Letters to the Editor

Woman struck in crosswalk is a reminder that peninsula needs more police presence

I am so sorry a woman in a crosswalk was hit near 20th Street, but I am not surprised. As a resident on the peninsula, I know how dangerous the boulevard is.

Millions of dollars were spent painting the crosswalks on Balboa Boulevard. Millions! And yet anyone attempting to cross the street in one takes their lives in their hands.

Despite a lot of foot traffic for restaurants, a hotel, a school, two churches, a park, markets, a library, residences, and the beach and bay, cars regularly speed down the boulevard ignoring those crosswalks and the posted speed limits. And these are not tourists who are hunting for parking spots at five miles per hour or learning to parallel park once they find one. These are commuters trying to get on and off the peninsula.

This is a perfect time to consider all the roadway’s faults since a new fire station and library project touted as a community destination is in the planning stage.

The palm trees in the center divider and parked cars along the curbs obscure pedestrians at the entrances to the crosswalks.

Stop lights and stop signs are not strategically placed to slow traffic down and protect pedestrians. For example, going towards the Point, there is a traffic light at 15th Street and then not another one until the village. Going from that 15th Street light in the opposite direction, there is not another required stop until you round a sharp curve beyond McFadden Square. Isn’t that near 20th Street where the woman was hit?

The police need to be a daily presence in this area and not those big cruisers. We need motorcycle police. They really do a fantastic job, and there is a noticeable reduction in speed when they are here. Hire more motors and build a substation for one or two of them on the peninsula. Buying and maintaining a motorcycle is a lot cheaper than buying and maintaining those big SUVs, so that would be a wise investment.

Kathy Frazer

Newport Beach

Peninsula resident concerned with removal of last eucalyptus tree in planned library/fire design

I am writing you as a 46-year resident fortunate enough to call Balboa Peninsula home. For many years I took for granted that Balboa is a unique location to live.

In the last few years there have been many changes, some positive but more and more frequently we are seeing changes from our City Council that were ones we didn’t feel were improving our way of life.

The newest one is the rebuilding of our local library and the fire station next to it. Those of us who live close to these buildings share one of the very few, small green grass areas and eucalyptus trees left.

Last year, the city removed two of those trees, but left our remaining magnificent tree standing as it has for around 100 years.

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Remaining tree in question on the peninsula

Just recently, the city held a meeting with two different designs for the proposed buildings chaired by the Board of Library Trustees. Very few of our neighbors were informed about the meeting so our representation was minimal leaving the question, “Why aren’t the Balboa Peninsula residents being notified?”

To our dismay NEITHER design included our “tree.”

The city said that our last remaining tree only had a short life span of seven years. Those of us who attended last January’s meeting (2023) have what the city handed out regarding the reasons for the removal of one of the trees, although when they removed that tree they also removed the second one. In that report, our last remaining tree was never identified as having a short life span, but instead only recommended for continued maintenance.

The reason I am writing you is for help for peninsula residents that want more locals informed of these plans. We are not objecting to the new buildings, although many people have concerns with the proposed plans, but what we want is to ask them: “IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT?”

Are we going to not even be asked or heard about what directly affects us in our own backyards? Is having bigger, larger buildings, fewer trees and more cement the way we want the peninsula to become?

The other issue that is an important one is our Great Blue Herons use this last remaining tree for their nests. Once this group of fledglings arrive, the city intends to remove our tree. Again, the question I feel needs asking is – “What do people who live here WANT?”

I appreciate you taking the time to listen to my story, and hope that those who read your news will please think about this project and decide to speak up for what they want where we live to become.

Michele Silver

Balboa Peninsula

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