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Panel to consider event street closures

Street closures during the April 26 La Jolla Half Marathon and the proposed June 27 Targa road rally that would start in the Village headline the agenda of Thursday’s La Jolla Traffic and Transportation Board meeting starting at 4 p.m. at La Jolla Rec Center.

But the anticipated discussion of uniform parking time limits in the Village has been postponed because an extensive, block-by-block inventory of the Village parking space being done by Orrin Gabsch, a member of the Community Planning Association, and others is not finished.

Once that parking inventory is complete, Gabsch said he would submit it to the transportation board “so they can decide how to deal with it.”

The ongoing inventory of existing horizontal and diagonal spaces, as well as those in commercial passenger loading zones, is being done to see if even more parking space can be freed up. “Maybe there could be some consolidation (of spaces),” Gabsch said, adding “most of the valet zones are in passenger loading areas at certain times, and maybe some of those times can be shortened to open them up for the public.”

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In addition to Gabsh’s inventory, some members of the Promote La Jolla board are asking their neighboring merchants whether they prefer 90-minute or two-hour limits.

Deborah Marengo, a PLJ board member who also sits on the transportation board, said in January that T&T would not approve any proposal “without tangible information” on what merchants want.

That’s when Jennifer Clark, owner of Maudlin Antiques and vice chair of Promote La Jolla, along with several other board members agreed to canvass merchants about specific time limits.

She said she hasn’t had time to systematically survey merchants, but her informal survey of businesses near her on the 7400 block of Girard was revealing.

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“People of all kind of agreed they didn’t mind the uniform timing,” she said. “But nobody in my neck of the woods really felt strongly about it being 90 minutes versus two hours. Everybody saw the merits of each.”

Martin Mosier, a La Jollan with years of traffic management background, noted that La Jolla Shores has successfully gone to uniform parking time limits.

“Avenida de la Playa and all the immediate side streets that were contiguous to the commercial zone we changed that all to 90 minutes,” he noted. “The theory was one hour wasn’t long enough to eat a nice lunch, two hours allowed employees too much opportunity to rotate their cars and 90 minutes was just enough to eat lunch and shop.”