July 19, June 21: Opinion: Letters to the editor
Concerns over Lomas Santa Fe Road project
The following is an open letter to the Solana Beach Mayor and City Council.
Let me first say that I appreciate that the Public Works’ Department has done painstaking design work. City engineers have said that Lomas Santa Fe Road works well for cars. The purpose of the project is primarily to improve its usefulness to bikers and pedestrians. But I, like many others who have only recently become aware of this project, have major concerns.
Lack of adequate notification of the impending decision with those most affected, all city residents
Re-creating of Lomas Santa Fe Road, the only east/west through-street in our city, as a regional draw for bicyclists, at the expense of slowing down and inconveniencing city-resident drivers
Increasing “detour” activity through quiet residential neighborhood streets, increasing noise and elevating accident risks for all, including children
Increasing emergency response times for fire, medical and sheriff response teams
Creating both increased city safety issues and traffic slow-downs by attracting a higher volume of local and regional/tourist bike and pedestrian crossovers through the Hwy 5 entrances and exits – highly dangerous
Failure to inform city residents
The city’s effort to notify all city residents has been, from my own and most of my neighbors’ experience, sadly deficient. Until hearing by word of mouth, the vast majority of city residents are not aware of the project or deadlines.
To discover that such a major project was well into the design stage, with an important comment deadline of July 20, was a shock to most I know. The deadline was buried with no highlights on the 11th and last paragraph of the city’s project info page...and the project page is itself hard to find.
The very words “traffic calming” resonate and evoke a positive image. How to appropriately define “traffic calming” and how to achieve it are the areas of concern.
Is the goal to reduce the 40-mph speed limit to a lower limit? Or to keep the traffic more consistently within the speed limit, a goal that can be easily and inexpensive achieved by more traffic enforcement?
Is it necessary to place any, much less four, roundabouts between Highland and Banderas, a stretch of under 3/4 of a mile? Especially given that cars will be squeezed into one lane (each way) before, during and after each roundabout. The design seems so extreme that some question whether it is a red herring to distract from other issues or to make one or two roundabouts look like a reasonable compromise. I don’t know the answer to that but I totally agree the roundabout design is extreme.
City council members, all from the westside, may not be fully aware of these significant downsides?
Solana Beach homeowner and resident
DMUSD reconfiguration: More information needed
We are Del Mar residents and have a recent graduate and two children currently attending Del Mar Hills Academy. We attended a meeting on Monday evening, June 11, to learn more about what this DMUSD reconfiguration entails and learned that many aspects greatly impact Del Mar children and residents.
We are troubled by the district’s current plan of closing down Del Mar Hills Academy and are very concerned about what it will become — it has not been made clear. We should all think twice about losing a school and green space that has been treasured by this community for more than 40 years. A majority of Del Mar Hills students walk to the Hills and enjoy this sense of community. Having to cross a very busy street like Del Mar Heights Road to access what would be the last remaining school west of the 5 would not be safe for children on the north side. As such, these students would have to be driven and the neighborhood on the south side would be severely impacted by the increase in traffic which is already a problem.
We think it is crucial for all Del Mar residents to understand what DMUSD is proposing. It seems to have created a political environment where the residents on the west and east side of the 5 freeway are pitted against each other.
We would like to involve the Del Mar residents to create a solution that keeps in mind the safety, walkability, sense of community and happiness of all the children at DMUSD. Once our schools are closed and sold off they will be lost forever.
Adina and Steve Chinowsky
This following thought in verse would be sung to the tune of “Grand Old Flag.”
What if all the folks
In a proud city knew
All the words to their fine city song?
Like the music of 1906,
But launched at the free singalong!
Every note took hold
And a story was told
With a tune never long nor wrong
But should auld acquaintance be forgot
Hearts would carry their very proud song!
It is referring to “Solana Beach. Our City Proud” as well as “The Village Of Del Mar.”
The tune originated with “Solana Beach, our City Proud” and repeats when singing “The Village of Del Mar.”
The lyrics to both of these songs are printed in the Solana Beach Community Singalong song books .