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Cut Through Del Mar
Ann Gardner | Via Latina


Intersection Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real
Puzzle Corner: If T = TODAY’S TRAFFIC and L = LIGHTS,
then 3T + 2L = X. What does X equal?  answer key

Photo Bob Fuchs


Stalled traffic generated by the proposed zone-busting One Paseo mixed use development on Del Mar Heights Rd. east of I-5 would end up using residential streets such as Crest Road, 15th Street and Stratford Court in Del Mar, City Manager Scott Huth warns in a letter to the City of San Diego. “Camino del Mar is the only continuous vehicular travel corridor parallel to I-5 and is subject to horrendous congestion when I-5 fails to function at an acceptable level of service. Potential impacts to Camino del Mar, due to significant impact to the Del Mar Heights Road/I-5 ramp meters will result from drivers rerouting to the Camino del Mar/coastal corridor.”

Yet, according to Huth, the One Paseo Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) does not include an analysis of these impacts. Del Mar City Council supported staff’s finding that One Paseo “would create an island of urbanization in a community of relatively low-scale development” and in its letter asks that a reduced mixed use alternative be considered. “The project would not be so much of a village but an over-intensified… development that would be located in an area of existing high vehicle traffic and minimal planned mass transit opportunities for the thousands of people who would be coming and going from corporate, retail, residential and hotel uses on a daily basis.”

“The …project would result in significant and unmitigated cumulative impacts to Del Mar Heights Road/I-5 SB and NB ramp meters...,” according to the DEIR and “the LOS (Level of Service) along Del Mar Heights Road would decrease from D to E and F.” A Highway Capacity Manual defines “LOS E (as) a common standard in larger urban areas where roadway congestion is inevitable and LOS F is the lowest measure of efficiency. Flow is forced; every vehicle moves in lockstep with the vehicle in front of it. A road in a constant traffic jam would be at LOS F.”

The Torrey Pines Community Planning Group, representing Del Mar Heights and Terrace, voiced the same concerns in their letter stating that the One Paseo DEIR fails to include impacts on residential streets within their communities. “Since queuing and wait times will increase…west of I-5 why is it not reasonable to conclude that the One Paseo Project will force additional traffic to major and minor arterial streets in the Torrey Pines community?” “The DEIR does not present or analyze any alternative or mitigation measures to help the community understand the indirect traffic impacts of the Project. Why should our communities who will not be contributing to the increased traffic be forced to live with the results of more traffic on our… streets.”

On March 28 San Diego city traffic engineers were scheduled to meet with the Carmel Valley Planning Board which serves as an advisory board to the San Diego Planning Commission and City Council. The Board had reportedly prepared a series of questions on the impact of traffic from the proposed 1.4 million square foot development on a site zoned for only 500,000 square feet. They have indicated they will not take a vote on the project until after the Final EIR, with answers to submitted concerns, has been released and with time to review. The Final is expected to be released in May.

Answer key:  3T + 2L = (chaos)  back


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