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Walk This Way
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

Sidewalk ends between 11th and 12th Street.
Photo Ann Gardner.
Click to enlarge.

The City will be asking you for input on how to make walking along Camino del Mar between 9th and 15th streets more inviting and well, in some places, walkable. Although the community input process may not begin until next month with implementation expected in 2018, the Del Mar Village Association has already made “some easy to do” suggestions to implement in time for the Breeder’s Cup in November. Their “no funding needed” list includes: public areas to be used for kiosks, performance arts, and banners and signage at strategic locations. Staff says they will take a look to see what is “doable.”

In the meantime City Council has approved adding $26,000 to Del Mar’s contract with Spurlock Landscape Architects to work with the community on the development of a downtown streetscape plan for the aforementioned six block corridor. Their first meetings will be with the Traffic Parking Advisory Committee, Business Support Advisory Committee and Del Mar Village Association, moving to a community-wide workshop in June. According to staff “street scape” refers to capital infrastructure such as curb, gutter, sidewalks, bike lanes and lighting along with visual aspects such as landscaping.” Councilmember Druker emphasized the importance of landscaping, specifically trees, in reflecting the character of Del Mar in its business district. Council agreed and added providing options for improved lighting as a priority.

Sidewalk ends at corner of Camino del Mar and 12th Street
Photo Ann Gardner.
Click to enlarge.

Enhancing pedestrian mobility in the downtown area has been a vision for Del Mar since the 1995 Community Plan and 1996 Downtown Streetscape Plan were adopted. Completed projects between 13th and 15th include disabled access intersection improvement, reconstruction of sidewalks, bulb-outs and some street furniture. In 2016 Spurlock began meeting with the organizations above to get their ideas on addressing the “vibrancy and vitality” of the downtown area, but the public input phase was delayed by other significant plans, particularly the new City Hall.

Basic parameters for considering the next steps stretching to 9th street are to leave two travel lanes in each direction and no roundabouts. Druker agreed saying that it was important to keep the project scope as simple as possible “to get it in the ground” as soon as possible. We can all start playing our part now. Take a stroll along Camino del Mar noting where the sidewalk ends, or detours, or ends up behind cars; where there are opportunities for more landscaping and street furniture and bring your ideas and even photos to the public workshop in June.



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