I am retired – Does One Paseo support transit solutions?

One Del Mar Times reader believed that developments, like One Paseo, were forward looking and would give all of us a chance to get future mass transit solutions. Kilroy will provide two bus stops for Route 935 scheduled to start in the year 2035.

As the North County Coastal representative to the SANDAG’s 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), I often asked why the transit map for Carmel Valley appeared to be a big void. The answer was that the North Coastal area was not projected to have the intensity of housing development to support and justify the cost of modern transit infrastructure. The SANDAG 2050 RPT calls for dense development to support the projected 935,000 new residences in the county by 2050. To achieve this Residential- Very High density would require about 75-plus dwelling units (DW) per acre. By comparison, Torrey Pines averages between five to six DW’s per acre. The only way to achieve high to very high housing density is to build multi-story apartment/condo towers and stop suburban sprawl.

The Westfield Mall management company has requested a million-square-foot expansion of UTC and in return would provide some funding support for the mid-coast trolley line reaching north to the Town Center. The trolley line would be supported by the Metro Transit System’s La Jolla Super Loop route. How much better a transit solution than two bus stops!

Forward-looking West Coast cities, such as Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, have provided their residents with modern multi-modal transit systems. These cities realized that to change commuters’ habits of driving alone to work, a lifestyle change was needed. What better way to entice this change than through financial disincentives to driving alone. Highway expansion was curtailed and only normal highway repair is viewed as essential. The second pierce of this puzzle is to restrict parking and increase hourly parking rates. Major hotel chains in Seattle encourage visitors to park their vehicles and leave them in the hotel’s garage. The hotels provide free shutter service to central locations and if given 30-minute notice come back to pick you up.

Projects like One Paseo are required to provide so many parking spaces per thousand square feet of development. This is not Kilroy’s doing but rather the continuation of the status quo that supports our reliance upon the automobile to get around. Kilroy must pay its Fair Share to reduce the projects traffic impact as mitigation cost to support the expansion of the I-5 North Coast Corridor.

Could these mitigation funds be better spent to support the design and prototype development of a Loop Lite shuttle system in the North County? One possible route would start and end at the Solana Beach train station, with stops at the Cedros shopping district, Del Mar Fairgrounds, restaurant row in Del Mar and then turn East to One Paseo. At One Paseo, establish a link to Pacific Highlands Ranch and if possible meet up with Metro Transit System and connect to the La Jolla Super Loop. To complete the Loop Lite, shuttle service would provide a stop at Flower Hill Mall and then back to the Solana Beach railhead.

One Paseo might be a walkable development but for most people getting there requires an automobile. This is not forward thinking but rather holding unto the status quo supporting the combustion engine.

Dennis Ridz, Chair TPCPB