Our Readers Write: Street conditions, Pannikin

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Letters to the editor:

Don’t forget cycling safety in road improvements

There’s been a great deal of local debate about which roads should be resurfaced first. I understand the city can’t fix them all right away.

But when looking at the financial burden, I’d strongly recommend a more comprehensive model that includes cycling safety — not mentioned in any articles or letters I’ve seen — and the multimillion-dollar payouts the city is burdened with when cyclists and motorcyclists are killed due to poor street conditions (“San Diego pays $1.3 million to family of man fatally injured in Mount Soledad motorcycle crash,” March 10, La Jolla Light).

Which is a more urgent repair need ... one that could save a life or one that might make a driver’s commute feel smoother? Please carefully review every downhill section of roads that cyclists can ride on. Get on a bicycle and ride down La Jolla Shores Drive through its intersection with El Paseo Grande and you’ll get the wakeup call. It’s like a rodeo, and it’s very unsafe for cyclists.

When we’re climbing a hill, we have all sorts of time to more carefully watch for (and steer around) neglected hazards.

The YouTube video below gives you an idea of how bumpy La Jolla Shores Drive is. This descent is between UC San Diego and La Jolla’s beaches and Village, heavily used by cyclists.

I always take the full lane to take the smoothest path and avoid the rougher parts of the road that are visible here, yet the ride was still anything but smooth.

Most other cyclists don’t have the courage to make cars wait behind them so they can avoid the potholes.

This is just one of many downhill surface-street sections that put cyclists in great danger of personal injury and death.

Dan Goese

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My street was just slurry-sealed — why?

Five years ago, the 0.6 miles of streets in my neighborhood were refurbished with asphalt overlay. They’ve since been fine. Yet recently, even though there wasn’t a pothole or defect in sight, a city crew slurry-sealed these same streets.

Excuse me if I ask, “Why?”

It cost the city an estimated $78,000 (0.6 miles multiplied by $130,000 per mile) to perform this seemingly unnecessary work. All the streets in the neighborhood are cul-de-sacs, so it’s not like they are a major route for through traffic.

Given the terrible condition of so many other city streets discussed in this publication and elsewhere, it would have been way more appropriate had the city Street Division chosen to use this money toward resurfacing some of them instead.

Is there anyone running the show in that department?

Richard Landres

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Pannikin holds a special place in our community

There is a unique charm about Pannikin (“Is Pannikin packing it in? Decades-old La Jolla cafe faces April exit after lease talks falter,” March 17, La Jolla Light). The cafe is an enchanting world that seems far from the new, swanky Vuori store down the street and the Ferrari dealership that sits kitty-corner.

The cafe has the feel of a fairy-tale bakery with its shabby facade, overgrown foliage, mismatched chairs, wobbly tables, potted plants and mix of antique coffee shop paraphernalia that adorn the establishment. It’s a place to people-watch, read, write, debate and argue, laugh, cry and, most importantly, drink good coffee.

The line stretches to the sidewalk as patrons line up to order drinks in large quantities, much like the 2020 toilet paper-hoarding phenomenon. How much coffee can I drink today and how many muffins can I stuff in my bag?

Pannikin La Jolla
Pannikin La Jolla was issued notice of lease termination, and its last day at 7467 Girard Ave. is scheduled for Saturday, April 9.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

From pink-haired teenagers giggling and holding hands to patrons entering their last trimester of life, they come here to be part of this community. My mom brought me to this inspirational haunt when I was little, and as a teen I spent many an afternoon here to study. I now bring my own children.

What will this LJ treasure become? Maybe a developer who didn’t grow up drinking Mexican hot chocolate and laboring over chemistry homework at the back of the cafe will want to transform this place into something depressing like piled-high condos or another fitness studio.

For everyone who considers this space significant in our community, let’s keep Pannikin going strong!

Lea Tervit

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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. To share your thoughts in this public forum, email them with your first and last names and city or neighborhood of residence to You also can submit a letter online at The deadline is 10 a.m. Monday for publication in that week’s paper. Letters without the writer’s name cannot be published. Letters from the same person are limited to one in a 30-day period. ◆