Option for new roundabout at Ocean Beach intersection makes the rounds
The intersection of Bacon Street and Brighton Avenue is eyed for the project, which will be discussed by the OB Planning Board on Aug. 2.
The city of San Diego is exploring installing a roundabout at the intersection of Bacon Street and Brighton Avenue in Ocean Beach.
City spokesman Anthony Santacroce said roundabouts, which already have been installed in parts of Ocean Beach, are more effective than other available traffic options.
“Roundabouts are accessible and they delay traffic less, producing shorter backups than all-way stop intersections, as can be seen just down the street at the roundabout at Bacon and West Point Loma [Boulevard],” Santacroce said. “This produces positive ... effects for the climate and the economy, reduces noise pollution, and drivers don’t feel they need to make up for unnecessary delay by speeding down the street. This improves safety for all travel modes along the corridor.
“The Bird Rock corridor of five roundabouts in La Jolla is another successful coastal example.”
Andrea Schlageter, chairwoman of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, said the examination of a roundabout has been community-led, with tangible responsiveness from the city.
The Planning Board plans to revisit the topic at its meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave.
“I love [roundabouts], I think they’re great,” Schlageter said. “[But] I’m not a roundabout engineer and I don’t live on those blocks, so I can’t speak to whether they would be applicable to go in there.”
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When asked why Bacon Street is the proposed location for the roundabout, Schlageter said nearby Cable Street is out of the question because it is already designated for bus lanes.
If the city decides not to install a roundabout, construction still would be needed at Bacon and Brighton to make the sidewalks more accessible, she said. The intersection currently lacks mobility-friendly sidewalk ramps at its corners.
If the roundabout is green-lighted, Santacroce said, new crosswalks accompanying the project would be positioned farther from the intersection, “preventing new accessible ramps from impacting the existing storm drains, which would be costly to rebuild to accommodate closer crosswalks. With the roundabout, they would not need to be replaced.”
Schlageter encouraged public participation in the decision-making for the project.
At the Aug. 2 Planning Board meeting, “there will be a much more fleshed-out plan and we will have a larger conversation then,” she said. “It’s about what the majority wants, especially people who live next to these intersections. I think some of their voices should be the loudest.”
If the city moves forward with the roundabout, construction is expected to begin in summer 2024.