Pacific Beach’s Diamond Street will receive traffic-calming measures starting June 21

A bicyclist traveling along Diamond Street.
A bicyclist traveling along Diamond Street in April 2022 when it was partially closed to vehicle traffic due to its “Slow Street” designation.
(Steven Mihailovich)

San Diego is beginning traffic-calming measures on Pacific Beach’s Diamond Street to create a more pedestrian-friendly space, it was announced Thursday.

The measure, planned from near the Pacific Beach Recreation Center and Pacific Beach Middle School to Mission Boulevard and the beach, are also part of an effort to improve safety and encourage alternative modes of transportation.

“I have listened to residents and community leaders, and it is evident that the concern is safety along Diamond Street,” said San Diego City Councilman and Environment Committee Chair Joe LaCava. “Traffic calming measures on Diamond Street support the city’s Vision Zero goals by slowing the speed of cars and improving safety for people of all ages and abilities.

“They provide a safer route for people who walk, roll or ride to the beach, boardwalk and local businesses,” he said.

According to the city’s plan, flexible posts will limit continuous vehicular traffic down Diamond Street to right-turn only at the Cass and Fanuel Street intersections, along with signage along the entire corridor to inform drivers and users of this new roadway design.

“At the two intersection crossings, there will be pass-throughs for pedestrians, cyclists and shared-mobility device users,” a city statement reads. “Rules of the road for stop signs and looking both ways are still required and will be enforced.”

Installation of the measures will begin on June 21 and is expected to be finished within two days, with limited traffic interruptions during the work.

The flexible posts are designed to allow access for emergency vehicles if needed, so response times will not be impacted.

This traffic calming project builds off the PB Pathways system, a community-driven effort that started in 2015. Decals and signage were placed along the first phase of roadways within the community, funded by the city and community nonprofit organization, beautifulPB. Subsequently, Diamond Street was used as a “Slow Streets” pilot during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Pacific Beach is a community that loves to walk and bike, and we know how much our residents value the safety improvements this project will provide,” said beautifulPB Board President Katie Matchett.

City Transportation engineering staff worked to align the Slow Street experienced during COVID-19 and the community input for design ideas with federal and state engineering design requirements and guidelines.