Del Mar: Direct access ramp to fairgrounds on city’s radar

By Claire Harlin

Staff Writer

With the first phases of the proposed I-5 widening projecting beginning as early as 2013, it’s an opportune time to look into the possibility of constructing a direct-access ramp from the interstate into the fairgrounds, said Del Mar City Councilmember Mark E. Filanc on Aug. 8.

Filanc’s suggestion comes after a recent meeting with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

“Studies at Caltrans indicate that would be the best thing to relieve traffic there,” he said, urging the council to consider seeking funding for an environmental analysis of such a project as soon as possible.

“Let’s be honest,” said community member Bill Michaelsky. “Aesthetically, that’s not going to be the most attractive solution. I think we need more information.”

Filanc suggested the ramp could feed directly into the Del Mar Fairgrounds parking area. Council members compared such a project to other large amusement facilities, like Disneyland, that are accessible by direct-access highway ramps.

Filanc said the next step in getting a direct-access ramp project considered by Caltrans would be to undergo an environmental analysis.

“If it passes through the window and Caltrans is putting this in the hopper for design, we might miss the opportunity,” Filanc said.