Parking time extended on Girard Ave. in La Jolla

Parking limit increased to 90 minutes along three blocks of Girard in time for holiday shopping

Shoppers parking along blocks of Girard Avenue now have 30 more minutes to peruse their favorite shops or grab a bite to eat.

Warwick’s Bookstore owner Nancy Warwick obtained signatures from nearly every business within the 7700-7900 blocks of Girard Avenue in support of her push to increase the parking limit there from 60 to 90 minutes.

Considering the City of San Diego’s usually sluggish bureaucratic process, the request was granted in what seems like lighting speed. Warwick collected the signatures in October. The proposal was then vetted and approved unanimously by La Jolla’s Traffic and Transportation (T&T) board at the end of October and on Tuesday, Nov. 25, city workers installed new 90-minute signs (with additional advocacy from T&T board chair Todd Lesser and the office of District 1 City Councilmember Sherri Lightner).

“The petition to request this increase, signed by the overwhelming majority of the affected businesses, as well as Mary, Star of the Sea Church and the Athenaeum, demonstrates strong community support,” said Warwick, whose store is in the 7800 block of Girard Avenue.

“Todd Lesser … and Councilmember Lightner made every effort to expedite the process so that the change would take place in time to benefit businesses and customers during the critical weeks of fourth-quarter shopping (season). I feel a deep sense of gratitude for the individuals who understood the need to act quickly, on behalf of the business community.”

Darcy Ashley, who presented the proposal to the T&T board, thanked Warwick for affording shoppers more time, and for also spearheading the privately funded, steam-cleaning of sidewalks and public trash cans that recently started in the Village (the Sparkle & Shine campaign).

“As someone who shops or has lunch in the Village several times a week, I look forward to 90-minute parking on Girard Ave.,” Ashley said. “The momentum for positive improvements in the Village has begun.”

Lesser credited city staff with working to get the new signage installed before the busy Thanksgiving weekend.

“The T&T board worked closely with the city staff in the Transportation Engineering (Operations Division),” he said. “City staff worked quickly, since they knew how important it was for the merchants.”

A statement from Lightner’s office read, in part: “We hope this change will encourage more customers to come and patronize businesses in the area, especially during the holidays.”

T&T is a joint board made up of two members from five of La Jolla’s five advisory groups: La Jolla Community Planning Association, La Jolla Shores Association, La Jolla Village Merchants Association, La Jolla Town Council and Bird Rock Community Council.

Although Lesser maintained that T&T is the only board recognized by the City of San Diego to submit traffic and transportation-related recommendations for La Jolla to the city, T&T items regularly appear on the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) agenda for ratification.

T&T’s October approval of the parking extension was pulled from the LJCPA’s Nov. 6 consent agenda, and — despite installation of the new signage — will be discussed further during the LJCPA’s next meeting,

6 p.m. Dec. 4 at La Jolla Rec Center (615 Prospect St.), the association’s president, Joe LaCava, confirmed.