In-Depth: City of San Diego plans to end all overnight parking in Mission Bay

Proposal would add gates to parking lots
Posted at 5:57 AM, Oct 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-13 15:50:04-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A plan from City of San Diego officials will eliminate all overnight parking in Mission Bay by adding gates to the entrances of parking lots.

City staff presented the idea at this month's Mission Bay Park Committee meeting. Their proposal says no cars would be allowed in parking lots along the Bay from 10 p.m.-4 a.m. or 12 a.m.-6 a.m.

According to the proposal, adding gates would be closed by a security service each night. It says they will "reduce service calls and crime, deter gang activity, overnight parties, and illegal campers, and increase safety for park patrons and surrounding neighborhoods."

"If it helps control some of the unruly folks who come here, I think it's probably a good idea," says John Gillman, who says he rides his bike along the bay three or four times each week.

But not everyone likes the idea.

Pacific Beach resident Karin Zirk has been posting on social media for people to push back against it. She says it won't solve any of the crime problems.

"Whatever problems happen after 10 o'clock at night, happened before 10 o'clock at night," Zirk says. "So whatever the city's doing at three in the afternoon, they could easily do at 11 o'clock in the evening."

ABC 10News took an In-Depth look at crime reports from the area to see how much of an issue there is near Mission Bay's parking lots. A search of, the city's open-source database of crime reports, found 181 crimes reported in or near nine different Mission Bay parking lots since May 1, 2021. That's about one per day.

But the data also shows that only 32 of those crimes happened between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Zirk says the city could address overnight crime without restricting access. Currently, most lots along Mission Bay are only closed from 2 a.m.-4 a.m.

Zirk also says 10 p.m. would be too early for closing the park on long summer days when families stay after sunset for bonfires.

"It's just part of a pattern of the city that every time problems arise, they try and take away our access to the area as a way to solve the problem," she says.

While security would be responsible for closing the gates each night, there's no information in the proposal on who would enforce the parking ban. There is also no information on what the penalty would be for people who break the rules.

The city proposal says it would cost around $6,000 each year for every lot to install and maintain the gates.

The proposal has the approval of the Mission Bay Park Committee, the Park and Recreation Board, the Mission Beach Town Council, and the Pacific Beach Town Council.

The California Coastal Commission needs to approve the project before the city can move forward with it. There is no timetable for when the Coastal Commission will consider the idea.

See the crimes committed by parking lot below:

  • De Anza Cove Parking Lot
    • Total Crimes: 15
    • Crimes between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.: 4
  • Boat ramps/parking off Clairemont Dr
    • Total Crimes: 14
    • Crimes between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.: 5
  • Mission Bay Drive near Hilton
    • Total Crimes: 20
    • Crimes between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.: 5
  • Fiesta Island Entrance
    • Total Crimes: 11
    • Crimes between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.: 5
  • North & West Fiesta Island
    • Total Crimes: 8
    • Crimes between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.: 0
  • Sea World Drive near S. Shores Park
    • Total Crimes: 36
    • Crimes between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.: 2
  • Dana Landing and Quivara Rd
    • Total Crimes: 42
    • Crimes between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.: 6
  • Vacation Island
    • Total Crimes: 25
    • Crimes between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.: 2
  • MB Aquatic Center
    • Total Crimes: 10
    • Crimes between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.: 1
    • Total Crimes: 181
    • Crimes between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.: 32