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Paving Over Paradise
February 2009 | by Ann Gardner,  Via Latina


San Diego residents in Del Mar Heights and Point Del Mar will be circulating petitions in Del Mar soon, seeking wider public opposition to a new traffic flyover proposed by CalTrans at the I-5/SR-56 interchange at Carmel Valley Road.
“The noise from a second flyover is going to impact much more than adjacent homes and neighborhoods,” one opposition committee member who frequently walks in Torrey Pines State Reserve noted at a recent meeting. “Traffic noise from the new bypass flyover has already had a negative impact on the Reserve. Additional noise from a second flyover will ruin the Reserve’s natural ambiance and funnel along Carmel Valley Road west to the beaches and homes in Old Del Mar.”
Staff at the California Coastal Commission have not responded to the group’s letter outlining potential damage, caused by the new flyover, to the Reserve’s environment and wildlife habitats.

The I-5/SR-56 sub-committee of the Torrey Pines Community Planning Board which represents the Heights, Point Del Mar and Del Mar Terrace, will also take their concerns to San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) meetings and to local SANDAG representatives including Del Mar Mayor Crystal Crawford. SANDAG develops the region’s transportation plan and allocates money for transportation projects. That organization’s 2030 Plan includes two new freeway connectors at the nearby Carmel Valley Road interchange. It is the proposed I-5 south to SR-56 east flyover, creating a new span approximately 35 feet higher than the existing bypass flyover, that residents say will have the greatest impact on traffic noise and quality of life in the area.

Planning Board Committee Co-Chair Michael Foster says studies show that many of the benefits in reduced travel times and congestion could be obtained without the flyover by increasing the number of lanes between I-5 and SR-56. “Current traffic models fail to capture the current backup occurring at the Carmel Country Road off ramp where all the east bound lanes reduce to two lanes.” According to the memo submitted by Foster, the flyover would simply lead to the bottleneck on 56.
San Diego First District Councilmember Sherri Lightner and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, who also sits on the SANDAG Board, have both endorsed the local community action organization STOP5NOISE which endorses “no taking of private property” and doing “something about the noise now” related to the CalTrans proposals.

Interested persons can get more information at the Torrey Pines Community Planning Board website www.torreypinescommunity.org. or at the CalTrans site
www. keepsandiegomoving.com



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