Ann Gardner | Via Latina
|A family with two children and a dog now have to walk in the
parking lane or the bike lane at the intersection of
Camino del Mar and Carmel Valley Road.
Photo Virginia Lawrence.
Click to enlarge.
Del Mar is one of many coastal cities changing traffic lanes to accommodate and encourage more pedestrians and bicyclists and at the same time move toward more livable communities. All we need to see is a young mother pushing a baby stroller along a narrow, sloping dirt path on Camino del Mar south of Fourth Street to put this priority into perspective.
Del Mar staff is working to resolve some of the concerns associated with changes proposed for the intersection at Carmel Valley Road and Camino del Mar where an initial plan calls for reducing the two northbound lanes to one in order to create more pedestrian and bicycle space along the ocean. The change was considered after a temporary narrowing occurred during repair of the Anderson Canyon collapse without any apparent disruption of traffic. The reduction would exchange Carmel Valley Road’s “free” right hand north into Del Mar for a right turn at the signal onto the one lane of Camino del Mar.
Speakers from nearby Del Mar Terrace showed up in droves to complain about the lack of notification and the heavy traffic coming down Torrey Pines grade to continue north through Del Mar or turn right on Del Mar Heights Road toward the Heights and I-5. They predicted traffic jams at the intersection especially during commuter hours. The Council apologized for the apparent lack of notification to its San Diego neighbors and staff is researching this concern and others raised at the Feb. 14 Council meeting. Council liaisons Dave Druker and Sherryl Parks are working with them. Results will then go to the Traffic and Advisory Committee for review and input from neighbors before going back to the Council.
The proposed changes are part of the City’s overall Camino del Mar Master Plan adopted in 1996 and segment #5 of the “eight-segment” 2013 Sidewalk Connectivity Project to improve pedestrian access, bicycle safety, drainage and roadway paving along Camino del Mar, Jimmy Durante Blvd. and Via de la Valle. In addition to modifying the Carmel Valley Rd. intersection, Segment #5 also includes a double left turn lane from southbound Camino del Mar to eastbound Del Mar Heights Road . The City is also drafting a Complete Streets Policy which focuses on sustainable actions integrated into public improvements including mechanisms for storm water retention and active transportation, as part of the Climate Action Plan implementation.