SANDAG and Community in Serious Disagreement

| September 4, 2013 | 2 Comments

Over the last couple of months I have been hearing from disgruntled Mission Hills’ business owners and residents, as well as others from Hillcrest and Old Town about a proposed bike lane project that would impact these three communities.

The proposed project involves significant modifications to traffic flow, parking and traffic lanes on Washington Street, University Avenue, 4th and 5th Avenue, India Street and other connecting streets in Hillcrest. According to representatives of the Mission Hills Business Improvement District (BID), Old Town Chamber of Commerce, Five Points and Middletown Property and Business Owners Association, and International Restaurant Row, numerous meetings have been held with SANDAG representative for “input” and “recommendations” but through the entire process, all input has nearly been rejected and their “master plan” has not changed at all.

SANDAG is proposing to close University Avenue to all automobile traffic, reduce the lanes of traffic on Washington Street, and eliminate parking along the south side of Washington Street, which means the loss of more than 60 parking spots that are crucial to all businesses in the 5 Points area.

According to Selena Stockley, representative for the International Restaurant Row on India Street, “We are asked to give ideas and feedback. Yet, SANDAG seems unwilling to recognize our understanding of parking challenges that will carry over to the residential communities. There are only so many parking spaces.”

Gerrie Trussell, executive director of the Mission Hills BID added, “West Washington Street is already at capacity servicing three area hospitals and two fire stations and cannot facilitate the gridlock that would occur by closing or redirecting traffic from University Avenue.”

According to Trussell, to date, the only studies presented are of New York City in underutilized, low impact streets. It’s not an “apples to apples” comparison because it wasn’t done on one of the most busy traffic corridors in the City of San Diego.

Obviously, we will continue to hear from more business owners and residents who say that SANDAG reps seem to be listening, yet, ignoring their concerns.

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