In June, La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Committee got an update from the La Jolla Village Merchants Association on establishing a new street signage program to help people find their way more easily in the Village.
“We are exploring ways to mitigate some of the traffic issues that are caused by parking, working with Ace Mobility, our parking consultant,” said Jodi Rudick, LJVMA executive director. “We’re excited about maybe introducing some electronic signage to help people understand where they might be parking.”
The goal, said Rudick, is to present the new cutting-edge Village wayfinding sign program to all La Jolla civic groups.
“Ultimately, we could move forward with developing an actual consulting plan,” Rudick said. “We understand there are a lot of issues related to traffic and parking in La Jolla. But we also have come to know there are a lot of excess parking spaces in La Jolla that aren’t be utilized, that is hidden in (parking) garages and paid parking spots.”
Added Rudick: “We also understand we are not going to change the personalities of people who want to find free spots. But we feel we can improve on ways for people to find paid spots so that we don’t have to search for them. And that there can be better signage, and better information, that people can use to get to those parking garages quicker.”
Rudick noted the data she was presenting to the LJT&T board was pre-Covid-19, given that there hasn’t been time yet to calculate just how the pandemic has changed people’s parking and shopping habits.
“We know that parking is much more difficult in La Jolla in terms of garage parking during the week,” Rudick concluded. “And if we can better educate people on where those spaces are, that would be fantastic.”
Pointed out Rudick, “Even during our biggest special events we don’t have our garages full. We also have an opportunity, with the public transit (Mid-Coast Trolley) coming into La Jolla, for more bus connectors that would come from the trolley into the Village on a more regular basis.”
But Rudick warned: “We still don’t have this signage once they get here. So this is both a pedestrian – and parking – challenges that we need to mitigate with one solution.”
Moving forward, Rudick said the idea now is to “create a parking communication campaign, and also parking assistance, with permanent, two-dimensional and also digital signs.”
Added the LJVMA executive director: “It’s not just our visitors and tourists who need to park. We think that La Jollans could be better educated that there are parking garages, and maybe even look at a local discount program there. Everything is on the table right now.”
The signage program will be done in phases said Rudick.
“The next phase is a high-tech option that would allow for people to see that there are 43 spaces available on Parking Level 3, and 400 spaces on Level Four,” she said adding, “You’ll also be able to see exactly where those spaces are. These tech options are already available to us, though I like to take things one step at a time.”
Concluded Rudick, “We’re talking about creating some signage directories in key spots, to tie into the whole pedestrian experience with the Village atmosphere. We want to do the program first in the Village. But then our goal is we can connect our neighboring communities, Bird Rock and La Jolla Shores.”
Of signage progress, Rudick said, “The designs have not been made yet. But we are ready to push the button.”