Join the discussion on future of Hwy. 101 corridor

By Mike Nichols

Mayor, Solana Beach

The Highway 101 corridor plays an important role in defining our community’s character and is a vital economic engine for our city. But today, we find many areas of the corridor in need of refurbishment; there are lengths of roadway without curbs and gutters, no sidewalks, limited parking opportunities for businesses and visitors, and a lack of pedestrian gathering spaces and landscaping.

Although some progress has been made to make this corridor more pedestrian friendly and encourage business development, there is still much work to be done.

Master planning for the Highway 101 corridor through Solana Beach has been underway for many years, and continues to march forward with a two-part workshop scheduled for later this month. The workshop series is designed to be highly interactive and encourage public participation in the process to ensure that future plans for the corridor continue to reflect our community’s values and priorities.

The first part of the workshop will be held at City Hall from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 19. The evening will engage participants to define project goals and priorities, and explore a variety of design methods that could be employed to help calm traffic, encourage pedestrian activity, provide additional public parking and enhance our community character.

The following Saturday, Nov. 21, will be the continuation of the workshop with a “walking audit” along the corridor that will start at City Hall at 9 a.m. This portion of the workshop will offer the public a chance to explore first-hand, along with the project designers and engineers, the existing conditions along the corridor and discuss the many opportunities for future enhancements. After the walk, participants will return to City Hall to discuss the field observations and possible design options. The workshop will conclude at noon.

It is well known that pedestrian-friendly streets help foster economic growth. Now is the perfect time to move forward with these plans to improve the walkability and develop a shopping friendly destination that will encourage the long-term economic vitality of the historic Highway 101 corridor. The City Council remains committed to moving these plans forward and has been actively pursuing funding to implement this project that will continue to define and reflect our unique community character.

We hope that you can make time to attend the upcoming workshops and help to shape the future plans for Highway 101.