City could remove dozens of parking meters in Hillcrest

Posted at 6:49 AM, Sep 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-22 18:38:50-04

UPDATE: San Diego's Land Use and Smart Growth Committee has approved the plan.

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The city could remove dozens of parking meters from Hillcrest's University Avenue, one of the area's busiest roads.

But some businesses and residents aren't celebrating - because the plan is to remove the spots entirely - and add more in the largely residential surrounding neighborhoods. A bike lane would replace those parking spots. 

"We don't want additional cars parking on the street," said JT Brown, who has lived on Essex Street for nearly 20 years. "It's a residential street."

The proposed bike lane is part of the city's goal to encourage safe, sustainable commuting. The city would eliminate 29 spaces on University, from 6th Avenue to Vermont, and compensate by adding 48 angles spaces on 8th and 10th Avenues, and Essex Street. 

The city's Land Use and Smart Growth Committee will consider the plan Thursday. 

The Hillcrest Business Association supported the plan once the city agreed to add the extra spaces.

"It's tough for me to say this is the ideal because I don't want to lose these spaces, but we are getting a bike lane, and we are getting additional spaces," said Benjamin Nicholls, who heads the association.

Andy Hanshaw, who heads the San Diego Bike Coalition, said it would encourage more people to ride. 

"This brings more people, more customers, safely to their businesses," he said. 

Brown, a biker himself, says the city has a lot of work to do to make University safe for riders.

The city stands to lose $50,000 a year if it removes the meters. It's unclear if drivers would have to pay to park at the new spaces.

Essex Street, from 10th to Richmond, would get an additional 29 spaces, while 11 would go on Eighth Avenue, from University to Washington, and eight would be painted on 10th, from University to the 163 On-ramp.