Diving, fishing banned from overlook

DEL MAR — When the Grand Avenue Bridge was a bridge, it was unlawful to dive, jump or fish from it. Those activities are still prohibited now that the structure has been partially demolished and turned into a viewing platform.
But to avoid ambiguity, City Council unanimously agreed to amend the municipal code at its July 13 meeting by adding a section that specifically bans diving, jumping or fishing from the Lagoon Viewpoint — Old Grand Avenue Bridge, as the overlook is now officially known.
Hoping to minimize clutter, Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley planned to install one sign stating that only fishing from the structure wasn’t allowed.
“We felt that if anybody dove off or jumped they would only do it once because they would kill themselves,” said Jacqueline Winterer, president of the citizens group and chairwoman of the ad hoc committee in charge of signage.
“I don’t think you can conclude that all human beings are logical, sane or careful,” Councilman Richard Earnest said. “You will find somebody who wants to do a half-gainer off a bridge just because they want to.”
Brian Mooney, interim planning director, agreed. “If you have a body of water and you have somewhere where you can jump (into) it, somebody will jump,” he said.
Leslie Devaney, the new city attorney, said signs aren’t legally required but they would be helpful to inform visitors and decrease potential liability issues. Winterer said she will instruct her group to include all three prohibited activities on the signs.
The Grand Avenue Bridge once provided access from San Dieguito Road to a landing field for blimps. It was originally slated for complete demolition as part of the San Dieguito Lagoon restoration project, but Winterer suggested eliminating two sections and turning it into a viewing platform. It opened to the public in late March.

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