Car sharing coming to La Jolla

By Ashley Mackin

Would you like an electric car- sharing program similar to one used in San Diego’s downtown and uptown areas to come to La Jolla? The city wants to know, so it sent Jacques Chirazi from its Economic Growth Services department to the La Jolla Traffic and Transportation (T&T) advisory group March 27 to gather feedback.

Chirazi said the car-sharing program would ideally go citywide by the end of 2014, and the City Council and the mayor’s office are on a feedback-finding mission before drafting an ordinance that would allow for citywide car sharing.

“We want to gather thoughts and comments and make sure we have a sense of what you are thinking. Or if there are concerns, we can take those concerns and integrate them into the (citywide) plan,” Chirazi said.

The City of San Diego currently uses Car2Go as a pilot program for car sharing. If the city does not expand its partnership with Car2Go, they will utilize another similar car-sharing vendor to make the program citywide.

Car2Go uses two-person electric vehicles that are available to rent by the minute, the hour or the day. Fees are 41 cents per minute, $14.99 an hour or $84.99 a day. There is a one-time $35 sign-up fee and no annual dues.

In a hypothetical situation, Chirazi explained one could start the rental by picking up a car in La Jolla, drive it downtown — attend a show, go dancing, have dinner or go shopping — and end the rental when they get there. That way, leasees would only be charged for the drive time. When they are done, they find another car, start another rental and drive home.

To find and access a car, users can download an app that shows the nearest one available. They unlock it with their membership card, which contains a chip that releases the car and starts the rental. A green flashing light indicates the car is available to rent. A red light indicates the car is parked, but the rental has not ended.

To encourage use, there are designated car-sharing spaces in downtown, a possibility with the La Jolla expansion. Further, two small electric cars fit in one standard parking space. Chirazi said they would look into additional incentives, such as not charging users to park at city meters or allowing users to park in limited parking zones (such as two-hour) for longer than the posted time.

Chirazi will attend the La Jolla Community Planning Association meeting (6 p.m. May 1 at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.) and La Jolla Coastal Access and Parking Board meeting (5 p.m. May 6 at the La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.) to further explain the program and answer questions.

He can be reached at (619) 236-6326 or e-mail

In other Traffic and Transportation news

■ Valet for La Plaza La Jolla: The T&T board voted to approve the installation of a passenger-loading zone on the 7800 block of Girard Avenue in front of the shopping complex La Plaza La Jolla, set to open in June. The board granted four spaces to be used for valet parking between the hours of 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and the applicants have the option of returning to the board should they determine they need more spaces.

■ It’s Fine on Kline: Required street closures for the second So Fine on Kline block party benefitting Mary, Star of the Sea church, earned unanimous approval at the meeting. The board approved the closure of Kline Street between Herschel and Girard Avenues, from 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19 to 8 p.m. Saturday Sept. 20. The party will have food, games and a beer garden.

■ Half Marathon gets green light: The La Jolla Half Marathon, a fundraiser for the La Jolla Kiwanis Club, also earned unanimous approval for its required street closures. The marathon will start 7:15 a.m. Sunday, April 27 and continue until the race is run (approximately 11 a.m. that day) from the Del Mar Racetrack to the La Jolla Cove.

The route is the same as last year’s, with the exception of one block that will not be available due to construction. A full list of street closures can be found at

■ Tabled to next month: At the next T&T meeting, 4 p.m. Thursday, April 24 at the La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St., these items will be discussed:

1) The removal of a commercial loading zone in front of the residential complex at 7414 Herschel Ave. Although approved at the February T&T meeting, the item was pulled at the March La Jolla Community Planning Association meeting with the re- quest that T&T review it again. T&T re- quests a statement from both the building owner (as to why he would like the load- ing zone to remain), and from nearby La Jolla Elementary school (as to why it would like it removed). After consideration, T&T will forward its recommenda- tion to the CPA for ratification.

2) Also tabled were two requests for zoning changes on Fay Avenue. The Empress Hotel requested an extension of its passenger-loading zone to add two more spaces on Fay Avenue to the curb at Silverado Street. It also requested the portions of Fay Avenue that are currently limited to one-hour parking be changed to two-hour parking. Petitions were circulated to neighbors concerning this change, but were not available at the March meeting.

— More information at