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Cars trapped on Beech Street after restriping

Posted at 4:36 PM, Jul 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-13 10:13:53-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A number of drivers who parked their cars in Little Italy this week got a nasty surprise when they tried to leave.

Their cars were trapped because other people parked next to them on Beech Street.

"I can't figure out how the city has made such a mess of this street," said Andrea Silva, who lives downtown.

The issue happened because the city restriped one side of the road from Front to Sixth Avenue as part of its downtown mobility plan. The idea is to move the parking spots away from the curbs toward the middle of the street. The area in between the cars and curb would then become a dedicated bike and scooter lane, separated by pillars.

The city recently completed those lanes on J Street in the East Village.

The problem on Beech Street arose because crews painted the new mid-street parking spots, but didn't add any signage, curb painting or other barriers to alert drivers not to park on the curb. That lead to people parking where they are used to, with others parking next to them in the new spots.

"I'd definitely be mad," said John Shores, who was staying downtown. "I couldn't go anywhere until these people decide to move."

City spokesman Anthony Santacroce said crews should have the work completed by early next week, with pillars keeping the cars from going up to the curb on Beech Street.

He said workers will also put up work zone warning signs to alert drivers to not park on the side of the street.

"During the short amount of time between painting of new parking spaces and the construction of the cycle tracks, cars were permitted to park in both the new spaces and the soon-to-be removed spaces along the curb," Santacroce said. "Although we understand that this could lead to some confusion, the intent was not to limit parking until the final phase of construction."

The downtown mobility plan, in the first of three phases, connects the East Village to Little Italy, emphasizing alternate methods of transportation.