Opposition Forces Hold on City Installation of Traffic Diverters in Pacific Beach

by on June 23, 2023 · 21 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Opposition to the city installing traffic diverters – or bollards – on Diamond Street in Pacific Beach has forced a hold on the project that was to begin on Wednesday.

Councilmember Joe LaCava met with opponents on Tuesday, and then asked city staffers to put the project on hold. LaCava’s office told KPBS some opponents threatened to lay down on the street to block the installation from happening.

The city had announced the project in a press release on June 15, saying traffic diverters would be installed on Diamond Street at the intersections with Fanuel Street and Cass Street to ease what the city calls traffic congestion.

But one long-time PB resident asked, “What congestion? Where is the traffic study that indicates that there’s a lot of traffic congestion on Diamond Street? It doesn’t make any sense.” Also, Scott Chipman said, “It’s fine exactly the way it is. What problem are we solving here?”

Others against the plan say not only is it not needed, it will cause more traffic headaches on surrounding streets. “I am strongly opposed to the bollards,” said Jessica Moore. “I live on Missouri and Fanuel. When the slow street happened, the traffic exponentially grew terrible for my street. There is no need.”

For now, the city is pausing the project to answer key questions raised by those who live on Diamond and want to keep it open. And LaCava scheduled a meeting on Friday, the 23rd, to discuss the issue with staff.

Yet, not all are on board with the hold. The vice president of the nonprofit beautifulPB, Ryan Stock, said he was disappointed in the delay.

“We’re talking about two intersections where you can no longer take a left turn in a private vehicle — that’s it. That’s like the bare minimum we can do to encourage more biking and running and other users of the street.”

Stock told Fox5 that the project was being held hostage by a minority of residents who’ve always been against traffic calming measures. Stock said opposition to the traffic calming measures was not new, and that a minority of residents was holding the project hostage.

“We’ve made so much progress, we’ve had so many discussions about this. And then right at the last minute, this very small coalition of people feels that they have the right to just dictate that no changes can be made to their city.”

Fox5 reported:

Researchers from UC San Diego evaluated an earlier version of the traffic calming measures on Diamond Street, which were installed in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic to encourage safe outdoor recreation and exercise. They measured a 56% decrease in vehicular traffic volumes on Diamond Street, but only a 36% increase in volumes on a parallel control street.

They also measured a 41% increase in pedestrian activity and a 231% increase in biking.



{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Mateo June 23, 2023 at 2:26 pm

BeautifulPB is propped up by developers.
This is a stepping stone approach to privatizing beaches by eliminating public parking and eliminating parking for new residents as well.
Look at the private companies that benefit financially from needless wasteful projects like this to replenish the feed of the bribery loop. That very same ‘dark money” or Super PAC money is going to fund the millions of mailers and ad campaigns on local news networks in the coming months to misinform or at best confuse the electorate regarding candidates and propositions.
Remember when our anemic Coastal Commissioner Steve Padilla’s position was filled by an actual stalwart defender of the people’s rights afforded to us all by the Coastal Preservation Act of 1972? Agency capture.


Frank Gormlie June 23, 2023 at 3:03 pm

Their head and at least one board member (of 6) are part of the developer class.


Mateo June 23, 2023 at 4:48 pm

Then Attorney General Kamala Harris turned a blind eye to the Lt Governor Gavin Newsom overseen California Coastal Commission to fire CCC Chair Dr. Charles Lester at will, without provocation and without explanation. Newsom’s benefactors have had an axe to grind, going back to when activists stopped SR 241, the Troll Road that would have destroyed Trestles and San Onofre State Beaches.

This systematic plan has been in place since Jerry Brown’s Administration:

Coastal Commission Agency Capture
Fortify CA’s eminent domain law
Get the 30ft height restriction dropped in Sports Arena area of San Diego to create a legal precedent
Blame the Homelessness catastrophe to triple down on Build-To-Rent policies to hyper-gentrify
Enter the City into the SB10 (the Death of home ownership Bill, commonly referred to as the permanent compact with Satan that is forever legally irrevocable)
Citing a “Housing Crisis” Declare Ocean, Mission and Pacific Beaches metropolitan areas of San Diego to waive the 30 ft Coastal height limit. Following decades of eliminating parking in coastal neighborhoods in order to create wholly corporate owned privatized beach resort towns, please refer to Mission Blvd in Pacific Beach for an example)
They’ll follow this same strategy in every coastal city and town in California.

All this implemented by a single Strong Mayor an Authoritarian Wanna-Be, and a City Council paying fealty to corporate real estate greed.

Such a decision, affecting 38 million Californians, should not arrogantly decided by 10 elected officials that received merely thousands of votes from 1 city.

Email the planning Department and tell them HELL NO ON SB10 ! ! !


FrankF June 23, 2023 at 6:05 pm

What sense does it make to piss off local residents to the point where it would “encourage more biking and running and other users of the street.”

Please don’t “encourage” me to do something I don’t want to do at my advanced age. In case you haven’t noticed, all the bike lane created in the city are not encouraging anybody to give up their car and use a bike.


Greg June 24, 2023 at 6:39 am

PB has 10+ east/west arterials, including a mini-highway in Grand Avenue, all prioritized for personal auto travel. Diamond street is a quiet neighborhood street that doesn’t connect out to the 5 and could be entirely shut down to non-resident auto travel with minimal effect on congestion in the area. Putting some plastic bollards or whatever not allowing left turns on this one street isn’t some attack on the residents of Pacific Beach and frankly it is far less than what could/should be done given the wasted space and over abundance of east/west arterials in the area.


Chris June 24, 2023 at 7:40 am

From KPBS reporter Andrew Bowen:
“Update: Councilmember LaCava met with city staff and was satisfied with their answers to his questions. The Diamond Street traffic calming project will move forward. No word yet on installation date.”

This is great news. Boo hoo and cry me a river to those who don’t want it.


Kristen June 24, 2023 at 9:15 am

Great news. the obragger “liberals” are mental on anything bike related, it is bizarre.


Frank Gormlie June 24, 2023 at 10:23 am

This is total bullshit Kristen. I personally bike a couple times a week and welcome decent bike paths. Plus, a few years past, I was a major proponent of people biking around Mission Bay and provided “the best bike path around the Bay.” We are just reasonable and are not aligned with Todd Gloria’s friends (Circulate SD) who really are lobbyists for developers, not biking enthusiasts. We also object when necessary to top-down, autocratic measures by the city – and we’ve seen this happen time and time again across San Diego by Gloria. We’re also critical of the waste of public space. So, Kristen, how about you? Are you a member of Circulate? Do you bike? What do you feel when local government forces things on the citizenry without their knowledge, consensus or approval? So, yeah, it’s bizarre when people just believe everything they’re told by the Gloria regime, which looks to be in trouble.


Paul Webb June 24, 2023 at 9:52 am

What if the people who don’t want it are the people who live on Diamond Street? Or on Feldspar or Missouri street that will undoubtedly see increased traffic? Just too bad for them?

Too often our city government approaches all situations as a zero-sum game – in order for some to win, some have to lose. Why can’t we search for solutions that are optimized for all?


Geoff Page June 26, 2023 at 11:06 am

So nice to see you being so empathetic, Chris. Do you live on Diamond Street? Do you like a city government that dictates to the citizenry or do you just like it when they dictate about bike lanes? The issue here is that, NOT bike lanes.


2thePoint June 26, 2023 at 11:36 am

Paul and Geoff,

Honest question: do you believe that we should be an Athenian direct democracy where everyone has a vote on every issue that comes up or do we elect people to make exactly these kinds of decisions?

And Paul as someone who has followed this issue closely it seems clear to me that the city has taken actual steps to find a reasonable compromise on this issue and that it’s people like the Moores (who don’t even live on Diamond Street) who will not give an inch on this.


Geoff Page June 26, 2023 at 12:00 pm

When the government steps outside its expected duties and does something like this the that directly affects the lives of residents, then yes. They need to ask permission, not dictate. Especially if it involves spending public money. And, especially when the people elected do not live up to what they promised, or even try.


2thePoint June 26, 2023 at 12:13 pm

They did massive community outreach around this issue over the last year and a half and it’s clear some people will never be satisfied, so should the city not do anything if a small (but incredibly vocal) group is still opposed to a change? Even if there are plenty of people (which you can see in the myriad of pieces done on this issue) who want these changes?

Also, what are they not living up to here? What was promised in this specific instance?


Geoff Page June 26, 2023 at 1:01 pm

What were the results of the “massive” public outreach? Who was for it and who was against it? So there was very vocal opposition, that is their right. So, try another street and see what reaction you get there. Maybe the whole idea doesn’t make sense. And, my last sentence was not specific to PB, it was about the whole city.


2thePoint June 26, 2023 at 1:21 pm

So you’re saying that 5 – 10 people (that’s how many folks are vocally opposed. I’ve seen the FB threads, I’ve read the articles, I’ve seen the videos about the meetings at the PBTC, this is a problem for the Moores, who again live on Missouri, and a few other hardliners) should have permanent veto power on anything the city is trying to do?


Geoff Page June 26, 2023 at 8:25 pm

No one has veto power over what the city is trying to do. Although, citizen veto power would be great. I don’t know how many opposed it but it was enough to make the city pause.


Chris June 26, 2023 at 3:15 pm

You know my stance. We’ve interacted enough on this where I know you know where I stand. No I don’t live on Diamond St but we have much the same controversies where I do live.


Chris June 26, 2023 at 4:08 pm

And Geoff,
I think in just about every neighborhood/residential area were bike lanes have gone in, if it were left up to the local residents most of (if not all) of those lanes would probably never go in, and that would suck for those of us who do use them, as small as we my be. I now that might seem selfish, but as I’ve mentioned before I’ve had a few close encounters and I’ve just lost patience. Most days I ride I don’t have problems but they do happen.


nostalgic June 26, 2023 at 1:21 pm

Maybe they could repair some streets instead? Just an idea.


kh June 27, 2023 at 3:39 pm

So I actually read the UCSD study on these diverters.

They studied some streets in PB, comparing pre-covid use in August to during-Covid use in April and May, and at different hours. That’s apples and orangutans. Of course the rosy numbers about the street becoming a biketopia come from this dubious part of the study.

Nobody talks about their study in El Cajon, where they actually compared apples to apples, before and after diverters, and there was virtually no change in use.

Now I’m not saying the idea doesn’t have some merit… but this UCSD study used to justify it is hot garbage. Personally I’ll stick to walking on the sidewalk, not in the street.


Geoff Page June 27, 2023 at 4:06 pm

I’m beyond being surprised by this kind of crap. Thanks for the information and taking the time to read it.


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