Controversy is brewing in Solana Beach over a plan to install four roundabouts on one of the busiest streets in the city.
They’re proposed to be built along Lomas Santa Fe Drive between Interstate 5 and Highland Drive. It’s all part of the Lomas Santa Fe Corridor Improvement Plan to help improve biking, pedestrian and driver safety.
Residents packed City Hall Tuesday with signs in hand and let their voices, for support and disdain, be heard.
Opponents say funneling traffic from at least a half dozen streets into one roundabout is a recipe for disaster and they want councilmembers to put the brakes on the plan. The council is now considering scaling back the improvement project from four roundabouts to just one at Highland Drive.
“Many people are asking us to study it,” Councilwoman Lesa Heebner said. “Doesn’t mean we'll build it.”
Since 2007, city records show there have been six reported collisions, one involving a pedestrian, in the areas where the roundabouts are being considered. Some opponents fear the roundabouts will lead to more pedestrian injuries.
Solana Beach Mayor David Zito said the roundabouts should do the opposite, citing studies that “clearly show roundabouts are safer for both pedestrian and vehicular traffic in a generic situation.”
Residents are also concerned that roundabouts might increase emergency response times and extend evacuation times should fire disaster strike. Zito said that's something the city will study.