Monday, March 26, 2007

Notes on San Diego

As I mentioned a while back, I took a vacation to San Diego a couple of weeks ago. I figured a couple of comments were in order:

First, there is a light-rail system, called the Trolley. Started in 1981, the Trolley is now 51 miles long, but of course, since it's a transit system built into a preexisting city, and a spread-out one at that, its utility is limited. Some of the stations don't seem to be close to anything, in particular, and you can't get to the beach or airport by trolley. I had a difficult time understanding the termination of the Blue Line and Green Line at Old Town. The Blue Line comes north from San Ysidro and terminates at Old Town, while the Green Line runs east from Old Town to Santee. I'm sure there is some traffic-pattern reason for doing so, but I have no idea what it was, and it was inconvenient for me, thereby making it a bad thing...

According to the Wiki article, plans are underway to run a line up to La Jolla, which would have really cut down the time on our trip to the UCSD campus. We bought the four-day passes for $15, which were a decent value considering we stayed (relatively) close to a trolley station and the passes are also valid on the bus.

Part of the Old Town station.

The other comment I have is on Petco Park. We went on the tour (very entertaining and informative). My favorite feature of the park is the integration of the historic Western Metal Supply building... followed up by the fact that Padres owner John Moores (who got his start in software in Houston) owns pretty much all the buildings around it.

All in all, despite the needed improvements to the transit system, San Diego is a great city and I hope to be back sooner rather than later. (And hey, compared to Seattle or Houston, it's tough for me to really say anything negative about transit!)

1 comment:

MSS said...

Glad you enjoyed the city, despite our difficult transit system, and too bad we missed each other.

On the extension of the Trolley to UCSD, I'll believe it when I see it. Some years ago I was on a committee at UCSD regarding the route within campus (controversial with several campus constituencies). At the time, they were talking about its completion in 2007. I do not recall what year this was, but 2007 seemed a long way off. Well, it is here. And the Trolley is still not in sight.

When it is finally built, it won't have a direct connection with the Coaster (commuter rail) and, as you mention, the lack of service to the airport is a problem. (Of course, so is the airport itself, as I have blogged about off and on).

There is a relatively new connecting bus from the downtown train station to the airport. However, the Trolley goes much closer to the airport, yet there is no direct connection that I know of.