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Torrey Pines Road corridor receives funding

Long-sought-after Torrey Pines Road Corridor improvements just got a boost from government funding.

“The city has hired an engineering firm and is paying them $167,000 in federal stimulus funds for the Torrey Pines Road corridor,” said Todd Lesser, chair of La Jolla Traffic & Transportation (TNT).

Lesser revealed the good news at the monthly meeting of TNT, a joint subcommittee of La Jolla Town Council, the La Jolla Community Planning Association, Promote La Jolla, La Jolla Shores Association and Bird Rock Community Council. The group hears and makes recommendations on traffic- and parking-related issues.

“We understand that the Engineering and Capital Projects Department will have some draft plans for the community to review within the next three to four months, and we’re looking forward to receiving community input on the top priorities for the project at that time,” 1st District Councilwoman Sherri Lightner said.

She said the money, part of the $500,000 in federal stimulus funds for the project, will be used for preliminary design work, cost estimates and phasing for the items identified in the study.

Lesser added that the city has also been asked to update the TNT committee on a previous speed study done for Torrey Pines Road.

“We’ve asked them to get back to us ... on our request for V-calm signs to go on Torrey Pines Road at Amalfi Street, and also at Coast Walk and Amalfi on the ocean side (of Torrey Pines) where the fence is that a drunk driver went through.”

V-Calm, variable message signs, are high-profile signs commonly found at areas with speeding complaints which automatically register and record the speeds of passing vehicles, encouraging them to “slow down.”

After completing improvements and widening to “the Throat” intersection leading into La Jolla from Interstate 5 in 2003, the city’s transportation planning staff was directed to investigate what improvements are needed on Torrey Pines Road between La Jolla Parkway and Girard Avenue.

A committee, chaired by La Jolla architect Robert Thiele, was formed to establish goals for a project to enhance safety, slow traffic, promote walkability, and beautify and enhance access to views along the thoroughfare.

Last June, about 50 La Jollans registered their No. 1 priority for the project: enhancing pedestrian safety.

Lightner said La Jolla’s community groups would need to fully vet the project before funding sources could be identified.