Save Our Streets - Or Why I support Prop H!

When I first ran for election in 2000 I did not support what I understood to be “the tunnel.” I did not win in 2000 but ran again this time successfully in 2004. During that time I educated myself on what the whole SR 75/282 Corridor project was all about. It is not just about whether we build a tunnel or not. It is about CORONADO having a seat at the table when decisions about land use in Coronado happen.

When the bridge was completed in 1969 many Coronado residents had not supported the process. The bridge was advocated by developers that wanted to expand development in Coronado and the U.S. Navy, who needed to get people to NAS North Island to work. The Federal and State Governments stepped in and solved “their” problem. If we walk away from this planning effort now, we are telling the State and Federal Governments that we don’t care and we will leave it up to them again. It isn’t hard to guess what they will do. As the traffic increases they will just expand third and fourth streets to get the traffic off of Interstate 5 and dump it on Coronado to queue up for the security at the base. Just last week I happened to have a 6:30 am meeting and the other participants were stuck on I-5 for over an hour because traffic was backed up all the way from the base.

To expand the streets requires eminent domain. All of the folks concerned that some of the tunnel study options would require eminent domain haven’t thought through the alternative. The traffic has to go somewhere. If we don’t create, in essence, another street (i.e. the tunnel) then it has to stay on surface streets. Every time I drive through Rosecrans in Point Loma I look at the beautiful stately homes on what was a grand entrance to the town, properties with a bay view at one time. Now they have a view of a busy state highway that Navy personnel use to get to the Sub base. The residents of Point Loma didn’t volunteer to turn their streets over to the control of the Navy or CALTRANS. It just happened. Remember:

Coronado did not exercise eminent domain to direct the traffic from the bridge to Third Street. The State of California did.

Coronado did not fund the bridge or its maintenance. The State of California did and through CALTRANS still does.

Coronado did not put the tolls on the Bridge to reimburse the tax payers for the bridge. The State of California did.

If Coronado walks away from solutions to ameliorate the traffic caused by commuters going to NAS North Island, the State of California (CALTRANS) and the U.S. Navy will choose a solution for us.

Vote Yes on Prop H to preserve your place at the table as traffic solutions are being found. Vote yes on H to Save Our Streets. Email if you are willing to go on record to save our streets.
Carrie Downey

Views: 322

Tags: H, Prop

Comment by Carrie Anne Inada Downey on May 17, 2010 at 11:53am

You raise an important detail. The City staff time that could be used to work with a citizen group is the same staff time that is being devoted to assist with the current study. When the No Proponents talk about the "Coronado general fund money being spent" that it what is being discussed. The City has quantified the time over the years the existing staff have expended and will expend on the efforts to complete the current alternatives study.
Comment by Suzanne Ramirez on May 17, 2010 at 4:04pm
As I understand it, the "extra" $2 million dollars would be spent to complete the enginerring work for a tunnel that would empty out at 4th and Alameda instead of ending actually inside the base, this extra study work being required because the City was ?belatedly told flat out by the Navy that the City's plan to end the tunnel inside the base is no deal. People who don't want the tunnel see no reason to give any more money to the Brinkerhoff folks to figure out the relocation of the exit portal for a tunnel we don't want anyway. This tunnel would not be used by enough people to make a difference in our traffic problems anyay. The money should have been spent figuring out how to get cars from Freeway 5 to NASNI. The error was made long ago when the City defined the study as one for getting traffiic from the bridge to the base, not for getting cars out of Coronado. It is time to start over. Stop wasting money on a bad idea. A bridge or tunnel from the Coast Guard station or from 32nd Street, or ferries or whatever will not be considered in any significant way in THIS study. The "yes" folks are way too far invested in their existing tunnel plan to put their efforts (and our tax dollars) into all these other more reasoanble and more effective solutions. A yes vote on this proposition will do nothing for advancement of any really effective alternatives. It is silly to think we have to finish this study to be able to tell the City Council what we think are better ideas for re-gaining control of our city streets. This can be done and I am confident will be done once we stop spending money on this tunnel study. None of us knew how much was being spent on this study until the City decided to ask us to vote for them to spend more. Had we known, I believe people would have put a stop to this expenditure of public funds long ago. VOTE NO TO THIS TUNNEL.
Comment by Carrie Anne Inada Downey on May 17, 2010 at 6:20pm
The study will alo tell us how the TDM options could work and at what cost. Since many votes have said they want to try those measures, wouldn't it be nice to have the research to back it up? The CTMA was disbanded almost 10 years ago because after more than $10 million the TDM results did not pencil out. They started grea programs but the resuts weren't enough to justify the expenses paid for by the toll revenue. Lets get information first before we act this time.

Vote YES on Prop H. Get informed and keep your options open.
Comment by Bruce Johnson on May 17, 2010 at 9:23pm
I was on that CTMA committee for 2 years. People just did not participate voluntarily. The bridge toll was 30 cents each way. $3 a week. Not enough incentive. Look how many single occupancy vehicles clog our streets on their way to NASNI. It's most of them. Something would have to radically change to get folks to voluntarily participate in park & ride, rideshare vans etc. Folks do things only when they have to - or it is economically compelling. It's questionnable if the Navy could even require any level of participation. And why should they? They don't have a traffic problem. We do.
Comment by Carrie Anne Inada Downey on May 18, 2010 at 12:01am

Please do call me by my first name.

I am so glad that you have been reading the information on the web page. The 6 alternatives being analyzed in the EIS/EIR are listed on the Prop H link on the city web page under alternatives.

"Alternative 2 is the Transportation Demand Management/Transportation System Management (TDM/TSM). This alternative consists of operational investments, policies and actions aimed at improving traffic movement and travel safety, increasing transit usage and rideshare participation, and reducing the environmental and social impacts of transportation facilities and operations in the SR 75/282 Transportation Corridor. Examples: Resolve Third Street/Alameda Boulevard drainage problem for better transit access; build City of Coronado entry gateway to help calm and/or meter incoming traffic; build bulb-outs (curb extensions) on Third and Fourth Streets; and provide "express" transit service between San Diego and the NASNI Main Gate are just a few of the improvements to be considered."

I'm sorry it was confusing about which alternatives were moving forward. The draft ER is not yet fiished. That is the document that isplanned to be finished and out for public review this July, if the Voters approve Prop H.

Although we are pursuing some TDM strategies currently including the existing Vanpool, the EIS/EIR study will discuss the options of doing more and their efficacy. To clarify, your tax dollars currently subsidize the less than 900 people that use vanpools and ride the ferry, out of the 80,000+ trips a day. The study will help residents determine what the costs would be to try to increase the number of riders in van pools etc. and at what cost. As Bruce Johnson commented on earlier, the problem isn't just in agreeing to subsidize the riders it is getting people willing to give up their cars. I am looking forward to having everyone be able to review the analysis of all the EIS alternatives to decide what they are willing to support.

Those of us that support Prop H want to provide residents the opportunity to make their own decisions in the future based on the evidence. Vote Yes on Prop H so you can have the information you need to make the right decisions. Keep all options open.
Comment by jef on May 18, 2010 at 4:09am
The birth of a 12yr study. I see HOV lanes were dismissed in the beginning. I wonder if designating 1 of 3 lanes HOV would compel base traffic to carpool? Did we try that? I would think 50 gallons of paint and a few signs would create one HOV lane and two normal lanes to and from the base. Imagine the motivation to get out of those two lanes by carpooling, van pooling, ride sharing or bus riding. You can't force anyone into a ride share program but you could get a BIG carrot in front of their noses with an HOV lane. The cost of that would be less than $2 million (probably $5,000-8,000) but the report says $20 million for one HOV lane, WHAT??!!. We could do it by next week. (BTW: That idea was discarded). The fines for violating HOV rules is $381 and over $1,000 for subsequent violations. Our City budget could use some of that money.

I looked for an option which would use reversible lanes (ie. red cone two lanes on 4th to flow from bridge-to-base in morning and two lanes of 3rd to flow base-to-bridge in afternoon) but I didn't see that alternative. I'm not a traffic engineer (obviously); but isn't that how they manage the lanes on the bridge with movable concrete barriers to increase lanes in the direction of heavy traffic flow?
Comment by Nancy D. Santos on May 18, 2010 at 6:57am
I have been educated -- when you have been educated you can never be "misguided". I thank Councilwoman Carrie Downey, Mr. Mayor and to all those who have participated on this blog, especially to those who oppose Prop H. You have all provided a final process of my education regarding the issues and ramifications of Prop H. Being educated and making an informed decision is different from having to be guided with your decision. As an educated Citizen you will make your own decision according to factual and straight forward information that will support your ideas and values. More important, when your goal is to be informed/educated versus being guided, you will be able to exercise your decision to vote with complete confidence because you know you are doing the right thing for you and your family today and for the future as a proud and caring resident of Coronado. Councilwoman Carrie Downey so eloquently summed it up on her last blog, "Those of us that support Prop H want to provide residents the opportunity to make their own decisions in the future based on the evidence. Vote Yes on Prop H so you can have the information you need to make the right decisions. Keep all options open." I am completely ready to cast my "YES" vote to Prop H! See you all at the polls!
Comment by Ann Sonne on May 18, 2010 at 8:41am
Folks, as I have been reading the studies and following these entries, it is apparent that what we have here is another sad example of THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS politics.

In 1998, voters directed the City Council only to STUDY FUNDING SOURCES for a tunnel. Members of the City Council at some point committed themselves emotionally and financially to this tunnel alternative to Coronado's traffic problems and, unbeknownst to most voters, SPENT $14 MILLION OF TAXPAYERS' MONEY (including bridge toll funds that can be used for lots of different traffic improvements along 3rd, 4th and Orange Avenue) to "study" the tunnel alternative.

The City Council established a transportation committee which is commonly known and referred publically to as the "Tunnel Committee" which meets monthly and has, by its own admission at their last meeting, spent the VAST majority of funds studying tunnel alternatives.

Someone must have suggested to the City Council that spending millions of dollars of tax payers' money without their approval is probably not a good idea and might even be actionable. So now, we have Proposition H which purports to finish the study of traffic solutions to the tune of another $2 million, although Mayor Tanaka admitted at the meeting at the Cays that it could cost us more than $2 million (or maybe a little less, although when was the last time that a government study came in for less)?!

The City Council, the majority of which was totally committed to building a tunnel in Coronado, put this proposition on the ballot. Since the four council members decided they knew what was best for Coronado, they voted to obfuscate the issue by using confusing language on the ballot so that they could tell voters that a vote against Prop. H was a vote against ANY traffic amelioration.

To this end, the City Council decided to "educate" the public on this proposition. They set up a very one-sided website through the City and authorized thousands of dollars (8 - 10 at last count) to create an insert in the Eagle that listed the pros and cons to Proposition H -- only the cons were written by the pro-tunnel people and were very misleading.

The list goes on.

NOTE TO THE CITY COUNCIL: THE ENDS DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS. Just because you believe that a tunnel should be built does not give you the right to spend millions of dollars without taxpayers' approval. It does not give you the right to skew information and mislead voters so you can implement this "higher good." You were elected to represent the voters; give us a clearly stated proposition and an objective and accurate accounting. And let us decide.

In fact, as Mr. Proctor has pointed out, a N0 VOTE ON PROPOSITION H IS NOT A VOTE TO END THE STUDY AND IMPLEMENTATION OF TRAFFIC SOLUTIONS IN CORONADO; TSM/TDM elements will continue to be enacted. As contributors to this site have pointed out, there are so many more ideas that should be explored before more money is spent on a tunnel study.

A NO VOTE ON PROPOSITION H DOES MEAN THAT VOTERS DO NOT WANT THE CITY COUNCIL TO SPEND ANY MORE FUNDS (including bridge toll funds) STUDYING A TUNNEL -- that will tear up this community's streets for years, will not solve the traffic problem, and is unaffordable at any rate. A NO VOTE also MEANS THAT VOTERS DO SUPPORT OTHER POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS TO TRAFFIC PROBLEMS on Coronado.
Comment by Rob MacKnight on May 18, 2010 at 10:06am
Having grown up in Coronado and living most of the time between third and fourth streets I can appreciate Bruce Johnson's words of how placid the Rock was prior to the bridge changing our lives forever in '69.

Thus, my take is that it is a Navy issue and the residents should no longer be hassled, charged, and moved to accommodate the commuters to North Island. If they crave a tunnel have it go directly to the base bypassing Coronado completely. The base takes up 60% of the peninsula so tear up some of that area instead of residential.
Comment by Nancy D. Santos on May 18, 2010 at 10:07am
Dear Jef and Mr. Procter,
As a fellow caring resident, thank you both so much for trying hard to keep your minds open. I know that both of you are still not completely convinced Voting YES on Prop H; but I can tell from your posts as the dialogue continues that you are truly reading and hearing the information being presented honestly and straightforward to you by Councilwoman Downey and Mr. Mayor. I urge you to continue to keep your minds open, because the bigger picture will explain why we need to continue the Study. I will not reiterate as it has been articulated so well by Ms. Downey, Mr. Mayor here and at the Forum, and by our Tunnel Commissioners at their meeting along with City Staff members.

Jef, I understand your concern about being gun-shy and wanting to be as conservative as possible. This is the most trying time in the world's economic history -- my own family is also very conservative right now and struggling as well like we have never had to before. But, being completely informed made me see a clearer picture and made it very easy for me to support completing the Tunnel Study. It is all about our future in Coronado - the economy will go on and will recover sooner or later but our traffic problems will still be here and will continue to grow and our ability to address it may not be as readily available as it is now when we can do something to secure it.

Thanks again fellow Coronadans for trying to keep an open mind and continuing to be educated!

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