Describing the current state of Nautilus Street as “completely cruel”, La Jolla architect and urbanist Trace Wilson presented ideas for beautifying the section of street between Muirlands Drive and Fay Avenue at the meeting of the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board on June 16.
Nautilus’ “beautiful line of sight to the horizon” is clouded by “visual clutter,” said Wilson, and the medians are “overgrown with weeds.”
“I think we can do better,” he said. âThere is a lot of right of way, a lot of asphalt [and] a lot of property that we can actually change, make more useful and more beautiful in order to go into the future. “
Wilson presented several drawings showing trees planted on both sides along the nautilus and in an extended median.
His design also included roundabouts at some intersections along the route.
Wilson said his concept could not only beautify the street but also calm traffic and create diagonal parking spaces around Fay and Nautilus that can be used by students or visitors to La Jolla High School.
âWe could do a roundabout at Fay [and Nautilus] that slows down traffic and beautifies the intersection, âhe said. “It’s a huge crossroads in general for no reason.”
Wilson said his idea was âplanting this large asphalt corridor into a parkway. We get more drama, more shadows and shadows, slower traffic. A sensible right of way without so much asphalt. “
The plan would fit in with Wilson’s other efforts to beautify various neighborhoods of La Jolla, he said.
While the designs are just a concept, Wilson said the Nautilus Street beautification idea is a âlove work because if you don’t have a vision, there’s no way you can think about how it can be built and funded. â
T&T board members were positive about the plan but asked several questions.
“I would like to see it [the design] “said board member Patrick Ryan, who asked Wilson to consider creating a protected cycle path.
Wilson said he will look into this as there is a need for school buses in the area for La Jolla High and Muirlands Middle Schools.
When asked about a cost issue, Wilson said, âThis is a major beautification project. … It’s curb and gutter and raised median, it’s maintenance, it’s irrigation. This is going to be expensive.
“[But] If we don’t have a plan, how can we think of ever doing something like that? “
Board member Nancy Warwick said, âIt never crossed my mind to change Nautilus. It’s so obvious when you present it. “
Dan McCandless, who lives on Nautilus Street, said he was “very excited about this plan because the traffic flows through Avenida MaÃ±ana and how fast it actually is”.
He warned Wilson “about placing trees that would obstruct someone’s view of the sea or the road”.
Board member Tom Brady suggested adding the concept to the next T&T meeting as an action point “to put on the capital improvement list for La Jolla”. Chairman Dave Abrams agreed.
Other T&T news
“Spaces as Places”: T&T discussed “Spaces as Places,” a program designed by the City of San Diego to “transform temporary outdoor spaces into permanent spaces in response to a pandemic that safely bring people together to eat, play and socialize,” according to the program’s website.
Abrams said he wants the board to discuss the program and track how it progresses âbecause there is an element of traffic in it. … It takes up parking spaces, these spaces, and influences the flow of traffic. “
“I’m a little suspicious of this venture,” said Diane Kane, president of the La Jolla Community Planning Association. She said the city is asking companies that have installed temporary outdoor facilities for restaurants or other purposes on public roads to convert these structures into permanent spaces.
When the city vacates part of a street, it goes to the adjacent landowner, she said, “If a property developer chooses to develop adjacent land on the street instead of paying into a development effect fee fund, it rises from that requirement,” thereby increasing the City would be left with no funding for park development.
“Will these really be public spaces or will they serve the residents and businesses in the building itself?” Kane said.
“I think it’s a phenomenal idea to eat outside,” said Ryan, “but … if … [the street] becomes company property, essentially getting something for free. … [Itâs] a little creepy for me. “
Warwick added questions about the impact of permanent loss of parking space on retail businesses. “If [my bookstore] was next to a restaurant with lots of parking, it would definitely jeopardize the survival of my business, âshe said.
Steve Hadley, who represents Joe LaCava councilor, of which District 1 is La Jolla, said the program would not be negotiated before the council until October. The city is currently gathering input, with “probably a lot of sophistication to come,” he said.
Hadley said he would convey messages to LaCava or invite him to a future meeting when the program “gets a little more defined”.
Abrams said T&T would “act when and when appropriate”.
To complete a city survey on outdoor use after a pandemic, visit sandiego.gov/spaces-as-places.
Nominations for T&T Officers: The board of directors nominates current officers in June each year, and Brady has nominated current vice chairman Brian Earley as chairman, current chairman Abrams as vice chairman, and current secretary Donna Aprea to remain in that position.
The nominations have been accepted and a formal election will take place at the next meeting. The term of office is one year.
Next meeting: The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board will meet next on Wednesday, July 21 at 4:00 p.m. You will receive further information by email [email protected] â