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Heights in Half
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

Father crossing Del Mar Heights Rd. with children.
Photo Diana Scheffler.
Click to enlarge.

Families in the Heights are clamoring for a safe pedestrian route to their two local schools. “We would love to walk our children to school,” said one parent at a recent PTA meeting, “but it is not safe.” Last month the Torrey Pines Planning Board discussed the issue and their hope is to win a SANDAG planning grant in order to hire a professional planner to involve the whole community in designing safer connections between the two neighborhoods: one on either side of the Del Mar Heights’ river of traffic.

Currently residents must cross four lanes of traffic along the approximately one-half mile east/west Heights Road, with no intersection with lights between Mango Drive and Crest Road, in order to access the neighborhood on the other side. The Beachside Shopping Center with a grocery store, a drug store and a number of family oriented restaurants, the Del Mar Hills Academy School, the Boys and Girls Club, a trailhead to the San Dieguito Lagoon via Crest Canyon and High Bluff Park are on the north side. The Del Mar Heights School and a popular nursery school as well as the trailhead to the Torrey Pines State Reserve Extension and Los Penasquitos Lagoon are on the south side. All are literally walking steps away for each side of the neighborhood but are blocked by four lanes of traffic with only one crosswalk at the busy Heights/Mango Drive intersection. And the narrow sidewalk without any buffer discourages walking alongside the moving traffic. As a result even though many residents would prefer to walk, they get in their cars to access everyday needs such as schools, shopping and recreation increasing traffic they fear and reducing the health and economic benefits of walkable neighborhoods.



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