Del Mar supports, but can’t finance, new 4-way stop sign

The Del Mar City Council, at Monday night’s meeting, gave vocal but not financial support to residents’ push for a four-way stop sign to be placed at the intersection of Coast Boulevard and 18th Street.

Residents presented the proposal for a four-way stop sign to the council in June, explained Public Works Director David Scherer. The proposal again came before the council on Nov. 16, at which point council directed city staff to examine alternatives for the intersection.

They asked that staff take into account, among other issues, the safety of pedestrians crossing Coast Boulevard, side-street access, illegal u-turns made at the intersection, and vehicle speed, notably from cars headed north on Coast Blvd. Currently, there are four-way stop signs at the intersections of Coast Boulevard, where it intersects 19th and 20th streets, but not on Coast Boulevard and 18th Street.

Staff presented seven alternatives, including a new four-way stop sign, which would cost $4,860; a new four-way stop sign and the removal of the stop sign at 19th Street ($8,000); re-striping Coast Blvd. ($6,000); installing a raised median island at 18th Street ($16,000); and implementing the adopted Coast Boulevard Streetscape Plan, a comprehensive plan that would cost $150,000.

The stop sign project drew support from residents who live near the intersection, including Ed Yuskiewicz, John Donnelley, Dara Chantarit and Beth Davidson, who say the entire neighborhood is in “full support of this.”

After hearing the residents’ concerns, council members responded with support. Their backing, however, was limited.

Councilmen Carl Hilliard and Mark Filanc agreed that although a four-way stop sign is only a temporary solution — as opposed to a more comprehensive plan for the street — it would help assuage residents’ concerns about speed and safety at the intersection.

The problem was not gaining the council’s support of the stop sign, but how it would be funded.

“We’re not trying to turn a deaf ear,” said Councilwoman Crystal Crawford, “but there’s no money in the budget.”

In favor of a privately funded stop sign, the council approved a motion directing staff to return with a plan for implementing alternative one — the $4,860 four-way stop sign — with funding to be raised by residents.