Jeffrey Herman, San Clemente native serving in U.S. Coast Guard

At the Aug. 4 meeting, the San Clemente City Council discussed the possibility of eliminating the Pier Bowl train stop in an effort to alleviate confusion with schedules and tickets. The notion has drawn the ire of a collection of community members. Photo: Eric Heinz
At the Aug. 4 meeting, the San Clemente City Council discussed the possibility of eliminating the Pier Bowl train stop in an effort to alleviate confusion with schedules and tickets. The notion has drawn the ire of a collection of community members. Photo: Eric Heinz

Our mayor and City Council members are elected to serve for a temporary period of time. Yet, their decisions can have long-lasting effects upon us and our precious town. If a particular decision of theirs might possibly have a permanent negative impact on both residents and visitors alike, we should demand that, instead of it being a council vote, it should be placed on a ballot to allow all residents to vote on it. The proposed elimination of the train stop at the pier area is such a negative decision.

Residents should realize just how vital the railroad was to the founding and early growth of our town. Developer Ole Hanson’s first view of his future “Spanish Village by the Sea” was while riding the train down the coast. He returned to the area with engineers, architects, builders and began grading the lots and streets.

Hanson himself would personally meet future lot buyers at the train stop and take them on a tour of his future San Clemente village, according to Images of America: San Clemente by Jennifer Garey.

That the City Council wants to discontinue the pier bowl stop to funnel visitors to the future Outlets near North Beach, is an example from my first two sentences above: a temporary body imposing a permanent negative decision upon us.

The mayor and council members should spend some time at the pier train station on a weekend. What they’ll see is visitors leaving the train but staying in the pier area. No one is calling a taxi to go shopping; that’s not what people come here for.

If the city is serious about eliminating this train stop, then let the proposal be a binding ballot measure. Binding so that no other future temporary body will attempt to impose this permanent negative decision upon us.

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comments (9)

  • Brenda Foster San Clemente Antiques Decor Reply

    I emailed the city council, at 11:24 on August 10 regarding the matter. I have a store on the second block on Del Mar. I told them how important the pier stop is to the merchants at the pier bowl as well the T. We have many shoppers who come in on the train and would not like this stop closed.
    I asked to know of any future meetings, I was not made aware of the meeting at Fisherman’s on August 11. If nothing, when I called their office about my concern, their assistant could have told me about the meeting. Instead I was given an email address for all on the city council, of course I have had no response.
    As Jeffery said they were elected by us and are responsible to us as a community.
    I also offered to begin a petition one for customers and one for merchants. I walked Del Mar on August 2 and handed out my email to several merchants on Del Mar, not one was for closing the pier stop. This is also true for many train and San Clemente customers.

    Brenda Foster
    San Clemente Antiques & Decor

  • The weekend trains bring bathers to the beach and customers to Del Mar. They provide easy access to the beach for inlanders who are otherwise consigned to overcrowded freeways.

    As the Mayor points out we have TWO stops in San Clemente. That is not a curse but a blessing! Can’t we ask Metrolink to stop at both on the weekends?

    We all know the answer to that however. Everybody is going to get off at the pier if they have a choice. Not good for the outlet malls the Mayor favors over local merchants

  • Unless there is a LARGE financial benefit to closing the pier station, it should be left open. Let the riders figure out where to get on/off. Closing the station would do unknown economic harm to the merchants at the beach pier stop.

  • I’m still just baffled this is even being discussed. Have you lost focus Mr. Hamm? Perhaps it’s time to take a good long walk through town. San Clemente has so many other pressing matters.

  • this is more than which merchant the train stop serves its about Joe san clemente the 5 freeway and mass transit and you might think its neat to hike up those hills with luggage from the train stop ,,or run between the stations to catch another line but i think Joe will disagree ,, he just wants to go home because after all most rail users are commuters and travelers not merchants and shoppers

  • Will eliminating the pier train stop result in more noise and degrade air quality for the generally lower income renters who live near North Beach?

  • I have read with much confusion as to why the Pier Stop should be ‘stopped’. I have lived here for 15+ years and on weekends have gone to the south beach area. The train on weekends is full of passengers, who want to enjoy the beach atmosphere. I don’t know if the council members have ever gone to North Beach to swim, find eateries, scout out the local venues – only to find that the beach, which is a small area is full of rocks; with one small public restroom, a coffee shop and a small eaterie. For locals this is acceptable – but for tourists, who WANT to be at the beach the South Beach is what beach-goer want. It also allows those who want to shop an opportunity to walk up Del Mar and do some local shopping and experience the ‘village’ of San Clemente. So why can’t you have it both ways – stops at North Beach for ‘outlet mallers’ with trolley provided, as well as family beach goers at South Beach. It would be a win-win situation.

  • Brenda Foster San Clemente Antiques Decor Reply

    For those who are against the closing of Pier stop, there is a petition you can sign. There are three petitions available, one each for merchants, residents and train patrons. These are available at San Clemente Antiques & Décor on the second block of Del Mar. There are petitions available at Cottage Bliss and Reclamation on the first block of Del Mar.

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