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Parking garage could help solve North Park debate over bike lanes

Plan could remove 420 parking spots for bike lanes
Posted: 12:30 PM, May 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-08 20:23:21Z
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NORTH PARK, Calif. (KGTV) - Business leaders in North Park say a little-used parking garage could help solve the debate over adding bike lanes to 30th street.

The City, as part of its plan to reduce greenhouse gases, wants to install bike lanes along a nearly 2-mile stretch of 30th street, from Juniper to Howard.
NORTH PARK, Calif. (KGTV) - Business leaders in North Park say a little-used parking garage could help solve the debate over adding bike lanes to 30th street.
To do so, they would have to remove parking from the street. One plan would take away as many as 420 spots.

That has residents and shop owners worried about the impact it would have on the area.

RELATED: City could replace hundreds of parking spaces in North Park with bike lanes

But North Park Main Street, a local group representing businesses in the neighborhood, says the solution is hiding in plain sight.

They point to a six-story parking garage as the answer. The garage, located along 30th Street, has room for 383 vehicles. According to a recent study, it's rarely ever more than 50% full. That means about 200 spots are going unused.

"I will watch people come into North Park and circle the parking garage looking for a parking spot, not knowing they're circling a place with 400 available ones," says Angela Landsberg, the Executive Director of North Park Main Street.

Landsberg says the garage is often empty because there aren't enough signs letting people know it's there. She also says the only entrance, on 29th Street, makes it hard for people to access. She'd like to see the owners do more to promote it as an option for parking in the area.

"I think that people are not used to getting out and walking," she says. "The expectation is that we are going to pull up and have parking right next to the businesses that exist and that's not realistic looking forward."

The garage charges $1 an hour, with a $5 daily maximum. It also charges flat rates during special events. Landsberg says it's just a matter of changing people's habits when they come to North Park.

"There are other communities that would kill to have a parking structure like this," she says.

ACE Parking, who operates the garage, send the following statement to 10News:

"ACE supports efforts by the City of San Diego and other cities to encourage alternative mobility options like cycling. Through our Mobility Solutions Division which was launched in 2018, ACE is providing solutions for clients like the City of San Diego to support local businesses while enabling initiatives like bicycle lanes. In this case, solutions to improve the utilization of North Park off-street facilities could include promoting off-street parking by communicating live space availability counts, enhancing on-street signage, enabling online reservation options, establishing convenient parking application options, and initiating fully integrated validation options. "