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Our Readers Write: Traffic at ‘The Throat’ and in Barber Tract; ketamine; airport; more

Three suggested locations for easing traffic at "The Throat," where La Jolla Parkway and Torrey Pines Road converge.
A photo illustration shows three locations suggested by resident Carol Hernstad for easing traffic at “The Throat,” where La Jolla Parkway, Hidden Valley Road and Torrey Pines Road converge. Reader Casey Krawiec has a fourth suggestion.
(Graphic by Daniel K. Lew / Google Earth photo)

Another traffic relief idea for ‘The Throat’

I’m writing in response to the story by Elisabeth Frausto that appeared in the June 25 edition of the Light about relieving traffic at the La Jolla Parkway/Torrey Pines Road/Hidden Valley Road intersection.

In it, Carol Hernstad outlined a few simple suggestions for relieving the congestion often seen at that confluence. I think her ideas are spot on. I strongly agree with removing “the bump” at end of Hidden Valley where the curb juts out needlessly into the street. That bump cost me two wheels and tires when I inadvertently ran it over early one morning as I returned from rollerblading at Mission Bay. Get rid of this poorly designed feature and lengthen that turning lane.

I have a fourth suggestion for relieving traffic in “The Throat.” It’s not uncommon for westbound traffic to be backed up on La Jolla Parkway almost all the way to I-5. Drivers wanting to exit onto La Jolla Scenic Drive get caught in this backup. Extending the turning lane would shorten the line of cars wanting to continue west down the hill.

All the suggestions are relatively inexpensive within the big picture of the city’s budget.

Casey Krawiec

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Time to act on Barber Tract’s gridlock

Thanks to letter writer Ira Parker (June 25 La Jolla Light), who calls on the city to comprehensively redesign street use in the impossibly gridlocked Barber Tract west of La Jolla Boulevard from Marine Street on the north to Westbourne Street on the south.

On the sunny afternoon of June 11, a road rage incident at the corner of Monte Vista Avenue and Sea Lane resulted in an altercation, serious injury requiring hospitalization of one person and police arrest of another. This old neighborhood of narrow streets, winding lanes and scarce sidewalks is always lively, but from March to September it is chaos — jammed with pedestrians and vehicles whose drivers are looking for parking spots to go to the nearby beach.

Traffic patterns are an oxymoron. Two cars traveling in opposite directions cannot pass one another on the widest streets where parking is permitted on both sides. Congestion leads to impassable standstills, frustration, anger and confrontations.

La Jolla’s Traffic & Transportation subcommittee is aware of these problems. It’s past time to get the city to act.

Frances O’Neill Zimmerman

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A call for speed bumps

The hit-and-run accident at Sea Lane was not classic road rage. No drugs or alcohol were involved. The accident happened around 3 p.m. and was witnessed by half a dozen or so beach-goers.

New four-way stop signs were added to interrupt traffic flow above Marine Street Beach about two months ago. Consensus people come to complete stops. Fewer do a “California stop.” Others pay no attention at all.

Changing the existing traffic flow in the area by adding more one-way streets would not change the root cause of the accident: speeding. Speed bumps need to be installed on Monte Vista Avenue and Olivetas Avenue from Marine Street to at least Dunemere Drive and on Sea Lane from Vista del Mar Avenue to La Jolla Boulevard. That would effectively control most of the traffic going to and from the major draw for the area, Marine Street Beach.

David W. Valentine

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Disputing VA statement about ketamine care

I am thankful that the La Jolla Light is helping to bring to light the tragic story of San Diego veterans who are struggling to continue receiving authorizations for lifesaving ketamine treatment for depression at our clinic.

Your story [in the July 2 edition] quoted a Veterans Affairs spokesperson, Christopher Menzie, suggesting that the VA has stopped authorizing these treatments because the intramuscular (IM) method we often use to administer ketamine is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is not the standard of care, in contrast to the IV route the VA has recently begun offering veterans.

This is patently false. Both IV and IM ketamine are FDA-approved for anesthesia, and neither is approved for depression. I have been providing ketamine to depressed patients with great success for over a decade via both methods, and both are widely accepted and effective approaches.

As noted in your story, Mr. Menzie’s claim has been investigated by journalist Brad Racino of the nonprofit inewsource.org and he concluded that “the San Diego VA has repeatedly lied about why it’s changing drug treatments for veterans at high risk of suicide, documents show.”

The San Diego VA administration should put as much effort into doing the right thing for the veterans in question as it does trying to deflect blame for its actions onto others.

Dr. David Feifel
Medical director, Kadima Neuropsychiatry Institute

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Most airport complaints don’t have facts straight

I must take exception with Ms. [Gillian] Ackland’s opinions about San Diego’s airport [“San Diego airport’s location and management make no sense,” Letters to the Editor, La Jolla Light, July 2].

She apparently believes that the airport was only recently built and that we chose the wrong location. Perhaps she does not know that the airport has been there since 1928 and the city grew up to surround it over the next 92 years.

In recent decades much public debate has been heard about “moving” the airport — to no avail, as no good alternative exists. Year after year we hear residents complain about aircraft noise, but these are the very people who chose to live near an existing airport. The airport didn’t move, they did.

They also claim the planes have gotten louder, but they are wrong again, as planes have actually gotten quieter. Starting over 40 years ago, a series of changes in jet engine design has led to far quieter and more efficient planes. This, combined with nighttime curfews, has dramatically reduced the noise impact to communities near airports.

If you feel it necessary to complain about anything like aircraft noise, please get your facts right and offer a viable solution. Otherwise, your opinion is just more noise.

Ted Haas

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Grateful for mask distribution at protest

As a retired nurse of 25 years and a La Jolla resident of 34 years, I am sincerely grateful to the members of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association for generously providing face masks to those individuals participating in the June 12 Black Lives Matter protest.

I, too, believe it is important to end systemic racism in our country, state and city, and I think we all can do our part in this movement while still practicing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to the very best of our abilities.

Kim Whitney

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Thanks for improvements on Caves path

I walk the La Jolla Caves dirt path three times a week. I haven’t seen that path so smooth, so wide in a long time!

The trash cans are a great addition. High-five to the ladies who organized the fix!

Jorge Sanchez

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What’s on YOUR mind?

Letters published in the La Jolla Light express views from readers about community matters. Submissions of related photos also are welcome. Letters reflect the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of the newspaper staff or publisher. Letters are subject to editing for brevity, clarity and accuracy. To share your thoughts in this public forum, email them with your name and city or neighborhood of residence to robert.vardon@lajollalight.com. ◆