General Jim Gets More
Seaside moves to open access points at Hilby and San Pablo.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
The question of whether or not to remove a few roadblocks has been churning through Seaside’s public process for more than a year. Now, it’s close to a resolution.
On Dec. 15, after hearing from hundreds of residents at three community forums, the City Council is set to consider opening access to Gen. Jim Moore Boulevard at the east ends of Hilby and San Pablo avenues. “It’s a passionate issue with some people,” City Engineer Tim O’Halloran says. “I think generally, the community wants these open.”
For now, the only ways to drive through Seaside to General Jim are via Coe and Broadway avenues. As a result, cars are cutting through residential areas like Mescal Street.
At an Aug. 24 Planning Commission hearing, public comments were divided along predictable neighborhood lines. Residents of Hilby, San Pablo and Nadina Street, which would likely see more traffic with the new access points, argued against them. Residents of Mescal Street and Mercedes Court, which would see less traffic, spoke in favor. The commission unanimously voted to move forward.
A previously considered option to open the Paralta Gate connecting Coe and Military Avenue, which was designed for emergency vehicle access, is now off the table. “We didn’t feel it was appropriate without a lot of engineering and construction,” O’Halloran says.
But opening flow from San Pablo and Hilby to General Jim will improve public safety and fire response, he adds.
It’s also consistent with the General Plan goal of connecting the city with future developments on the former Fort Ord – if the state ever lets local redevelopment agencies get back to work.