Frustration aired at streetscape, design committee meeting

By Dave Schwab

Staff Writer

Frustration was the order of the day at the Aug. 23 meeting of the Streetscape/Design Committee, a joint committee of La Jolla Town Council and Promote La Jolla, last week.

Committee member Daisy Fitzgerald, who has been working trying to purchase a BigBelly solar-powered trash compactor now installed on a temporary basis in front of La Jolla Post Office, expressed frustration that that objective is being held up by the city.

“It’s been in the works now for many weeks,” she said. “If the cost is under $5,000 (compactor is a little under $6,000) you can go ahead. But if it’s over $5,000, then you need several proposals and you have to put it out to bid.”

James Beard, a La Jollan who’s been trying to get his “Wave Rack” bike rack that he’s designed installed in front of local businesses, expressed frustration because concerns about liability (people tripping over it) and right-of-way width (8 feet is required on sidewalks) has business owners balking at the prospect.

Esther Viti, a committee member who also chairs the Nell Carpenter Beautification Committee, is frustrated by local restaurants not cleaning up after themselves and leaving trash and grease spills unattended.

Fellow committee member Egon Kafka expressed frustration that hanging baskets in town aren’t getting hung, and that sidewalks weren’t power washed as hoped before summer, even though money is available to perform both tasks.

Funding has been slow to be released by the city, which is managing the La Jolla Business Improvement District. New requirements and changes in process and personnel have delayed some payments, city officials have said. There was also a delay in getting the baskets ordered stalled their installation.

The Streetscape Committee will next meet at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at 1150 Silverado St.