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Wednesday, December 18, 2019


Here’s what I read today about the North Park 30th Street bikeway disaster.
Longtime San Diego sports scribe Nick Canepa took a slap at bike lane proponents, who have pushed City Hall to eliminate more than 450 parking spaces along 30th Street’s viable business district in North Park.  On Sunday, Dec. 15 in his popular weekly Take Two column in the Union-Tribune, Canepa included in his “Stink-of-the-Week” segment “there should be incredible, city-wide outrage over what the Ham & Eggers are planning for 30th Street.”  Nick knows that 30th Street is the heart of North Park’s linear business district. 
         Another man, who knows how hard small retailers in urban nodes like North Park and Normal Heights have to fight to stay in business is Scott Kessler.  Scott, a long time community activist, who is as fair as the proverbial day is long, recently was quoted in the Dec. 13 edition of San Diego Uptown News: “...”The elimination of 85 to 90% of the parking stalls on 30th Street poses the biggest existential threat to this linear commercial district since the advent of regional shopping malls in the 1960s.  It is a prime example of the mayor’s office being totally out of touch with reality and uncaring about the potential harm they are proposing to do,” said Kessler,” who is the Executive Director of the Adams Avenue Business Association.  Kessler added, “I’ve lost a great deal of respect for Mayor Faulconer and [District 3] Councilman Chris Ward over this flawed process and outcome.”
         Senior citizen Nikki Nicholas, a resident of North Park, was motivated to write a letter to the editor of the U-T, which was published Dec. 15.  The letter is headlined “30th Street Planners Didn’t Consider Seniors” and it references a U-T article “City moves forward on North Park bikeway, removing nearly 450 parking spots (published Dec. 6):  “I am 85 years of age and shop and eat in North Park on 30th Street.  I do not ride a bike nor see that many bikes on 30th Street.  I would have to pay fodr parking at the parking garage two blocks away from my hairdresser.  There are many seniors living in North Park who cannot walk far.  Why not use 29th Street or Granada Avenue that are very wide for the bikes and stay off a main street?  The City is destroying a small community that has survived for years.”
         Reader Nicholas didn’t mention that Utah Street is a wide street with existing bike lanes in both directions.  Bikers can safely use Utah Street from Adams to Upas without disrupting needed merchant parking spaces.
         This should not be a matter for the City to decide.  It should be put on the next election ballot like it should have been in the first place.  Let the voters decide.
         Let’s put City Hall’s logic to a test.  Would this bike path plan by eliminating parking spots along India Street? Prospect Avenue? Miramar Road?  If it not feasible on those streets why is it so on 30th Street.  Is 30th Street no less prime to a viable business district?
SOURCE: From Tom Shess, 30-year North Park Resident, founder of North Park News, former executive editor San Diego Magazine; retired editor, creative director San Diego Home Garden Magazine and eight year volunteer member of the Greater North Park Community Planning Committee

OTHER VOICE: Why Bike Paths Along 30th Street in North Park are bad for business.  Click here.

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