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Opinion

Mailbag: Parking problems in Bluebird Canyon still not resolved

In the March 15th issue of the Coastline Pilot, “Committee reports on parking, traffic,” Barbara Diamond reported that Neil Katz told the council that one of the most significant accomplishments of the Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee was the resolution of parking problems in upper Bluebird Canyon. Not so fast!

Many in this neighborhood are extremely dissatisfied with what the PTC did to the parking in our area. If the PTC members had listened to neighbors who spoke at their meetings, they would have been able to understand that many of us were upset with their proposed resolution.

People are no longer able to park in front of their own homes. Seven to 10 vehicles, mostly from illegal rentals on Bluebird, are parked on Morningside Drive in front of our and our neighbors’ property daily, coming and going at all hours of the day and night. It has created a noise nuisance as well as an extremely dangerous driving condition.

People are now continually parked on a blind curve where Morningside and Bluebird intersect. We didn’t buy a home in a neighborhood with these parking conditions, but we have them now, because of the PTC and City Council’s action. A small parking problem on Bluebird has now become a major problem on Morningside.

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The statement that five previously prohibited parking spots were opened up is erroneous. These spots were never taken away. They were parking pullouts required by the Design Review Board for remodels and new construction. They were always and continue to be utilized, but they are not in addition to any parking. Except for these legal pullouts, no parking is allowed on upper Bluebird.

The PTC should not be patting themselves on the back when there still is no resolution to this problem that started with one person complaining about one parking spot.

Rosanne Beam

Laguna Beach

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Idea of parking structure is a good one

I will be out of town on March 26 so I won’t be able to attend the meeting concerning Village Entrance. I just wanted to express my support for the new Village Entrance plan, especially as it pertains to much needed parking. I have always thought that festival attendance was negatively impacted by the lack of parking. Even though the community has been polled about their concerns, we haven’t taken a poll of the neighboring communities and what keeps them from shopping and attending our events here in Laguna Beach. I have spoken with many people over the years, and even though it is only anecdotal, the results of my poll say that parking is their No. 1 concern when coming into our lovely city, especially in the summer.

I would love a new parking structure in the canyon. This is where we need it most. It should be aesthetically pleasing and function efficiently, getting cars off the street quickly to ease congestion. The worst thing is when people are frustrated and angry before they even get inside the festival. Any effort we make toward accommodating our guests is welcome. Let’s make it a pleasant and easy experience to come and spend money here in our beautiful, artistic city.

I understand the people who wish to keep rampant development at bay, but I don’t agree with the head-in-the-sand mentality about parking.

Patti Jo Kiraly

Laguna Beach

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Closing down Glenneyre Street just not realistic option

In response to Art Wahl’s letter in the March 15 Coastline Pilot , “Streets don’t fit ‘progressive’ history” , I personally don’t want to be “encouraged to walk and cycle” whether for health or any other reason; I don’t like it when my wife and friends so “encourage” me, and I certainly am not going to take medical advice from Mr. Wahl, nice guy though he seems to be, or from “Complete Streets,” or — perish the thought — City Council.

I have no objection to civic improvements, such as the bike lane Mr. Wahl proposes, provided that they are not excessively expensive or excessively crazy (and also provided, of course, that I don’t have to use it). I do object, however, when someone comes along with ideas clearly hatched with no consideration of reality, like closing down Glenneyre Street, which I use every day to get home, to one lane, or other such schemes that are dreamed up by folks who have either no conception or no consideration of how people live in the real world. Prohibiting fire pits, when there is no history of even a single fire being caused by one, is another one.

Maybe I am getting crotchety (after all, who am I to argue with a majority?), but schemes like this seem to me to fit into the category of solutions to no known problem: It may be benign when it concerns the futile effort to get me to walk, but less so when it is to require voter registration to prevent non-existent voter “fraud.”

Generally, Laguna Beach fits somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. I am hoping that the new — and newly independent — majority on City Council will bring to municipal decision-making a new rational and objective approach. Whether or not we need a north-to-south bike lane is a decision that should be based upon whether it will be used by a significant number of Laguna residents (or visitors, I guess), for whatever reasons they may have; that it may also have perceived social benefits is helpful, but not itself a ground or reason for the expenditure of either effort and funds. Fortunately for all of us, I have an opinion on only a few such subjects.

Gene Gratz

Laguna Beach


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