By Dan Allen / La Jolla Light
Nearby residents to the planned Nobel Drive station on the Mid-Coast Trolley (“La Jolla Residents Start Petition to Nix Trolley Station” June 26 issue) object to the parking structure. This is the only place nearby on the line where public parking can possibly be built. The next three stops will be locations where public parking is not permitted — VA Hospital and two at UCSD.
As it is, the parking structure design is a compromise. There should be much more parking than 260 spaces. Trolley riders driving from points north to the Old Town station today take up more than that many spaces, and it will be the same situation for Nobel Drive, because it will be the most convenient stop with parking at the north end of the extended line.
They are even asking for the Nobel Drive station to be eliminated from the Mid-Coast plan. That would be a disaster for the La Jolla community. Regardless of what the Nobel Drive station is eventually named, it will be the “La Jolla” station because it will be the closest trolley stop to central La Jolla, the beaches and the Cove.
Visitors to La Jolla, residents and people working in La Jolla who will come and go on the trolley will get on and off at the Nobel Drive station. The La Jolla Community Plan has, since it was written over a decade ago, called for a shuttle bus between the Village and the anticipated north extension of the trolley, and the only logical route for that shuttle is to and from the planned Nobel Drive station.
Unfortunately, the Nobel Drive station layout has the bus stop connection going through a parking lot, past the California Pizza Kitchen and across Nobel Drive. The station needs to be redesigned to provide convenient movement from the trolley to the bus stop, like the plans show for the Tecolote Road, Clairemont Drive and Balboa Avenue stations.
The Mid-Coast Trolley is a $1.7 billion project, and one would think they could find in that enough to buy-out the California Pizza Kitchen — instead of building around it — and put in an adequate parking structure and a bus-to-trolley transfer facility.