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Citizen Alert!

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Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2019 1:38 pm

The City Council just voted 4 - 1 (Mike Donovan being the sensible dissenter) to spend $1.65 million to move the light standards and trash cans and widen the west side (along the rock wall) of the Ocean Boulevard walkway two feet into the street! Two feet. Reason: To make it more comfortable for the escalating numbers of beach visitors. Like 24 inches will make a $1.65 million difference!

This happened at 7:30 p.m. during the May 21 Council meeting, the second to the last item on a long drawn out agenda. Hardly anyone was left in the audience at that hour for public comment. Who knew this fool item was coming up anyway? I just happened to be checking Channel 19, and am surprised they couldn’t hear me in Council chambers all the way from Alameda Boulevard shouting at the TV.

The Engineering Department offered four suggestions for the Ocean Boulevard sidewalk. (One of the four proposals was $5.5 million to lower the rocks. Seriously, take out rocks!!! Someone needs to give those engineers lessons in Coronado history.)

One would think the Coronado City Engineering Department might know that the rocks were installed in 1906 because a huge storm surge took out some Ocean Boulevard houses. Antique photographs show flood waters as far inland as Tenth and Orange. That event prompted a private benefactor to fund the beautiful, historic, much loved sea wall.

When I was a child (OK, mid 1930s), riding horseback around the edge of the island, we could only go along the beach at low tide because the wave action regularly hit and often splashed over the rocks onto the street. The big wide Central Beach of today is the result of a huge amount of dredging and filling around North Island and the big bay during the World War II years. Considering the projected results of Global Warming and the chance of sea level rise, what was once dredged up might very well one day be washed out again. On that note, $1.65 million would be better spent for a study to develop protective measures should Coronado shorelines face a future of rising water levels. Get the city engineers busy with that.

I am very disappointed that Bailey, Benzian, Heinze, and Sandke fail to see that there is no good reason to touch the Ocean Boulevard sidewalks. Consider the collateral consequences: $1.65 million to create months of construction mess for minimal gain. Imagine the disruption to morning and afternoon weekday traffic in and out of the North Island south gate! During discussion Mayor Bailey said this would be an OK expense because “there is a budget surplus this year.”

Readers who agree this is a major error in judgment, please let those guys know. And thank Mike Donovan for being the level headed one.

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