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Open park gates still trouble La Jolla Shores board

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Open during the day, these parking lot gates at Kellogg Park in La Jolla Shores are scheduled to be closed from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. nightly.
Ashley Mackin-Solomon

At the start of the New Year, it seemed as though the La Jolla Shores Association’s (LJSA) longtime request to have the City’s Park & Rec Department lock the gates at night to the Kellogg Park parking lot for security reasons would be answered.

After all, District 1 City Council member Barbara Bry announced last year that she would dedicate her Community Projects, Programs and Services (CPPS) discretionary funding (given in various amounts each year to pay for projects in communities across her district) to the cause, starting Jan. 1, 2019. Bry said she decided to fund the closure because having the gates open at night was “a concern to the community.”

The gates are to be locked from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., via metal arms across the entrance to the lot (which have signs on both sides indicating the lot is closed at night).

But at the first LJSA meeting of the New Year, Jan. 9 on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus, LJSA trustee John Sheridan reported he had walked past the gates after hours, and they were “wide open.”

Bry’s field representative Mauricio Medina told the board the open gates might be attributed to “human error,” and that the staffers tasked with locking them may not have been properly supervised.

City spokesperson Tim Graham later told the Light the gates have been locked “between 10 and 11 p.m.” with one complaint.

In other LJSA news

10 seats up in March: The next LJSA election will be held during the March 13 meeting, at which time 10 board seats will be up for grabs (four current board members are qualified to run again). Candidates must live, work or own property in The Shores, and submit a candidate statement by the Feb. 13 meeting. Those interested in running can e-mail: ljsa.org@gmail.com

Map update: Friends of La Jolla Shores president Mary Coakley Munk reported that approximately 300 people attended the Jan. 1 open house to view the in-progress “The Map” educational installation. The Map will be created using a process known as LithoMosaic, invented by artist Robin Brailsford, in which 450,000 small tiles will be pieced together to create mosaics of the marine life found at sea off the coast of La Jolla Shores. The display uses various shades of blue to represent different ocean depths.

Coakley Munk said the project should be completed by Memorial Day, and installed at Kellogg Park by the Fourth of July.

Stropky on scooters: During his report, Lifeguard Lt. Rich Stropky was asked whether electric scooters are permitted on the La Jolla Shores boardwalk (aka Walter Munk Way). He said lifeguards try to “warn” riders on the boardwalk, but couldn’t verify whether the scooters are legally allowed to be there. Stropky said in his experience, most scooter riders are not local, and he called their presence “a real hazard.”

In May 2018, City Council members Barbara Bry and Lorie Zapf attempted to pass a ban on scooters on the Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla Shores boardwalks, but it was voted down by the San Diego City Council, 5-4.

UCSD expansion: LJSA members expressed concern about the extent to which potential increases in traffic have been considered as part of UC San Diego’s expansion projects.

UCSD representative Bob Brown told the board there was going to be more building on campus as part of the school’s Long Range Development Plan to bring more students and staff to the school.

Trustee Charlie Brown said Expedition Way (leading to Birch Aquarium) is a small street and traffic will increase with more students.

Trustee Angie Preisendorfer added the increase in the number of students and staff was not mentioned in the traffic studies associated with the building projects, and that the public comment period on these projects had since closed.

La Jolla Shores Association next meets 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13 at Martin Johnson House on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus, 8840 Biological Grade. lajollashoresassociation.org