Residents want stop sign solution for ‘problem intersection’ in Carmel Valley

By Karen Billing

A proposal for a stop sign at an intersection considered dangerous for pedestrians in the Carmel Del Mar neighborhood will be on the agenda at February’s Carmel Valley Community Planning Board meeting, hoping to prompt a safe resolution from the city.

The problem intersection at Worsch Drive where it turns into Carmel Park Drive at Santa Nella Place, was brought to the city’s attention by resident Joe Rossettie.

Rossettie, who has lived in the neighborhood since 2007, raised the issue a year-and-a- half ago, resulting in the installation of a crosswalk.

‘The crosswalk didn’t do anything to slow traffic and mitigate the risk for children,” Rossettie said.

In December 2013 there was an accident at the intersection that almost resulted in children getting hit by cars. Rossettie said he was thankful that no children were hurt, but felt it was his responsibility to continue to push the issue as the crosswalk does not provide enough safety.

The problem portion of Worsch Drive features a downhill and a curve going south and Rossettie said people can pick up speeds there very quickly.

Many families use the Santa Nella cul-de-sac as a drop-off spot for children as the court abuts a pathway that leads right into Carmel Del Mar School.

Rossettie said the limit was raised to 30 miles per hour last year to allow speeding enforcement, but drivers’ speeds are averaging close to 40 miles per hour. They often ignore the crosswalk and the crosswalk signage and do not stop, he said.

Kids on the west corner of Santa Nella face a completely blind corner due to the curve. They have to venture out nearly halfway into the lane of oncoming traffic — sometimes flying down the hill — to see if any cars are coming up the hill, Rossettie said.

“Adults don’t even think it’s safe (to cross),” Rossettie said.

A stop sign farther down the road at Worsch Way and Del Mar Trails was installed more than a year and a half ago and was met with enthusiasm in the community and appears to have mitigated excessive speed, according to Rossettie, who said he is looking for a similar solution.

“I’m hopeful that reason and logic will prevail and everyone will acknowledge this as a problem intersection that needs to be fixed,” Rossettie said.

Another issue in this neighborhood was brought up at the planning board’s January meeting, down the road from this intersection. The issue surrounds the development of 11 new homes on the corner of Worsch Way and Del Mar Trails where current grading is bringing an existing hill down to street level for the construction of the homes.

Residents expressed concerns about the accessibility for pedestrians on the sidewalk on Del Mar Trails as construction is ongoing — there is a child who uses a wheelchair to get to school in the neighborhood.

Developer Gary Levitt said that they would address the situation and keep the construction fencing out of the sidewalk as much as possible.

The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board’s next meeting is Thursday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. at the Carmel Valley Library.