Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Community Voices: An Open Letter to the Coronado City Council

Thank you for hearing the over 100 people who came to the City Council meeting, where you voted unanimously on a 5-0 vote to re-consider spending $100,000 on a bike path on Coronado beach. We are encouraging everyone to attend the September 1 City Council meeting at 4 pm when this issue will come up again to voice their support for protecting our beach.

I am supporting protecting our beach and keeping it natural. That message is resonating as all ages join The Save Our Beach grassroots organization to make sure that we protect what is our most beautiful natural asset in Coronado. This opportunity to express ourselves has shown that people who live, pay taxes and raise their kids in Coronado love our beach. Everyone in our small town appreciates the proximity and choice to quickly access a powerful, peaceful and natural environment that brings all of us great recreation options not to mention comfort and joy. This applies to everyone equally — regardless of if we walk along its shores, surf, bodysurf, swim, take our dogs there, build sand castles with our children or even bike on either Ocean Blvd. or the hard packed sand.

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What has organically evolved from this process is a crescendo of objections from residents who are concerned about the negative environmental impacts to the beach from so many people pouring into our community to enjoy it. The popularity of our beach has led to massive parking problems in our neighborhoods and an overwhelming convergence of vehicles, bikes, 6 person surreys, skateboards and pedestrian traffic in areas along or near the beach. What should be a net positive has unfortunately hurt our neighborhoods and subsequently the residents’ enjoyment of the beach where this balance between quality of life for people who live here and those coming to visit our beach is threatened. This has ushered in the feeling of a general degrading of our quality of life during the summer saturation months and other busy weekends. While we have been grudgingly willing to take the good with the bad over the years, this last summer has seemed to hit a tipping point.

Is the solution to try to attract even more people, as the concept of a new bike path would seem to indicate? I believe that the goal should be to balance the quality of life of the residents who want to enjoy the beach while sharing what has become an attraction with anyone and everyone who wants to come on the Island and visit our beach. Instead of creating more problems by increasing the congestion it seems like a better approach is to create more solutions to traffic, parking and flow of people wanting to savor a beach experience. The Save Our Beach Committee volunteers to work with City staff, professionals and residents to find solutions to these complicated problems that don’t include paving our beach.

We are blessed to live in this community and it is our responsibility to work together to protect our most precious treasure — Coronado Beach.

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Phyl Sarber

(619) 435-1276

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