Keep University Avenue Open Initiative Is Getting Results

| May 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

Some of you know that this past month SANDAG planned to hold a town forum on the Bike Corridor Proposal that they have been developing and endorsing. You may also know that the meeting was cancelled and is now rescheduled for June 5, 2015 somewhere in Mission Hills; time and location are to be confirmed. I learned from a reliable source that the proposed bike corridor proposal was to go through a major modification, and that SANDAG representatives were asked to do this before the June 5 meeting.

Without a doubt, we owe a lot to the Keep University Avenue Open effort, which again, I will share has been the cooperation of local residents and business owners who have tirelessly given of their time and resources to educate the community (residents and business owners) and have polled the same with the intent of hearing what “we” want and expect. Bravo to this group, which is small and determined.

This past month, Janet O’Dea, one of the representatives for Keep University Avenue Open, attended a Hillcrest Business Improvement District event regarding “a comprehensive bikeway project,” which encompasses more than Mission Hills. According to O’Dea, it’s a very broad-gauged vision of transportation for the core of Hillcrest that includes concerns for the bikeways as well as other modes of transportation and parking. Overall, this is a 10-year plan that could start with bikeways along the middle of Washington Street, which means losing the median.

It would include a rapid transit element connecting Uptown (Hillcrest) to Downtown. The bikeways proposed would be elevated going down the hill to remove them from the traffic on Washington, and in some intersections (Washington and 5th for example), would have a tunnel under the street to reduce the intersection of vehicles and bikes.

Obviously, this is a very grand idea and a more “expanded” plan than is currently being proposed. The reality is, this will require major financial resources. According to the person introducing this plan, it will cost billions of dollars.

The reason I bring this to your attention is that there is a lot of conversation going on (and planning) on how our community is going to look and function. This is the time to get involved, like those of us who are “living this daily” on your behalf. There is a lot going on in our community and our backyard. We all need to participate in the process regarding how our communities are developed and change (hopefully improved).

With that in mind, next month the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is planning to make a presentation to Mission Hills’ residents and business owners. The purpose is to share information about the rental car facilities that are on the Airport property, at the foot of Washington Street.

Those of us who live and work in Mission Hills have been wondering what impact we should expect (with additional vehicular traffic, trains, trolleys and foot traffic). The presentation from the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority should be extremely important. In the June issue you will learn more about the date, time and location.

The last couple of months I have been remiss in thanking other groups that have also been very involved in the discussions and future plans regarding the Bike Corridor Proposal. Without their assistance, I wonder what might have been…

In addition to the Keep University Avenue initiative (and all team members), I want to thank Metro CDC, Uptown Planners and the Hillcrest BID. It is refreshing that there are other individuals and groups (with local representation) that are also keeping a close pulse on all of these topics and discussions. Thanks to all of you, board members, volunteers and staff.

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