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Go Sidewalking
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

The corner on the east side of Camino Del Mar at
11th Street discourages pedestrians.
Photo Ann Gardner.
Click on image to enlarge.

Get on your mark, get set, and go stroll on both sides of Camino del Mar from 9th to 15th Street, making observations for Del Mar’s Downtown Streetscape public workshop on June 14th. The workshop is planned to be held in the City Council Chambers, 2010 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, Suite 100, at 6:30pm (Check the City website at www.delmar.ca.us for final information). Consultants from Spurlock Landscape Architects have met with our Traffic and Parking and Business Support advisory committees to get some preliminary input, and will also be meeting with the Del Mar Village Association. Meetings with the Downtown businesses and property owners are scheduled for early June. Now it is our turn to meet with the consultants to help develop a streetscape plan that will enhance pedestrian mobility and a “Del Mar downtown” that welcomes residents and visitors alike.

The immediate focus of the Downtown Streetscape effort is on components that are “have to do” things, such as improving disabled access at intersections, addressing drainage concerns; “readiness” for installing pedestrian-oriented street lighting in the future if desired by the community (which means the conduit). The effort also wants input on what would be “nice to do,” such as landscaping. Lastly, the goal is to understand the community’s preference for a long-term vision since some of the changes the community would like to see could involve coordination with private property owners.

As you walk, be careful to watch your step; if you’re taking photos, put your camera down before crossing the street. Some sidewalks end abruptly; some curbs are uneven or nonexistent; sloping pavements make it difficult to cross from one block to another; some corners have bulbouts, others don’t. Currently there are no pedestrian safety “islands.” Should there be?

Do you like the existing tree scape? What would you like to see in the medians, if anything? Perhaps more important, what do you see in the streetscape – curb, gutter, sidewalks, bike lanes and lighting as well as landscape – that encourages motorists to ignore crosswalks and stop signs and to rush through downtown?
Working with staff and the community, consultant Spurlock hopes to better understand the community’s vision, including components of the Climate Action Plan that relate to promoting pedestrian mobility and other ideas that promote sustainability for the Downtown. Staff hopes to have a draft plan completed by mid-summer for another round of community input, followed by bringing a preferred plan to the City Council by September.



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