“Beach” towns, up and down California’s magnificent coastline suffer the same problems: growth, tourist popularity on weekends, and parking.
Visit any beach town city council meeting; you’d swear you’re listening to a recorded version of any other beach town CC meeting. Or, our local Planning Commission. Or speeches encouraging a more vibrant retail experience courtesy of our local Chamber of Commerce, as we attempt to squeeze mammoth SUV’s, minivans and Priuses into our critical growth dilemma: PARKING, Friday thru Sunday. Where to stuff the extra vehicles careening here at 80+mph, to experience our beach town magic, mostly on summer weekends (unless the Chamber does its job too well. Then our PARKING crush is Friday thru Sunday, year round, gulp). It’s the Catch-22 of SoCal beach towns. None were conceived as tourist-traps. They grew out of the desire to live quietly, remotely, unfettered by what city-folk suffer daily: urban crush.
Case in point: San Clemente.
When Ole created SC’s floor plan, there were no paved coastal roads between SC and LA, or SD. Just 60-miles of dirt track in either direction. Not a good commute in 1927. So here we are in 2013: in our quaint beach hamlet, overflowing with charm and desirability (in need of sand). And on weekends – too many extra cars; SoCal’s beach-town lament.
May I suggest a different perspective? Perhaps the solution is to provide multiple ways for people to get safely and conveniently to the beach without a car. Walking, biking, transit… if they all were viable options, parking is no longer a significant issue.