Fear vs. Facts

By Linda Rock

I am concerned about the deception opponents to Prop. J are relying on to conduct their campaign. Rather than trust that you, the residents, can make a wise, informed choice, they are trying to withhold information, and scare you into voting No on Prop J.

They make untrue claims, like saying the plan was written by outside developers and that the residents were not listened to. Not true. The city has been working on this specific effort for almost two years, and has supplemented their efforts with work from multiple ad hoc committees, with a diverse and representative makeup, and numerous outside studies. Ninety public meetings attempted to solicit residents’ concerns and perspectives. Every written comment was responded to, in writing, and incorporated where possible. It reflects a careful balance of what is needed to encourage investment in our community, which has been sorely lacking over the past two decades, while protecting the community from overdevelopment, loss of views, etc. In point of fact, several commercial property owners are against Prop J. If the plan really were a giveaway, wouldn’t they all be for it?

Opponents tell you that bypass traffic will worsen. Really? Our traffic is terrible now, which the traffic study reinforced. The roundabouts are a proven solution that will ease the traffic flow and reduce bypass traffic. People on bypass streets should recognize this as an opportunity to finally fix a broken traffic system. Counterintuitive as it may seem, one lane with roundabouts is far more efficient and can handle traffic far better than our current configuration, with stop signs that force traffic into a standstill, create noise and pollution and are unsafe. The roundabouts will also help us achieve smart growth status as a city, which will allow us to qualify for a whole array of grants for which we are currently ineligible.

We are told by the opposition that a former fire chief states that one lane is dangerous. His opinion, however, is based on a 20-year-old plan that doesn’t look anything like the current plan, which includes buffer lanes that enable emergency vehicles to pass more easily than in our current configuration. You can find somebody to support your opinion even if its not fact-based, just look at global warming.

The opposition to J suggests that it will encourage low-income housing bringing in undesirable elements and people who party. What Prop J will really do is allow our aging population (which includes many of us, by the way) an opportunity to stay in their community, with an affordable alternative to remaining in their home. It also will allow the city to finally have an approved housing plan, opening up the opportunity for grant funding from which we have been excluded.

The opposition has done things that are unethical, stolen signs and disseminated information that is not true. They didn’t want the city to send you a summary of the Proposition so you could learn the truth about it. They take down factual information we have posted on their Facebook page and have refused to debate the Proposition publicly. Why do you think that is? Don’t they want you to know the facts? Don’t you think you have a right to have accurate information upon which to base your decision?

Finally, a plea to the opposition. I know you feel passionately about this. None of us want Del Mar to change for the worse. Let’s decide based on the facts, not distortions based on fear. Remember that we will be living with one another after the election in this small community. We need to act in a way that reflects this. Let’s try to resist the urge to win at all costs.