By Claire Harlin
It was a bumpy road for the City of Solana Beach, but officials on Feb. 27 finally approved the completion of a traffic calming project on east Lomas Santa Fe and Highland drives that met opposition almost all the way through the process.
Estimated at $285,000, the project ended up costing just over $387,000 and included re-striping and signage to calm traffic along Highland Drive between Sun Valley Road and San Lucas Drive, as well as new curbing, gutters, sidewalks and bike lanes on Highland. The original project included a lane reduction from four to two lanes on Lomas Santa Fe, but was scrapped after the community overwhelmingly opposed it. This time around, the city also met resistance regarding the median restriping because the community felt the medians took up too much space and pushed traffic too close to parked cars, City Manager David Ott said. The city has assured the community it will seek alternatives if residents are not happy with the changes.
The city renegotiated with the contractor midway through the project after residents asked for more residential striping in the neighborhoods and median upgrades along Highland Drive between San Lucas and San Andres drives. The city implemented the striping and painted the medians at citizens’ request, however, officials are conducting further evaluations before considering raised medians.
Douglas Alden of the city’s bike committee said he was happy with the striping, however, he said he would like to see the installation of bike counters in that area near San Dieguito Park.