I was pleased to see Gordon Clanton’s letter, “The One Paseo Loop Road,” in the July 25 paper. One Paseo has not gone away, as the absence of recent discussion might imply. In fact, every sign points to the issue coming up again soon. We need to be alert, and ready to respond to Kilroy Realty’s next move.
Mr. Clanton’s concept of a loop road is intriguing. I like his premise that “big new shopping centers should absorb onto their property the extra traffic they generate.” He is correct, too, that whatever the size of the final project, there will be enormous new traffic burdens to the surrounding neighborhoods, not only of Carmel Valley, but Del Mar Heights, and the cities of Del Mar and Solana Beach.
Where I disagree with Mr. Clanton’s proposal is in its further emphasis of the new development as an island in the surrounding suburban community. The loop road would serve to cut off the development from its surrounding neighborhood, even with pedestrian and bicycle tunnels or overpasses. Such expensive engineering is also an unlikely solution for any developer.
For me, the fundamental flaw of the One Paseo proposal is that it is, in fact, already an island. Smart growth is about integration of new development with existing communities. Pedestrian and bicycle access means access from those communities, not just within a new development. One Paseo, with its upscale restaurants and shops, is dependent for its economic success on attracting customers from a 10-mile radius. They will bring their automobiles.
All of the solutions posed by Kilroy, and by Mr. Clanton, involve accommodating the influx of new automobile traffic. It’s time we asked for solutions which reduce automobile traffic.
The first and most obvious answer is to make the development smaller. But, just as important, is that the development provide experiences that meet everyday neighborhood needs and desires as opposed to regional ones. A well-designed project would reduce automobile traffic within the region by reducing the need for local residents to travel far afield, and might even allow — or even encourage — some locals to travel there by bicycle or on foot.
On July 27, the Del Mar Times/Carmel Valley News/Solana Beach Sun posted news of a special meeting of the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board on Aug. 8, at 7 p.m., at Ocean Air Elementary School. This meeting is billed as “an opportunity for Kilroy to discuss the community benefits of the project and will allow residents to weigh in with their thoughts.” Wherever you live in the sphere of One Paseo’s traffic-impacted 10-mile radius, this promises to be an interesting meeting. I hope to see you there!
Diana Scheffler, architect
Del Mar Heights