GET INVOLVED by attending a meeting on the evening of June 20 to discuss how the blufffs and Vista Del Mar can be made a safer and more beautiful part of our community. Post a comment on the CONTACT ME sidebar to the right and you will be sent the meeting address.
About ten years ago two large ocean view parcels - the Triangle Property and the Sunkist Site (Ventura Coastal Lemon) - were presented to The City for development. Both developers presented plans with community trails & outlooks along Ventura’s scenic bluff just north of US 101. The Sunkist developer proposed altering Vista Del Mar to link these ocean vista sites & provide beach access to Midtown residents.
THE BLUFFS follows the Triangle Property, Vista Del Mar and the Sunkist site (Coastal Lemon)The Sunkist site is once again being considered for development, but without beach access or a public walkway along the bluffs. This writer believes that the City should develop a plan for a continuous trail from the Sunkist site to the pier prior to plan approval of parcel development along the bluffs.
The creation of such a trail, with a couple bicycle/pedestrian railroad crossings, will significantly improve the quality of life available to Midtown residents. This modest plan, paid for mainly by land development Improving Midtown Ocean Views & Beach Accessalong the bluffs, would provide Midtown’s 43,00 residents with recreational, non-motorized ocean view and beach access along the 2 mile span of the trail. Railroad overcrossings would link Midtown’s many bicycle friendly residential streets to the beach as well. Currently, Seaward is the only legal path for bikes, and its dangerous and scary.
Vista Del Mar is the Key
Careful treatment of Vista Del Mar is key to the creation of a 2 mile bluffs trail that serves the Midtown Community. The triangle and Sunkist sites will offer views and public amenities and Vista Del Mar will provide the access.
Currently, Midtown surfers, bikers, joggers and walkers, including children and pets, illegally cross the railroad tracks to Vista Del Mar, and thence to the beach. Periodically, the railroad repairs the chain link fence along the tracks. Days or weeks thereafter new holes appear in the fence along Vista Del Mar. The number of crossings per month easily exceeds 1,000. Every ten years or so, someone is injured or killed by a train.
Fixing Vista Del Mar's traffic & recreation use will strengthn Midtown beach linksThis eclectic street character can and should be preserved, but made safer. The street should be narrowed and restricted to one way, west to east traffic. As now configured, it will never handle the additional traffic from the proposed Sunkist development. A recreation path with a landscape panel to separate it from the street should be built. Most important, a couple of railroad overpasses should be built to give Midtown residents safe, legal, non-motorized access to the beach and the bluffs recreation trail.
It's Now or Never
The bluffs are an important community resource. A bluffs trail from the Sunkist site to the Pier, with a couple of legal railroad crossings would provide a 2 mile recreation path with scenic views to Midtown residents. As a Vista Del Mar Resident, I love seeing joggers and bicyclists, some with surfboards, come across the tracks without getting into a car. If we don't act soon, Sunkist and Tirangle properties may be developed without trails. They love it, too. Let’s make it legal, safe and highlight the views for all to enjoy. Let’s focus on Ventura community improvements for Ventura residents.
CLICK HERE to see The Bluff's spectacular ocean views and how Vista Del Mar is used as a recreation trail