After two community advisory groups in La Jolla voted in direct opposition to each other when it comes to the new parking at the foot of Playa del Norte in WindanSea, District 1 City Council member Barbara Bry has called for the creation of an ad-hoc committee with representatives from these groups, as well as residents, City staff and the San Diego Police Department to work together to find a solution.
On Sept. 6, the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) voted to keep the current parking configuration — two 15-minute parking spaces at the end of Playa del Norte where it meets Neptune Place — in place permanently. One week later, the La Jolla Town Council voted to rebuke that decision, and ask the City to remove the parking spaces and block-off the area.
The contentious location was thrust into the spotlight last summer, when residents of a nearby condominium complex reported illegal parking in a red-curbed area, and subsequent disruptive activities. At the request of residents, the City installed plastic stanchions that outline the no-parking area to deter drivers from parking their cars there.
In September 2017, surfers and others who use that area to view the ocean conditions, asked the City to remove the stanchions. In December 2017, the LJCPA voted to ask the City to implement a temporary parking configuration as an alternative.
In March of this year, Bry announced: “After receiving feedback from the LJCPA, nearby residents and the surfing community, I have worked with City staff to develop a pilot program to address the ongoing parking concerns. During this six-month period, there will be two 15-minute parking spaces at the intersection of Neptune Place and Playa Del Norte. The spaces will allow beach goers to view the surf breaks and for families to safely unload their vehicles. … Restricting late and overnight parking is important for nearby residents who deserve to have the peace of mind that unsafe activities are not taking place near their homes.”
When revisited at LJCPA and the La Jolla Town Council at the six-month mark in September, residents reported an influx of wrong-way driving up a one-way street so drivers could make a U-turn to access one of those two new spaces, and other safety concerns. At that time, LJCPA voted to keep the parking spaces and the La Jolla Town Council voted to remove them.
As a result, Bry told La Jolla Light: “I have asked the LJCPA to form an ad-hoc committee to identify alternative design options that minimize the public safety risk of wrong-way drivers on Playa Del Norte. The Pilot Program will continue while the working group meets. There are some community members who are a part of the LJCPA and the La Jolla Town Council and it would be beneficial if those members participated in the working group in order to have a broad range of ideas and perspectives.”
The membership of the ad-hoc committee will likely be decided at the next LJCPA meeting, 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.