New Two-Hour Limit Placed on La Jolla Scenic Parking to Remove Students

Parking on the east side of North La Jolla Scenic Drive has been limited in certain places to two hours on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. after local La Jolla officials approved the restrictions over the summer to prevent UC San Diego students from parking along the street for the duration of the school day. Along with the dirt lot at Torrey Pines Gliderport and the street parking on Villa La Jolla Drive, North La Jolla Scenic Drive is one of the few locations within walking distance of campus where students have been able to park for free.

First approved by the La Jolla Traffic and Transportation Board on June 20 and then unanimously ratified by the La Jolla Community Planning Association on July 5, the restricted section of North La Jolla Scenic Drive spans between Scenic Place and Sugarman Drive. The decision was then passed on for implementation to the City of San Diego, which did not respond to requests for information on when the new two-hour limit took effect.

According to a summary of the June LJT&T meeting by the La Jolla Light, the measure was put forth by local resident Carol Hernstad, who cited “[UCSD] students parking along the street all day and speeding along it to get to and from the spaces” as justification for the parking change.

LJT&T Board Chairperson Dave Abrams confirmed that the reason for LJT&T’s approval of the two-hour restriction was to prevent students from leaving their cars on the street the entire time they are on campus.

“Our Board considered the resident’s complaint that parking in front of her home and nearby was unavailable primarily due to student occupation basically the entire day,” Abrams told the UCSD Guardian. “The Board agreed that a reasonable time restriction was appropriate to allow for resident visitors, delivery vehicles, service workmen and others, and voted accordingly.”

Much of the street parking that is not directly in front of private residents is still unrestricted, however, with the east-side space between Sugarman Drive and La Jolla Village Drive and certain portions of the west side of La Jolla Scenic Drive still open for all-day parking.

Speaking on behalf of A.S. Council, off-campus Senator Kelly Morris objected to the new parking measures and noted that such laws will likely not be effective.

“Limiting the parking here to 2 hours will increase the stresses of other common off-campus parking areas and disproportionately impact UCSD students and staff who cannot afford hundreds of dollars to park on campus,” Morris wrote in an email to the Guardian. “The policy itself is misguided; if the idea is to prevent students parking in neighborhoods, this will just force folks to park further into residential areas.”

Morris also added that students are not solely responsible for the congestion along La Jolla Scenic Drive.

“It was very apparent from their meeting on this issue, from the La Jolla Light article, that it was a blatant offensive act against students, who were called out specifically, despite the fact that many staff also rely on the limited street parking near campus,” Morris said. “I’d also like to remind them that no one at UCSD would voluntarily park in their neighborhoods, a far distance from any campus buildings, unless they really had to.”

Parking on campus also became more restricted over the summer as the construction of the Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood and other new additions to the campus forced certain lots to close.