Tarnishing Our Jewel: Benches along La Jolla Shores need some care


The benches along the boardwalk at La Jolla Shores are deteriorating. They are used and appreciated by the old and the young — La Jollans, San Diegans and tourists alike. It is shameful to have them neglected and ugly-looking. With so much expensive renewal of streets, facilities, lifeguard tower, sewers, etc., in this area, why not spend some money on keeping up the benches? Who is in charge?

Marianne Burkenroad, La Jolla

La Jolla Light

looked into who is in charge of upkeep on “donated” or “memorial” benches and found that the City of San Diego Park & Rec Department maintains the benches and repairs them when needed … and when possible.

Park & Rec district manager Dan Daneri said there are grounds maintenance crews out cleaning the boardwalk regularly and when they see a bench in need of repair, they put in an internal request.

However, due to staffing changes and reduced staff, there are fewer crewmembers and more tasks to do, so there has been a delay in getting these benches repaired. Further, if there is not an immediate hazard, the work falls further down the list of priorities.

When city crews are able to fix a crack or chip, they apply a gray epoxy over the damaged area. Daneri said paint would not stick to the epoxy, so crews do not paint over the repairs to match the surrounding bench.

When damaged beyond repair, the city will replace the benches entirely, keeping any donor plaques so they may be re-installed on the new bench. Each bench at the Shores is a donor bench with a plaque.

The cracks are caused by the rebar within the bench rusting. When the rebar rusts, it swells, cracking the bench surfaces. “The repairs add years to the life of the benches,” Daneri said.

—Ashley Mackin

City Help Lines

Attention: Tarnishing Our Jewel enthusiasts!

Did you know there’s a link on the city’s website where you can submit service needs online? Options include graffiti removal, police patrol requests and complaints, street/sidewalk/signs/stormwater repair, etc. There is also a directory of people to call for other issues, like tree maintenance and beach cleaning, plus an A-to-Z of city resources. Find it at