Foothill Boulevard residents circle back to roundabout request
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 01/24/20 - 12:30 PM | 1740 views | 2 2 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Foothill Boulevard residents are continuing their push for a roundabout and other traffic-calming measures on their dangerous street.

But it’s been a long slog, as the effort has been underway since 2014.

Tom Coat recently took Foothill neighbors’ case for traffic-safety improvements to PB Town Council, and Pacific Beach Planning Group’s Streets and Sidewalk Sub-Committee. 

At both meetings, he presented a slideshow detailing the dangers caused by speeding on Foothill Boulevard. He also gave a historical perspective on residents' efforts to make this street safer, while answering audience questions.

“We're still trying to get speeds under control on Foothill Boulevard,” Coat told PB Town Council members, noting many local residents also signed petitions, as far back as 2014, seeking the restoration of 25-mph-speed-limit signs on Foothill Boulevard. 

“Your participation made that happen, as the City soon replaced the 30-mph speed-limit signs it had installed with 25 mph signs,” said Coat. “We need to get back on track and get this done.”

Added Coat, “The (vehicle) volume has gotten larger the past three years. It just seems more and more cars are on the road every day in PB. We’d like to see construction of a roundabout at Loring and Foothill actually built. We want that roundabout and other safety traffic-calming measures taken.”

Another Foothill neighbor, Jeff Rosan, agreed more infrastructure is needed.

“These additions will help slow traffic down, but what this town really needs, and I mean all of San Diego, are more traffic cops,” said Rosan. “That should become another ‘priority’ for our city.”

Neighbor Darin Busby also agrees with traffic-calming efforts proposed along Foothill Boulevard between Vickie Drive and Fanuel Street/Cardeno Drive.

“The main issue is there are no crosswalks between Fanuel and Beryl and cars travel too fast in this area,” said Busby. “This is a busy road, especially in the mornings with people commuting to work. I constantly observe speeding and distracted drivers, a bad combination on a curvy road. Additionally, the sun rising in the morning creates a blinding effect for those traveling east on Turquoise and Foothill.” 

Added Busby, “We have witnessed several accidents along Foothill, especially at the corner of Vickie where it is very difficult to make a left-turn onto Foothill. In addition, it is unsafe to cross at Fanuel Street/Cardeno Drive, even though there is a clearly marked crosswalk. At this intersection, most people are making a rolling stop to head up the hill since there is not a 90-degree corner here. Also, eastbound traffic along Turquoise that is turning north on Cardeno is either racing the light or trying to turn quickly, to avoid the speeding cars traveling west along Foothill." 

The City said it has evaluated the situation at Loring and Foothill.

“This roadway has been evaluated numerous times and past improvements include edge line striping, curve warning signs, oversized speed limit signs, electronic speed signs, a road diet between Loring and Beryl, a prohibition on trucks over five tons and removal of the free right-turn from eastbound traffic on Loring at Foothill Drive.

“The roundabout at Loring and Foothill was requested by the neighbors and approved by the community planning group,” the City added. “The location was subsequently evaluated by the Transportation and Storm Water Department, and it was determined that it was a good location for a roundabout to improve vehicle and pedestrian access and to calm the speed of traffic on Foothill. The project is currently in design. The Foothill and Loring Roundabout project has a total project cost of roughly $2.5 million, and we anticipate to begin construction in spring 2022.”

Following the Jan. 15 PB Town Council meeting, Coat noted, “There was universal support that some type of safety measures are needed and many good questions/comments.”

On Jan. 15, Coat noted District 2 Councilmember Jennifer Campbell’s PB representative, Monica Eslamian, said that “funding for the design portion of the Foothill roundabout was approved in 2017.” Eslamian noted such projects “take years to be built” adding, “It is possible final funding for the Foothill/Loring roundabout construction could be done in late 2021.”

The council staffer added residents near the roundabout “may have to weigh in on it one more time before construction begins.”

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