Last Saturday evening we walked the length of Ocean Boulevard at about 5 o’clock. We were reasonably well dressed because we were on our way to a reception at the Hotel Del. At least half dozen or more times, we were forced to find a way to move off the sidewalk to allow surreys and/or bikes go by. With even minor heels and nice dress shoes, this can be a daunting task since, in some places, the rather narrow sidewalk is bounded by boulders on one side and parking slots on the other. As we looked at the place where we think a bike path might go, we thought how wonderful it would be to ride it and how much safer we would be when walking to the Del. Dare we say that those opposing the study of a potential bike path or multi-use path have not walked Ocean Boulevard on a summer Saturday afternoon recently?
I have heard some of the opposition saying that it would encourage more bikes in Coronado. Well, I think that ship has sailed. We have bikes and we will have more bikes in the future but they will be riding in places that were meant for the pedestrians or the cars and no one will be safe. It just seems to be more of the “let’s stop progress” or “let’s stop change attitude” that often prevails on issues in our little paradise. We have found several paradises that we continue to visit all over the world and the common denominator is that none of them are the same as they were 20 or 30 years ago because other people have found them as well.....but we still love them and we embrace the changes that always come to chunks of paradise. Progress is good, after all, and it really cannot and should not be stopped.
There are many of us residents (yes I have talked with friends) who enjoy riding our bicycles in Coronado for fun and exercise. We have been welcoming the improvements in the City that are making that safer for us. How would we ever know whether a bike path along the beach is a good idea or not if we prevent the City from having it studied so that we can use a bit of empirical data to make such a decision? There are those who want to instill us with fear and danger of “things to come,” and who try comparing us with other cities that they deem to be terrible due to multi-use paths near the beaches, but we Coronadans have always felt that we cannot be compared to other cities, unless of course we want to use the argument to instill fear and/or halt change/progress.
We read one 50-year resident’s comment that none of the arguments thus far presented by the anti-study people has made any sense. We concur whole heartedly. To instill us with the fear that our community will be forever changed by allowing a study or that we will lose our village feel by allowing a study is…well, difficult to understand.
We know that some of us are in favor of a right decision for the right reasons and we certainly hope that our City Council has the courage to proceed to get some good hard facts before making a final decision about a path. We want the City to continue to make it safe to walk or to ride a bike even though our paradise is becoming more popular as a place to live and a place to visit.