Changing Lanes Del Mar Heights Road to Carmel Valley Road
Ira Sharp | Crest Road
As part of our Community Plan vision of a slower traffic, pedestrian friendly town center, plans to rework the roadway between CVR (Carmel Valley Road) and 4th Street/Del Mar Heights Road (DMHR) moved up on City’s agenda after the collapse of CDM (Camino Del Mar) at Anderson Canyon in January, 2015. The Department of Public Works (DPW) was directed to proceed to prepare final drawings and to get community input.
In November and December of 2016, properties in the vicinity of the Project were mailed notices describing the proposed design elements and inviting residents to attend informative presentations at the regularly scheduled Traffic and Parking Advisory Committee (TPAC) meetings. TPAC unanimously recommended approval of the Project plans.
For north-bound traffic
1. West bound traffic on CVR will remain two traffic lanes and a bicycle lane. The left turn lane will be unchanged The lane for traffic turning north from CVR will see an electric stop signal instead of the always open merge lane; right turn on red will be allowed. The bicycle lane will be enhanced. This reconfiguration is significantly safer for bicyclists compared to the current arrangement.
2. Northbound CDM will be narrowed to one travel lane until expanding back to two northbound lanes at Del Mar Heights Road. Traffic counts and the experience gained during the emergency repairs last winter indicate that a single lane at this point is adequate. There will be no change to the lane allowing right turn on red at DMHR, which begins close to the present bus stop. The left turn lane into Stratford Court, which currently lasts long enough to allow approximately three cars per cycle, is projected for elimination. However, left turns on green would be allowed as the number 2 traffic lane would be changed to a left hand and through lane. Some are concerned this change would cause a large increase in traffic on Stratford Court. An alternative design will also be considered by Council that would keep the left hand turn lane by narrowing the shared use path and removal of a line of small trees encroaching on the City’s right-of-way on the west side of Camino del Mar south of 4th Street.
For southbound traffic
1. There will be two left turn lanes at CDM and DMHR. Del Mar’s traffic engineer’s studies show that this will reduce the time it takes to turn left but it will not increase the number of vehicles turning left on to DMHR. There will be a single through lane, which will eliminate the need for the current merge lane on CDM south of the intersection.
2. The bicycle lanes will be widened and separated from cars by a buffer. Additionally, a new multi-use path, suitable for pedestrians, children’s bicycles, strollers and joggers, would be installed along the west side of Camino del Mar from Carmel Valley Road to 4th Street.
Still under study is whether safety for people crossing CDM in the middle of the block at the terminus of the path down from Torrey Pines Terrace can be further enhanced. Eliminating one lane of traffic with expected slower speeds should provide some help. Also being studied is whether a U Turn at CDM and CVR can be accommodated.
Council is scheduled to receive additional information from DPW in early February and could start work as soon as two months after approval.