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Via Capri project under way

Soon, thanks to traffic-calming measures, La Jolla’s Hidden Valley neighborhood will no longer resemble--or sound like--a motor speedway.

Persistent, irritating noise caused by screeching car tires making a steep right-hand turn from Hidden Valley Road to Via Capri was recently corrected by putting white traffic pylons along the outer shoulder stripe guiding cars away from the curb.

“Rear tires lose traction regularly because of how steep the embankment is,” said Joe Dicks, a La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) director who lives near the troublesome intersection. “The pylons keep the traffic out of the shoulder and where they’re supposed to be, so they (cars) won’t lose traction and skid out into oncoming traffic and won’t make so much noise making that turn.”

Squeeze is on

On April 29, a month-long traffic improvement project started on Via Capri just east of Hidden Valley to construct a traffic circle and “popouts” to squeeze cars in and discourage them from putting the pedal to the metal as they head toward the Interstate 5 on-ramp nearby.
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“Via Capri is turning into one of the biggest onramps in San Diego with people doing 60 or 70 mph coming down the hill,” said Jeffery Gong, who’s lived in the area since 1995.

“When I first moved here this was a very peaceful neighborhood with very limited traffic.”

He said since the “Throat” entry into La Jolla was redesigned, traffic has increased threefold and Via Capri and Hidden Valley has now been opened up as an access point to the freeway.”

‘Long overdue’

Dicks agreed with Gong that area traffic calming was not only needed but long overdue. He said it’s just above the Hidden Valley intersection where Via Capri straightens out - the location for the new traffic island - that cars start speeding and the real public-safety threat begins. “Since I’ve lived here with my family six accidents have occurred in front of our house and next door,” he said. “If this didn’t get done, it was just a matter of time before somebody got killed.”
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Dicks said speeding problem should be taken care of by locating the traffic island in the center of Via Capri.

End of straightaway

“It is going to force people to veer to the right quite dramatically,” he said. “It’s not going to be a straightaway anymore to go past that intersection.”

Mike Arnold, an associate engineer with the city’s Engineering & Capital Projects Department, said the Via Capri traffic circle project will include popouts, which are medians coming out from the existing curb narrowing the road.

“It (project) will cost about $100,000 from developer impact fees,” he said. “Hopefully, with these two traffic-calming devices in series, it will slow people down.”

Arnold said the traffic circle project has been budgeted for 33 working days but added, “We think we can get it done sooner.”

Once the traffic circle is completed, the LJSA will assume responsibility for keeping up the circle’s low-profile, low-maintenance landscaping.

who has lived in the area since 1995. “When I first moved here this was a very peaceful neighborhood with very limited traffic.”

He said since the “Throat” entry into La Jolla was redesigned, traffic has increased threefold and Via Capri and Hidden Valley has now been opened up as an access point to the freeway.

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