WARNING! No more right hand turns on red at Voltaire and Famosa

by on January 3, 2014 · 31 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach, The Widder Curry

OB Voltaire at Famosa

This a warning from the Widder Curry:

When was the last time your came off Highway 8 west, made your left hand turn, and continued to Famosa Boulevard (the street and bridge that runs over Nimitz Blvd), turned right at the signal and coming up to Voltaire St. Then, after making a complete stop at the intersection of Famosa and Voltaire you turned right? (Famosa becomes Catalina at the 7-11.)

Yesterday? Did you get a ticket? No? You don’t know how lucky you were, because without any notice a sign has been placed at that intersection that now reads “no right hand turns on a red light.”

People are complaining that they are getting $293 tickets for making that turn.

Where did you say that is again?

Going southbound on Famosa Blvd away from Cleator Park to the corner of Voltaire and Catalina; along side of the Catalina Lounge.

We have always been able to make a right hand turn on the red at this busy intersection. No more. The traffic is horrendous – people coming from Correia Middle school; the YMCA; people going to Highway 8; Sunset Cliffs, etc – you can only make a right hand turn when the signal is green.

BEWARE, Drivers. $293 is an expensive ticket! (And to make matters worse – there are plans to build condo’s, a restaurant, and a few shops on the south/west corner very, very soon. The street construction has already begun.)

Just a warning from your favorite “widder”.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Goatskull January 3, 2014 at 9:16 am

I’m sure it’s a money grab. This is not the first time the city has changed a traffic law (or rather an intersection light policy) without some type of forewarning that such a change was coming.


judi curry January 3, 2014 at 9:36 am

And with the building going on where the gas station used to be – watch out for more traffic laws.


SaneVoice January 3, 2014 at 9:41 am

I’ve heard rumors that the alley behind the construction site will be changed to one-way so you can only exit from the alley onto Catalina, not vice versa.


judi curry January 3, 2014 at 9:43 am

What a mess that will be. When the employees of SPAWAR go home at night, it takes forever for the “normal” traffic to get past Voltaire. If cars are exiting onto Catalina it will be a nightmare.


mjt January 3, 2014 at 9:43 am

$293.00, highway robbery.
Public unions, too many police, and the law and order crowd.

Commando thugs, uniforms, badges and guns.
Racist drug laws, corporations out of control

I feel better now


SaneVoice January 3, 2014 at 9:45 am

Maybe if you get a ticket, you can ask your boss for a raise for the unforeseen expense. Oh wait, that’s what corporations do when they have to pay a fine for breaking the law.


Gail Powell January 3, 2014 at 9:48 am

I recently received a speeding ticket from a motorcycle cop hiding under the Famosa Street bridge on Nimitz Blvd. who pulled me over & cited me. I explained I was trying to pass a slow-moving van to get into the other lane to merge onto West Pt. Loma, but to no avail. So it looks like I will be asking for a traffic trial in the New Year. I feel better now, too.


Steve January 3, 2014 at 10:44 am

If there’s a sign posted there that says you can’t turn right on a red light, then that means you can’t turn right there on a red light. There’s already a no right turn on red light sign just like that on the corner of Chatsworth and Narragansett (right by Dana Middle School), albeit with a specific time range.

Then again I hardly ever see drivers follow the rules on the posted sign and usually see at least one moron turning right at the red light when I’m passing through that area.

That Voltaire and Famosa intersection has many people passing through it on foot, on bike, on skateboard so it’s more than likely a safety issue. I can easily see someone getting creamed by a driver trying to make a “quick” right turn on a red light.

If it’s going to be that much of a pain in the ass, find a different route to take.


Goatskull January 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm

The point is that there was no such sign and all of a sudden there it is. The city knows good and well the people who drive there every day will out of habit just run right through it. A better way would have been to at least publish something in the community that such a change was coming, but alas that’s just not the way SD does things. I still believe it’s more of a money grab than a safety issue.


Debra January 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm

I agree Goatskull. Especially when it was reported on the “Nextdoor” site, that a cop purposely sat at the 711, waiting for someone to make a turn w/o noticing the new sign (right after it was put up), in order to issue a citation. Too bad they aren’t writing tickets out to the slobs who insist on throwing cigarette butts all over the sidewalk or not picking up their dog’s p**p.


OB Dude January 3, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Why did this change come about? Instead of guessing at the reasons … maybe Faulconer could chime in?

How about ticketing all the illegally parked vehicles on Famosa? Clean up that street where kids walk to school!

Would it not have made sense to post a sign that says “starting 1/1/14 no more right on red”? Since there is no prior notice, why can’t the cops give a warning for the first 30 days? Suggestion….Instead give tickets to all the speeders on Voltaire going so fast that someone on bike or trying to cross is going to get injured because THEY ARE GOING TO FAST!!!!

Time for round about abouts like La Jolla Blvd so slow people down and encourage them to use Nimitz when possible.


SaneVoice January 3, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Faulconer chime in ? The same Faulconer that didn’t even show up to the OB town council meeting during the last election cycle. Faulconer doesn’t give a damn about OB, he’s in cahoots with that dirtbag Scott Chipman up in PB.


Zach on the side January 3, 2014 at 7:54 pm

In the old days the cops would have stopped the motorist and issued a warning instead of a citation for a week or two. Then cops performed public service. Now they perform government service.


Pfaff January 3, 2014 at 2:44 pm

I have always understood why people place the word “hand” in “no right turn at red.”
However, it is no longer necessary to use the word “hand”. Five words are sufficient.

Prior to World War II, less than 2% of vehicles had factory installed directional signals mounted at 9:00 o’clock on the steering column. That is the reason the word “hand” is still seen in the expression, “no right (hand) turn in red. Virtually everyone reading this blog has factory installed directional signals; I still have 2 cars without a directional signal switch. “Hand” was used because 99.44 percent of motorists were required to used their left arm-hand when making both left turns and right turns.

Here are 3 more of the “no right turn at red” signs at major intersections in the San Diego communities of Pacific Beach and La Jolla.
Pacific Beach: Traveling east on Beryl where Ingraham St. ends and Foothill Drive begins.
La Jolla: Torrey Pines Road ( facing UCSD) and La Jolla Village Drive
La Jolla: Traveling north on Girard Ave. when making a right turn onto Torrey Pines Rd. As the Esso man used to say, “Happy Motoring”


Zach on the side January 3, 2014 at 8:01 pm

I got a chuckle from the reluctance to spell out “poop”!


UNWASHEDwalmartTHONG January 6, 2014 at 5:59 pm

There shouldn’t be any more “right hand turns” in the whole dang country.


Pfaff January 7, 2014 at 9:46 am


I’m impressed your blog-article is far-reaching and has reached the southern states, specifically Bentonville,Arkansas.


Geoff Page January 8, 2014 at 1:12 pm

I’m checking on this with the City. The first response I got was that a request was made for the sign and a city engineer looked at it and authorized it. But, when I asked who requested it, I was told they could not reveal that information for legal reasons. I disagree and have requested the City cite some authority for keeping this information confidential. There is no valid reason for this position as it is not a legal issue.

This response makes me believe this has something to do with the project on that corner. This is an impact to the community and if the plan to do this was not revealed when the project was proposed and approved, we have reason for protesting loudly. The responder said it was determined the sign was needed for current site restriction problems but nothing has changed at this intersection for years so that explanation will need further investigation.


judi curry January 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Thanks, Geoff. I wondered why there wasn’t a warning like there usually is. I also wondered why the “no right turn” on Chatsworth at Dana has a restricted time zone – and this does not. I understand that they do not want you turning right when school is in session, but don’t know why there is a “no right turn on the red light” ever again. Will be interested in what you find out. Judi


James January 9, 2014 at 8:25 pm

I drive this route at least 5 days a week coming home from work. There has been a “No Right Hand Turn” sign there for months now. This isn’t new.


judi curry January 10, 2014 at 9:34 am

I don’t know what you consider “months” James, however the no right hand turn on a red light went up at the end of November. For those of us that travel the road occasionally, and have always made a right turn on the red light, it is an eye opener. Just ask those people that have been cited with $200+ tickets.


James January 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm

The paragraph, “Yesterday? Did you get a ticket? No? You don’t know how lucky you were, because without any notice a sign has been placed at that intersection that now reads “no right hand turns on a red light.” “, lead me to believe you were insinuating it was just put up a day before this article was written. At the end of the day, I’m not happy about it myself.


H0ward g. Singer January 10, 2014 at 9:54 am

Judi and Geoff,

Whatever you are attempting to do to find out about this injustice, keep trying. In the event you don’t come up with something by the close of business Monday, Judi knows how to reach me.

James, I can assure you that if Ms. Curry and Geoff say the sign was installed at the end of November 2013, you can take it to the bank.


Geoff Page January 10, 2014 at 10:42 am

After contacting the City, I was told I had to submit a formal request for the information about the sign and they are supposed to be sending me a form by email to fill out. They seem reluctant to just tell me the information over the phone. Once the form is filled out, the traffic engineer has 10 days to respond. If I wasn’t working up here in LA, I’d be downtown already. I told the person I contacted that I would need to see documentation that stated the City legally could not reveal the name of whoever requested the sign but I did not get a response on that. Hopefully, that information will be forthcoming when the traffic engineer responds, but if not, there are other ways to pursue that.

James, I’ve driven this route for 27 years so a sign a few months old qualifies as “new” in my mind.


Daniela February 24, 2014 at 11:06 am

Hi Geoff…I know this is months old, but did you ever receive a response? My husband is in the process of fighting his ticket (from October!) , and we are trying to get the exact date of the sign posting. It was definitely put up with no warnings, and we have been driving this route for over ten years as well. Thank you.


Geoff Page February 25, 2014 at 8:54 am


I have found out quite a bit more and will write it up this week, I’ve been waiting for one last thing. I think I can help a little with the date. The Work Order was dated 9/4/13 but I don’t have the exact date when it went up. An August 19 email from the City to the person who requested the signs stated the work would be done within 60 days. Since the email was written before the date of the work order, I would guess the sign was placed around September 4 but possibly as late as October 19. If you need a better date, call Mariana Sadek, Assistant Traffic Engineer, at 619-533-3002, she should know.


Daniela February 25, 2014 at 9:26 am

Thank you very much for the info! My husband’s ticket is dated October 8; we will follow up with the planners as well.


Geoff Page February 25, 2014 at 9:31 am

I sent the traffic engineer an email with that question and another, if I get the information, I will pass it along. I would still call her though if I were you.


Pfaff January 10, 2014 at 1:53 pm


Please call or send Judi an email to prior to 2:30 today, Friday, January, 10.

Geoff, as this is Friday, please call the moment you receive the info from Judi and only use your name. Tell this person you’re tired of getting the run around from others!


judi curry January 10, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Pfaff, I have no idea what you are asking Geoff to do, and I have even a fainter idea of what you are telling him I will do. If something needs to be done, please do it yourself; I am not a go-between.


Geoff Page January 10, 2014 at 2:54 pm

I am also in the dark on this comment. I will say that it is too early to accuse anyone of giving me the runaround, the person I’ve dealt with so far was helpful. Sometimes getting information takes a little time and there is no real urgency. Rest assured that I won’t let it drop and if I do think I’m getting a runaround, I know how to deal with that.


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