Why is it OK to increase traffic in other communities? It’s not

Ms. Close of Carmel Valley asks (this newspaper, Dec. 19 issue), “Why is it that it is OK for residents of Carmel Valley to drive to Encinitas and Carmel Mountain and increase traffic in those cities, but we don’t want “traffic” in ours?”

I have two answers to that question.

The first is that it is not OK to increase automobile traffic anywhere.  If you don’t believe in greenhouse gasses and climate change, you at least know that our freeways are becoming extremely congested and that the solution will be the widening of freeways, the taking of private land in places, and the increased acreage of concrete instead of green spaces.

The second answer, looking at Carmel Valley in particular, is that it is a planned community with specific zoning, and a road system planned accordingly.  The development of One Paseo is proposed to be three or four times the size in square footage than the Community Plan allows for.  The retail component is designed to draw traffic from a 10-mile radius increasing the traffic, not just in Carmel Valley, but throughout the region.

Of course it is true, as Ms. Close points out, that increased development to the east on Carmel Valley Road has already made traffic worse.  That development, however, was within the limits outlined in the Community Plan.  Ironically, the Carmel Valley Community Plan also assumed a transit system that was never implemented.  Perhaps that is why there is already too much traffic.

Diana Scheffler, Torrey Pines Community

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