First we walked. Then we rode tamed animals. With the invention of the wheel entrepreneurs eventually designed bikes then automobiles. The world has yet to come to grips with the success of both.
A bit more history: Highway 101, our Camino Del Mar, has been the link to California coastal cities since 1926. As Robert Moses suggested, cities may be “created by and for traffic,” but all these years later this same road is the major thoroughfare through our city for 10,000 to 16,000 daily vehicles plus motorcycles, bikes, E-bikes, E-scooters,
E-unicycles. Cars by their sheer weight, size, and numbers are kings of the road and, in addition, they have to go somewhere when not in use and so park on the street. Street parking has been called the squandering of scarce public space to store private property.
Still, walking is an option and walkers are a part of the character of Del Mar. It is a pleasure to walk about Del Mar with its restaurants, coffee stops, boutiques, trees and winding streets even as all the wheeled vehicles whiz by.
While it is tricky for bikers to vie for room on the road, it can be dangerous for pedestrians who attempt to cross streets. The question relating to road crossings veers from why the chicken crossed the road to how a pedestrian can best do so.
Camino Del Mar, with three stop lights, offers stop signs and blinking pedestrian traffic crossings—if activated. Trouble is that many drivers and bikers don’t respect or obey either of the signs and just whip right through. Pedestrians may have the right of way, but many of us have almost been hit by a car or bike more than a few times.
While Camino Del Mar offers smooth paved sidewalks, our neighborhood winding streets sans sidewalks designed during the dawn of the auto are often a rigorous challenge. Too many of us are traveling the same narrow roads. Walkers are often viewed as part of traffic management scheme meant to “calm” the flow with their bodies next to cars, bike buddies, runners, walkers, long dog leashes, strollers, skate boarders to name a few—many of whom are also talking on their phones.
Suggestions for traffic management upgrades that will allow walkers to be able to put one foot in front of the other safely: add flashing red lights to stop signs, and add speed humps at stop signs an d the green-signed blinking pedestrian crossings.
One option to getting from here to there is the public bus. We have one, the Breeze 101 that loops between Oceanside and UTC. It does take a little more time—the wait for the bus, the stops it makes ahead of yours. But you don’t have to drive or search for parking.
A report: Southbound Del Mar to Scripps Green on Breeze 101 took 45 minutes. Most of the minutes were spent waiting for the bus to turn up. On my return trip the bus came in a very few minutes and the ride back to Del Mar took 15 minutes. My ride both ways was smooth, comfortable and the passengers quiet and polite. It is $2.50 per trip, $1.25 for seniors and students. You need exact change, dollar bills are OKAY. If you feel adventurous, check out other routes on the Rider’s Guide available on the bus or GoNCTD.com/Schedules. A Pronto card pass is available from various stores and the available app lets you know when the bus will arrive at your stop. Now, if there were a bus loop up and down Del Mar Heights Road…