Home | February 2015 Update

Note: The following update was originally distributed on February 8, 2015
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Del Mar Update from Dwight Worden

Hello Friends! Welcome to my first newsletter as your City Councilmember. I'll address a couple of topical issues for Del Mar in each of these periodic newsletters, welcoming your feedback! Please feel free to share this with your Del Mar friends and neighbors.

Voice Your Choice! City Hall/Town Hall PollVoice Your Choice!

Your chance to express your preference on City Hall redevelopment options is here -- be sure to complete the online survey! Or if you prefer, you can go to City Hall and complete a paper version of the survey. Each registered voter in Del Mar is urged to participate, and each of you should have received your personal one-time code by mail. It's all safe, secure and confidential.  The poll closes at 5:00 pm on February 13.

TO VOTE: CLICK HERE (have your personal code on hand)
For help, call Everyone Counts at: 1-800-492-4763
CLICK HERE for more info about the City Hall project and the options 

Sharrows, Cars & Bikes: A good idea?
Should Del Mar implement sharrow lanes on Camino Del Mar in the business district? Solana Beach has them and so does Encinitas. So far, reviews are mixed. Many in the bike community seem to prefer them, others don't. Are they safer and better? Here are some thoughts to ponder, and then I 'd like to hear your view:

*  Can Bikes and Cars share the Road?  Bikes already have the right to use the travel lanes on our roadways and must follow the rules of the road (Sure, I know, many don't stop at stop signs or follow other rules, but that's a separate issue). It's just that they are required to stay to the right unless they need to pass an obstacle, or where the lane isn't wide enough for both bikes and cars, then they can go in the lane like a car. Bikes can legally use the travel lane already where the roadway is too narrow--sharrow lane designation only calls for painting markings to alert cars they must share the lane. As a practical matter, however, adopting a sharrow lane designation also means removing the separate, designated bike lane.

*  The Three Foot Rule. There's a new rule that cars must stay 3 feet away from bikes.  Good idea, perhaps, but tough to enforce. 

*  What to do When the Road is Narrow -- like Camino Del Mar (CDM) in Downtown? When the lane is narrow, here's the rub: Del Mar has three choices: 
(1) a separate bike lane (what Del Mar has now on CDM); bikes enjoy a separate lane but in the business district, in some narrow portions, they must pass close to parallel parked cars and face the real hazard of opening car doors; 
(2) a sharrow lane, in which bikes must share the lane with cars, but can ride farther away from parallel-parked cars; or
(3) a sharrow lane with angled parking, avoiding  the door opening hazard (and adding parking), but requiring drivers to back in or out of parking, often with limited visibility, creating its own hazards. In some cases this 3rd option may require eliminating left turn pockets in the downtown area as well. 

Which option works best for both bicyclists and motorists on busy CDM, even during high traffic times like the fair and races? Can we afford to lose left turn pockets? Can we safely accommodate bikes and angle parking? These are key questions I am studying. 

Let  me know your opinion (just hit "reply" and send me your comments). Thanks to the good folks from the biking and non-biking communities who have already expressed their views to me!

Camino Del Mar with separate bike lane--working well?
Safely passing an open car door while staying in the bike lane is possible in portions of downtown, but tough in other portions.

Camino Del Mar--some ride outside the bike lane, concerned about door openings?

Large groups of cyclists are common.

Police, Crime and Del Mar: Can We Do Better?

Del Mar spends about $2 million per year on sheriff services. Our Finance Committee, after a multi-year study, recommends that for about the same amount of money we could remove traffic enforcement from our contract with the sheriff (saving $300,000 per year) and add our own supplemental force on top of sheriff services (for general law enforcement as well as traffic enforcement), resulting in better overall service to Del Mar. The proposal would provide two new full time local officers, walking, biking, and patrolling Del Mar, with new community service officer support to handle paperwork. The sheriff contract would remain in place minus traffic enforcement. 

Issues to work out would include (1) the final budget numbers--can we really do this at no overall cost increase? (2) Can we work out the operational issues with the sheriff, such as who will do dispatching, which service will respond and when, how will backup for local officers be coordinated? (3) Will the sheriff agree to this shared service approach? The local sheriff captain reports it would be a difficult challenge and a first in the state.

What do you think? Right now Del Mar has a low crime rate and the statistics show that the sheriff's office does a great job on the "big stuff" like robbery in progress, but that response times are long --sometimes 40 minutes or more-- for lower priority calls like a prowler, car or business alarm, pubic intoxication, and the like. Our Finance Committee recommends that adding a couple of our own local officers could better address those lower priority calls, improving response times considerably. These lower priority calls have a significant impact on our quality of life, since they comprise the majority of our law enforcement needs here in Del Mar.

The Finance Committee's council liaisons Terry Sinnott and Mayor Al Corti will be meeting with Sheriff Gore to discuss these issues. If you have thoughts, please let us know. 

Curious About the Results of the Recent Satisfaction Survey?

Del Mar completed a citizen satisfaction survey to see how the city is doing in delivering services to our citizens. 450 good folks took the time to take the survey--thanks to the 450! --, about a 10% response, which we are told is quite high. The results are interesting and informative, and you can read them

Thanks for taking the time to read this update, and for sharing your thoughts with me.