Letters to the Editor: April 12, 2007

La Jolla Is Not for Sale

Pity the UCLA students who have to sit throught Donald Shoup’s “lectures.” Not being a captive audience, we San Diegans are fortunately not required to subject ourselves his “wisdom.” Shoup, a self-promoter, came to us via Promote La Jolla, the same folks who, for reasons of self-aggrandizement, deprived La Jolla of our most outstanding annual Arts Festival. Now they are at it again. Are we going to be fooled this time?

Don’t you love the title “The High Cost of Free Parking?” Trying to frighten us with loss of revenue, they pick our pockets while laughing all the way to the bank. Just wave the flag of patriotism, the threat of pollution, of unwanted multitudes and thethreat of using “foreign” oil in cruising cars, and all bets are off. Will we fall for another absurdity in the name of “fiscal managment?”

When something isn’t working, “Charge for it” is the mantra. The fact is that charging just discriminates against low-income people. It also involves installing ugly wasteful meters, maintenance, collecting money and all the other hidden costs of privatizing or charging for our public spaces. None of it reduces the real culprit, our addiction to cars.

It’s time we provided some new ideas. Lets find a way to make our public spaces more hospitable and accessible.

The ultimate idiocy is the promotion of charging for beach parking. The beaches are owned by the public and should not be for sale. The time that many families take to spend at the beach should be enhanced and hassle free. It is their beach after all.

With his mumbo jumbo arithmetic Shoup has sold his bill of goods to some members of the traffic committee. His arguments don’t stand up to scrutiny. He represents the faulty and very dangerous idea that people with credit cards and power should have more access than others. They would, if they could, make La Jolla a gated community. Their philosophy has had a devastating effect around the globe when people with money and power create laws and determine who benefits and who looses. It is anathema to democracy.

You can read more about the Project for Public Spaces at

Tanja Winter

La Jolla