Signage approved to help improve safety at PHR intersection

(Karen Billing)

The city of San Diego has approved a signage solution for a busy intersection in Pacific Highlands Ranch, one that sees lots of traffic and pedestrian activity due to its proximity to the Village center, Canyon Crest Academy and Pacific Trails Middle School.

According to an update provided to the Carmel Valley Community Planning board on April 23, “No right on red” and “Turning vehicles yield to pedestrians” signs have been approved for Village Center Loop Road as drivers approach Carmel Valley Road. The installation date is unknown at this point due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In January, Pacific Highlands Ranch resident Randi Marsella raised awareness about the dangerous intersection after her 12-year-old daughter Dylan was hit by a driver making a right turn onto Carmel Valley Road from Village Center Loop Road/Del Mar Heights Road.

“I knew there needed to be additional safety precautions for the children and all pedestrians,” Marsella said. “I do believe it will make the intersection safer. I am grateful the city heard me.”

The city also appears to be moving forward on Marsella’s other suggestion for the intersection: a pedestrian scrambler. A scrambler temporarily stops all vehicular traffic allowing pedestrians to cross an intersection in every direction, including diagonally, at the same time.

“There’s a lot of traffic and it’s a safety issue for kids who kind of get stuck at that corner and then cross the street in clusters, especially in the early mornings,” said Ricky Flahive, council representative from District 1 San Diego City Councilmember Barbara Bry’s office.

Flahive said the city’s traffic engineering department is working on a long-term study for a pedestrian scrambler at that intersection as well as further down at Pacific Highlands Ranch Parkway and Carmel Valley Road. Because of the current stay-at-home order they have not been able to move forward with that evaluation until school is back in session.