A group of residents named Neighbors for a Transit Solution appeared before the Del Mar City Council on October 18 to protest the possible construction of a multimillion-dollar train platform between 21st and 24th streets — approximately half a mile away from the entrance to the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Group member Barbara Johansen detailed the events of a community meeting on October 14, which had city-council members and North County Transit District representatives in attendance to address the concerns of residents.
According to Johansen, city-council members and NCTD representatives failed to answer whether or not the building the platform would achieve their objectives. Johansen said the city council and NCTD representatives also conceded that they have not conducted market research to account for changes in ridership and expected benefits from the proposed platform.
“In the absence of real market data, it can be argued that instead of adding to the cars already off the road in the current system, the new platform and walking distance may actually reduce ridership,” said Johansen.
Johansen said that over 200 neighbors have signed a petition against the platform — citing that it does not meet its goal of delivering racetrack patrons directly to the track and that it would have a “deleterious effect” on the residential areas in Del Mar.
“There was absolutely no benefit cited at our meeting last week,” said resident Chuck Berke. “At the same time, I can think of a number of detriments.” Burke believes that hundreds up to thousands of people will be traveling from the platform to the fairgrounds and back. Residents are concerned about increased noise, pollution, and foot traffic.
The Del Mar resident petition is available for viewing at neighborsforatransitsolution.org.