Letters to the Editor: 11/15
Bird Rock roundabouts have problems
The Bird Rock Obstacle Course is only getting worse. Sure, the two main roundabouts slow the traffic, but there have been numerous accidents including at least one fatality. Now more roundabouts are being added on the unlit sidestreets to the east and west. There is also a median in the middle of Forward, where the median line has already been erased and parking is allowed on both sides, making it necessary to duck into an unoccupied space to let an oncoming car pass. How can this be approved? I would hate to live near any of these concrete wreck-causers and have to endure the results. I would much rather have my front yard expanded like at Beaumont and Camino de la Costa, or at Linda Rosa and Colima along La Jolla Mesa. How do I apply for that?
My observation is while traffic is slowed on La Jolla Boulevard in Bird Rock, the traffic going north not only speeds up more now after passing them, but cars speed up going south in anticipation of the “traffic calming” devices. Other than at Genter, where it is 25 mph, I have yet to see a car pulled over, and never one of the city buses that routinely go 45+ in the 35 mph zone.
It seems painfully obvious that increased enforcement would not only have been more effective, but with the enormous costs of this current mess, it would have been cheaper to hire a few more officers and we would have money left to landscape. Factor in the loss of time from construction & loss of business and businesses, and cost of accidents, all during a budgetary crisis; I fail to see how this was approved, much less be considered an improvement.
La Jolla not an anomaly without paid parking
After reading Travis Hunter’s writeup on “The great paid-parking debate’s cast of characters,” I feel it necessary to correct some misconceptions. When discussing Martin Mosier as an expert concerning on- street paid parking, the article states that Martin “describes La Jolla as an anomaly in a state where paid on-street parking is the norm near the coast.” He further goes on to say that Laguna Beach and Monterey are good examples of places “where successful programs proved that such fears were unfounded.”
This is a very misleading statement. Monterey, in fact, only has metered parking on Cannery Row. Just a couple of blocks and that’s it. This is the main tourist area and includes the famous Monterey Aquarium. Nothing like La Jolla. There are no metered areas anywhere else in downtown Monterey or the surrounding residential areas.
Laguna Beach is on a main thoroughfare (Pacific Coast Highway) that pulls thousands of people through the town each day. Nothing like La Jolla.
In fact, there are many coastal towns in California that do not have on-street paid parking. Among them, Santa Barbara, Carmel, Ventura, Encinitas, Pacific Grove, Solana Beach, Montecito, Eureka, almost all of Monterey, Mendocino, Ferndale, and I’m sure several others. These are towns whose economies are doing quite well without on-street paid parking and the people I talked to at their Chambers of Commerce feel that paid parking would harm their towns’ ambiance and desirability.
La Jolla doesn’t sound like an anomaly to me. Just the opposite. Let’s not be mislead by special interests and allow our quality of life to be degraded.
Owner, K. Nathan Gallery
Grande Colonial Hotel gets big thanks from fire evacuees
Attn: Grande Colonial Hotel general
You and your staff are to be congratulated for operating a clean and inviting hotel with friendly employees at all levels willing to help.
My wife and I were guests at your hotel for the nights of Oct. 22-23, when we had to evacuate our home in Rancho Santa Fe. We checked out on the morning of Oct. 24th.
Our room was lovely and my wife is still talking about the Grand Colonial and how we must recommend it to our friends.
This was the beginning of a rush of evacuees from the fire area. We saw guests arriving with several small children and most often with a pet or two (some in carriers and some just on leashes). Many could not afford the move and were confused and despondent.
My wife and I had been provided free buffet suppers for your guests, as well as complimentary breakfast buffets the next mornings. We noticed a thoughtful touch of supplying pages from coloring books and crayons for children and even some games.
When I checked out, I told the cashier that we were only charged for one day, instead of two. She told me that one day was “comped.” I told her there was no need for that and the young man who was also checking people in and out confirmed this to the cashier. It was unnecessary but very considerate.
I noticed a young mother next to me with three small children and a pet wondering how she could pay the bill, and she told the cashier she would like to discuss it. The cashier said there was no bill. The hotel had comped her stay.
What a wonderful gesture during the fire catastrophe. Free room and board to desperate people. You are to be congratulated and complimented on your generosity and being a friend indeed of these people.
Victor H. Ottenstein
Kudos to media for landslide coverage
With all that’s been happening in San Diego County over the past few weeks, I believe the media is another group that deserves special recognition for its service to the community. I am particularly grateful for the sensitive handling of our situation, first reported by the Union Tribune and The La Jolla Light. We live on Caminito Avola, a street still at risk on the north side of Mt. Soledad.
To a person, reporters who arrived on our doorstep, located directly across from a subsiding slope, demonstrated a genuine concern for the safety of threatened neighborhood residents. Despite the fact that another slide on the mountain would provide a more exciting news event, I have the feeling that none of them want to see it happen.
Observing coverage of the recent fires reinforces my opinion that we have some of the finest professional journalists in the country. They are credit to the organizations they represent and to San Diego. Thank you.
Keeping Score on Promote La Jolla
In a commentary of Oct. 18, Promote La Jolla’s spokesperson was concerned that progress was not "… coming to our corner of the world.” But PLJ’s sense of progress differs greatly from that of the community. The PLJ spokesperson states, “Ten years ago, PLJ had a private investor to build a parking garage, and the residents killed the proposal.”
What was not said was that the garage was to be built on our public park - the LJ Recreation Center playground/tennis courts. This was the parking garage idea killed by the residents in La Jolla. The commentary neglected to remind us that La Jolla residents came out by the hundreds, including a direct descendent of Ellen Browning Scripps, to quash that preposterous idea of progress.
PLJ in their desire to "… just … get things done,” should remember that change just for change’s sake is nearly always bad as it was in the case of putting a parking garage in the park. PLJ apparently believes that “Twenty years of apathy has let our Village fall by the wayside.”
I can assure you that apathy and lack of parking did not cause the Ford dealership, the nursery, the live music and the movie house to be replaced by art galleries and antique shops.
PLJ was a strong proponent of breaking La Jolla’s Planned District Ordnance, PDO, which prohibits three stories throughout the LJ commercial area. PLJ boycotted the Town Council’s open forum on the subject and then staged their own “forum” where only a group of selected panelists could speak and answer written questions.
But the La Jolla residents had their say. They came out by the hundreds to express their NO THREE STORIES sentiments. Our Councilman had to come to the meeting and state that “NO THREE STORIES …was off the table.”
This brings us to the matter of paid parking and the question of “trust.” The people know that an impartial survey would show an overwhelming majority of La Jolla residents don’t want paid parking - yet PLJ persists in selling paid-parking to the community as a progressive move. The paid parking issue is all about revenue. That’s right, the whole thing is about money and putting another tax on the citizens.
So whom do you trust? If PLJ had gotten all the “progressive” things done that it has desired, we would have 1.) A parking garage on the playground at the LJ Center, Rec., 2.) Three stories in our commercial district and, 3.) Paid parking.
Thank goodness for the "… nay-sayers.”