February 2012 home page

Ask Dr. Rich! 
Rich Simons | 11th Street

Every month, Rich Simons answers readers’ most perplexing questions.


Q: Did you and your family do anything special this past Christmas? - j.b.

No. Not really. Not for us, anyway. Our holiday tradition is to stage non-stop viewings of the old Christmas movie chestnuts, Del Mar centered stuff like “Miracle on 24th Street”, the cult classic “Santa Claus Conquers the Del Martians” and of course our local merchants’ seasonal lament, “Slight Christmas.”

We do take a break every evening to go awassailing around the neighborhood. We belt out the old Del Mar favorites, you know – like “God Crest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” and “On the 12th Street of Christmas.”

We are lusty wassailers and we keep it up until one of two things arrive – the Sherriff’s Department or some figgy pudding. Some of our neighbors are really into it now and are quick to dump some figgy pudding on us from their balconies before the cops show up.

Let me know if you would like to join us next year.

Q: Have you found the answer yet to Del Mar’s parking problem? - a.d.

Yes! Thanks to the generous travel allowance afforded me by the Sandpiper, I have been able recently to visit some of the most advanced cities in Europe. And what I have seen there has convinced me that with the Specific Plan now being formulated for Del Mar, we are on the right track.

Because . . . (as I understand it) . . . our new plan calls for Camino Del Mar to be narrowed down to one lane each way, each lane being the approximate width of an oxcart. This will provide us with some really, really wide sidewalks, engendering that highly vaunted “pedestrian orientation” we keep babbling about. The next step is to do as they have done in Barcelona, which is plant trees in the sidewalks, close to the road. A spacing between them of, say, 30 feet seems to work out about right. In time the oxcart paths will wind through a leafy bower.

But the real ingenuity of this scheme is that no pedestrian is going to be such an idiot as to stroll close to the road, because he will bonk his head on a tree about, say, every thirty feet. Thus we will have provided, as they have in Barcelona, a perfect place to park . . . motorcycles! And it makes perfect sense that when Camino Del Mar gets narrowed, everyone will want to be on a motorcycle.

In Lisbon they manage to squeeze little cars in between the trees. Are you listening, Del Mar?



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