Two parks ‘Inn’ for an upgrade

Rancho Santa Fe Association to spend $65K on improvements

The parks in front of the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe will soon undergo an enhancement after the Rancho Santa Fe Association selected a park improvement plan from among several proposals at last week’s meeting.

The association agreed to spent up to $65,000 on upgrades, including park benches, landscaping, a walking path and painted crosswalks. The two park areas will also be brought together with concrete pop-outs, making the five-way intersection less imposing for pedestrians.

Before coming to an unanimous decision, the board took a field trip to the parks and looked at cost-benefit analysis of each suggested park improvement.

The board abandoned plans for a enhancing and repaving the five-way intersection, which came with a $300,000 price tag. They also decided against enhanced crosswalk paving, which would have cost $110,000. Instead, they approved simple, painted crosswalks for $1,000 or less.

“Enhanced paving of the intersection doesn’t make any sense,” said Vice President Tim Sullivan. “It’s dramatic overkill.”

The directors agreed that spending a lot of money on crosswalks doesn’t make sense when the park isn’t worth crossing the street for.

“The potential for this park is rather limited because the size is so limited, I’m not as optimistic about the potential for these two spots,” Director Dick Doughty said.

Residents in attendance agreed with the board’s approach.

“Less is better I think, until you see the reaction,” said Jim Simpson, who often uses the parks to walk his dog. “I don’t think you’ll get a lot of usage over there.”

Resident Chuck Wavely worried about promoting too much use. As the park is so close to the street, Wavely said it opens the possibility for children running into traffic.

Board President Bill Beckman said that 98 percent of the people who experience the park do so by driving past. He said it makes more sense to update the landscaping and add benches and crosswalks for those who do wish to use the parks.