LJVMA re-hashes dockless bikes, elects new president
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 05/18/18 - 02:00 PM | 1152 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In May, La Jolla Village Merchants Association elected a new president, while once again vetting the divisive issue of dockless bikes and a proposal to “corral” them in sidewalk racks or disabled parking.

Alisha Hawrylyszyn Frank, a life coach with Fiercely Optimistic, assumed the reins of group leadership from James Niebling, who stepped down in April.

Noting she had “enthusiasm and a lot of energy,” Hawrylyszyn Frank said, “We’ll continue working on our block captain roles while making social media [outreach] one of our highest priorities. Merchants who sign onto our website, we’ll feature them in our social media.”

Hawrylyszyn Frank praised LJVMA’s client mix and the direction for the merchant group being charted adding, “La Jolla is already on the map, and we’ve got to keep it rocking and attention going here.”

Regarding dockless bikes, LJVMA executive director Sheila Fortune said, “They are here. The bottom line is we can figure out how we want to proactively welcome them, or we can sit and complain about it and have a million more meetings.”

Fortune asked the board whether they would prefer to have dockless bikes “corralled,” in free bike racks donated by the city on sidewalks, or possibly re-use disabled parking for that purpose.

“The City has racks that they will install,” she said. “But the racks have to be approved by the real estate owners in front of the sidewalks in which they’re placed.”

Regarding an earlier suggestion that bike racks could be localized, Fortune replied, “The City will not pay to have La Jolla printed on them or any kind of bike rack logo. We do not have the budget to get custom bike racks.”

After the May 9 meeting, Fortune said the city has asked LJVMA to identify 10 spots that could be used for bike racks throughout the business improvement district by June.

“Then as we are looking for bike rack locations on our sidewalks, we will look at the [disabled] blue zones and see if there are a few that could potentially work with the space next to it painted as a ‘coral,’ ”Fortune said, adding, “Not all sidewalks can handle racks, and not every block that has a blue zone needs a coral. Until we map it out, we don’t know what will work…or what can even get approved.”

“We need to be thinking about alternative transportation — golf carts, Segways, etc. — that is coming,” said LJVMA board member Laurnie Durisoe on May 9. “The trade-off is your hoping to get rid of [standard] vehicles for smaller units.”

“We have to embrace it [dockless],” said board member Michael Dorvillier.

“We need to get [dockless off the sidewalks, but the sidewalks should not be cluttered with racks,” agreed Hawrylyszyn Frank.

“We’ve intimidated the bike companies,” said Bill Robbins, a La Jolla community park planner from the audience.

Robbins said dockless companies need to be held accountable.

“Somebody needs to make them put them in some sort of corral,” he said. “I don’t think we should have to do that for them.”

Suggested Robbins: “I would make a deal with them saying, ‘We’ll do this if you do this. We’ll give you parking spaces or racks if you pick them up.’ ”

But Robbins warned, “Let’s get something from them in writing before you give away parking.”

The dockless issue will likely be revisited again at LJVMA’s next meeting on June 13.

In other action:

• LJVMA unanimously voted to draft a letter of support in favor of Community Choice Energy, an alternative to traditional utilities-based energy, which allows cities and counties to purchase cleaner power options from alternative sources at competitive prices. 

The next La Jolla Village Merchants’ meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 6 at the Riford Library from 3 to 4 p.m.
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