La Jolla groups’ resolution seeks dockless bike rules

A joint resolution requesting regulations for dockless bikes is making the approval rounds at the La Jolla community advisory boards affected, with its final destination being the desk of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Most recently, it was approved at the La Jolla Parks & Beaches (LJP&B) group meeting on April 24. Authored by LJP&B chair Ann Dynes, La Jolla Traffic & Transportation advisory board chair Dave Abrams, LJP&B trustee Janet Stratford Collins and La Jolla Town Council representative Cody Petterson (with input from City representatives), the draft resolution has also been adopted by the La Jolla Town Council, La Jolla Traffic & Transportation, La Jolla Village Merchants Association and it is on the agenda for future meetings of the Bird Rock Community Council, La Jolla Shores Association and La Jolla Community Planning Association.

“Having all of La Jolla’s groups on the same page would be the most effective approach to getting something done,” Dynes said.

Among its points, the draft resolution states: “the undersigned community organizations have received numerous expressions of concern about the proliferation of dockless bicycles and motorized scooters, the abandonment of which by short-term users has begun to negatively impact public access to La Jolla parklands, rights of way, and other locations and to impair the aesthetics and safety of our neighborhoods and vistas.”

It asks the City to “implement reasonable and balanced regulatory and infrastructure solutions to address the concerns of public safety and aesthetics generated by these forms of personal transportation, including enforcement processes for the thoughtless abandonment of such vehicles, a more extensive system of recognized bicycle racks, as well as consideration of dedicated placement zones for dockless bicycles and other personal transportation vehicles which technically require no racking to be safely abandoned.”

Dynes explained: “The sentiment is to see regulation of these forms of personal transportation, but we don’t want to send the message that we are completely opposed to these alternatives to automobiles. We know the City is under pressure to (meet the terms of) the Climate Action Plan … bike-sharing can be a good thing if properly used. We just want to see them properly regulated.”

Heads-up City Hall

Although it has not been seen by all of La Jolla’s groups — and even reads “Subject to formal adoption of this resolution by each of the organizations as required by their bylaws, the following organizations have empowered the La Jolla Town Council to transmit this resolution to our elected representatives” — the Mayor’s office has already caught wind of the resolution.

La Jolla Town Council president Ann Kerr Bache said the resolution was posted on the Town Council website, and must have been read by the Mayor’s office.

Mayoral rep Anthony George sent an e-mail to local leaders that reads, in part: “We appreciate everyone taking the time in taking up this matter. I will share your comments internally as we work on this community concern. Currently, we are developing a page on the City website that would outline frequently asked questions and give contacts to all companies so community members can share comments and concerns with them directly. We understand this is a matter that impacts many around the City and are working to address these concerns.”

He added updates would be given as they are available.

Bike ban debated

During its April meeting, the La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) voted to send a letter to the Mayor’s office asking for an outright ban of dockless bikes. However, LJSA chair Janie Emerson told the Light that a meeting was planned with local leaders to review the resolution and determine how to best move forward.

“How this resolution is presented at the the next Shores Association meeting (6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9 on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus, 8840 Biological Grade), will depend on what comes out of our meeting with community leaders,” she said.

La Jolla ‘brand’ racks

To mitigate the impact of these bikes, LJP&B is also exploring the installation of bike racks and corrals around town so bicycles and scooters could be parked — docked or not — in one central location rather than be scattered on sidewalks and in the public right-of-ways, as they are now. The group would like to see uniform racks that are branded “La Jolla.”

By way of research, trustee Stratford Collins said she went around town to document the different types of bike racks currently in place.

“There is a real mish-mash of styles in La Jolla and we’re thinking about one design that can be used throughout La Jolla that is aesthetically pleasing. Encinitas has branded bike racks, Little Italy has them, Manhattan Beach has them. The ones we have now are branded City of San Diego, not La Jolla,” she said.

Examples include blue serpentine bar such as the one at The Cove, green bike sculptures found along Girard Avenue, gray wire racks found at the La Jolla Library and the Post Office, arches with a band across the middle that reads “City of San Diego,” such as those near La Jolla High School and more.

Collins said she would draft some designs and present them at a future meeting.

“Alternatively,” Dynes opined, “at places such as Whale View Point, Children’s Pool and other scenic overlooks and beach accesses, a bike corral could be painted because the bikes are going to be there anyway, and there’s room without too much disruption to the view.”

Details about funding, implementation and placement of corrals and racks would be determined once a design is chosen.

— The next La Jolla Parks & Beaches will be Monday June 4, to accommodate the Memorial Day holiday. La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.