Midway Traffic, Guns in Schools and All Those Damn Scooters and Bikes

by on September 25, 2018 · 8 comments

in Ocean Beach

Musing From the Old Broad

Midway Area Plan

Does anyone else wonder what the City Council was smoking a few days ago when they approved the revitalization of the Midway area? Do you think that they have EVER driven on Sports Arena Blvd. during rush hours? Do you think that they have EVER driven on Sports Arena Blvd at any time of the day, any day?

I had heard years ago that these plans were in the works because different businesses were not having their leases renewed.  I also heard that eventually a second runway will be utilizing the area at the southeast end of Midway.  It would not surprise me if that happens sooner than later.

In case you missed it, the new “Midway-Pacific Highway Community Plan” will be on approximately 1324 acres between the San Diego River, Highway 5, and the Lindbergh Field.  They are talking about 11,585 housing units and are touting the 30 acres of new parks and improvements to the area over by the Sports Arena.

No one is talking about the water that will be needed for all those new housing units; no one is talking about the increased traffic in the area; the only talk I hear is from the contractors and the money they will make on this fiasco.  Watch out Los Angeles! We are competing with you!

Guns in Schools?

Another topic that I feel very strongly about is this stupid plan to put guns in the schools.  I have been an educator for more years than most of you have been alive.  I started as a teacher; became a Principal, a Director, an Assistant Professor, etc.

I am also a parent.  If you think that students will be safer with their teacher having a gun at their desk you better think again.  There are so many drawbacks to this idea.

Let me list just a few:  Let’s say that the gun is locked up in safe and an active shooter comes on campus.  How long do you think it will take for the teacher to get the key; open the safe; load the gun; make sure that all of the students are safe, and shoot?

Or…what if the teacher leaves his keys on the desk and a disgruntled student takes them, opens the safe, and takes out the gun and begins shooting?  Or … after corporal punishment was banned from the classroom, teachers frequently would sent students to me, their Principal, because the student did something that really pissed them off.  Do you think that teachers are above taking out a gun and threatening a student? \

I had a group of teachers that worked for me when I was in another State.  They had “contests” to see how far they could shove a student when they paddled them.  They would put marks on the floor showing where Johnny was when he was first paddled, and where he ended up after paddling.  If you think that teachers don’t get mad; that teachers are above mental illness, you better do some research.  I can go on and on about why I am against guns in the school suffice it to say I think it’s a horrible idea.

Give Your Kid a “Pass Word” – and Make Drills More Life-Like

One more positive idea:  Parents, give your children a “pass word” so if someone says “your mom/dad, etc. wants me to pick you up at school” have the child ask that person for the “pass word”.  If they don’t have it, teach them to run the other way as fast as they can go.

Without going into too much detail, my daughter was involved in an “active shooting” incident a few weeks ago.  She, and the other employees are all fine, physically, but it has taken its toll on her, and others, mentally. A knock on the door, which was common before, startles them now.

I asked her if she had participated in drills, like we have drills in the school.  She answered “yes”, but, like fire drills, they were not taken seriously.

Drills are  routine; something that we get annoyed about, because it is never at an opportune time.  But they are a necessary part of the workplace now. We need to make these drills more meaningful.

I remember when I was the Principal of a K-8 school and we had a fire drill.  I had 5 custodians in my building, and I instructed them to block off exits, windows, and doors of the 3 buildings on campus.  Then we rang the bells.  Can you imagine what it was like when the teacher and students tried to get out of a blocked door?  What if that area was on fire?  I watched a 3rd grade teacher and her entire class come out of windows onto the ground when they couldn’t exit their classroom in “an orderly fashion.”  We MUST make these drills more life-like.  Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to “scare” people; they can be fun, but we have to do more of “what if’s” to make an impression.

Scooters & Bikes Left All Over the Place

Saw something today that also needs talking about. That is the damn scooters and bikes being left all over the place in the guise of making San Diego more “transit” friendly.  Yes, I don’t like them. I don’t like them in front of my house; I don’t like them on the streets; and I don’t like them blocking traffic and/or ignoring traffic laws.

Today while driving down Sunset Cliffs, I watched a woman in a wheel chair try to get around a scooter parked on the sidewalk  almost at the Voltaire/Sunset Cliffs Intersection.  She could not maneuver her chair around the scooter; obviously she was upset and she kicked the scooter, which then fell over and BLOCKED her path even further. No one on the street helped her; I was driving and there was no way that I could have pulled over, and, unfortunately, I do not know what happened to her.

There has to be more regulations about these nuisances.  Now that the Governor has signed into law that people over the age of 18 DO NOT NEED a helmet, the rampant disregard of others will become worse.  Sure, the new law says that the speed limit is 15 miles per hour, and that they can’t be ridden on the sidewalks,  but people aren’t obeying the laws now; they certainly won’t then.

Roof Spinklers

And finally just a thought.  Buildings are built with indoor sprinklers in them. In case of a fire, the sprinklers go off and put the fire out. Can someone tell me why homes, businesses, etc. that are built in fire-prone areas do not have sprinklers built into the roofs of the buildings? Seems like such a simple precaution – why isn’t it done?  Don’t tell me it is “costly.”  It can’t be as expensive as it would be to replace a building that has burned to the ground.

See you next week!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Candy Ruthven September 25, 2018 at 11:56 am

Judi, Great article! I agree with everything you said.


judi September 25, 2018 at 3:08 pm

Thanks, Candy.


kh September 25, 2018 at 3:24 pm

Fire sprinklers rely on heat to activate each one. They don’t all turn on like in the movies. They work on ceilings because heat collects there. Roofs don’t work that way. Unless you had one every few feet, I can’t see them reacting to a fire in time to accomplish anything. They aren’t there to protect the structure anyways, only to buy time for the occupants to flee.


Chris September 25, 2018 at 5:15 pm

I have to admit I finally gave the scooters a try and they were fun. In my area I just use them on the bike lanes and when done I make sure to leave them in such a manner that they’re not blocking the sidewalk. Hopefully there will be a way for them to be properly regulated but not altogether banned.


Paul Leddy September 25, 2018 at 10:21 pm

I feel the same way about cars as you do about bikes/scooters. Wake up!


Tyler September 26, 2018 at 9:36 am

Besides the guns in schools section, I found this insanely out of touch.


ZZ September 26, 2018 at 1:23 pm

“Do you think that they have EVER driven on Sports Arena Blvd at any time of the day, any day?”

I do all the time, including quite often on the way home from work during rush hour, and have never seen a traffic problem on Sports Arena Blvd.

Rosecrans and Sunset Cliffs are the streets that have serious traffic problems in my experience. Sometimes W. Pt. Loma Blvd and Sea World have issues during rush hour and beach traffic in summer, but even then not that bad.

The city fortunately owns all the land on one side of it, I hope they either widen it if needed, or at least leave space to do so in the future if it is required.


ZZ September 26, 2018 at 1:31 pm

One thing that could help OB traffic would be to create a route from the four-lane section of Sunset Cliffs into the Robb Field parking lots. Right now lots of people take the 8 or 5 into residential sections of OB in order to visit Robb Field. It would be really easy to create a short road into Robb Field from Sunset Cliffs, but exiting would require a tunnel under Sunset Cliffs.

This would also make WPL and Sunset Cliffs safer. Right now it is the most dangerous intersection for pedestrians in OB, including a fatal accident it seems every couple years. It would also reduce the amount of car exhaust and noise.


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