San Diego International Airport's new rental car center is creating an unsafe situation on surrounding roads, according to residents who live nearby.
The airport opened its 2-million-square-foot facility in January, where Sassafras Street meets Pacific Highway. But the signs posted directing travelers to the center route people down India Street. Now, residents who live in the area just north of Little Italy, called Middletown, say there are more accidents and close calls.
"If you trip, you're dead," said Beckie Webster, a 27-year resident. "I've seen cars sitting on the rail road tracks. I've seen a car make a u-turn on the railroad tracks. I've seen cars block the traffic on Kettner Street and not be able to drive the hill because out-of-towners are unfamiliar with hilly terrain."
The center is located on the opposite side of the airport than its predecessor, which was closer to the terminals. The facility holds up to 5,000 cars. Calls to the Airport Authority and the City of San Diego were not immediately returned. The Uptown Community Planning Group will listen to resident concerns at a meeting Tuesday.
"At the last minute, you're trying to turn your car in to make your plane, you're going to do anything to get to the car rental center and get your car turned in," Webster said.
Webster said she would like the signs to redirect travelers to the rental car center via Pacific Highway. She said that road is wider, and more direct, and therefore safer for all.