Letters to the Editor

Viewpoint: Plan to widen LOVR bike lane, sidewalk a good one

I’m writing in response to “Support Prefumo Creek path” (March 21) whose authors urge that Windermere condominium owners support a public easement through Windermere property.

Because the required unanimous approval of the homeowners is unlikely (knowing that one resident appealed the Architectural Review Commission’s motion to proceed with the easement), I in turn urge support of the city’s alternative plan to improve the bike lane and sidewalk along Los Osos Valley Road.

In its application for a “Safe Route to Schools” grant to fund a bike and pedestrian path/bridge, the city also included an alternative plan to widen the bike lane and raise the sidewalk along Los Osos Valley Road near Laguna Middle School. I think this is a wonderful idea — as do Mayor Dave Romero and Councilman Allen Settle.

After realistically assessing the situation with Windermere at a March 16 City Council meeting, they opposed the Architectural Review Commission’s recommendation to proceed with the public easement through the property and they made a second motion (passed 5-0 by council members) to explore the Los Osos Valley Road project.

What many of my neighbors and I really like about the alternative plan is that it directly addresses the safety concerns raised by area residents for cyclists and walkers along Los Osos Valley Road.

Widened bike lanes and walkways, planted dividers and enhanced traffic controls are among the possibilities that would offer practical and attractive improvements without encroaching on nearby properties. These would not only benefit schoolchildren who live on both sides of Los Osos Valley Road, but all of us who walk and bike along this busy corridor. I’m guessing that school teachers, city staff and members of the Bicycle Coalition would benefit too.

Ultimately, many of us living at Windermere and in Laguna Shores agree that the city’s alternative plan would be a further-reaching and more effective use of the city’s nearly $800,000 in grant money. We hope that city officials will direct their efforts toward this important project.

Shirley Howell is a resident in the Windermere condominium complex.