Morena Boulevard Station Study calls for improvements along Morena Boulevard

The Morena Boulevard project area highlighted in yellow. Source

The Mid-Coast Light Rail Trolley is one of the transit projects proposed by SANDAG in their 2050 Regional Transportation Plan and is currently going through the planning and design phase:

The Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project will extend Trolley service from Santa Fe Depot in Downtown San Diego to the University City community, serving major activity centers such as Old Town, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and Westfield UTC.

The project proposes station stops at Tecolote Road, Clairemont Drive, Balboa Avenue, Nobel Drive, Pepper Canyon, Voight Drive, Executive Drive, and Terminus Station.

The Morena Boulevard Station Study covered the area that would include the stops at Tecolote Road (in the Linda Vista community) and Clairemont Drive (in the Clairemont community).

Included within the project’s study scope was recommendations to improve mobility: bicycling and walking and removing focus from designing only for cars and instead designing for people.

Source: Morena Station Study documents
Source: Morena Boulevard Station Study documents

The mobility/transportation components broke Morena Boulevard into four segments: South Morena Boulevard, Tecolote Bridge, North Morena Boulevard, and Clairemont Bridge.

Image via SANDAG
One day, San Diegans will get to ride a trolley from Old Town to UCSD. Image via SANDAG

The year long community outreach process resulted in three alternatives which included good design proposals for safe and comfortable bicycling, Much thanks go out to our members Michael Muhammad (who until late last year served on the Clairemont Planning Group prior to moving to Long Beach, CA) and Kelly Cummings both of whom were instrumental in being a voice for safe and well designed bicycle facilities along Morena Boulevard as part of this process.

Below are the alternatives proposed for South Morena Boulevard. The alternatives were labelled: moderate, conservative, and aggressive.

Here is what South Morena looks like today:

South Morena Boulevard today. Very car friendly and very people unfriendly.
South Morena Boulevard today. Very car friendly and very people unfriendly.

This was a design proposed for safe bicycling on South Morena in the future.

Design proposal for Morena Blvd by KTU&A
Design proposal for Morena Blvd by KTU&A

Today Tecolote Bridge looks like this:

Tecolote Bridge today
Tecolote Bridge today

In the future, Tecolote Bridge could look like this:

Proposed design for Tecolote
Proposed design for Tecolote Bridge. Source: Morena Boulevard Station Study.

Today North Morena Boulevard looks like this:

North Morena Boulevard today.
North Morena Boulevard today. Two vehicle lanes in each direction, substandard bike lane, parking on one side and no street trees

In the future, North Morena could like this:

Proposed deisn for NOrth Morena
Proposed design for North Morena

Today Clairemont Drive at Morena Boulevard has a lot of challenges as noted in the proposed plan:

The recommended solution for the Clairemont bridge crossing plan must address the existing issues that make it difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to mix with vehicles on the freeway overpass. The proposed solutions strive to improve the overpasses by providing facilities that buffer and protect pedestrians and cyclists while maintaining efficient vehicular traffic flow. Additional improvements are also included at the East Mission Bay Drive intersection with Clairemont Drive to provide better connections to the existing trail system around East Mission Bay.

If the design solution for the centerlane cycletrack sounds a little familiar, it is not unlike what was proposed here for Balboa Avenue by Michael Sullivan.

In the future, the Clairemont Bridge could look like any one of these solutions:

Proposed design for Clairemont Bridge

In addition to the bike improvements to improve mobility, the focus of the study was also around increasing population density along the transit corridors. This has resulted in some vocal opposition, the subject for a future post.