New bike lanes coming to High Bluff Drive

New bike lanes will be striped on both sides of the recently resurfaced High Bluff Drive.
(Karen Billing)

The recent repaving of High Bluff Drive in Carmel Valley will come with the striping of new bike lanes. The city’s plans were shared at the June 23 Carmel Valley Community Planning board’s meeting.

Street safety and climate change is a top priority in the council office and our program is a cost-effective way to bundle complete street improvement projects with our resurfacing program,” said Esmeralda White, transportation department traffic engineer division. “On High Bluff Drive, we wanted to upgrade the shared lanes to bicycle lanes for uphill direction, keeping on-street parking near schools and parks between Long Run and Lady Hill Road.”

In the area near Overlook Park, they will keep parking on the north side and west side of the street (the park side) between Lady Hill and Half Mile Drive but will remove parking on the south and east side to install bike lanes.

Carmel Valley Planning Board Chair Frisco White (no relation to Esmeralda White) questioned if the neighbors were aware of what is going on in the neighborhood, especially if they are losing parking.

“So often in these neighborhoods, all of the sudden we see a bike lane,” Chair White said. “It wasn’t there last night and Poof! this morning there’s a bike lane. A lot of residents are unaware of what’s going on.”

Some board members pointed to what happened this spring with re-striping in Mira Mesa when the city created new bike lanes on either side of Gold Coast Drive, with one vehicle traffic lane in the center. After residents complained that the community wasn’t given any notice of the change, Mayor Todd Gloria agreed to eliminate the new lanes.

Matt Griffith, a representative from Gloria’s office, said they have engaged with the community that will be impacted, including meeting with a local HOA and placing informational door knockers on homes.

Esmeralda White said where the street resurfacing stops, the bike lanes will also stop. Chair White said he has seen this in other parts of the community and it doesn’t really make sense not to continue the bike lane.

“Having bike lanes is great but if they come to a sudden stop it’s a bit of a problem,” agreed resident Andrew Wilson.

Chair White requested that the city’s engineering department consider doing a complete build-out of bike lanes, rather than a piecemeal approach.

Esmerelda White said the city is in the process of setting up a new division to fill in these “gap” projects but they are not there yet.