Five years ago I moved to Del Mar from the San Jose area. When I lived there, I saw a single story “adobe architecture” shopping center turned into a beautiful multi-use area called Santana Row. It is basically the same sort of planned use area as is being proposed for One Paseo. It is a wonderful place to spend the day. Great shopping in upscale stores; a park setting; outdoor cafés; theater. The upper levels are populated by a hotel and condos.
Why did it work? The main reason was access. Santana Row sits at the intersection of two major streets: Stevens Creek with east/west access and Winchester Blvd. with north/south access. There was also the intersection of two major freeways 280 and 880 within blocks. The surface streets both had major bus lines running all day while the closeness of the freeways got traffic moving into and out of the area quickly.
What is the problem with One Paseo? In a word, access. There are no freeways (reasonably) nearby. There are no bus lines supporting the location. Basically traffic will be at a standstill during commute times and school let-out times All the traffic will be directed to one intersection. One Paseo’s solution of coordinated lights does nothing to modify traffic volume; just traffic flow. And we all know from the traffic in the Golden Triangle at 5 p.m. that lights do not help.
The developers MUST be forced to mitigate the traffic volume. I have a suggestion that will greatly improve access and lower traffic. One Paseo should supply a bus line for its patrons. It should run every 30 minutes and run a loop from the train station in Solana Beach to the Fairgrounds (parking, parking, parking) to One Paseo. Return would be directly down Del Mar Heights to Camino Del Mar and north back to the train station. This allows folks to take the Coaster or Breeze and leave their cars at home. It also supplies reasonable priced transportation for the support staff to get to work without filling up the parking garages.
I want to see One Paseo built. I want to enjoy the ambiance of a well-planned community that makes good use of land, but also supports a mitigated traffic solution.
Gerry A. Brown