Bird Rock Community Council requested money to help replace pedestrian crossing signals on La Jolla Boulevard.
The Bird Rock Community Council requested money to help replace outdated or malfunctioning pedestrian crossing signals on La Jolla Boulevard.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

BRCC board members provided updates June 6 on other safety and aesthetic projects underway for La Jolla Boulevard.

The board is waiting to hear from the office of state Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner (D-Encinitas) about a $50,000 budget request to repair or replace pedestrian-activated crossing signals that are more than 15 years old. The signals have flashing lights that when activated indicate a pedestrian would like to cross.

Terry said some lights “are flashing for no reason, only work intermittently and/or flashers are not visible or fail to work when someone pushes the button.”

He said the board is looking at new self-activated signals that “address the problem of the pedestrian forgetting to push the button” and is coordinating with various city departments to determine whether that is permitted.

Terry asked that local volunteers continue to check the signals and report any problems on the Get It Done app or to

Neighborhood signs

The board has made “an important step” toward installing new neighborhood signs on La Jolla Boulevard roundabouts that bookend the business district, Terry said.

A city traffic engineer has provided size and height measurements that would be allowed for the proposed sculptures of pelicans on boulders, as presented by La Jolla architect Trace Wilson. The sculptures possibly would include the words “Bird Rock.”

With the measurement information, Wilson can proceed with design options to present for community review.

Terry said San Diego representatives expressed concern about possible vandalism of the sculptures, which may be addressed in the designs.

Adopt a beach

The board also is applying to “adopt” a beach near Linda Way and Sea Ridge Drive.

Adoption involves conducting three organized cleanups per year, itemizing trash and reporting volunteer efforts to the nonprofit I Love A Clean San Diego.

A yet-to-be-determined BRCC board member will organize the cleanup events once the application has been approved by I Love A Clean San Diego.

Board member Barbara Dunbar said the first cleanup likely will be held in midsummer, though a date has not been decided.

Next meeting: BRCC’s next monthly meeting will be a week later than normal because of the Fourth of July holiday and will be in person on Tuesday, July 11, at a site to be determined. There will be limited Zoom access. Details will be available at ◆