Mayor Faulconer’s 30th Street plan creates bike lanes and removes 420 parking spaces
NORTH PARK (KUSI) – As many of you saw in an earlier KUSI report, there’s been push back from some businesses in North Park and South Park over the latest mobility plan from Mayor Kevin Faulconer. The plan involves creating protected bike lanes along busy 30th Street by taking away 420 parking spaces.
Tuesday, we followed up with mobility advocates who say the plan is a good one and critics need to appreciate it in it’s entirety.
Under the city’s aggressive Climate Action Plan is Mayor Faulconer’s mobility plan. The latest involves the neighborhoods of North Park and South Park and the lengthy thoroughfare connecting them that is 30th Street.
The Mayor has directed the removal of 420 parking spaces on 30th in favor of protected bike lanes. The plan is tied to the replacement of a pipeline under the street, a project that is expected to be completed in the first three months of 2020.
Colin Parent, the Executive Director of the mobility advocacy group, Circulate San Diego, told KUSI, “This is exactly the right time to be making these kinds of investments. The City is already ripping up the street, and taking away the parking. Why not do all we need to do at the same time.”
There is no question that in recent years, these two adjacent neighborhoods have seen a resurgence: Small businesses, home ownership.
And when the Mayor announced the plan, there was criticism in some quarters that businesses along 30th Street would suffer. Some owners told us they were legitimately worried about their futures.
But the Mayor’s office points to what it says is an underutilized parking garage at 30th and University, along with parking conversions on side streets creating more than 70 additional spaces. What’s more the City is examining other side streets.
We also note support for protected lanes by The North Park Planning Committee, North Park Main Street, the business improvement district for the area, and the mobility advocacy group Circulate San Diego.
We also note that every time we do a story like this, whether its bicycles or mass transit, we hear from critics who say ridership will never justify cost. And many add, they don’t see a lot of bicyclists.
We asked Colin Parent to respond. “It’s not just changing the mindset,” he told us. “It’s about allowing people to do something they would do, if the infrastructure were there. We don’t say we shouldn’t build a bridge across the river because no one is swimming across the river. You have reason to build the bridge for the pent up demand for people to cross, It’s the same thing with mass transit and bicycling. There are a lot of people who would choose it if the infrastructure was going where they want it to go.”
Parent also claims those business owners who are worried need to appreciate that a customer lost because of the lost convenience of a front door parking space will be replaced by more customers because you can park a lot more bicycles in that area.