Our Readers Write: La Jollans speak out about Torrey Pines Road construction traffic, dockless bikes and other local concerns

Our Readers Write / Opinion / Letters to the Editor:

Letters to the Editor from the April 12, 2018 issue of La Jolla Light as La Jollans speak out on local issues:

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Traffic congestion on Hillside Drive must end

We recently sent this letter to City Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry:

"During the past 5-10 years, traffic on Hillside Drive has increased dramatically — and continues to increase exponentially — to a point that has made navigating Hillside Drive extremely dangerous for residents, especially during the morning commute, 8-10 a.m., and in the afternoon, 3-5 p.m. Commuters are using Hillside Drive as a shortcut to avoid Torrey Pines Road.

Now there is an additional, significant increase in traffic on Hillside Drive because of the Torrey Pines Road Corridor construction project exacerbating the dangerous, twice-daily commuter traffic that currently assaults the residents of Hillside Drive.

Also, the Country Club Reservoir replacement project has contributed additional traffic congestion on surrounding residential streets. These projects have made it impossible for residents on Soledad Avenue, Lookout Drive and adjacent streets to safely access Torrey Pines Road. Formal traffic control on Torrey Pines Road, on Hillside Drive and Exchange Place is urgently required.

We are astonished that the City did not anticipate, and therefore plan, to provide adequate traffic control that could, at the very least, serve to ameliorate this already dangerous situation. — Joseph J. and Nancy Anne Manno

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Editorial judgment lacking last week

Your choice to include three paragraphs of The San Diego Union Tribune's story on Dr. Patrick Walders under the heading of Crime & Public Safety News in the April 5 La Jolla Light issue was extremely irresponsible. Dr. Walders has not been accused of any sort of crime in any sense of the word, except by your publication. He is involved in a personnel issue under review by San Diego State University. It is not a matter of anyone's public safety anywhere.

You made some assumptions in order to make that choice, and that, as I'm sure you know, is the opposite of journalism. — Pat Finn; President, Board of Directors, La Jolla Symphony & Chorus

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Bubble man story is quite revealing

Thank you for having La Jolla Light reporter Corey Levitan do the story about the bubble man at the park in the April 5 Light issue. So many of us have family members who are ill or homeless — or near homeless — and this was an excellent in-depth portrait of a man who is truly struggling. Please show this side of our community more often. — Rachel Perlmutter

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What's so bad about dockless bikes?

Am I the only one who finds it ironic that the La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory group — presumably a big proponent of recreation and clean air — is all aghast at the proliferation of dockless bikes and clean-air electric scooters? I hope the photo in your April 5 issue of joyful bike-renters riding on park grass was not intended to evoke a response like: "Oh my, they should be fined!" or "Get them out of the park!"

Let's ask ourselves: La Jolla, are we progressive or oppressive? Has anyone noticed how hard it is to get in or out of La Jolla because of all the dockless, four-wheeled vehicles clogging our streets? Those same vehicles also make it nearly impossible to find parking at many times of the day and scare most of the would-be clean air transports off the streets. People have been leaving these cancer-causing killing machines everywhere for decades. And guess what? We spent billions of dollars building places to "store" them (parking structures, wider roads, etc.) when they're not in use.

Why not focus on stations or vacated parking spaces where the rented and personal bikes can be safely parked rather than trying to kill the whole idea? Dockless bikes and scooters can be a fun, healthy, pragmatic enhancement to urban transport systems. Can you please focus on solutions to minor annoyances caused by modern, clean-air transportations?

I'm not against taxing or regulating businesses, but the dialog I've seen in the press is quite retrogressive and short-sighted. Yes, China had an "overbuild" issue, but there are towns across the USA that are taking a sensible approach by providing dedicated areas. As a former market researcher, I am repulsed by claims like: "Residents are overwhelmingly against them," which are clearly based on anecdotal discussions with like-minded curmudgeons rather than statistically-significant surveys.

Has anyone surveyed the users of the bikes? Gosh, they might be tourists. Tourism equals dollars for local businesses and infrastructure.

I encourage everyone involved to try to take a more progressive, cooperative approach and think of these individual, shared, clean transportation devices as an inevitable element of the future of urban transport. Our population isn't shrinking any time soon.

The weather is beautiful. Fewer cars, more bikes! — Dan Goese

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Let's limit military test flights

The roar of a zooming fighter jet is all too familiar for residents of La Jolla. Working at UTC mall, I can't help but notice the jets as they zip across the sky for hours on end. Based out of Miramar, the frequency of these tests leaves much to be desired for how our tax dollars are being spent.

Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for all of the hard work and service that our military puts in on a daily basis. After all, they are fighting to preserve the freedoms guaranteed to us under the U.S. Constitution. However, there is something to be said about the management of our military, specifically in regards to how frequently these tests occur, without public input.

One could make the argument that Miramar simply needs to move these test flights to the sparsely populated desert that lies only a couple miles to the east, but that would still do nothing to address the fact that our taxpayer dollars are being used to burn expensive fuel at an alarming rate.

Rather than spend public money on an unnecessary amount of test flights, I propose that the federal government decrease the amount of tests, using the money to solve some of San Diego's more pertinent issues, such as homelessness, the rising cost of education, or the lack of public housing. This would not only lead to quieter skies for residents of La Jolla, but also a greater quality of life for San Diegans at large. — Jacob Sutherland

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Home height comes into question

Whoever approved the plans for the home being built at 311 Sea Ridge Drive should be ashamed of themselves. If that home is in compliance with the 30- foot height limit, I'm eight feet tall. Please take the time to view both new homes being built on Sea Ridge. They both are a fine example of maximizing home-to-lot ratio and look terrible for what used to be a very neat Sun Gold Point Community.

Who let investors from Las Vegas come in, build and move on with no consideration for our neighborhood? The home that's being built is not the same as the plans they showed me or I would have fought it to the end. La Jollans beware! — Pat Magner

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Road project funds could have been better spent

I am glad La Jolla Light published a story about the construction to build sidewalks on the north side of Torrey Pines Road from The Shores to Prospect. However, is this a solution in search of a problem? A sidewalk would be nice, but a six-month construction job and the huge hills that must be retained is sure to cost a boatload of money. The sidewalk on the south side functions well. A few more safe crossings would be nice. However, is the huge cost of the sidewalk the best use of funds?

I bet most residents, and visitors, would prefer that money be sent to pave more streets in La Jolla, underground more overhead utility lines and improve access and stairs to our beaches. I sure would. — Tony Pauker

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What's on YOUR mind?

Letters published in La Jolla Light express views from readers in regard to community issues. To share your thoughts in this public forum, e-mail them with your name and city of residence to editor@lajollalight.com or mail them to La Jolla Light Editor, 565 Pearl St., Suite 300, La Jolla, CA 92037. Letters reflect the writers' opinions and not necessarily those of the newspaper staff or publisher.

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