Visitors to La Jolla Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Torrey Pines Road a couple blocks northeast of La Jolla Parkway put their lives in danger when they park across the street, say a nursing home employee and a resident of the neighborhood.
Ted Cosby, who lives nearby, uses street parking across from the nursing home. He says the city installed a crosswalk with flashing yellow lights to help pedestrians cross the busy four-lane street.
But he says it placed people in more danger by giving them false confidence.
“If you push the button and walk out when the lights start flashing, without looking, you will be killed. It’s so damn dangerous. Drivers here don’t give a damn about anyone. Some drive down this street at 80 miles per hour,” says Cosby.
He says the city should replace the yellow lights with red lights and add center lights to the ones already on the sides of the street. “Unless they’re red people don’t give a damn.”
An employee of the nursing home agrees there are problems with the crosswalk. She says sometimes cars stop for her and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes she has to wait until the street is clear of cars before she can cross and that it’s worse during the day. She would like to see flashing lights added to the ground along the crosswalk.
I tested the crosswalk just after dark. The first time I pressed the walk button the first two cars kept driving but the rest stopped and I was able to cross. It seemed the yellow flashing lights are more visible at dark.
The second time I pressed the walk button a series of cars in the middle lane all stopped. They were closer to the crosswalk when I pressed the button and moving at a slower rate of speed.
But the lane next to the curb was clear of traffic. A car was a block away when I pressed the button and was moving at such a high rate of speed that he reached the crosswalk by the time I would have been crossing in front of him. Despite the flashing yellow lights and the presence of a pedestrian about to walk in front of him, he didn’t slow down at all.
The pattern repeated on my third test. Vehicles closer to the crosswalk that approach it at a slower speed stopped. Those who approached at a higher speed from a longer distance did not even slow down.
If it’s not bad enough that drivers don’t slow down for the yellow lights, Cosby says many drivers flip him off and yell “f* you!” out the window as they zoom past him as he tries to cross.
And he says if people make it across the street alive they still face the peril from missing or tilted manhole covers along the curb. He says there are four of them.
“Imagine stepping out of your car and falling into a deep hole,” he says.
Cosby adds that if people make it across the street without getting hit by a car and avoid falling into a manhole, they have to avoid tripping over piles of garbage. He says the side of that road is used as a dumping ground for garbage, and nobody cleans it up.