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Update to the Silver Strand Traffic Stoppages

Oct 31, 2016 07:46PM ● By Linda Heath

Update to the Silver Strand Traffic Stoppages and Highway 75 and Future Changes and How They Will Affect Imperial Beach (IB), Coronado Cays, and Coronado Proper.

The traffic between Imperial Beach and Coronado has been getting increasingly worse over the past several years and appears to be on a continual rise.  The increase of population in IB, the Cays and Coronado, increase in traffic between these areas and proposed changes to Hwy 75 (Palm Ave) and the continuation as The Silver Strand.

The traffic is a significant problem for the Coronado Cays in particular as the stop lights are not synchronized between the Cays and Loews Coronado Bay Resort.  There is less than a mile between the two locations and without the lights in sync the traffic backs up very quickly and it takes roughly 45-50 minutes to navigate this tiny strip of land by car, bus or motorcycle. 

It is impossible to arrive at work or school in a timely manner for anyone going into Coronado and many commuters weighed in with numerous frustrated and disgruntled comments with some samples below:

- "Coronado worst traffic today all week! 8:04 and traffic is on stop on Strand at Loews"

Nanette - "
Thanks for the update.  My son sure was late to school again.  I hope the school knows what's happening.  Good Day"

- "Since summer ended two months ago, I have dreaded waking up in the morning just because I know my day will start with a 45 minute wait to traverse a 4.5 mile road..........I conducted a brief analysis of the monthly hours that the City of San Diego loses in worker productivity as a result of this traffic and have found it to be approximately 10 hours per person...."

 - "my son has to leave and hour before school starts in order to drive the 5 miles and get to school on time.  This is critical time for a young man who has so much on his plate."

- "Cars backed up for 5 miles.  Nobody carpools! I ride my bike into the village from the Cays so please don't take bike path away"

To make matters worse, according to an article in the Coronado Times, the Navy will begin construction of the new Coastal Campus on November 7th.  The Navy has plans identified for each phase of construction, the 1st of which is to have lane closures from 9am and 4pm Monday through Friday, with the 4 lane road reduced to 1 lane each direction.  Speed will be reduced to 55 mph both ways! With as many as 500 trucks a day according to Capt. Scott Mulvehill. This phase plan was approved by CalTrans.  It is anticipated the building will take 5 years.  Some questions arise from these anticipated developments such as.... will the lane closures be before the Cays or after? and will this reduce the delays?  An answer comes from Mayor Tanaka "that the closures are only South of the Cays and are to accommodate the wide turns of large truck into the Coastal Campus."  

Since this information became available, CalTrans has adjusted the light timing at the North Rendova intersection, and the southbound left-turn arrow onto NAB.

As a resident of Imperial Beach, I also have concerns regarding the traffic backups, as I discovered on my way to record the traffic from IB to Coronado,  I began my commute at 6:15 and traffic was already slowed at 9th and Palm and I could see nothing but red tail lights going up the Strand.  As I approached the "Y" where Palm splits and the Strand begins, in my rear-view mirror I saw perpetual headlights!  I arrived at the Cays and parked my vehicle to record the traffic.  I again saw a sea of lights, white and red with traffic moving along so I assume that the timing of the lights and shortening of the pedestrian crossings helped somewhat.  But the traffic stayed heavy until just before 8 am.

I have to commend the efforts of the Cays own "Captain of the Cays", Daron Case Cays Photographer and renown surfer for his efforts to bring the issue to the Coronado City Council and Mayoral Candidates Carrie Downey and Richard Bailey for their rapid response.  Many commuters offered solutions also such as a bus to CHS for the students, designated lanes for traffic and buses, police officers monitoring and directing traffic at the peak backup spots let's hope that before November 7th, there will be solutions in place even if temporary.

Linda Heath, Senior Reporter,



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