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Reduce 13th Street for Bike Lanes, Response to Grand Jury at Meeting Wednesday

The process to select either the Boys & Girls Club of South County or South County Border View YMCA run the Sports Park Complex has been delayed.

Originally published 1:53 p.m. Aug. 21.

The Imperial Beach City Council will meet Wednesday at 6 p.m. Items up for discussion include improvements to Palm Avenue, support of a clean Tijuana River Valley, an official response to a Grand Jury audit and reducing the number of lanes of traffic on 13th Street.

One issue that won't be talked about Wednesday is the future of the city's Sports Park Complex.

Plans to identify a business to take over Sports Park Complex operations have been delayed, said Assistant City Manager Greg Wade. 

An Ad Hoc Committee which includes Councilmembers Bobby Patton and Brian Pat Bilbray and community stakeholders known as the Sports Park Task Force were unable to come to a consensus at a meeting last week to decide the details of a request for qualifications document to submit to city council for approval. 

The issue will be moved to the next city council meeting to take place Sept. 4.

To learn more see agenda item 6.2.

Once details are worked out, proposals will be requested from the Boys & Girls Club of South County or South County Border View YMCA. Negotiations with one of the two may begin in December.

State law requires the city respond to the findings of a San Diego County Civic Grand Jury audit and report. City council will review the 15-page letter Wednesday that rejects most assertions made by the grand jury. Click here to read a full story on the city response.

This is agenda item 6.1.

City council will vote whether to accept a grant to pay for the 13th Street Bikeway Project Wednesday. The project would reduce 13th Street from Palm Avenue to Iris Avenue from four lanes to one lane in each direction with a center turning lane in order to install Class II bike lanes.

The public review period for the project ends Aug. 26. Comments may be sent to City Planner Jim Nakagawa.

"It would be best to have a comment in writing. That way we don't misinterpret anything," Nakagawa said. 

The official public hearing to discuss the bike lane will be held Sept. 4. 

This is agenda item 6.3.

Palm Avenue was reduced from four to two lanes earlier this year to install Ecoroute bike lanes.

The Palm Avenue Commercial Corridor Master Plan was approved by the Imperial Beach City Council in 2008 to improve the streetscape and local economy. 

On Wednesday city staff will request city council allow them to take proposals from contractors to prepare drawings and environmental review related to the Palm Avenue Commercial Corridor Master Plan.

The city received a $400,000 SANDAG grant to do the research. About $100,000 in funding and services from the city.

This is agenda item 6.4. 

in related news, plans to modify Imperial Beach zoning to improve at a Coastal Commission held last week.

Dante Pamintuan August 21, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Reducing four lanes into two lanes would slow down the traffic for the safety of the children and parents who are walking to and from the elementary school next to the KFC. The added benefit would also make the surrounding businesses safer to access. We are talking about 13th Street at the Bike path that runs north and south to the NOLF airfield at Iris Ave, right?
Dante Pamintuan August 21, 2013 at 05:24 PM
If it's a grant and not touching General Funds, it would be wise for the City to vote in favor of accepting this grant. This is a safer traffic concept for pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles. I predict a unanimous aye at the council chambers tonight.
Ed Kravitz August 21, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Maybe they can screw up traffic on 13th as bad as the Palm Avenue Choke that starts near Palm and Rainbow. These people are not traffic engineers and nobody from Imperial Beach thought these ideas up. Cookie Cutter Template stuff from SANDAG. And just what's so bad about the traffic now. What happens when the Navy is moving big equipment....wide loads...boats, aircraft or other? NOT SMART ANYTHING!
Dante Pamintuan August 21, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Ed. The Navy adapts and overcomes. They'll just go around.
Dante Pamintuan August 21, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Ed. You might also want to talk with Hank Levien, the Public Works Director. It was most likely his input for the Palm Ave modifications.
Dante Pamintuan August 21, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Ed. Have you visited the elementary school next to KFC lately with regards to traffic flow and pedestrian safety? Check it out carefully.
john carr August 21, 2013 at 07:04 PM
I just almost got sideswiped at Palm and Rainbow for the second time today...and I was being very careful. Maybe when someone gets killed or takes out a tree they will reconsider the squeeze. Sure has slowed traffic....A LOT.\!
Libi Uremovic August 21, 2013 at 07:29 PM
government sticks a 'feel good' name on projects to sell it to the public.. narrowing palm eliminated space for a safe bike path, but it was never about a bike path - it was about selling concrete... they've painted the bike path signs on seacoast, but the path takes up 1/2 the car lane ...
Libi Uremovic August 21, 2013 at 07:45 PM
dante - if there's a speed problem around the school then it needs to be addressed, but spending a fortune on concrete isn't the answer...
Libi Uremovic August 21, 2013 at 07:48 PM
'...The city received a $400,000 SANDAG grant to do the research. About $100,000 in funding and services from the city...' $400,000 just to do research... the city will spend millions on the project...and it's just a bunch of concrete....
Dante Pamintuan August 22, 2013 at 01:04 AM
Libi. If you attended tonight's city council meeting, you would have heard the presentation by Hank Levein, The Public Works Director. The grant funds 90% with a 10% matching fund by the city. As I predicted, and after some good questions to Hank by some of the city council members, the vote was unanimous in approving a resolution to accept the grant. There will be no overlay of new concrete or expensive infrastructure design, just re-striping of lanes. Mr. Bilbray was right in asking Hank pertinent questions about future density, traffic patterns and construction. This idea for 13th street will help improve Imperial Beach. I am all for it. However, I am a little concerned about a certain council member that doesn't understand the basic concept and requests additional spending to show more detailed designs and conceptual drawings, which are expensive...in order to vote on the matter at hand. Just my own personal observation of a council member in action. Spending money from the city treasury when it's not needed adds up and may result in not spending money where it really is needed. Again, just my observation on this council member's lack of ability and mindset to be fiscally conservative and prudent with the city treasury.
Libi Uremovic August 22, 2013 at 06:01 AM
dante - 1. - 'grant' means they're taking the money out of one of our other pockets ...there is no 'free money'.... 2. - the project isn't 'funded 90% by grant money'....they've received a $67,000 'grant' to start the paperwork .....the project will cost millions ... resolution 7377 gives the city authorization to start a 5-capital improvements plan... their 'plan' has nothing to do with anything but passing out multimillion dollar construction projects....
Libi Uremovic August 22, 2013 at 06:09 AM
'... I am a little concerned about a certain council member that doesn't understand the basic concept and requests additional spending to show more detailed designs and conceptual drawings, which are expensive...in order to vote on the matter at hand....' if it makes you feel better - the councilmember is just putting on a show - they're not going to 'study the information' ....
JOhn August 22, 2013 at 09:42 AM
Libi I agree with you about grant money, that it"s still taxpayer money. However I deal with grants all the time and the money has been earmarked by the State or Feds and is going to be spent by someone so why not get some for the community. But with that said the City needs to make sure the out of pocket cost is reasonable and the City has proven they have no clue about fiscal sanity. So I am concerned that the overall cost of a project like this outweighs the benefit of getting the grant,
Jon Hall August 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM
Went to the meeting last night to see what your leaders had planned for 13th Street --- it was funny --- going to spend nearly $750K to paint some new lines, add a few arrows, and slurry seal 13th Street --- which shall from now on be known as the *Bike Path To Nowhere* --- the plan was improved with no design in place, no traffic study done, no impact study, or public input --- and best yet there was no one there in opposition ...
Jon Hall August 22, 2013 at 10:22 AM
Oh, and I really love the conceptual designs for Palm Avenue --- 2 traffic lanes --- local access lane --- bike lane --- nice wide sidewalks --- and pedestrian level lighting --- but best thing about it was the elimination of all the existing businesses --- plans showed nice new mixed use buildings --- gone were Mason's , the Scoreboard, Salty Frog, and every other local place ...
Libi Uremovic August 22, 2013 at 11:48 AM
'.. I deal with grants all the time...' then you should know what a scam business it is ... why don't you state you name and picture if you want to represent the marketing scam of using the term 'grant' ..
Serge Dedina August 22, 2013 at 01:42 PM
In defense of the Palm Avenue redo--as someone who lives just off the area in question--I think it is safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. It makes that left turn from Rainbow onto Palm so much safer. Look--Cities are supposed to plan and improve things--13th Street needs improvement. Lots of kids ride their bikes in IB (as well as adults) so improving pedestrian and bike safety is key. And as for the bike trail--you can come off of the bike route on the bay--and then head south of 13th to the Navy Base and then head east on your way to the TJ River valley. It is a great ride.
Pitcher Erick August 22, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Go the extra mile and RENAME it after Ty Woods!
Ed Kravitz August 23, 2013 at 11:50 AM
APOLOGY: I wanted to make a public apology to Mr. John Carr; who was so nice as to let me use his computer the other day. Although I was logged into my personal email account when I posted.....apparently cookies made me "John Car"r on the comments. This editor does not allow you to modify comment;s so I apologize for the comment which was attributed to Mr. Carr , which was actually mine. All Mr. Carr did was offer the use of his home computer to check my mail. Please don't hold him accountable for the comments which were mine. Thank You
Jon Hall August 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM
Serge --- as I told Wade Wednesday night after the meeting --- bicycles don't bring in families, tourists, and customers to businesses --- motorized vehicles do --- and by limiting quick easy access to *pedestrians & bicyclists* (who historically spend little to no money on their **rides**) you ensure the economic destruction of Imperial Beach ...
Jon Hall August 23, 2013 at 11:58 AM
Pitcher Erick --- if Palm Avenue was to be renamed after a fallen hero Imperial Beach would have a plethora of names to choose from --- brave Men & Women have been paying the ultimate price for longer than any of us have been alive ...
Jon Hall August 23, 2013 at 12:13 PM
To Dante: To respond to your previous post (which I just saw now) --- To approve a major changes to access, traffic flow, and safety without full design drawings, impact studies, and overwhelming public backing is ludicrous at best and malfeasance at worst --- and justifying it by saying "we can pave over it later if it doesn't work" is about as laughable as anything I have heard on Jay Leno --- these **special funds** will not be given without an ironclad guarantee that it will no be removed unless the grant is paid back ...
Jon Hall August 23, 2013 at 12:14 PM
Oh, one other thing --- the comment made that *I love to see someone else pay to redo our streets* was by far the best comment of the night ...
Serge Dedina August 23, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Jon: re: tourism: I think we need to have a comprehensive tourism strategy that promotes all different types of activities. From my travels to small-scale surf cities with my family--its seems like the effort is to make sure that every activity can be taken care of-so these cities promote surfing, fishing, diving, kayaking, biking, hiking, bird-watching and literally whatever else can be done. I have used our local and regional bike trails for decades and I see high-end and normal folks out on their bikes. We want lots of people from out of town exploring our beautiful city on bikes and in cars. the more that come the more chance they'll stay or invest or eat and tell their friends. And I see groups of well-off cyclists on the pier all the time--who are from Coronado and even Rancho San Diego. They are having lunch or coffee on the pier. But IB needs a tourism development plan so that we have a clear roadmap to bring more tourists in, fewer cars and more dollars!
Serge Dedina August 23, 2013 at 01:06 PM
Hey Jon: Why not meet with the council and our new city manager and propose the development of a City of IB Tourism Advisory Group, so that local residents and the business community could work together on a tourism development plan for IB. That way we can go from debating on this site--to planning with our neighbors on how to make a our city a better place to live for all. Cheers, Serge

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