Solana Beach recognized for Coast Highway 101 renovation
By Kristina Houck
Solana Beach may be the second smallest city in the county, but it is receiving national attention for its work on Coast Highway 101.
Dangerous by Design 2014, a report by Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition, recognized the city for its $7 million renovation of the roadway. Completed last year, the project features narrowed lanes, continuous sidewalks, curb extensions and mid-block crosswalks.
The report notes that Highway 101 was regularly used as an alternative route to Interstate 5, which resulted in drivers speeding through the historic downtown to the detriment of local businesses and pedestrians.
“Through an extensive planning process that engaged community members and business owners, Highway 101 was redesigned to be a safe and appealing complement to the community’s character,” states the report, which was released in May. “The safer and more appealing street has encouraged store owners to renovate their facades, and new businesses have opened.”
From 2003 to 2012, more than 47,025 people were killed while walking on streets throughout the country, according to the report. Another 676,000 were injured, meaning someone on foot was hit by a car about every eight minutes.
In 2012, pedestrians accounted for nearly 15 percent of all traffic deaths, up 6 percent from 2011 and representing a five-year high.
Dangerous by Design looks at where fatalities happen and who is most at risk, presenting data from every county, metro area and state.
The report issues a Pedestrian Danger Index, which indicates the likelihood that a pedestrian will be fatally hit by a vehicle.
With a 2008 to 2012 PDI of 244.28, Orlando was ranked the most dangerous of the 51 metropolitan areas ranked. Boston had a 2008 to 2012 PDI of 18.65, making it the safest.
San Diego County ranked 29 with a PDI of 66.02.
“Little Solana Beach got put in this national report about how to do things right…,” said Councilman Mike Nichols during the July 16 special meeting when the council discussed parking solutions for Coast Highway 101 and the Cedros Design District. “It was just impressive to see us included in that national report.”
For more about the report, visit www.smartgrowthamerica.org/research/dangerous-by-design/dbd2014/national-overview.