Laguna Beach to make traffic safety improvements on Glenneyre Street

The Laguna Beach City Council looked at traffic safety and street lighting improvements along Glenneyre Street.
The Laguna Beach City Council looked at traffic safety and street lighting improvements along Glenneyre Street. Several side street crosswalks were recommended, including at the Brooks Street intersection, seen in this picture.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Laguna Beach will be implementing additional traffic safety measures and street lighting along Glenneyre Street following a study of the roadway that runs parallel to South Coast Highway.

The assessment covered the stretch of Glenneyre Street from its downtown intersection at Forest Avenue to Calliope Street to the south.

Recommendations included additional street signage and striping for uniformity, as well as added lighting at intersections. The City Council unanimously voted to proceed with implementing the recommendations after reviewing the findings of the report from a traffic engineer.

Over a 10-year period from 2012 to 2021, there were 105 traffic collisions reported on Glenneyre, including 32 broadside accidents and 17 involving pedestrians. Eight of the collisions involving pedestrians occurred at night.

“I think it’s a lot of pedestrians getting hit, from my perspective,” Councilman Alex Rounaghi said. “I think one is almost too many. … I think Glenneyre should be a place that’s really accessible for pedestrians because the alternative is PCH. It’s way better there. … I feel like I kind of want us to almost have a paradigm shift in how we’re thinking about this road.”

With the exception of Forest Avenue, the remaining intersections in the report were deemed not to have met the city standard for lighting. Mayor Bob Whalen asked about the possibility of adding lighting on the side of the road.

“That is an option we could look at,” Director of Public Works Mark McAvoy said. “We would just need to look for electrification, which could be through solar. … Those signs that light up, there’s a little more to the signs and the posts that they sit on. We would have to analyze that and make sure they would fit.

“That’s certainly an option, though it does add another light source at night, which may or may not be received well, but they are pretty effective.”

A traffic engineer recommended the installation of crosswalks parallel to Glenneyre Street at four intersections: St. Ann’s Drive, Anita Drive, Oak Street and Brooks Street. Additional pedestrian warning signage was also suggested at all two-way stop intersections along the route.

“That’s actually the main recommendation from the report is that there’s consistency to the driver, so that you recognize, ‘Oh, this is a stop sign intersection,’” McAvoy said. “Then you get to one today that looks very similar, and you feel like you need to stop. That’s based on the characteristics, so by us being consistent and making these modifications, that should improve because the driver should recognize [when to stop].”

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