Editor: In late May of this year, local Ocean Beach residents approached the O.B. Town Council with their concerns about the dangers of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, the main drag into the community from the freeways. The Town Council promised that they would address the issues at their August meeting, which was held last night, August 27th. Dan Allemeier has led these efforts to slow down traffic along the roadway. He attended last night’s meeting and here is his report:
by Dan Allemeier / OB Rag / August 28, 2008
After gaining some local media attention (Channel 10, Channel 7 & the Beacon), a group of residents went before the OB Town Council to discuss the safety issues and property damage caused by drivers traveling into OB on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. Prior to the May 28th meeting, there were only two speed limit signs on Sunset Cliffs Blvd.: a 45 MPH between Nimitz Blvd. and West Point Loma Blvd., and the next sign was a 25 MPH at the ARCO Station just before Newport Avenue, which was also badly damaged and not facing the correct way. The council addressed this situation immediately and within a few weeks 3 new 25 MPH signs were posted.
After addressing the council in May, they suggested getting signed petitions and drafting a document to address the concerns and possible solutions to the problem. After several months, over 200 signatures were collected as were several letters from businesses and schools in the area urging the OBTC to support traffic calming measures. Our approach with this whole issue was that Sunset Cliffs Blvd. is the primary thoroughfare in and out of our community, and by dictating how we want residents and visitors to drive as they enter our community, we feel that will translate to how we want them to drive throughout our community.
Some of the suggestions made to the OBTC included interactive speed limit signs, so drivers can see their actual speed compared to the posted speed limit. This would especially be helpful for cars that have just exited off the Interstate-8. Other suggestions dealt with the fact that it is often time very difficult to cross Sunset Cliffs, on foot or bicycle, and if you attempt to do this in a car – it could be extremely dangerous. We suggested adding an interactive crosswalk so that when a person wishes to cross the street, he or she could push a button that would then activate a signal notifying on-coming traffic that someone is in the crosswalk and intends to cross.
The final issue had to do with how the street is actually designed and much credit should be given to Tom Wilbur, a local that discovered that the southbound lane of Sunset Cliffs Blvd., narrows by four (4) feet as you cross over Brighton Avenue, thus making it much more dangerous as that lane narrows, and with cars parked on that side, too often drivers are caught off guard by such a dramatic change, thus causing accidents and property damage to cars parked there. One of the purposed solutions was to use “rumble-strips” or “rumble dots”, just prior to Brighton Ave. to make traffic more aware and to slow them down as they enter into this narrowing section. As mentioned, all the purposed solutions are meant to help instill in those who enter OB, the idea that we want safe and conscientious drivers.
Last night at the OBTC public meeting a motion was passed unanimously to support the proposals and to draft a letter to decision makers to address the issues.
To contact Dan Allemeier, go to firstname.lastname@example.org