Letters to the Editor Week of July 29, 2011

Attitude towards taxi drivers unjustified

Well, Del Mar is at it again. I must say that I was struck by the tone of the article which appeared in this week’s The Coast News regarding new regulations for cab drivers in the city of Del Mar (“Taxi regulations to take effect immediately”).
Frankly, it’s not the regulations that bother me so much, but the overall tone of the comments made by Del Mar businessman Jim Cole. In Cole’s opinion, which is apparently shared by other members of the community including the City Council, cab drivers are rude, less than human types, loitering around their cabs, smoking cigarettes and verbally harassing the decent folks of Del Mar. Not to mention the traffic and safety issues created by said cab drivers. 
Of course, when the patrons of the bars, restaurants, and the racetrack come stumbling out onto the sidewalks, the city wants the cab drivers there, pronto!
These folks have been over served to the point of inebriation just because there are plenty of cab drivers out there willing to get them home safely. A service, by the way, that probably goes far to keep the ABC off the backs of the bar and restaurant owners.
Once again, we see Del Mar’s usual schizophrenia at play — they want the tourist revenue without any of the pain that naturally goes along with it!
My cousin, a respectable homeowner and longtime resident of Encinitas, has been driving a cab for the past three years. A victim of the recession, like many of his cab driving colleagues, these guys have found a way to make a decent living and serve their community. They truly are concerned that people stay safe and that no one gets behind the wheel of an automobile after a night of drinking.
And, by the way, it’s not the occasional cab driver littering Del Mar’s streets with cigarette butts. Drive around those bars and restaurants after 11 p.m. on a Saturday night. It’s the patrons after a few rounds of Sake Bombs.
As a side note, what is the date of the second meeting where the cab drivers will be invited to participate?

Kim Bullock

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