Committee forwards Mayor’s scooter rules to the City Council
At the San Diego Active Transportation & Infrastructure Committee (ATIC) meeting on dockless scooters Feb. 20, the committee voted unanimously to forward Mayor Kevin Faulconer ‘s recommendations — with amendments — to the full City Council at a date to be determined. The meeting opened with Mayoral rep Greg Block outlining the Mayor’s plan, followed by comments from those on both sides of the issue for almost an hour.
Faulconer’s regulations cover six primary areas: limiting maximum speed of motorized scooters in designated zones, vehicle staging and parking, rider education, data sharing, fees and legal indemnification for the City of San Diego .
Speed: Companies would be required to restrict vehicle speeds using geo-fencing technology in designated zones to 8 miles an hour in the following areas: the boardwalks in Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla, as well as Spanish Landing and Petco, Balboa, Mission Bay and NTC parks. In the North Embarcadero and Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, dockless bikes and scooters would be slowed to just 3 miles an hour, with riders receiving alerts that those areas are “no-ride zones.”
Parking: Riders will also be prevented from ending rides in certain high-traffic areas, including on the boardwalks, around Petco Park and the Embarcadero in downtown. Those working for dockless bike and scooter companies will also be restricted in where they can set up the vehicles. The devices must be staged in groups of no more than four and at least 40 feet apart.
The devices cannot be parked within 500 feet of K-12 public schools or hospitals, or within six feet of bus and trolley stops. Residents would be encouraged to report improperly parked or abandoned vehicles using the city’s “Get It Done” app. Dockless scooter and bike companies will be notified as a result and given three hours to move a device or face impound and other fees.
Fees: Companies would be required to obtain operating permits every six months in January and June, which declare and fix the size of each vehicle fleet. Companies would have to pay associated fees to be established by the City Council. The mayor has proposed $253 a permit and up to $150 per device annually. Block said these fees would act as a “de-facto cap” on the number of scooters and has been calculated based on amounts other cities are imposing. Those scooters illegally parked and reported could be impounded, and the Mayor’s regulations suggest a $65 retrieval fee, and $1 per day fee for storage of impounded devices.
Education: Motorized scooters must be labeled in 40-point font that “Riding on Sidewalks is Prohibited,” as well as any age requirements adopted by the operator.
Data: Operators would be required to share data on fleet sizes, how often devices are used, trips and parking locations, accidents and maintenance.
City Indemnification: Each operator will be required to indemnify the City from liability claims and each will need to hold a liability insurance policy.
ATIC acknowledged the regulations “would be cleaned up” before going to the full City Council for a vote.
City launches digital tool to boost planning input
A new digital tool will enable San Diegans to participate in the community planning process from their computers and mobile phones. Until now, residents had to attend community forums and workshops to have a say in the land-use process. This new tool should allow City planners to collect more data and feedback by allowing residents to be heard through online engagement.
Clairemont residents will be the first to use the tool and will be asked to specify their priorities for future development in eight areas near future Mid-Coast Trolley stations and transportation corridors, and identify a minimum of 5,000 new housing units. Find it at clairemontplan.org/online-community-engagement-tool
Walk for Water benefit is April 28
Project Concern International will host Walk for Water, a family-friendly fundraiser to demonstrate the long, tiresome journey made by women and girls around the globe to reach clean drinking water for themselves and their families. Participants will carry water buckets along the route to experience the journey made by women every day. The event will enable PCI to continue critical water, sanitation and hygiene programs; create awareness; and raise vital funds to end poverty for girls and women around the world.
Following the walk will be live music, entertainment, food trucks, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) In Your Backyard activities by Biocom and more, 9 a.m. Sunday, April 28 at Tecolote Shores, East Mission Bay Drive. $20. Sign up at pciglobal.org/w4w2019. For more information, e-mail Shelby Cannon at email@example.com
Call for entries in mural competition
Artists with experience painting murals of a large size are invited to submit proposals to create an original mural for the new workplace early childhood center at SAY San Diego in Kearny Mesa. The childcare center will open in August or September 2019.
The indoor working space dimensions are 9 feet by 19 feet. All material costs will be covered by SAY San Diego. There is a prize of $500 for the winning proposal and its execution. Teams of two artists are allowed. Any cash prizes will be split between team members. Proposals that are not chosen for the childcare center will be considered for other spaces in the building. There are two additional $350 cash prizes. Winners will be informed by Friday, May 31.
E-mail resume, a narrative explanation of your project, proposed artwork and five examples of previous work by Wednesday, May 15 to firstname.lastname@example.org For details regarding proposal requirements, visit saysandiego.org or call (858) 565-4148.
Polystyrene foam and single-use plastics law in effect
The first provisions of the City’s Polystyrene Foam and Single Use Plastics Ordinance went into effect Feb. 23. Part of the initial phase requires that food vendors within City limits no longer distribute plastic or bioplastic utensils or straws unless requested by the customer. Additionally, all food service ware, coolers, ice chests and pool or beach toys made from polystyrene foam are prohibited at City facilities (including special events).
The second phase goes into effect May 24 with a ban on the sale and distribution of egg cartons, food service ware and food trays made in whole (or in part) from polystyrene foam. Acceptable alternatives allowed under the ordinance include recyclable plastics, aluminum and both recyclable and non-recyclable paper products.
Business entities with a gross annual income of less than $500,000 on their most recent federal income tax filing are exempt from the ordinance requirements until Feb. 23, 2020. Waivers are available to address financial or feasibility hardships, or if an entity has contractual requirements to purchase newly prohibited items. For more information, visit sandiego.gov/pf-ban To reach the Environmental Services Department, call (858) 694-7000 or visit recyclingworks.com
RSVP can provide home checks for vacationing residents
PB Neighborhood Watch groups advise residents that if they’re going out of town, they can ask the Retired Senior Volunteer Police (RSVP) to come by their house and do a home check to make sure everything is secured. RSVP will send residents a follow-up report when they return. RSVP will also check on elderly or physically challenged people who live alone. To request their services, call (858) 552-1799, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday.
Kiteboarders call to Pan American trials
American kiteboarders will have the opportunity to represent their country at the 2019 Pan American Games by winning the Kiteboard Pan American Trials in Formula Kites hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club, March 29-31. The event will be held at Crown Cave, Silver Strand State Beach, Coronado, 5000 Highway 75.
World Sailing has confirmed kiteboarding as one of the 10 sailing events at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
American Kiteboarding Association (AKA) secretary Robbie Dean said: “Athletes that represent the USA in the Pan American Games get an opportunity to learn how to compete in a large scale multi-sport event before their ultimate journey to the Olympic Games. It’s something that these sailors will be working hard to achieve.” Entry fees are $200 online and $300 onsite. Register for the trials at sdyc.org Questions? Reach Jeff Johnson at (619) 758-6310 or email@example.com
Flu-related ER activity on the rise
An increase in emergency room activity at local hospitals shows that flu season is not over. In its weekly influenza report, the County Health & Human Services Agency states that 6 percent of emergency department cases showed flu-like symptoms the week of Feb. 25, a rate not seen since the final days of December.
Dr. Eric McDonald, medical director of the County’s epidemiology and immunization services branch, said that while H1N1-type flu viruses continue to be the most common sources of infection, H3N2 viruses have become the most prevalent in many parts of the country, especially the southeastern states.
Movement of this strain across the country, McDonald said, will likely cause a second spike of illness as winter turns to spring.
He added that there is an ongoing surge of respiratory syncytial virus, often called RSV, across the community. RSV shares several symptoms, such as cough and fever, with the flu, meaning that the increase in flu symptoms among local emergency patients is partly caused by the virus, which is the No. 1 cause of pneumonia in infants.
Writers alert: Short story contest open
To shine a spotlight on local writers who pen short stories, the Friends of San Diego Central Library is hosting its second annual contest. Registration is open and ends on April 5, or until 150 entries have been received.
Three winners will receive monetary prizes, publication of their story on the library website, and a public performance of their works by Write Out Loud.
For the rules and guidelines, visit sandiego.gov/public-library
Barnard Students Welcome the Year of the Pig
Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School, 2445 Fogg St., celebrated Chinese New Year with a week of festivities. Traditional Chinese lion dancers kicked off the celebration during the morning assembly on Monday, Feb. 4. On Feb. 8, students from each classroom staged cultural performances for their families that highlighted different Chinese arts including dance, song, martial arts, skits and more.
Barnard’s free, community-wide Chinese New Year festival was held the following day. Attendees partook in hours of entertainment, food and games throughout the day. Barnard students were also featured performers at Balboa Park’s House of China celebration.
“I love my school’s Chinese New Year festival because I get to perform on the stage in front of so many people,” said fourth grade student Fiona S, who performed a tai chi fan dance, a lantern dance, taiko drumming and a duet on the hulusi (a Chinese gourd instrument). “I have been practicing after school several days a week since September. The last four weeks I’ve been practicing even more. The hard work definitely paid off!”
For more information on Barnard Elementary School or to find out about the District’s School Choice program, call (858) 800-5700 or visit sandiegounified.org/barnard or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org