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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the Imperial Beach Improvement Project which will be Breaking Ground in 2019

Jan 04, 2019 08:39PM ● By Paul Spear

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the Imperial Beach Improvement Project which will be Breaking Ground in 2019

With construction set to begin in 2019, the will be grabbing lots of headlines in 2019. Here are answers to some of the most common questions asked!

A big thank you to the City of IB for providing all the photos and information below!

Project Background 

What exactly does this project entail? 

The bulk of Imperial Beach Blvd between Seacoast Drive and 14th Street will be reconstructed, including the narrowing and reallocation of vehicle lanes to promote traffic calming and installation of Class II Bike Lanes, controlled crosswalks with flashing beacons, ADA compliant pedestrian ramps, additional amenities to bus stops, low impact development planters, wider sidewalks, improved aesthetic features along the Tijuana Estuary, and unified design theme to enhance the user experience. The natural features of this stretch of road, especially along the Tijuana Estuary, provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an innovative world class roadway design that will be both inspirational and functional. To view the current project plan on the project’s Facebook page: 

Why is the City moving forward with this Project? 

The City of Imperial Beach has an objective to create complete, green streets to make more functional and safe connections between residences, schools, transit, tourist attractors, and businesses around the city. For Imperial Beach Boulevard, design concepts adding dedicated bike lanes, landscaped “pop-outs” for aesthetic and water quality benefits, newly enhanced bus stops and upgraded pedestrian features have been reviewed and presented. These plans apply complete green street concepts for the entirety of Imperial Beach Boulevard, including traffic lane reallocation from approximately 12th Street to Seacoast, to accommodate expanded bike and pedestrian facilities. 

How much will the project cost? 

The project is estimated to cost between $5 Million and $10 Million. The final cost will depend on final design decisions. What is the project schedule? The project engineering plans are expected to be complete September 2018 and construction is expected to begin January 2019. How long will construction take? The Project’s details are currently being solidified. As project details change the duration of the construction may also change slightly. Currently the construction is expected to take six to 12 months and will be completed in two to three phases. What if I have an issue during construction? If you notice an issue during construction or have a question about project construction, contact Juan Larios ((619) 424-2214/ at the City of Imperial Beach. 

Vehicular Traffic 

How will this project affect my commute and traffic? 

A traffic study was completed that assessed the traffic impacts associated with the project. The reallocation of vehicular travel lanes to sidewalk and bicycle uses west of 13th Street is not anticipated to result in materially significant delays to vehicular traffic. Traffic delays are generally experienced at controlled intersections like signals and all-way-stops. For this reason, the number of vehicular lanes were generally maintained at the Connecticut and 13th Street intersections. Overall, the amount of delay the average driver experiences isn’t expected to increase more than 2-3 seconds in the highest traffic times. 

How will traffic diversion or cut-through traffic affect my neighborhood as a result of this project? 

This project includes several features designed to reduce neighborhood cut-through traffic occurring on the residential streets south of Mar Vista High School. To address these concerns, U-turn opportunities are included in the design to allow cars looking for parking to change directions of travel on Imperial Beach Blvd without utilizing residential streets and private driveways. 

How will this project affect emergency access and response times? 

All project plans have been reviewed by the Imperial Beach Fire Department. This review ensured that the new configuration of the roadway will allow adequate space for emergency vehicles. In the unfortunate event an emergency creates the need for evacuation, it is anticipated that both lanes of traffic and available bicycle and buffer lanes could be converted to eastbound evacuation traffic lanes to complete evacuation as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

How will this project affect parking on Imperial Beach Blvd? 

Over 50 additional on-street parking spaces will be added along Imperial Beach Boulevard from Seacoast Drive to 13th Street. The additional on-street parking space will benefit residents and businesses along Imperial Beach Boulevard as well as reduce speeds along the corridor and calm traffic. 

Active Transportation, Complete Streets, Green Streets 

What is Active Transportation? Active Transportation is any mode of transportation that is self-propelled or human-powered. This includes walking and biking among other forms of transportation. Active Transportation focused roadway projects like this one, provide additional facilities and facility improvements that improve the comfort level of those walking or biking along a corridor. 

How will this project make Imperial Beach Blvd more comfortable for people and children walking along the corridor? 

The project includes 3 additional midblock crossings and high visibility crosswalks at existing intersections. Wider sidewalks are included at many locations and pop-outs/bulb-outs are included at most cross-streets. These pop-outs/bulb-outs will reduce pedestrian crossing distance and will improve visibility of people crossing the street and in turn will make the corridor safer for all users. 

How does this project make Imperial Beach Blvd more comfortable for people and children biking along the corridor? 

Currently Imperial Beach Boulevard does not have bicycle facilities except for Class III Bike Route Sharrows from Seacoast Drive to 3rd St. This project will install new bike facilities for the entirety of the corridor. A Class II Bike Lane will be installed on the north side of Imperial Beach Boulevard from Seacoast Drive to 13th St and on the south side of Imperial Beach Boulevard from 3rd St to 13th St. From Seacoast Drive to 3rd St, a Class I Multi-Use Path will connect casual bicyclists to the beach and the trailhead at the Tijuana Estuary. 

What are Complete Streets? 

Complete Streets are streets that are designed for all modes and users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. These streets will facilitate crossing the street, walking to shops or the beach, and bicycling to work and in some cases, these streets include green street components. One of the goals of this project is to enhance Imperial Beach Boulevard to serve all modes and users. 

What are Green Streets? 

Green Streets are streets that utilize stormwater runoff as a resource. Using landscaped streetside planters, Green Streets capture stormwater runoff and allow it to soak into the ground and the roots of the plants to clean and filter the water. Green Streets also provide beautiful streetscapes that can connect businesses, parks, schools, and homes, and can be designed for all modes and users. Environment and Ecological Sites 

How does this project benefit the environment? 

This project includes numerous pop-outs/bulb-outs which not only serve to calm traffic and enhance the pedestrian experience, but will also include landscaping in the form of flowthrough planters that will intercept stormwater, allow a portion of it to infiltrate the ground and a portion to evaporate into the air, before any remaining water enters the sewer system. The water that will flow into the sewer will be filtered and cleaned by plants and will head into the sewer much cleaner than if it flowed directly into the sewer from the street. Water that enters the sewer may flow to beaches and the Tijuana Estuary and filtering this water before it enters the sewer system ensures that it is cleaner and will have less impact on these water bodies and the environment. In addition, trash and debris collectors will be installed to further clean water before it enters any natural water bodies. 

How does this project impact the Tijuana Estuary? 

Landscaped stormwater infrastructure and trash and debris collectors will filter stormwater before it flows into the Tijuana River. A multi-use path is proposed from Seacoast Drive to 3rd Street which will include interpretative signs and will enhance the walking and biking environment from the beach to the Tijuana Estuary trailhead. This will support eco-tourism and draw additional people to come and enjoy the Estuary. This multi-use path will also provide a planned connection to the Bayshore Bikeway via Seacoast Drive and Palm Avenue. This connection is part of the City of Imperial Beach Bicycle Transportation Plan. In addition, the Estuary’s trailhead will be enhanced with additional benches and bicycle parking. 

The effort to find solutions for the community’s safety concerns began in 2011 when the City of Imperial Beach held a series of workshops and open house meetings with stakeholders to resolve concerns. The stakeholders included school students and parents, Circulate San Diego, representatives from Imperial Beach, the San Diego County Sheriff and County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency.

The workshops and open house feedback lead to an innovative street design to improve safety and beautify Imperial Beach Boulevard with multi-benefit infrastructure, enhance the user experience and promote active transportation in the community by connecting neighborhoods, commercial areas, schools, parks, and the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. The three pillars of the project include gateway, civic, and coastal estuary.

For more complete details on the project you can visit the link below:

For questions or comments, please visit:

Imperial Beach Improvement Project

or contact
Juan Larios, Civil Engineer
(619) 424-2214

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