Guest View: Plant the seeds of transit self-sufficiency

By Douglas Alden

Solana Beach resident

Solana Beach needs to upgrade its transportation facilities to accommodate the needs of travelers of all ages and abilities, whether we choose to drive a vehicle, to walk, or to ride a bicycle.

I have lived most of my life in Solana Beach, having moved here during the fourth grade in the mid-'70s.

When I wanted to get somewhere, whether it was a friend’s house, the store, or school, I walked or hopped on my bicycle. It brought such freedom. It still does.

I ride my bicycle to work several times each week and frequently walk to the market and other places around town.

It has little to do with being green. I still own and drive a car. It is just the way I was brought up. A gift my parents gave to me. It is the freedom I am giving my three boys.

Each one of them has attended Sandy Hill Nursery School just a short walk from our house, and, walk they have.

I started to ride bicycles to school with my oldest son when he was in first grade. Now one of his younger brothers is attending kindergarten and the three of us do the ride, training wheels and all.

I admit it is never often enough for them or me. The good thing is that the seeds of self-sufficient transportation are planted. With a little nourishment they will flourish.

With a few more children walking or bicycling to school we can and will reduce the vehicle congestion we find each morning on the city streets just before the school bell rings.

We are blessed with a climate that allows us to be outside throughout the year. Take advantage of it. Every once in a while walk or bicycle to the store, to the beach, the coffee shop, or library.

Outside of your car you will be able to take better stock of our town, see first-hand what works and what can be improved. Over time we just might turn this city into something even more wonderful with integrated transportation facilities for vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians.

It will take a coordinated effort of the citizens, the owners of the shopping centers, city hall, and Caltrans. We may be a little wobbly when the training wheels first come off, but just wait until you see us go.