Can safety and aesthetics of the entire Torrey Pines Corridor project be funded?
by Mariko Lamb
Published - 06/17/11 - 12:59 PM | 2323 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sherry Nooravi, representative for the Residents of Torrey Pines Road Safety, urged the La Jolla Town Council during its meeting on June 9 to make the safety of Torrey Pines residents a priority when it comes to voting on reconstruction plans for the Torrey Pines Corridor.

“Torrey Pines Road, as many of you know, is very fast. There is speeding traffic, and it’s too hard without bike paths with no access to cross the street,” she said. “What we want here is transparent. All we want is safety.”

The proposed $26.5 million project has been broken down into four segments in the Torrey Pines Road Preliminary Project Plan proposed by the City Council.

The reason for this breakdown, according to the City Council’s proposal, is “to identify an efficient way of budgeting the project, minimizing community impacts and protecting public safety while effectively completing the work.”

“The community has the opportunity to determine which segment is the first to have design plans, engineering design drawings. Most likely, that would be the first segment to begin construction. However, that’s not certain in any way,” said Kathleen Faherer, a Walk San Diego representative.

Bluff stabilization on Torrey Pines in Segment 4, between Little St. and La Jolla Shores Drive, is already under way for immediate safety reasons.

“What we want to do is to work with you to make sure the whole segment is fully funded, because not until then will it truly be a success,” she said.

Nooravi and others in the community expressed concern about the breakdown of the project into segments.

“If we just start on one project, it could be 2016 and there still would be no safety. Years and years continue to go by, and still there’s nothing,” she said.

Joe LaCava, La Jolla Community Planning Association trustee, said “This business of four segments is nonsense.”

“I think you’re going to do one project, and you’re never going to see the City come back again,” LaCava said.

Funding for the multi-million dollar project is the primary culprit for why the entire project has barely begun.

“There is no money,” said LaCava, relating to past experiences with development projects such as the Bird Rock roundabouts. “You get the project, you get the community to approve it, you get the City Council to approve it, and you’re shovel-ready. And then you go out and fight for every grant and dollar and bond measure, whatever you can find. That’s the reality of today’s world.”

LaCava said there are lots of other ways this project could be built.

“We could say, ‘You know what? Our eyes were too big. We can’t afford everything, so let’s figure out what we can afford. Let’s figure out the balancing act — the safety issue, the aesthetics issue, and the impact during construction, which the merchants are very concerned about,” he said. “There are some safety things that are real cheap. Let’s do those. There are some aesthetics things that can be done very expensively, very nicely, or they can be done kind of cheaply, but it’s something that we can get done.”

“We can’t afford $26 million,” LaCava continued. “What do each of us want? We roll it back and we make some hard decisions as a group.

“The City is saying ‘You tell us what you want us to do,’ so they’re waiting for us,” he said.

The first order of business, said LaCava, is to “get it out of [the] Traffic and Transportation [Board].”

“It’s been sitting dead in the water for six months,” he said. “There is no new information.”

LaCava urged the Traffic and Transportation Board to form a separate committee consisting of all stakeholders involved — merchants, homeowners and Town Council members — to roll back the $26 million price tag, so everyone can get a piece of what they want.

The project plan, as proposed by the City Council, can be viewed at http:// projectsprograms/torreypines.shtml.­­

• Segment 1: Torrey Pines Road between Prospect Place to Coast Walk

• Segment 2: Torrey Pines Road between Coast Walk to Hillside Drive

• Segment 3: Torrey Pines Road between Hillside Drive to Little Street

• Segment 4: Torrey Pines Road between Little Street to La Jolla Shores Drive

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