I am Retired — Trust? but definitely Verify


Socrates likened himself to a gadfly because he strung his students into thought. I would like to take a moment to thank all the folks that have responded to the Letters to the Editor on One Paseo. We can agree to disagree.

Let us explore the concept of putting one’s name and reputation on the line regarding the outcome of a study or design. Never trust any statistical study without asking the basic questions: who did it, who paid for it, how was it done. Almost by definition, scientists and engineers must rely on complex computer algorithms to crunch data. The US Metrological Weather service predicted that Hurricane Sandy would not directly hit the Eastern seaboard while the “better” European computer was correct about the storm. What about the infamous search for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq? Former Secretary of State Colin Powell presented the “facts” about WMDs, which were verified by both European and Israeli intelligence services.

Peggy Noonan, in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, talks about the modern age of managers who are “smooth, highly credentialed, and unaccountable.” “They’re surrounded by legal and employment protections, they know how to parse a careful response, they know how to blur the essential point of a question in a blizzard of unconnected factoids.”

The City of San Diego’s Development Services used a Series 10 system to calculate traffic volume, Average Daily Trips (ADT’s), and how mitigation(s) would affect future service. The next generation, System 11, is used by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to calculate transit needs in the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan. Why did Development Services fail to upgrade to a “better” system? Remember the old adage, garbage in garbage out (GIGO). Trust but Verify!

Finally, the two city traffic engineers presented different opinions about Kilroy’s Fair Share of mitigation cost and how the One Paseo project could proceed. One opinion is that once Kilroy writes the check to cover mitigation their obligations end regarding traffic issues. The other opinion is that after Phase One of One Paseo is completed future construction must wait until the actual mitigation has been funded and started. Which is it?

Next Letter to the Editor will take up the issue of Mass Transit and One Paseo. I served as the San Diego North Coast regional representative to SANDAG’s 2050 RTP for over two and half years.

Dennis Ridz, Chair, Torrey Pines Community Planning Board