Coast Blvd. upgrade gets a price tag
by Mariko Lamb
Nov 14, 2012 | 2500 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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A rendering of proposed upgrades to Coast Boulevard overlooking the Children’s Pool shows plans to restore the scenic walkway. Courtesy of Peter Manno
One year ago, La Jolla Parks & Beaches (LJPB) treasurer and Beautification Committee chairwoman Phyllis Minick embarked on an endeavor to restore the scenic — but long-neglected — walkway at Coast Boulevard near the Children’s Pool in La Jolla Cove. Since then, Minick has solicited community input for its design, enlisted the expertise of volunteer landscape architect Jim Neri and set forth a plan for funding the $250,000 project.

“This plan includes a wider sidewalk, a turnout with more viewing space, new seating with cobblestone, double-sided seating benches [and] planting areas along the walls so kids can’t climb over the wall and slide down the bluff, which is badly deteriorating,” she said at the La Jolla Town Council’s Nov. 8 meeting.

The plan also includes teardrop landscape structures that will help channel traffic in the area, which is prone to pedestrian traffic congestion during busy summer months and weekends.

“This is one of the most-visited sites in the world and certainly one of the most beautiful,” she said. “Unfortunately, the city does not have the funding to do this.”

The one-time $250,000 price tag to restore the area is only valid if construction of the walkway coincides with construction of the city-funded lifeguard tower project, which is expected to begin next May.

“Only if we proceed immediately can we take advantage of sharing [the city’s] construction team and using their contractors,” she said, adding that permitting for the project has also been waived should the projects overlap.

In a revised attempt to solicit funds for the project, Minick has completed a grant proposal form that she urges residents to distribute, along with a personal letter of recommendation among grant-giving foundations to help raise funds for the beautification effort.

“What I’m asking of you is not a donation of money. There’s nobody in this room, including me, who doesn’t know people who have foundations,” she said. “What I’m asking you for is to finish filling this out, put a name on it with a personal letter saying, ‘La Jolla Parks & Beaches is a legitimate organization, I have personally viewed this plan and it is legitimate, and it is something that will greatly improve our environment.’”

A donation in the full amount will be recognized with a commemorative sign at the site, while donors of $35,000 or more will be honored with name plaques and donors of $5,000 and above will be recognized with names on cobblestones.

“We need to fix this,” Minick said. “It’s probably the most awful-looking spot in our entire community.”

The beautification plan, which is has been named LJPB’s top priority, has received a wealth of support from La Jolla’s community organizations, including the Town Council, La Jolla Community Planning Association, lifeguards and the community’s joint subcommittees.

“This area is a disaster and something that we cannot be proud of,” she said. “I really hope that we can get our community together, express our pride in our community in this way and get this sidewalk built.”

To obtain a grant proposal brochure or for assistance drafting, call Minick at (858) 459-5939 or email minickphyllis@gmail.com.
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