Slow down everybody. It’s summer in the city.
Although La Jolla still retains some of its founding sleepy-quaint-artist-colony-village-by-the-sea-and-surf charm, this thriving metropolis now houses 46,781 people living within its seven miles, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. And La Jolla’s hilly, winding streets, built for a gentler time, now must service residents out for a walk, moms pushing strollers, youths riding skateboards and scooters, tourists on segways, bicyclists, buses, motorists, fire trucks, ambulances, and utility construction vehicles and their orange cones.
When cars are parked along the curbs, the thoroughfares shrink even narrower, especially when large luxury SUVs and custom trucks drive through, making maneuvers precarious at best.
Add to this madcap mix summer visitors who don’t know which lane goes where, and what street houses the restaurant they seek. Hundreds of weekend beach-goers set on watching the seals and snorkeling the Cove intensify the congestion along Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Village Drive.
To say traffic is “tremendous” at times is no exaggeration. We’ve all arrived at our destination with near-miss horror stories to tell spouses and co-workers about our drive into and out of La Jolla.
La Jolla Lightwe’re watching with great interest the push by environmentalists to get folks to “Bike to Work” and create “Bike-friendly Communities.” While absolutely cosmic in concept (Albert Einstein said about his theory of relativity, ”I thought of that while riding my bicycle”), in practicality, such program wheels may be spinning in vain. Busy urban streets just aren’t bicycle-friendly.
We wish it weren’t so.
The solution, as it is with so many things in life, is peaceful co-existence. Since we must share the roads, we all need to slow down, watch out for one another, and give the wayward a brake.