Our View: Torrey Pines Road project deserves our attention

Spending a couple of hours in a chilly room listening to city officials and consultants may not seem the best way to spend a morning, afternoon or evening. But it’s often the best way to get first-hand information on what’s going on in town.

In the past couple of weeks, there have been sessions to talk about Torrey Pines Road improvements, valet parking in the Village, the school budget situation and, after our press time, a Carl DeMaio-hosted session on the city budget predicament.

While many who attended these meetings had vested interests in them, the issues in some way, shape or form affect all of us. So it’s critical that we pay attention to them.

Perhaps the one where we may have the most influence is what happens to Torrey Pines Road. Many of those who were at the Jan. 19 meeting are particularly concerned about what happens there because their homes are near the main drag into La Jolla — or they were interested in the broader issue of pedestrian and bicycle safety. (We’re with them on that one and would like to see more discussion on safety features as well as what can be done to enhance the aesthetics.)

But even if you don’t live on either side of the road or walk or ride there regularly, we should care about what’s planned. How the changes play out will alter the appearance of the gateway to our community for years to come and they stand to affect traffic flow as well.

So there’s a lot at stake. This project has been talked about for years and it appears there’s actually funding available to get it started in the 2012 budget cycle. Although not everyone was happy with what they heard on Jan. 19 when the conceptual plan was presented, we all get another chance to have a say when the Traffic & Transportation (T&T) Board meets on Feb. 24. Board chairman Todd Lesser has promised to listen to everyone and said he’ll hold additional meetings if they can’t get it all done that day. The meeting starts at 4 p.m. at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St.

The process from here on out will be that the traffic board will come up with recommendations after it hears from community members and forward them to the La Jolla Community Planning Association. That group, the only one with formal advisory status with the city, will send its ideas up the proverbial “food chain.”

So, if you have concerns that not enough attention was paid to safety issues, or you want art included in the retaining walls, you’ve got a few more chances to get a word in.

Let’s make sure city officials know La Jollans care about our community. Put Feb. 24 on your calendar now and plan on being at the T&T board meeting.

   
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