Solana Beach City Council members received an update on the Lomas Santa Fe Corridor Improvement Project at their Jan. 22 meeting, as the project’s third and final phase is underway.
They began the project three years ago to improve street safety for motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and the overall character of the street. Solana Beach City Councilwoman Kristi Becker said it’s been “a good, collaborative process and I’m really happy that we’re doing this.”
Council members and several public speakers emphasized the need to promote more alternative means of transportation to help the city meet its environmental goals.
“We know that transportation is our highest [greenhouse gas] contributor, so this is exactly what we should be doing,” Becker added. “We’re checking off a lot of boxes by doing this.”
Areas along Lomas Santa Fe the project focuses on include Coast Highway 101 to Rios Avenue, slated to receive restriped left turn lanes and high visibility crosswalks; Nardo Avenue, which will also receive a high visibility crosswalk and a green bike lane; Boys and Girls Club east driveway, to receive a striped “keep clear” area on the road to improve access; and Santa Helena to Plaza Shopping Center Driveway, to include bike lanes and high visibility roads.
Phase 1 of the Lomas Santa Fe Corridor Improvement Project, which included research and recommendations, was completed in 2017. Phase 2, a feasibility analysis and preliminary engineering, was completed one year later.
For Phase 3, the city held an open house last May and a community workshop in October. About 125 residents attended the open house, where they had a chance to give feedback on aspects of the plan such as landscape options and bicycle route options.
“Public safety is of course paramount in our city,” Solana Beach Mayor Jewel Edson said. “I believe we should do everything we can to increase multimodal opportunities and safer routes to school.”
Funding for the project includes a $616,050 Active Transportation Grant from the San Diego Association of Governments and $68,450 in city funds, according to a city staff report.
“I think this will improve the success of businesses in our community,” Solana Beach resident Shawna McGarry said. “It’s going to make the whole user experience in our town better. More people, I think, will get off at our train stop.”
Solana Beach resident Jill Cooper spoke in favor of narrowing lanes to reduce traffic speed.
“We want motorists to go more slowly so they can see other motorists, and then also pedestrians and bicyclists,” she said.