This is the story of a community coming together over the Transform Hillcrest plan to add bike lanes and street improvements to University Avenue, and of the political leader who helped the plan die.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TODD GLORIA?
These jabs at Todd Gloria are specific to this issue. From what I've seen, he's a very effective, reasonable, and hard working politician. My understanding of this issue just leads me to a different conclusion than him on it. I might make a pro-Todd Gloria video someday too about a different topic.
WHAT IS SANDAG?
It is the San Diego Association of Governments, the regional planning agency for the county.
CAN YOU LINK TO ARTICLES ON THIS TOPIC?
September 17, 2015: sdyimby.net/blog/2015/9/16/sandag-the-undemocratic-gorilla-in-our-midst
August 28, 2015: sdcitybeat.com/article-16592-Still-pedaling.html
June 5, 2015: sandag.org/index.asp?meetingID=4008&fuseaction=meetings.detail
March 27, 2015: sduptownnews.com/uptown-planners-reject-sandag-bike-plan/
October 7, 2014: voiceofsandiego.org/bike-policy-2/behind-the-competing-plans-to-make-over-hillcrest/
August 15, 2014: sduptownnews.com/transforming-hillcrest/
August 12, 2014: sdgreatstreets.org/2014/08/12/hillcrest-united-behind-new-university-ave-bike-plan/
HOW DID THE CONSTRAINED OPTION GET ON THE TABLE? WHAT'S THE STORY WITH THE HBA HIRING A LOBBYIST?
Here's the story as I understand it.
* Businesses were frustrated because of uncertainty. Would Transform Hillcrest survive? Would original SANDAG plan with the loss of parking move forward? If so, where would parking be lost and where would it be added? SANDAG wouldn't release any information on this.
* Because of the uncertainty and lack of information, the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) hired a lobbyist, California Strategies, for a 4 month contract. The scope of their contract was to keep the Mission Hills onramp opened and to preserve parking.
* On May 22nd, a meeting requested by SANDAG's Gary Gallegos was held with the HBA. Gary explained the constrained option (sharrows west of the 163) and explained that it was either the original project with the loss of parking, the new constrained option, or nothing at all. Transform Hillcrest was not on the table.
* Given these options, the HBA supported the constrained option.
* Many business members of the HBA felt like their community had missed out on a big opportunity in Transform Hillcrest (street improvements and a lot of money being invested into their neighborhood), but also felt like they dodged a bullet by avoiding the original SANDAG plan and the loss of parking west of the 163.
WHY DIDN'T YOU EMPHASIZE THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY'S STAUNCH OPPOSITION TO ANY PARKING LOSS ON UNIVERSITY AVE WEST OF THE 163? WHY DIDN'T YOU EMPHASIZE THE BIKE COMMUNITY'S AGGRESSIVE TACTICS TOWARDS BUSINESSES OPPOSED TO PARKING LOSS?
The reason for this is that it, like many other details that I didn't include or emphasize, it doesn't change the overall story. That story is, in short:
* SANDAG makes public parking loss numbers
* Business community opposes plan due to parking loss
* Transform Hillcrest plan is created
* Business and bike communities support Transform Hillcrest (take out a travel lane so that you can fit a bike path AND parking)
* City doesn't approve it because it slows traffic
* Todd Gloria doesn't step in to fight for the plan (modify it to "make it work") despite community support
* Behind closed doors meetings bring about a constrained option which is selected by SANDAG board on June 5th
* Hillcrest misses out on big opportunity
Adding details about the business communities vehement opposition to parking loss is an interesting story, but it's not essential because the goal of this video is not to judge this opposition as right or wrong. At the same time, adding details about the bike communities aggressive actions towards Hillcrest businesses is not essential because my goal here is not to judge them either.
Many other videos could be made about about the Uptown Bikeways Project to answer questions like:
* What tactics are acceptable between different interest groups?
* Is it morally wrong to build infrastructure that promotes greater damage to the earth?
* Should parking adjacent to businesses be a priority?
* Why are bike lanes important?
* How does this project relate to the Climate Action Plan?
* How did the politics of the decision play out within the City and SANDAG?
All of these topics are very interesting and would make great videos, but are not the subject of this video.