Dave Druker | 10th Street
Recently, the Del Mar City Council debated whether to designate Camino del Mar as a major arterial in the next SANDAG regional transportation plan. While the council was persuaded not to pursue this change in designation, this decision does highlight two dichotomous ways to create plans. One can plan for what is best or one can plan to get funding.
Del Mar has consistently planned for what is best and then pursued funding. Examples include the Torrey Pines Bridge, the Beach Safety Center, the 25th St restrooms and lifeguard tower, the new sewer pump station, and Streetscape. Once these plans are made the council is then able to pursue funds to implement them. In making its decision about Camino del Mar, the council understood that it already had a plan which involved a need to upgrade Via de la Valle, the one major arterial that is already within Del Mar’s jurisdication.
The other method of planning is to look at the funding landscape and determine what to build based upon the funds available. This is the way SANDAG plans and many cities plan for capital upgrades. Eventually, this method of planning causes problems because parks, roads and buildings are built based upon funds available not the needs of the citizens. Often citizens may fight such projects and their maintenance because they do not see them as priority needs.