Reader Rant: ‘Business as Usual’ Is the Business of San Diego, No Matter Who’s in Charge

by on June 16, 2022 · 24 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Frances O’Neill Zimmerman

Forget the political party labels — we’re all Democrats now in California, and our own slick, compromised self-servers are running the show.

That’s why we’ve got a Democratic-majority State Legislature passing laws that over-ride local municipal zoning authority in favor of dense development in residential neighborhoods, pretending that such anti-CEQA “reform” will provide housing for burgeoning numbers of homeless living on our streets.

That’s why we’ve got San Diego city council representatives like Jen Campbell who get elected by saying one thing and then doing another, financed by vested interests who want to drop longstanding coastal zone 30-foot building height limits in order to construct high-rises of fictitious “affordable housing.”

That’s why we’ve been paying millions in rent for an unvetted, hazardous, useless piece of downtown real estate on Ash Street — a deal signed by then-Council president now-Mayor Todd Gloria and City Attorney Mara Elliott, albeit cooked up by former Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his former City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and benefiting a crony advisor falsely working “pro bono.”


Parking spaces morphing into bike lanes?

“Get-it-done” apps that belie their name?

Post-pandemic fallout slamming the economy of central downtown?

War-zone appearance of Horton Plaza demolition and its slow reconstruction contributing to the loss of longstanding San Diego Repertory Theater?

Forget about all of it.

“Business as usual” is the business of San Diego, no matter who’s in charge.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Gravitas June 16, 2022 at 7:43 pm

Great piece. The unholy alliance paved paradise and made it a parking lot wit no parking spaces. Less open space than ever before with massive influx of new transient renters. Homelessness. Ugly Lego construction projects. Not just pot holes, but sinkholes. High rises in every spot available and now an end to 30foot height limit along coast. ADD to this the new push to end free trash pick up and recycling to homes. Wait for more trash and garbage to litter city streets. Is the graffiti? Hear the sirens?
Don’t any of these Democrats walk their neighborhoods?


Paul June 17, 2022 at 5:09 am

Frances gets it right once again. I will say that there may be meaningful and appropriate reforms of CEQA, but that’s not what is happening.


Chris June 17, 2022 at 10:43 pm

Bike lanes have been a blessing in some instances.


Frances O'Neill Zimmerman June 18, 2022 at 8:50 am

I love bikes and, like any endangered species, I wish cyclists health, safe riding and long life. Wholesale converting urban-center curbside parking zones into “bike lanes” is bizarre and unhelpful to everyone. But such decisions are likely related to some state or federal money-pot that is being exploited by our political overlords: it’s not about good city planning.


Chris June 20, 2022 at 7:47 am

The protected lanes along 5th and 30th so far I DO like them. The new lanes stretching the whole span of Park I used yesterday for the first time and other than ironing out some kinks I (so far like them). No matter where bike lanes get placed in an urban setting, it’s going to be at the expense of something else. I’m no fan of the Toddster and I most definitely didn’t vote for him. Like most people in his line of work, he is only out for his own political ambitions. He didn’t get all the new bike lanes put in out of any genuine concern for the safety of cyclists, but since they’re in place it’s been nice for those of us that have been using them.


Frances O'Neill Zimmerman June 21, 2022 at 4:32 pm

Spoken like a true-blue cyclist with profoundly limited bikers’ vision. I hope you don’t blow through stop signs like so many of your brethren.


Chris June 22, 2022 at 10:33 am

So what do you want me to say Francis? Because of the negative impact they have on some I should opt not to use and enjoy them? Before they were put in (Park), if you were on your bike you’d be forced to ride in the middle of the lane in some parts in order to avoid parked cars backing out. In doing that it would piss off a few impatient drivers. Now that these new lanes are all the way to the curb it has made things tremendously safer. There are some kinks that need to be worked out like the reverse angle parking having no barrier and some cars backing all the way into the bike lane as a result.


Chris June 22, 2022 at 5:34 pm

As far as “blowing through” stop signs, yeah I admit I don’t come to a full stop all the time. As I am coming up on a 4 way section, because of both the higher and open visibility I am able to see if there are cars coming and if there isn’t, yes I admit I don’t come to a full stop. If it’s an actual light then yes I do stop if it’s red. Pretty much every cyclist I know do the same ting as me. So when you say we “blow” though stops signs yes we don’t always come to a complete stop because we are able to see well ahead more than if we are in our cars. So yeah maybe that’s still breaking that law. Still has nothing to do with whether or not there should be bike lanes.


Vern June 23, 2022 at 7:48 am

Cyclists who are impaired after drinking at bars and restaurants should probably call someone to pick them up rather than riding away intoxicated.

A cycling group at a bar/cafe in Long Beach a few months back appeared aware enough to call their spouses and significant others to pick them up. They’d ridden the bike path earlier in the day then up to Willow, stopped at the LB Beer Lab and had a fair amount to drink. When their significant others arrived, they had children in tow.

Fortunately, these folks had the wherewithal to call for help & a get ride home.


Chris June 23, 2022 at 8:42 am

When I get to that point after a bike ride, I take the bus and put my bike on the rack in front.


Chris June 23, 2022 at 8:48 am

On a completely separate topic outside of bikes and politics (which we never agree on), how is LB Beer Lab? Haven’t been to it yet.


Vern June 23, 2022 at 10:53 am

It’s pretty good. The bakery and cafe have some good items.
It’s a fairly large space with high ceilings. Street parking for cars, bikes can stow inside (or carefully outside so as not to block pedestrian traffic).

I don’t consume alcohol, but friends seem to like the LBBL beers. Nevertheless, if you’re’ up there, check it out.

The LBC is still quite “bikeable”, in my view, especially on all the various side streets if you know the city. It’s densified just like San Diego with some of those wacky bike lanes. I just ride the side streets when I’m up there. Heck, riding from DTLB to NB & the Wedge is a breeze! It’s still a “skateboardable” city for the most part, too!


Chris June 23, 2022 at 11:08 am

Sounds good.


Geoff Page June 23, 2022 at 10:56 am

Chris, the blowing through stop sign move that angers drivers is that some cyclists blow through when it is not their turn. I’ve had to yield to bicycles many times as they raced in front of me when it was my turn to proceed at a four-way. And I have had to brake to avoid hitting some of them too. I was driving my Ford Econoline van on a residential street near Sunset Cliffs when a guy did this. I was only going about 20 mph but I had to slam on my brakes and I stopped as he passed within two feet of the van. I couldn’t see the bike he was so close. My dogs ended up on the floor. Shook me up badly and he never looked back.


Chris June 23, 2022 at 11:14 am

That’s fair and if they are just blissfully riding through without even bothering to see if there are cars in either side, then yeah it’s on them (cyclists) if a collision happens. But a lot of people accuse us of “blowing through” when we do ride through a stop sign, not realizing we are actually looking and taking notice to see if there are vehicles.


Geoff Page June 23, 2022 at 11:35 am

I actually have no problem with that and, in fact, I think cars should be allowed to do so also. That’s how I treat stop signs in giant parking lots.


Vern June 23, 2022 at 11:16 am

Just yesterday I was on Sunset Cliffs Blvd heading towards OB Elementary when a cyclist in full uniform (spandex shirt, spandex shorts and bike shoes), traveling slowly and unsteadily, veered off, into traffic while fiddling with his cell phone. Yep, fiddling with a cell phone.
He was clearly not paying attention. He’s fortunate myself and others using this road were paying attention.
He was wearing a helmet, which may keep him half a step away from being an OD.


Chris June 23, 2022 at 12:08 pm

If he’s actually playing with his phone while riding and wanders off then yeah that would be on him if something happens, however I see plenty of drivers twiddling with their phone while driving so…….

Bad/irresponsible behavior by cyclists is really kind of irrelevant to whether or not bike lanes should be put in place and is a clutching at straws argument. I mean it’s not like we’re going to eliminate driving on roads because of bad driver behavior.


Geoff Page June 23, 2022 at 12:13 pm

No, I would agree, I don’t think anyone is making that argument, Chris. And, most of us that catch the most flack are not against bike lanes. My problem is the lack of sense it makes to put lanes in places where they want to when there are safer and less expensive alternatives. Cyclists tout the health benefits of riding, but suggest they ride a few blocks out of their “way” and watch the complaining.


Chris June 23, 2022 at 2:25 pm

How the powers that be come to their decisions on where to put them I don’t know and agree some don’t make sense, but as I was trying to explain to Ms. Zimmerman, if they’re there might as well take advantage.


Chris June 23, 2022 at 12:11 pm

I always find it odd how people like to bring up the spandex thing. I don’t wear it but for those who do so what? I’ll be so bold to say of you live in San Diego and especially if you live on or near the coast you personally know at least one of “those guys/gals”.


Chris June 23, 2022 at 12:13 pm

Some “spandex guy” humor:


Geoff Page June 23, 2022 at 12:16 pm

Always great to season these things with humor, and it’s a great way to stay in shape. Thanks, Chris.


Chris June 23, 2022 at 2:47 pm

On those occasions I just gotta troll someone online (out of boredom) I will quote that in the most random thread and see if they get the reference.


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