The La Jolla Community Parking District was formed by the City Council in June 2005 to oversee all local parking issues. Its nine-member board includes representatives from all La Jolla neighborhoods and Promote La Jolla, the business improvement district, and has been holding monthly meetings since January. Until now, the group has been focused on identifying the parking issues facing La Jolla and considering steps taken by other coastal communities to address their own problems.
The parking district made its first recommendations for changes to local parking policy at last month’s meeting of the La Jolla Shores Association. But the ideas for changes to parking in the Shores - which include making time limits more uniform and establishing a new commercial loading zone - are far from new.
The plan was originally conceived a few years ago by Dick Dahlberg and parking district board member Martin Mosier. The plan gained the approval of local government, including the La Jolla Traffic and Transportation Board and the La Jolla Community Planning Association, and was sent on to the city. It died there for lack of funds, said La Jolla Shores Association President Sherri Lightner.
“Martin went around and got all the businesses signed up, took it to Traffic and Transportation and the (Community Planning Assocation),” she said, “and it went up to the city, but there was no money.”
Lightner said the parking board is revisiting an old plan because it is eager to see how the process will work when it makes recommendations to the city.
“That’s why they proposed it,” Lightner said. “They want to get some project going.”
Mosier said he hopes the endorsement of the La Jolla Community Parking District, which is one of a number of city-recognized parking districts, will help the proposal find more success at the city level than it did the first time.
“The Shores Association, the CPA and Traffic and Transportation all voted in favor of it at the time (it was originally proposed), but the city declined to really do anything,” Mosier said. “Now we have the La Jolla Community Parking District as an advocate for the plan. We’re hoping it will make a difference.”
Before heading to the city level, the plan will first come back to the Shores Association, whose next meeting is Nov. 8. Ken King, the La Jolla Shores representative on the parking district board, will present a version of the plan that has been revised from the original, which references restaurants and other aspects of the neighborhood that no longer exist.
Chief among the plan’s recommendations would be making parking time limits more uniform in the Shores. Some areas in the Shores have parking time limits of one hour, others have two-hour limits. The parking district will recommend that all such limits be changed to 90 minutes, to be enforced between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week.
Mosier said the new, uniform time limits were motivated mostly by restaurants in the area.
“It’s the opinion of some restauranteurs - and not only in the Shores - that one hour isn’t long enough for someone to park and have lunch,” Mosier said. “And two hours is too great of an opportunity for employees to park, then go out and re-park every two hours.”
Mosier said other coastal areas have used the same time-limit model.
“It’s not an original idea,” he said.
King will also recommend to the Shores Association that a new parking and commercial loading zone be established in the paved triangle at the intersection of Avenida de la Playa, Avenida de la Ribera and El Paseo Grande. They will propose adding landscaping and diagonal parking that would create 12 new parking spaces.
The area would be used by delivery trucks and Post Office vehicles from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday. After 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, and all day on Saturdays and Sundays, the area could be used by anyone, subject to time limits.
“There’s an inadequate commercial zone for large trucks,” Mosier said. “Right now, they’re just parking wherever they can. We felt it was better that we come up with something.”
The parking district has several additional recommendations for new signs throughout the Shores and for enhancing pedestrian safety by using a different pavement treatment at certain crossings.
The plan will be presented again at the La Jolla Shores Association on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m., in Building T-29 of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.