Faulconer, Emerald push for improved inner city infrastructure

City Heights is one of the areas benefiting from grant money and residents say the buzz of construction can't come soon enough. For years, residents in City Heights have been concerned about the condition of their sidewalks and a lack of lighting on their neighborhood streets.
“I don't go out after dark, it's too crazy out there,” said one concerned resident. “I've tripped on the sidewalks because they gap.”
But those concerns were addressed in a press conference with Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilmember Marti Emerald, stressing the need to utilize federal money from the Community Development Block Grant.
“If we can continue to direct the millions of dollars of CDBG funds into our city's infrastructure needs, we can fix more of our city's problems in the neighborhoods that need it most,” proposed Faulconer.
Neighborhoods where the elderly and disabled have difficulty maneuvering sidewalks and crime rates are high.
“As you can see looking up (any given street), a very long block with no street lights,” said Emerald, “this is the kind of block where people are afraid to go out at night because of crime, am I right?”
The infrastructure improvements were approved unanimously last week by the council committee, but Mayor Faulconer expects the full committee's support this week.
“The point of the matter is we have so many projects that need this help and we have the ability to do that if we change the formula that makes sure that these dollars, the Community Development Block Grant dollars are being spent on public infrastructure projects…sidewalks, fire stations, that's our opportunity,” said Faulconer.
“We have some of the largest number of people who are transit dependent and don't have any modes of transportation of their own and so they're very dependent on our streets,” said Nohelia Patel, City Heights resident.
Streets in Colina Park neighborhood will soon be buzzing with construction.
“So, by early next year, we should have plenty of construction going on in this area… so pardon our dust,” apologizes Emerald.

Construction in Colina Park is expected to start by the end of this year. Emerald says all together, the three projects mentioned for Colina Park, El Cajon, and the sidewalk project for Euclid Avenue should cost about $3 million.

Categories: KUSI