Guest commentary: La Jolla MAD is at work on newsstands, landscaping, streetlights and more

An abandoned newsstand is removed from a sidewalk in The Village as part of an effort by the La Jolla MAD.
An abandoned newsstand is removed from a sidewalk in The Village as part of an effort by the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District.

After much coordination with the city of San Diego and publication owners, the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District removed 26 abandoned newsstands from sidewalks along Girard Avenue, Prospect Street, Fay Avenue and Wall Street on Sept. 23, hauling them away to a local landfill for recycling.

Special thanks to volunteers from La Jolla Golf Carts — owner Robert Mackey, Israel Alvarado and Dylan Adler — for their help and use of a trailer to facilitate the project.

The objective now is to consolidate and improve the appearance of nearly 70 remaining newsstands in public right-of-way areas throughout the district. Many of the publication owners have been receptive in working with LJ MAD and the city toward achieving a mutually agreeable solution for purposeful newsstand placement in the district. We look forward to reporting additional progress on this effort.

Routine maintenance activities in the district continued during September, with the LJ MAD landscaping vendor trimming several jacaranda, gold medallion and ficus trees on sidewalks in several areas.

Other landscaping projects in process include planting several potted plants in high-traffic commercial areas and laying new ground cover in tree wells and sidewalk cut-outs with mature trees. Daytime and overnight sidewalk pressure washing continued three times a week, as did daily litter collection activities.

A restoration project for repairing weathered and rusting streetlights along Girard Avenue has begun. Ten rusted streetlights on Girard between Silverado and Pearl streets will soon get a fresh coat of paint. A number of them also have exposed wires at their bases or poorly fitting covers that also will be corrected with this project.

After receiving feedback that the Enhance La Jolla website is hard to navigate, an effort to redesign the website and publish more robust content about LJ MAD activities is underway. The website was originally intended to disseminate information about the formation of the MAD. With operations now up and running, the website redesign will make it easier to find information, monitor the work of LJ MAD and provide input such as suggestions and complaints. Watch for an announcement when the new site goes live.

Caring for The Village presents challenges and opportunities. If you see an issue needing attention, please contact Enhance La Jolla at (858) 444-5892 or email

Mary Montgomery is manager of the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District.