La Jolla Parks & Beaches to form Fay Ave. Bike Path committee: Plan calls for creation of maintenance fund

La Jolla Parks & Beaches (LJP&B), the same group that worked to improve safety along the Fay Avenue Bike Path, is looking to make a more long-term mark on the nearly one-mile lane. The board voted, during its Aug. 27 meeting, to formalize efforts to maintain the Bike Path and create a committee pursue a fund that would cover future path maintenance expenses.

The Fay Avenue Bike Path (also known as the La Jolla Bike Path) sits between Nautilus Street and Mira Monte, and is used by both cyclists and pedestrians. Immediately east of the bike path are steep, sensitive slopes that contain native vegetation. There are also connecting, unpaved walking paths that continue south to Camino de la Costa. Some of this section, though, is owned by the La Jolla United Methodist Church.

La Jolla resident Debbie Adams told the board she frequently uses the Fay Avenue Bike Path and is concerned with its condition: “I walk the path almost daily and worry about the possibility of a fire. We get more and more dead material there. There are large dead branches that need to be cut up and moved out. But that requires volunteer efforts and money. We also get encampments there because the underbrush hasn’t been pruned. I pick up the trash, but there are things way under the brush that would be too hard for one person to pull out.”

There have been community clean-ups in the past, and when more extensive equipment (beyond two hands) was required, volunteers sought grants to pay for them. The Kiwanis Club of La Jolla, at one time, provided such a grant.

Hoping to pursue a similar approach in a more formal way, LJP&B discussed establishing a fund into which grants or donations could be deposited, providing resources to pay for the Right of Entry permits needed to do the clean-ups and work on the City-maintained property on an annual basis.

LJP&B trustee and Kiwanis Club member Phyllis Minick suggested applying for a Kiwanis grant again, and noted the grant cycle was starting soon and could fund the next clean-up. Should there be any money left over from the grant, she added, that could be used as seed money for future permits.

Eyeing October for the next community clean-up, Adams said she would reach out to the Interact Club at La Jolla High School, local Boy Scout troops and other volunteer groups and invite their participation.

“It seems like we have the perfect recipe to do this,” said chair LJP&B Ann Dynes. A motion to establish a fund, apply for a grant, apply for a right-of-entry permit and pursue a clean-up passed unanimously.

This would not be first organized effort by residents to improve the Fay Avenue Bike Path. In late 2015, residents advocated for the City to make minor repairs and better indicate the presence of pedestrians and bicyclists. In June 2016, new signs and stenciling on the street went into place, and curbs were painted bright red, so people would not park in front the ingress/egress points.

In other LJP&B news:

Children’s Pool Walk plaque: Minick, who also spearheaded the Children’s Pool Walk beautification project currently under construction, requested the board support her efforts into getting a plaque at the site to thank the donors who contributed to the project.

Plans are to remove the vegetation and re-set the concrete to make a new sidewalk overlooking Children’s Pool beach, and add sitting walls consistent with those that front the Children’s Pool lifeguard tower. As a public-private partnership project, $280,000 was privately raised and the City funded the rest.

Minick presented the board with a tentative design that thanked the City, La Jolla Parks & Beaches committee and the donors who gave at least $500. The size of the lettering would reflect the size of the donation. For example, La Jolla resident Tom Morgan donated $200,000 and his name is the largest and most prominent.

The location of the plaque has not been determined, and several trustees suggested affixing it to a man-made object. And while in support of recognizing the donors, some trustees voiced opposition to the size, arguing something smaller would be less obtrusive.

A motion to approve the plaque in concept, with final details forthcoming, passed unanimously.

Application in the mail: La Jolla Historical Society board member and Preservation Committee chairperson Diane Kane got the green light to submit an application to list Children’s Pool on the National Register of Historic Places. To qualify for the distinction, Kane has been investigating the ins and outs of the Pool, including its boundaries, what was there when it was constructed in 1931, why it is architecturally significant, the benefits to having it listed, and what Criterion should be applied.

Deciding on Criterion C, which focuses on “innovative engineering and design,” Kane said she would focus on the significance of architect William Templeton Johnson and engineer Hiram Savage.

Kane’s report is almost 30 pages, with another 17 pages of maps and illustrations. A hard copy of her nomination application is available for viewing at the La Jolla Historical Society, 980 Prospect St.

By getting Children’s Pool on the Register, any construction around the Pool or to the breakwater itself would not be subject to modern building codes. “If you look at those railings, they look like they are about to rust and fall into the ocean. If you were to replace those now (modern building code dictates) they would need to be much higher, with no more than four inches between the railings,” she said.

After some brief discussion, Kane was thanked profusely and commended for her enthusiasm and dedication to the effort, and a motion to authorize that the application be lodged in coordination with the La Jolla Historical Society was passed unanimously — and to applause.

La Jolla Parks & Beaches next meets 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24 at Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.

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