Torrey Pines Road beautification project revived

A grass-roots drive has been reignited to get a long-term project to beautify and improve the Torrey Pines Road corridor between La Jolla Shores and the Village under way.

The community enhancement project was approved in concept by the City Council in November 2008. But funding for the multimillion-dollar project remains in doubt.

Nonetheless, Sherry Nooravi, a La Jolla newcomer who lives on Torrey Lane within the corridor, has taken over the reins to lead the infrastructure development in La Jolla from architect Robert Thiele, who previously headed the effort.

Calls for change

“The drum beats for action on the approved Torrey Pines Road Plan have been growing louder,” wrote Thiele, who helped lay much of the theoretical groundwork for the project in recent years, in an e-mail last week. “The neighbors on the hillside feel divided from neighbors in the Shores because they can’t cross Torrey Pines Road safely. Little Street Park is a mess. This entrance to La Jolla is an embarrassment.”

First District Councilwoman Sherri Lightner has called a community forum to discuss proposed improvements on June 17 at 6 p.m. at La Jolla Recreation Center.

Nooravi said she and her husband walk frequently in the area and were motivated to take action to improve road conditions in their neighborhood after discovering how much of a safety threat Torrey Pines Road really is.

Safety issues

“I couldn’t understand that I was living in La Jolla, walking distance from the Village and shops, and had no way to safely cross the street with cars speeding at 50 or 60 mph,” she said, adding that there are no complete sidewalks on either side of the road and no crossing signal.

The couple has taken to wearing brilliant-colored safety vests to draw attention to dangerous road conditions.

Nooravi has also started an e-mail drive to rekindle support for advancing the Torrey Pines Corridor project, and has beene promoting the project at community planning group meetings, including the June 4 La Jolla Community Planning Association meeting.

Thiele suggested forming a maintenance assessment district (MAD) - much like the one in Bird Rock used to maintain landscaping medians for traffic roundabouts - could be created to pay for and maintain infrastructure improvements.

Making a list

“It’s a matter of identifying priorities, what can and can’t be done,” he said.

Thiele said improving the Torrey Pines corridor will likely have to be done in pieces over a long stretch of time.

“I think (the city will) take the low-hanging fruit and the easy things that will slow traffic some, and improve safety and walkability some,” he said. “The big-ticket items, sidewalks, putting in a traffic signal at Princess Street, will either require a maintenance assessment district or capital improvements priority from the mayor’s office.”

The laundry list for Torrey Pines Road corridor improvements includes a long list ranging from guard rails to enforcing fence standards on public property.

For more information visit or e-mail Nooravi at