July/August 2013 home page

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Ridoplasty on Jimmy Durante
Ann Gardner | Via Latina


Project details of a roundabout, as it is projected into the Intersection at Jimmy Durante Boulevard and San Dieguito Drive.
Courtesy the City of Del Mar. Click to enlarge.


Asked by City Council to recommend a location where a roundabout might improve traffic flow, Del Mar’s Traffic and Parking Advisory Committee (TPAC) selected the intersection at San Dieguito Drive and Jimmy Durante Blvd. At their meeting on June 17 the City Council included the recommendation in the City’s proposed 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The Plan will go to the Planning Commission for further review (conformance with the General Plan) and then for final review by the Council later this summer or early fall.

TPAC was particularly enthusiastic about the opportunity for coordinating the project with a sidewalk project, also in the CIP, that would provide pedestrian access from the Del Mar Plaza to the Fairgrounds, and taking advantage of the 22nd District Agricultural Association offer to share in the costs for a traffic light at that location. The Committee said they would much rather see a landscaped roundabout to control traffic than the installation of signals next to the Lagoon.

City Engineer Tim Thiele had identified three possible locations for consideration by TPAC with the option of adding additional suggestions, and Traffic Engineer Dawn Wilson went over her analysis of the benefits and constraints for each location with TPAC members in early June. A Camino Del Mar/27th Street intersection was immediately eliminated based on heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic and the loss of parking spaces; the Carmel Valley/ Camino Del Mar idea was considered problematic due to heavy north/south traffic precluding easy access from the east, but the Jimmy Durante location was described as needing improvement, few if any drawbacks and many benefits. TPAC member Ann Ray who grew up on San Dieguito Drive commented that the intersection was not safe. In addition to poor visibility and unsafe speeds, she noted that during the Fair and Race season visitors leaving the Fairgrounds for I-5 often mistakenly turned toward Del Mar, realized their mistake, and then made unsafe U turns to change direction.



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