There have many lives and redesigns of One Paseo in Carmel Valley. This time they got it right.
The community was right to express their concerns about One Paseo. Likewise, I stand behind the GSSD post dated 24 May 2013, that expressed concerns, and derided its faux urbanism and greenwashing … but which also called for it to move forward.
The process has worked, One Paseo developers listened, and the design now before the community and before the Planning Commission should be embraced and supported. There should be no question; Great Streets San Diego supports the latest design of One Paseo in Carmel Valley, and strongly supports Alternative “B” cycle track on Del Mar Heights Road.
Why support One Paseo? Consider this striking statement by Charles Marohn from a recent article in The American Conservative, “America’s suburban experiment is a radical, government-led re-engineering of society, one that artificially inverted millennia of accumulated wisdom and practice in building human habitats.” That experiment is rapidly failing.
Where some in Carmel Valley see a “forced march towards densification and ever more constricted planning augurs,”, Marohn sees “the unwinding of our great suburban experiment. As government’s ability to subsidize this artificial pattern of development wanes, a return to more traditional living arrangements is inevitable. For thousands of years, cities have been engines of wealth creation.”
One Paseo is the beginning of the transition back to a traditional way of building our cities and towns. Unfortunately, its developers are still saddled with the left over baggage from our 20th century experiment. Leftover baggage such as the now discredited Level of Service (LOS), parking minimums, and a financing system that favors large developments over incremental change.
Even with this baggage, One Paseo has struggled to provide a development that doesn’t prioritize/celebrate the automobile over of people. This is especially evident in the Alternative “B” cycle track for Del Mar Heights Road. By separating local traffic going to One Paseo, from the “car sewer” road traffic, it begins to tame the street. Alternative “B” provides an improved pedestrian experience, and a safer bicycle facility for the One Paseo side of the street. It’s a beginning of what the rest of Del Mar Heights road could become in the future – a multilane boulevard.
While it is true that One Paseo is still an island among other islands of development, the latest design has sought to connect with the neighboring developments. However, this is a bigger problem that One Paseo has inherited from suborn development patterns, and a problem that Carmel Valley must eventually resolve.
“The real issue is not One Paseo, but Carmel Valley. Connecting the isolated “island” neighborhoods, taming its bloated roads, and finding a way to end its automobile dependency are the issues Carmel Valley must eventually address. Once that has happened, projects like One Paseo will make more sense and will be much more appreciated.”
One Paseo will provide Carmel Valley with a place it desparately needs. GSSD urges The City of San Diego and the residents of Carmel Valley to support One Paseo with Alternative “B” cycle track.