SOLANA BEACH — At the Jan. 22 Solana Beach City Council meeting staff reported that the Lomas Santa Fe Corridor Improvement Project is in its final phase.
In 2017, the city began to develop the project to improve street integrity and safety for bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians.
Frequent biker, walker and Solana Beach resident Kristin Brinner said she appreciates the current improvements and hopes to see further traffic control in order to make pedestrians safer.
“I am particularly happy with the improvements right around where I live … anything you can do to calm traffic and make pedestrians more visible … as someone who frequently walks, I am dodging cars,” Brinner said.
Phase 1 of the project was completed three years ago. It included conducting research and collecting recommendations. Phase 2 was completed in 2018 and comprised of analyzing the capability of the project and preparatory engineering.
In Phase 3, the city held an open house in May 2019 and a community workshop in October 2019, where the community was able to give personal feedback regarding the project.
Solana Beach resident Shawna McGarry said at the council meeting that this improvement project is vital for the safety and improvement of Solana Beach.
“This is so important, for me, it is the most exciting thing happening in Solana Beach,” McGarry said. “We really need to transform this road to serve all users safely. It’s going to make the whole user experience in our town better.”
The Lomas Santa Fe Improvement Project includes restriping the left turn lane and increasing the discernibility of the crosswalks at Rios Avenue and Highway 101. Nardo Avenue will receive a high-visibility crosswalk as well, along with a bike lane.
From the Plaza Shopping Center Driveway to Santa Helena will receive high-visibility roads and bike lanes. Finally, the Boys & Girls Club’s east driveway will gain a striped “keep clear” zone with the intention of improving the passage.
Mayor Jewel Edson said these improvements to visibility and traffic control are an important focus because public safety is critical to Solana Beach.
“Overall, public safety is of course paramount in our city,” Edson said. “I believe we should do everything that we can.”
The city staff report clarifies that these improvements to the roads are being funded with $68,450 from city funds and $616,050 from the Active Transportation Grant by the San Diego Association of Governments.
The council members, as well as public speakers, stressed that this was an important project to be investing funds in, as it promotes better alternative transportation options, in order to lessen the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.
City Councilwoman Kristi Becker acknowledged that this will benefit the community in a number of ways in addition to encouraging the community to use alternative options for transportation.
“We know that transportation is our highest (CO2) contributor, so this is exactly what we should be doing,” Becker said. “We are checking off a lot of boxes by doing this.”
Bethany Nash reports on Del Mar and Solana Beach for The Coast News. Previously, she freelanced with East County Californian, while finishing her degree in multimedia journalism as Editor-in-Chief of Impact Magazine. Nash won College Print: Best Magazine two years in a row with the San Diego Press Club. She loves sipping coffee and documenting the world through polaroid photos. Connect with Bethany on social media by following @bethanyrnash on all platforms and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org