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Creating a smoother ride in our community

By Council President Scott Peters

Of the many public projects in La Jolla and University City last year, one of the ones of which I am most proud is the repaving of Torrey Pines Road. Given how much work has been done to reduce sewer spills, improve traffic congestion at the Throat, make Bird Rock more pedestrian-friendly, build and renovate libraries in La Jolla and University City and turf fields around the community, you might wonder why it is so difficult to get help with something so simple as repaving roads. Perhaps it is because in other communities, La Jolla is thought of as having streets paved with gold. As we all know, that is just not true.

Although the paving of a road may seem like a minor accomplishment to some, for those who drive that stretch of Torrey Pines each day, it was welcome relief after years of bumpy rides. That particular road was one of the worst roads in all of San Diego, as measured by the City’s pavement management system, which stores and analyzes historical conditions and use patterns, along with frequency and type of repair, to determine the best method to preserve and repair roads around the City. This new system allows us to target the busiest roads most in need of repair, and improve them in a timely way.

In addition to a stepped-up paving management system, for the past three years, the City Council has dramatically increased the amount of money set aside for road resurfacing. This service provided by the city may be the one which affects your daily life the most. You may not ever swim in a public pool, but almost each and every day you traverse the streets and roads crisscrossing our community. Keeping them well-maintained is one of the ways we at the City can demonstrate our commitment to you.

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This year, more than $27 million will be spent to fix some of the city’s worst roads, a 33% increase over last year. Many roads in La Jolla and University City are scheduled for resurfacing, including more than 9000 feet of Gilman Drive between Interstate 5 and the entrance to UCSD. Crews will apply an asphalt overlay to this busy road, which will protect and extend the life of the road for 15-20 years. Given the extra costs associated with this kind of resurfacing, it is reserved for the busiest roads in the city, as measured by use patterns. La Jolla Shores Drive will also receive an asphalt overlay between Azul Street and Scripps Aquarium.

For roads with a need for moderate repair, the city provides an application of rubberized slurry seal, a mixture of sand, emulsion and recycled tires that preserves and extends the life of sound asphalt roads. Recycled tires not only provide a darker, more resilient finish, they also benefit the environment.

Roads scheduled for slurry seal this year include Cliffridge Avenue, La Jolla Shores Drive near La Jolla Farms, Nottingham Place, Sugarman Court and Sugarman Way. As you have seen recently, rainy weather is hard on local roads, which is why crews perform this work once the rainy season is over. Look for road crews in these neighborhoods later this year.

To report a road repair need, dial 619-527-7500 or use the online service request system on the City’s website, www.sandiego.gov. You can call my office directly as well, at 619-236-6611.

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First District Council Member Scott Peters is San Diego City Council President.