Councilmember Chris Ward announces slight change to North Park 30th bike lane plan

NORTH PARK (KUSI) – After many North Park residents and business owners voiced their strong opposition to replacing parking spots on 30th street with bike lanes, San Diego City Councilmember Chris Ward is suggesting moving to “Option B” instead of the original plan.

Friday, Councilmember Ward released a memorandum detailing why he now wants to implement “Option B,” to some of the area.

Ward’s memorandum is below:

After hearing extensive community and stakeholder feedback from both businesses and residents on the proposed improvements to the 30th Street Corridor in North Park, I am calling for implementation of Option B—protected bike lanes with the preservation of some parking—from Howard Ave to Upas St., and Option A—protected bike lanes—from Upas St to Juniper St. The combination of these options is the best opportunity to implement protected bike lanes and increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists while also preserving an additional 121 parking spaces to better serve the needs of the commercial core and adjacent neighbors.

Bike lanes are meant to connect our communities, not divide them. Despite the extensive community outreach our office helped to provide and facilitate, I was not afforded an opportunity to weigh in on the proposed options prior to your directive in May to implement Option A. Over the last two months, I have been able to further communicate with residents and business owners regarding their concerns about the future of the 30th Street corridor in order to reach this recommendation.

For decades, the City has placed too much emphasis on auto-oriented planning at the expense of pedestrian and cyclist safety and connectivity, cutting residential areas off from commercial areas and necessitating the use of cars for even the simplest of trips to schools, libraries, parks, and our small business districts. Implementing dedicated bike lanes on 30th Street is an opportunity to reorient our neighborhoods to a people-first safety lens, connecting our neighborhoods through major arterials and enabling safe access for pedestrians, motorists, cyclists, and scooters. Dedicated bike lanes are an indispensable piece of the Climate Action Plan puzzle in North Park and communities throughout San Diego; in addition to reductions in Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHGs), they represent the opportunity to connect neighbors and families to their local businesses and neighborhood amenities. As the implementation of dedicated bike lanes on 30th Street moves forward, I also ask that you take the following requests from the North Park Planning Committee (NPPC) into consideration:

1. Conduct a search for parking opportunities and implement angle parking at adjacent side streets and nearby parallel streets to the 30th Street corridor from

Howard Ave. to Juniper St and consider implementation of Residential Permit Parking;

2. Provide enhanced bollards with a type that is easy to replace where bollards are proposed;
3. Preserve the Parklet at 3933 30th St.;
4. Relocate any displaced parking meters to a suitable location;
5. Provide annual reporting to the NPPC on bicycle counts, similar to how traffic counts for vehicles are gathered within the 30th St. corridor from Howard Ave. to Juniper St. The bicycle counts survey should be taken before project implementation, and annually after project implementation. Bicycle Counts Annual reporting for the 30th St. corridor should be part of the Climate Action Plan Annual Report;
6. Provide annual reporting to the NPPC on the number of bicycle and pedestrian accidents with vehicles including fatalities by vehicles encountered within the 30th St. corridor from Howard Ave. to Juniper St. Annual reporting on accidents for the 30th St. corridor should be part of the Vision Zero component of the Climate Action Plan Annual Report;
7. If results from reports from items 5 and 6 do not show an improvement in both an increase in the number of users and a decrease in the number of fatalities/injuries 1 year after project implementation, then the project should be re-evaluated at a future time by the City of San Diego, NPPC and other stakeholder groups;
8. Evaluate impacts on businesses through tax revenues along 30th St. yearly after project implementation;
9. Evaluate Utah St. for the floating parking option before it gets resurfaced;
10. The City is asked to consider extending the bike lanes on 30th north of this project.

Extending the protected bike lanes from Howard Avenue north to Adams Avenue has not previously been discussed with our office or the community. I ask that, should your office choose to pursue this option, and if/when staff begins to work on this project, that our office and the community be kept informed and provided opportunities for feedback. Additionally, I request the following community groups be consulted:

• Adams Avenue Business Association
• El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association
• Mid-City Parking District
• North Park Planning Committee
• North Park Community Association

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request. I look forward to the increased connectivity and implementation of the City’s Climate Action Plan in our urban neighborhoods.
CC:
Aimee Faucett, Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor
Jessica Lawrence, Director of Council Affairs, Office of the Mayor

Lee Friedman, Infrastructure Policy Manager, Office of the Mayor
Johnnie Perkins, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Public Works & Utilities Department James Nagelvoort, Director, Public Works
Kris McFadden, Director, Transportation & Storm Water Department
Everett Hauser, Mobility Program Manager, Transportation & Stormwater Department Elizabeth Studebaker, Interim Business Expansion Attraction and Retention Division Manager, Economic Development Department
Tanner French, Senior Traffic Engineer, Economic Development Department

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Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics