Traffic & Transportation Board makes scooter-corral recommendation

The T&T board votes 6-3 to recommend an amended version of the City’s scooter corral proposal to the La Jolla Community Planning Association.
The T&T board votes 6-3 to recommend an amended version of the City’s scooter corral proposal to the La Jolla Community Planning Association.

On July 17 — only one day before the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) voted whether to approve scooter corrals in La Jolla — the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board (T&T) voted 6-3 to recommend that LJCPA approve a list of 81 corrals (half the number originally proposed by the City).

T&T’s motion also asked LJCPA to recommend that the City require that scooter companies geo-fence their devices, so that riders are charged until their scooters are parked in a corral. It also asked the City to make its Get It Done app more user-friendly and include a separate option to report mis-parked scooters.

The vote followed a slideshow during which Council member Barbara Bry’s representative, Mauricio Medina, demonstrated the proposed corral locations, then about 90 minutes of debate over the proposal.

“Is there any enforcement mechanism that’s in effect right now?” La Jolla resident Diane Kane asked Medina about the new City scooter ordinance. “Has anybody on City staff been assigned?”

Medina replied that the San Diego Police Department is the ordinance’s enforcement arm.

“And are the police actually enforcing this?” Kane followed up.

“I don’t want to speak for the police,” Medina replied, “but I can share that they are issuing citations for riding on sidewalks, for underage riding and for riding with passengers.”

La Jolla resident Barbara Dunbar stated that if a Bird scooter is reported via the City’s Get It Done app, that complaint is automatically forwarded to a Bird e-mail address.

“So all they’re doing is sending a notice to the company to be aware that a complaint has been filed,” she said. “They are doing nothing.”

T&T chair Dave Abrams expressed disappointment that the City did not honor his request to send its own staff member to defend its policies and answer the myriad questions posed by members of the board and audience.

“Mauricio’s doing his best, but …” Abrams said, letting his sentence trail off.

Board member Tom Brady noted: “I have a feeling that the City, in their desire to get these things in, made some huge mistakes.”

Also at T&T

  • Procession concession: Claire and Rick Manoogian, residents of the Bay Area, received T&T’s blessing for special traffic exemptions to accommodate their wedding procession on Saturday, Sept. 14. T&T recommended to LJCPA that the bride and groom and their 125 guests be allowed to walk from the Congregational Church of La Jolla, 1216 Cave St., to the La Valencia Hotel, 1132 Prospect St., along streets that are closed off only until the last person in the procession crosses them. “We were thinking about walking on the sidewalk,” Claire said, “but I thought it might be really fun to have a procession, kind of like in the style of an Italian village.” She said the couple already hired a five-piece marching band to escort guests. Brady called it “a delightful idea,” noting that his own daughter got married and then walked on sidewalks from Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church to the La Jolla Financial Building. The vote was 8-1. The dissenting vote was Ross Rudolph, who noted: “I have some concerns about traffic congestion occurring on a busy La Jolla weekend. I’m also concerned that this would set a precedent. You can imagine five or six of these happening in a single day.” Abrams responded: “I certainly don’t see five or six of them on any given day, because it’s not easy to get one of these permits. I think it’s actually nice for The Village.”
  • Seeing red over yellow: The board voted unanimously to ask the City if it can change the color of several flashing crosswalk lights along La Jolla Boulevard from yellow to red. La Jolla resident Ira Parker made the request, noting that yellow suggests to motorists only to slow down, not to stop as required by law whenever a pedestrian is in the crosswalk. “I’m not sure they’ll buy it,” Abrams said, “but we’ll give it a shot.”
  • Art & Wine approved: The board unanimously approved street closures and temporary no-parking for the La Jolla Art &Wine Festival, Oct. 12 along Girard Avenue.

— La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board next meets 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. 