By Bret Gobar
Resident, Solana Beach
As a 30-year resident of Solana Beach, I have observed a consistent dichotomy between the interests of commercial business and those of us who reside and raise our families here in Solana Beach and Del Mar!
Residents here do not feel we have benefitted substantially from additional hotels, yet the 22nd District Agricultural Association that owns the fairgrounds feels it can benefit from more condo/hotels. (Condo/hotels are the latest tool for large developers who have little of their own money invested to get huge projects funded by lenders.) The large scale proposal for further development of the river valley (in the flood plain?) will cause further degradation of our quality of life, more traffic gridlock, more overcrowding on our beaches, more crime in our neighborhoods (Solana Beach had our first rape and homicide in my memory in the last two years!), more demands on our sewer, water, power and transportation systems!
Solana Beach Sun reported Jan. 29, "Designs in Mind," on efforts to revitalize Highway 101. This again, feels like an effort to slow down traffic for the benefit of businesses, most of who do not live here, rather make a living at the expense of local resident taxpayers! Yes, we like to walk and bike to a few of the better eateries, but we have enough services, and too much traffic, for a small beach town.
Bird Rock/LaJolla Blvd. is the best example of where not to put roundabouts in the middle of busy beach corridors. Redevelopment proponents in Encinitas public planning seminars suggested that fewer lanes do not cause traffic to slow down. There is a lot of commuter traffic from Carlsbad, Encinitas, Cardiff and Solana Beach that travels daily through Solana and Del Mar; to slow it down is a huge mistake. I feel the same way toward slanted parking; especially "back in" slanted parking spaces ... accidents waiting to happen. Let's preserve the Solana Coast Rail Trail and Bike Path and encourage Del Mar and Encinitas to create similar linear parks.
I find the "shared arrow lanes" interesting, as they give bikes priority while allowing cars access if no bikes are using the lane. Let's revive a safe haven for bicyclists of all ages!