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Hundreds of parking spaces in North Park could be replaced with protected bike lanes

Posted at 5:18 PM, May 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-03 21:16:42-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Liz Saba is about to celebrate one year at her jewelry store's location at the corner of Upas and 30th Streets in North Park.

She says for Presley & Co. to thrive at that location even longer, it'll need shoppers from all over.

"We know in business that if you can't find parking right away, you're moving on," she said.

That's why it's hard for her to fathom a change that appears to be gaining momentum in North Park.

The city could eliminate hundreds of parking spots on 30th Street, from Howard Avenue to Juniper Street. It would give way to protected bike lanes. Community groups are currently weighing a variety of formats that could eliminate all 420 spaces on the stretch, or a fraction thereof. It would help the city meet key climate action goals, and promote safety.

Dominic Fawcett, a bicyclist who bartends at Bluefoot, also at Upas and 30th said he thinks the protected bike line would be a good idea. He said he sees close calls all the time.

"At least twice a day somebody almost gets clipped," Fawcett said.

Fawcett said there's usually parking in the surrounding neighborhoods, though not all agree.

"I drive down from La Jolla. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. Sometimes you have to park far away," said Katie Ardell, who frequents a coffee shop in the area.

The city would make the changes as part of an ongoing project to replace nearly six miles of old water mains in the area.

Rene Vidales, who heads the North Park Planning Committee, said the idea is dividing the community.

"I hear everything," he said. "People need to show up at meetings to speak their mind as to how they feel about the project."

That opportunity comes May 14, when the committee will take a position on the plan.

A spokesman for City Councilman Chris Ward, whose district includes North Park, says Ward will consider all recommendations and feedback. He will also work with the mayor's office to develop a final design and implementation options.