PB planners hit brakes on Decobike bikeshare
by DAVE SCHWAB
Aug 06, 2014 | 2517 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Pacific Beach Planning Group (PBPG) in July unanimously endorsed sending a letter to public officials and Decobike, which has contracted with the city to provide a bike-share program, not to implement it in Pacific Beach until issues with some proposed locations are vetted and resolved.

The community advisory group, which makes recommendations to the city, also conceptually approved a mixed-use project proposed at the Guy Hill Cadillac site at 4275 Mission Bay Drive.

Additionally, the PBPG heard about an urban forestry plan, as well as news on the planned North Pacific Beach Lifeguard Station at Law Street.

A total of 19 bike stations are proposed for rollout in the initial phase of Decobike’s bike-share program, which will provide 180 stations with 1,800 bikes citywide around the end of summer.

At the PBPG’s July 23 meeting, Sara Berns of Discover PB, the community’s Business Improvement District, said Decobike rejected suggestions from Pacific Beach for altering bike-share locations, noting, “They didn’t take any of our advice.”

Others agreed.

“We’re working in the dark,” said group chairman Brian Curry. “Decobike needs to do more community outreach to neighborhoods.”

Planner Chris Olson suggested a dramatic motion be made to “halt installation of bikeshare until we can come to an agreement on the locations.”

Planner Paul Falcone said some of Decobike’s proposed bikeshare locations “are taking high-demand public parking away with no benefit to the community.”

Planner Deborah Conca was equally vexed by some bikeshare locations.

“Some of the places where they’re proposed have less than 8 feet of sidewalk,” she said. “They’re a liability and a litter trap.”

Still others chimed in to voice opposition.

“Some of them would take up two parking spaces on a street a block from the beach,” said planner Curtis Patterson.

Planner Henish Pulickal suggested Pacific Beach ought to require Decobike to have a backup plan in case the bike-share program doesn’t work, as well as reassurances that the bike stations will be removed should the program fail.

“I’m really concerned about the process,” said planner Scott Chipman, noting that Pacific Beach may be “vigilant” in overseeing the program while other communities just “roll over,” acquiescing to Decobike’s demands.

The 19 proposed bike stations in Pacific Beach are: Turquoise Street and La Jolla Mesa Drive; Turquoise Street and Cass Street; La Jolla Boulevard and Tourmaline Street; Loring Street and Cass Street; Cass Street and Chalcedony Street; Missouri Street and Mission Boulevard; Cass Street and Felspar Street; Garnet Avenue and Ocean Boulevard; Bayard Street and Garnet Avenue; Cass Street and Garnet Avenue; Fanuel Street and Garnet Avenue; Ingraham Street and Garnet Avenue; Garnet Avenue and Kendall Street; Morrell Street and Garnet Avenue; Grand Avenue and Bayard Street; Grand Avenue and Mission Boulevard; Reed Avenue and Oliver Court; Pacific Beach Drive and Mission Boulevard; and Pacific Beach Drive and Olney Street.


Meanwhile, C.A. Marengo of Marengo Morton Architects presented on the proposed Guy Cadillac development.

“It’s a mixed-use project,” said Marengo. “What we’re doing is a little bit unique.”

He pointed out the 4.83-acre site off Interstate 5 would be “redeveloped to raise the density” by adding 108 condominium units.

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Pointing out the redevelopment project would be near the proposed new Balboa Avenue Trolley Station, Curry said the project could include a pedestrian bridge across the freeway, providing access for both bicyclists and pedestrians.

Chipman said the new development might be an opportunity to provide a public park for project residents.

“We like the idea of integrating those residents into the community as well as providing a benefit by developing a transportation corridor,” Chipman said.

Curry said the project would be a good use of commercial zoning rather than always pushing for retail, even where it doesn’t necessarily fit.

“If the community doesn’t want the retail, why should we have it?” Curry asked. “I like this idea of having a tech-hub co-sharing space.”

The group’s vote on conceptual approval of the Guy Cadillac project was unanimous.

On another note, Danielle Nisan discussed the city’s Urban Forest Management Plan now under development. She said trees would provide benefits besides much-needed shade in terms of making city’s more livable and economically sustainable.

Finally, city engineer Jihad Sleiman told the group the new lifeguard station now under construction at Law Street will “disappear as much as possible into the canyon,” as well as involve some slope stabilization work.

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