Community planners expressed reservations about the new short-term bike rental program at the June 5 monthly meeting of La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA), an advisory group making land-use recommendations to the City of San Diego.
In 2013, City Council signed a 10-year contract to partner with DecoBike to create a citywide network of 180 Bikeshare stations for short-term rentals to encourage bicycling and alternative modes of travel other than cars.
Fourteen of those stations — eight in the Village, three in La Jolla Shores, two in Bird Rock and one in WindanSea — are proposed in La Jolla.
DecoBike representative Angela Landsberg told LJCPA trustees that La Jolla’s proposed Bikeshare stations are not locked in and that the company is more than willing to switch them out for other viable alternative sites.
Landsberg said uniform Bikeshare stations typically come in 8- and 16-bay setups that will be available for business advertising opportunities.
“They’re in essence billboards with public advertising,” said Cindy Greatrex, immediate past president of La Jolla Town Council.
Greatrex’s concern was echoed by LJCPA secretary Nancy Manno, who said, “The idea of billboard advertising on kiosks is appallingly terrible> I find it tremendously offensive.”
“We’re going to have to take it (Bikeshare) whether we like it or not,” said trustee Dan Courtney, who pointed out La Jolla’s often narrow sidewalks include competing car valets “grabbing every parking spot they can get.”
“It (Bikeshare) violates the La Jolla PDO (Planned District Ordinance governing development regulations),” said audience member Don Schmidt, a La Jolla Historical Society member. Trustee Frances O’Neill Zimmerman said the stations “are aesthetically terrible” and questioned whether the topography of La Jolla, with its many hills, would lend itself to short-term rentals.
Though La Jolla is not included in the first phase of Bikeshare’s rollout, the city has said the entire network is expected to be in place by the end of this summer.
In other action:
• Trustees voted to reaffirm a previous LJCPA vote against a proposed cell phone tower near Torrey Pines Elementary School. Parents and neighbors of the proposed tower continued to lobby against it, insisting such facilities raise health concerns and shouldn’t be located near schools or other youth-oriented institutions.
• A brief presentation was given by the city on plans to install unseen photovoltaic solar panels atop the Bay View Reservoir at 9175 Parkview Terrace.
• Trustees were clued in by the city on plans to develop an Urban Forest Management Plan to account for, and maintain, city treescape.
• LJCPA president Joe LaCava noted two seats on the board are open. A special election for them is to be held from 3 to 7 p.m. at the group’s next meeting, July 3, at La Jolla Rec Center.