Our Readers Write: Little Street parking, Gilman Drive bikeway

This is the parking area in front of Dr. Ron Greenspan's home on Little Street in La Jolla after he renovated it.
(Courtesy of Dr. Ron Greenspan)

Letters to the editor


Letters to the editor:

Parking area improvements are a good deed being punished

I read your article concerning the public parking area in front of my home (“‘Public parking’ on La Jolla’s Little Street is redeveloped, triggering complaint to city,” La Jolla Light, Feb. 11). The article quotes others who are really speculating about where the city property ends and my property starts. As you indicated, even the city was not certain.

I would respectfully ask you to view the accompanying photograph of the area that was the subject of the article taken prior to our moving in and before we did our renovation.

You will see the crumbling, approximately 100-year-old rock wall, the diseased and dangerous pine tree with exposed electrical wiring and the gravel (with many bare areas), spilling onto the street owing to the broken asphalt curb. You will also clearly see the “No parking” sign that was existing and placed there before we purchased the property.

Ron Greenspan writes that this is what the parking area in front of his Little Street home looked like before he moved in.
Dr. Ron Greenspan writes that this is what the parking area in front of his Little Street home looked like before he moved in and renovated it.
(Courtesy of Dr. Ron Greenspan)

We have no desire to limit public parking. On the contrary, we endeavored to improve it.

As shown in the other accompanying photograph, we replaced the crumbling rock wall, which is totally on our property, with a beautiful new block wall, replaced the broken curb to contain the gravel, added new clean gravel to cover the exposed dirt, removed a large diseased pine tree and electrical wiring and replaced the tree with two small jacarandas with low-voltage lighting.

We also replaced a jacaranda tree in the existing planter with a smaller, healthier tree. We did slightly increase the size of the planter, which also previously had broken rock walls around it, and added a small planter and call box in an area to the left of our driveway that was crumbling and broken. We had to widen our driveway apron to allow emergency vehicles access to our property.

Orange cones were temporarily placed during construction so materials and tools could be unloaded, etc., which is often the case throughout La Jolla where parking is limited.

Additionally, a calculation of the square footage of the parking area before and after our improvements was a net reduction of approximately 370 square feet. A typical full-size automobile requires 250 square feet of parking space. However, included in the original calculation of the parking area was a large diseased tree that prevented utilization of a significant portion of the original area.

In short, the area is still available for public parking. More importantly, it is now arguably more aesthetic and is being maintained, which had not been the case for many years prior to our improvements.

We are currently working with the city to assure, as hundreds of other homeowners in La Jolla who have also built structures in or planted trees in the right-of-way areas, that if the city ever needs access to the right-of-way area, we will be responsible for the costs associated with removing the improvements, etc.

We took a neglected, unattractive area in a city right of way, beautified it to enhance the neighborhood, and some resident from outside the neighborhood registers a complaint without doing the proper due diligence or evaluating the net result in an unbiased fashion.

This is a prime example of “No good deed goes unpunished.”

Dr. Ron Greenspan

Editor’s note: As the article noted, the Light asked Dr. Greenspan for his comments before the story was written, but he declined, other than to say, “We are in the process of working it out with the city.”

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Stop building dangerous bikeways

The Gilman [Drive] bikeway plan includes concrete medians to make new bicyclists feel protected (“La Jolla community planners give green light to Coastal Rail Trail bikeway plan,” La Jolla Light, Feb. 11). These raised barriers offer minimal car protection, are bicycling crash hazards and obscure motorists and bicyclists from each other.

The IIHS [Insurance Institute for Highway Safety] study “Some protected bike lanes leave cyclists vulnerable to injury” documents the hazards. The Cardiff 101 bikeway produced 24 crashes in eight months, many requiring hospitalizations. A cyclist riding in a separated bikeway was killed in Leucadia in November.

The raised barriers trap bicyclists and accumulate debris. Downhill riders reach 30-plus mph, encountering five driveways with right-turning cars with limited driver view. Over decades, Gilman bike lanes have few accidents and no deaths. Spending big money to make infrastructure dangerous is infuriating.

Drivers won’t give up their cars for dangerous bikeways. This project won’t facilitate meeting our environmental Climate Action Plan nor Vision Zero no-fatalities goal. Stop building dangerous bikeways with hazardous raised barriers.

Phillip Young

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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 first and last names and city or neighborhood of residence to Letters without the writer’s name cannot be published. Letters from the same person are limited to one in a three-month period. ◆