By Art Rivkin
La Jolla resident
The premise of those who object to paid parking is that they want to keep La Jolla as it is rather than what it was. The little Jewel by the sea called La Jolla has long faded away. In years past, it was a destination for shoppers and visitors looking for something special. All the big stores have moved out. The sidewalks are broken and dirty. The trees are not cared for and most of the plants have withered. Our beaches are packed with visitors who do little shopping. Sixty-seven percent do not live in La Jolla or even the city of San Diego, but wherever they come from they are welcome. However, they leave their garbage and debris and contribute little for maintenance or improvement.
Would it be so terrible to ask visitors to pay a small deposit for parking to help pay for these services? Streets have to be repaired, trees and flowers watered, and signs painted, among other things.
Most beach cities up and down the coast charge for parking. Several shopping areas in San Diego have established Community Parking Districts, which provide funds for their communities. Some time ago, La Jolla formed a parking district but because of the contentious nature of misinformation it has never been instituted. Had a parking district been in operation for these past few years hundreds of thousands of dollars would have been available.
For example, Little Italy has a viable parking district. Hillcrest’s receives almost $1 million yearly and Bankers Hill receives almost $500,000.
Furthermore, without paid parking La Jolla is the most heavily ticketed area in the city with $3 million collected from parking violations. If parking was charged in just some areas of La Jolla, we could receive between $500,000 and $750,000 yearly.
Imagine what could be accomplished … Furthermore, financing would be available to the community to provide for more parking areas or even parking garages.
The premise of the anti-parking people doesn’t fly because parking income would rejuvenate this Jewel. Once again it would attract shoppers for the delightful experience of coming to La Jolla.