Letters to the Editor: July 17, 2008

Kudos on Allen Field article

It was great reading your article on the excellent La Jolla Youth soccer program at Allen Field. This is phenomenal program that provides unparalleled athletic opportunities to thousands of La Jolla youth each year.

The focus of the article was the woeful shortage of donations for the city-mandated expansion of the parking lot. Regretfully, the increase in parking spaces from 14 to 27 will do little to impact the dozens upon dozens of families who seek parking for the Saturday and Sunday games. Sadly, the bureaucratic requirement to build the lot does not address the real need - this is why families have chosen not to support it.

With parking forced onto the adjacent city streets, the lack of a viable parking arrangement for this city park has created a substantial danger for families in our community. Dozens of families park each Saturday and Sunday on the East side of N. Torrey Pines and then cross mid-block with small children at their side.

The obvious answer is for UCSD to work with the La Jolla Youth in the design of the adjacent property. This site, which is slated for the Craig Ventner Institute, holds the real key to the parking dilemma. This research institute will be mostly empty on Saturday and Sunday each week when the parking and traffic is at its worst. Through cooperation with the LJCPA now, during the design and approval phase, UCSD can be encouraged to share hundreds of otherwise fallow spaces. If the community acts now, the parking facility can be planned to provide access to the fields while preserving the security of the Institute.

Similarly, if the property at Site 653 is to be developed, a requirement could be made that Hillel provide community spaces during off hours (Sunday for example).

Let’s work with UCSD to convince them of their responsibility to the adjacent community.

In the meanwhile, the city should set aside the onerous requirement for a nominal increase in available spaces and instead require the presence of a crossing guard on Torrey Pines.

William A. Shirley

La Jolla