Save Park Blvd San Diego and Demand Better Government Communication & Transparency – Petition

by on July 12, 2022 · 45 comments

in San Diego

The following is the text of a petition begun by San Diego folks who want to save Park Boulevard and who are demanding “better government communication and transparency:”

City of San Diego continues to make drastic changes in our neighborhoods without thinking of the impact of the whole community not just the few and always in the best interest of  the developers!

San Diego’s Mayor Todd Gloria, his staff and Chief of Transportation have gone into neighborhoods like North Park, Mira Mesa, Pacific Beach, Point Loma and Rancho Penasquitos : who knows yours might be next!  They are making changes without notifying  the voters or property owners.

They currently have planned to redesign and remove parking of 4 blocks both directions on Park Blvd, El Cajon and University Ave. This would cause safety issues to the Senior communities, the unique and very specific businesses on the 4200 block of Park plus the amount of congestion that would move into the surrounding residential areas.

WE ARE NOT AGAINST BIKE LANES they already exist on Georgia Street and Florida Street plus various other streets in the area. Bike lanes are needed but the Mayor represents all of San Diego City and should listen to all of our opinions when making decisions.

The real issue is the City Mayor, Councilmen, City officials and Elected representatives refuse to communicate with businesses, community planning committees and property owners. The lack of communication, transparency and mutual respect that the City has for the people who call University Heights/ North Park/ Hillcrest and other communities home is the greater issue!

This drastic reduction of parking spaces completely disregards the legitimate needs of the residents and businesses in the area, especially the disabled and elderly. Buses, emergency, trash, street sweepers, delivery off loading and ride sharing vehicles will be forced to stop in traffic lanes, causing traffic jams. This plan is simply not feasible for a major thoroughfare   that passes through a small commercial area and a historic residential community. The vast majority of all businesses, property owners and residents on Park Blvd and the surrounding streets oppose this plan.

We want to work with the City to come to a mutual agreement on how to protect and progress our City.  Let’s focus on enhancing the area, rather than disrupting residents and visitors, and potentially putting our merchants out of business.

We need your help to open Mayor Gloria and Councilman Whitburn’s eyes. Write letters: 202 C Street, San Diego, CA  92101 OR emails OR phone calls.

Let them all hear us, since Gloria and Whitburn won’t listen, Terra and Nathan Fletcher our County Supervisors won’t return calls, Jorge Riveros head of City Transportation is unresponsive and pushes you off to his staff. They all refuse to come talk to those of us who live here, work here and  pay taxes here.

Link to Petition.

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Nathan J July 12, 2022 at 1:22 pm

Wow, the use of “save” the street and area, with a straight face, for something as asinine as “Muh parking!” being _the thing_ that makes a street or area “saved” and “safe” is truly astounding. I appreciate this web site for its local news in other non-bicycle and non-parking related subjects. But the level of cognitive dissonance, when it comes to your determination to ignore your car-addiction and everyone-gets-their-own-car-everywhere-always entitlement, truly knows no limit. Next story, please.


Geoff Page July 12, 2022 at 1:27 pm

You do realize that this was not a “story” right? All The Rag did was provide a copy of the petition, no opinion or slant was in the brief introduction. If you don’t agree with the petition, fine, but slamming The Rag for providing a service makes no sense.


Paul Webb July 12, 2022 at 6:19 pm

My, my, my, so hostile! Can’t we keep this on the level of reasonable disagreements between reasonable people?


Cross Walk Button July 12, 2022 at 6:50 pm

Great plan to improve pedestrian and bike access and make it safer for car drivers, really good plan, thanks for posting about it, 100 percent support!


Will July 13, 2022 at 6:34 am

I am excited to see less of our public space dedicated to automobiles and eagerly await W. Point Loma gaining bike lanes east of Nimitz. San Diego came of age in the era of the automobile and many roads are overbuilt. This gives us a unique opportunity to better use public space in these modern times.

I am glad to see the city monetarily charge and regulate the restaurant extensions into parking spaces. Hopefully that will pressure businesses like the Harp, which I enjoy, from maintaining their little-used spaces while businesses like Raglans, whose street usage is amazing, will continue.

I know that the Rag just posted a petition about a neighboring community. I appreciate the info on local issues. However, this is an angry petition that I initially thought was a Rag editorial, because it does align with the Rag’s history of panic over any loss to public space dedicated to automobiles. It would be interesting to see the development plans as well to get a better sense of the overall issue. I very much enjoy the Rag and reading about our community issues, but like any news source you need understand the perspective bias of publications and read various sources for a fuller picture of what is actually happening.


Geoff Page July 13, 2022 at 10:44 am

I was ok with your comment, although I disagree on some matters, until I hit this, “it does align with the Rag’s history of panic over any loss to public space dedicated to automobiles.” Show us where that has occurred.

And, I wondered if this was directed at The Rag or not, “like any news source you need understand the perspective bias of publications and read various sources for a fuller picture of what is actually happening.” I’m going to assume that you meant “you” generally.


Greg July 13, 2022 at 2:54 pm

Come on Geoff don’t play dumb. You penned an article about this same topic in the OBRag bemoaning the loss of public space dedicated to automobiles on 30th street. These types of articles are not outliers on the OBRag.

“Recently, I made a trip to see the new bike lanes that had been constructed over the last couple of years. It was appalling. All of the road north and south of University was red curb, virtually no parking was left. On both sides of the road. All to make bike lines on a busy, important street, when quiet streets parallel 30th to the east and the west.” – Geoff Page


Geoff Page July 13, 2022 at 3:12 pm

No, Greg, you need to read more carefully. My point was that they took all that parking despite objections by businesses along the route. Taking all 400 was a travesty. Who do you think the “public space dedicated to automobiles on 30th street” was for? It wasn’t for storing automobiles. It was for the businesses and residents of 30th. Read the articles more carefully, the main issue we are criticizing was perfectly illustrated by Gold Coast Drive – top down dictation from city hall that seems to be full of cycling advocates.


Greg July 13, 2022 at 3:29 pm

I’m not debating the validity of the arguments. I just want the obvious opinion that influences what is re-posted on the OBRag to not be dismissed.

How about instead of asking for evidence and immediately dismissing it when provided, you post an example of this publication publishing something that unequivocally supports the removal of automobiles from public spaces without a counter-argument present in it.


Nathan Jay July 14, 2022 at 6:46 am

I appreciate your comments, Greg, and your word choice putting things better than I often do. As much as Geoff seems to be a fine and admirable writer in other subjects, it’s clear that he and the other main staff are never going to see or admit what is painfully obvious to many if not most OB Rag readers re: their “panic” as Greg very well put it about any loss of parking for bike or pedestrian benefit. You even quoted him in a much calmer way than many and yet he persists in being super combative and offended. Oh well. As I wrote earlier, “next story please” — it’s annoying but not too bad with some practice, to read these publication and just accept their one or two blind spots, however severe and mind-boggling those blind spots may be.


Sorry not Sorry July 14, 2022 at 9:53 am

To be fair, what sense does it make to take space away from major thoroughfares, narrowing driving lanes and removing parking from in front of businesses when 1 block over there is probably a much less traveled street that could better handle the space constriction? Is the too much of an inconvenience for the more nimble/agile cyclist? Maybe. Also, maybe the argument that the Rag writers are really trying to get to the bottom of is “why isn’t there more discussion from both sides?”


Geoff Page July 14, 2022 at 10:32 am

Your last sentence said it well, Sorry. Where was the discussion of the configuration they did on Gold Coast and tried to do on Evergreen before the uproar? And, yes, the cyclists do not want to be inconvenienced, they want to go where they want to go and everyone else can just lump it. Like all those businesses and residents on and near 30th or Park. I find that funny because the avid advocates all talk about the healthy benefits of cycling, so what’s wrong with another block or two?


Geoff Page July 14, 2022 at 10:28 am

Passive aggressive much, Nathan? Show me where I have been “super combative and offended?” Show me the panic. That is just how you characterize someone with a different point of view.


Geoff Page July 14, 2022 at 10:25 am

You are still missing the point.


Greg July 14, 2022 at 1:15 pm

Not one example of this publication publishing something that unequivocally supports the removal of automobiles from public spaces?

It is telling that this is unable to be provided and supports the initial assertion of the OBRag’s opinion/bias in regards to this issue.

I would think that a long-time OB-centric publication would have at some time noted the absurdity of having 10 auto-centric parallel north-south arterials in the community and supported some project at some time that would reduce automobile consumption of our public spaces.


Geoff Page July 14, 2022 at 1:25 pm

Still missing, or ignoring, that the main point of the stories has been the city doing things without hearing from the public or ignoring their desires. It’s not about cars, no matter how much cyclists try to make it so.

I personally would love to see Newport free of cars, it would make a great plaza to the sea. But, I would never support such a change without hearing that the businesses along Newport supported it. I sure as shit would not support it if the city just decided to do it without asking.


Frank Gormlie July 14, 2022 at 2:01 pm

How about you Greg quit making demands of the OB Rag. You make a demand and when we don’t have time or motivation to respond, you say, ‘See, I told you so. You’re biased!’ Your demands show your bias so why don’t you write up a “Reader’s Rant” which we could post explaining your views. Send to .


Geoff Page July 14, 2022 at 2:04 pm

Hear, hear, how’s that for fairness?


Greg July 14, 2022 at 4:56 pm

Mr. Page asked us to provide evidence:

““it does align with the Rag’s history of panic over any loss to public space dedicated to automobiles.” Show us where that has occurred.”

I provided evidence of this occurring by linking an article from this publication written by Mr. Page himself. This was then dismissed out-of-hand wherein I provided Mr. Page an opportunity to provide evidence of his own. This was not done.

No demands were made of the Rag nor of yourself Mr. Gormlie. It seems evidence is unable to be produced or Mr. Page is not interested in providing it.


Frank Gormlie July 14, 2022 at 6:27 pm

Greg – did you not see my offer for you to write up an opinion piece? Express yourself – let’s hear your ideas – as it’s always easier to critique others without having to explain oneself.

Chris July 14, 2022 at 6:50 pm

Greg, I think you should take up that offer. Seriously, write your own piece and put in your two cents worth.

Geoff Page July 14, 2022 at 6:53 pm

Where is there “panic” in the article you linked? And what evidence were you looking for me to provide? Evidence of what?

Sam R July 13, 2022 at 8:20 am

Additional good news for those who need ADA parking – the new design adds two more ADA spots on at least two blocks of Park, bringing the total from 4 between Adams and Monroe to 6 (that includes one on Park and Adams as well as one on Park and Madison). That’s a huge win!


Chris July 13, 2022 at 8:34 am

While additional ADA parking is a good thing, what about people who are not mobile enough to bike or walk but not immobile enough to qualify for ADA?


Geoff Page July 13, 2022 at 10:48 am

And, some people with disabilities would park closer than the ADA spots allow if spots were available. Or people who ferry around very old parents who would love to park as close as possible. ADA spots are great in places like parking lots where they can be up front near stores. They don’t work as well in linear configurations.


Michael July 15, 2022 at 2:00 pm

I’m sorry but this makes no sense to me. You can get a placard with minimal disability if you put just a little time into it. My father has one and he can get around but needs a cane. I deal with this issue constantly and you’d be surprised what accommodations can be made if you plan. When we go to the ballpark, we walk right to the front and tell them we need assistance. They don’t ask for any documentation and help us get to an elevator and get to his seat which is next the the restrooms. Ironically, those electric scooters were a huge help to the people you’re describing who cant walk very far.

I’m not saying this to put you down in anyway, but be grateful for the mobility you have today because it will go away and life will slow down in a hurry.


Chris July 13, 2022 at 8:28 am

Like other times, I think this will end up being and interesting back and fourth thread. Anyway I truly want to see San Diego become less car dependent. I don’t know how if there’s a way to make everyone happy. As I’ve mentioned many time before, I like using these new bikes lanes along 30th and now Park. Especially now that I am really trying to drive less. The issue about how to make it work for less mobile residents never does seem to get addressed by those who are vocally in favor of them. If Nathan J sees this, I’d be interested in his opinion.


Geoff Page July 13, 2022 at 10:50 am

It needs to start with a good bus system. Plenty of buses coming frequently going to all parts of the city. They do this many countries and it works very well.


Chris July 13, 2022 at 11:10 am

That’s one thing you and I both agree on. I think the problem is a combination of too many people thinking it’s below them to take the bus so not enough demand to improve and increase bus lines and MTS not willing the do that without the demand in fear it won’t attract more riders. Catch 22. Amazing (but not really) how attitudes in Portland, the Bay Area and NYC are so different.


Geoff Page July 13, 2022 at 11:26 am

Yea, I agree, Catch-22. They need to bit the bullet and do like many businesses, provide a product to build a clientele. If a person could get a bus within ten minutes that would get them close to where they need to go, people would use them. I think anyway.


Chris July 13, 2022 at 2:33 pm

I know I would. I have a car and intend to keep having one but would love to able to use it far less often (less wear and tear and less gas). It’s hard for me to wrap my head around so many not wanting that.


Geoff Page July 13, 2022 at 2:38 pm

I’m not convinced lots of people don’t want that. I think it is just that they don’t see an alternative and all they see are efforts to constrict car traffic that is causing them problems. I wish they’d show the same enthusiasm for expanding the bus system as they have for the bike lanes.


Paul Webb July 13, 2022 at 2:38 pm

I must point out that transit systems that are much more effective in other cities, particularly the Bay Area but also including Los Angeles, were experiencing lowered ridership even before the Covid pandemic made many people fearful of public transit.

This is one of the reasons I am so skeptical of the $4B connection to the airport. Ridership on both SFO’s and OAK’s connection have never matched projections and were on a steady decline before the pandemic.

Shortly before the rise of Covid-19, I took a trip to Seattle intent on using only public transportation, including the light rail serving the airport. It was a very long walk through a parking structure from the terminal to the rail station. Long and unpleasant with car exhaust, dodging vehicles, etc. It did, however, take me very close to my downtown hotel.

I used only the light rail, buses and the old monorail (really just to use it, it’s not very effective as transit). The bottom line was that it was all doable, if you didn’t mind a very long walk or two as part of the “last mile” component of your trip, or long waits for a bus at some stops. I say this knowing that I have held Seattle up as a better example of how to design a transit system compared to San Diego.

Let’s be honest, until we get something like electric, self-driving ride hailing or ride sharing systems, there really is no transportation system that will be better than the private auto for convenience and timeliness.


Chris July 13, 2022 at 4:09 pm

That’s disheartening to know ridership is down in those airports. And surprising. Last time we flew to Oakland in 2016 we took the light rail system they had and it was packed, even if statistically down. And I would very much like to see something similar here in Lindbergh.


Paul Webb July 14, 2022 at 11:22 am

It may well be that ridership will increase. As we can all see, travel is picking up, so maybe the airport transit connections will pick up as well. That said, ridership at both SFO and OAK declined from 2016 through 2019, so maybe you experienced it at its peak.

I really don’t understand the enthusiasm that our leaders, appointed and elected, have for spending billions of dollars for airport transit connections that do not appear to be supported by the people intended to use them. It can’t be just to appease the “trolley to the airport is a no-brainer” crowd. Is it to appease and profit the major construction firms that support them? Oh, that’s just too cynical to be true, isn’t it?

H. L. Mencken famously said that for every complicated problem there is a clear, simple answer that is wrong. It is my increasing belief that “trolley to the airport” is an example of this.

I’ve used dedicated airport/transit rail connection all over the world (Tokyo, SFO, OAK, Madrid, London Heathrow, Chicago O’Hare, Seattle, Zurich, etc.). In some cases they worked particularly well (Madrid, Heathrow, Zurich), in some cases they worked only because the alternatives were either too difficult or too expensive (e.g., Tokyo Narita). In some cases they didn’t really work at all (O’Hare – I’d probably also add the NY subway, but I’ve never personally experienced it deciding that navigating the subway with luggage was just too daunting).


Geoff Page July 14, 2022 at 6:57 pm

Yea, I agree, Paul. It is a lot of money to spend for something people would prefer to avoid. Carrying luggage through these various systems is a problem. If you can mange with just a backpack, it is doable but who travels that way other than for a two-day trip. Oakland and SFO are some distance from the city centers, out airport is not. The BART system brings people from considerable distances to the airports so it makes more sense. We don’t have that kind of a rail system.


Nathan July 14, 2022 at 7:49 am

If I understand Chris’ comment correctly about access for less mobile residents, I strongly support consideration of such residents. It’s not an “either / or” thing, but “both /and.” Of course consideration for less mobile people should be present in any pedestrian area, parking areas, and bike lanes. Doing that may have challenges but they are not insurmountable.


Chris July 14, 2022 at 6:48 pm

Thank you for acknowledging my question. I bike. I like bike lanes. But I understand that some down’t have that option.


Will July 18, 2022 at 7:55 am

It is crazy the trolley was conceived without including airport access despite direct proximity. I haven’t yet flown since Covid, but the last I used the 923 bus to get to our airport I got dropped off on Harbor Drive and had a very awkward half-mile-ish walk to the terminal while dodging cars with luggage in tow. Hours for route 923 are limited and odd. I have still never taken the little 923 bus that runs on the weekends although my wife has. Apparently, is bus.

The irony is that commercial aviation is mass transit and generally, in most times, profitable and highly utilized. Why would we not make efforts to stitch together our mass transit systems and grow this carless network. Having an urban airport does give us this opportunity most cities do not have. Just connecting this bus line to a terminal would be a meaningful improvement.


Peter from South O July 18, 2022 at 9:19 am

The 923 goes to the terminals. Every 15 minutes. Your experience was during a period of time when there was a detour because of construction.


Paul Webb July 18, 2022 at 9:33 am

Peter, I think you are thinking of the 992, which runs from downtown to the airport. MTS schedule shows the 923 not leaving N. Harbor Drive, stopping at Spanish Landing and at Harbor Island Drive. The headway is 30 minutes, not 15.


Paul Webb July 18, 2022 at 9:23 am

A couple of thoughts on this comment. First, yes, it is crazy that the originally build trolley did not go to the airport, but this was by design, not an omission or an inadvertent mistake. The whole idea of Jim Mills’ plan was to use the existing rails and ROW of the old SD&AE rail line that ran to the border to create a cheap rail system. Of course, it wasn’t cheap and it wasn’t a real system, it was just one line running from downtown to San Ysidro. When it was extended to Old Town, it could, in theory, have been extended to the airport in some fashion, but they decided to stick with the existing ROW rather than purchase/condemn/negotiate for additional ROW. I have no idea what the thought process was, except that perhaps it was assumed that San Diego would grow up and decide to move the airport. We know how that turned out.

I freely admit that the 923 is a less than ideal solution for air travelers. The stops are inconvenient, the buses lack luggage racks (unlike the 992), and the schedule is awful. Who operates a bus that goes to the beach and the airport but offers no weekend service? MTS, that’s who.

But the real question is how much are we willing to spend for a fixed rail/guideway system? SANDAG is talking about $4Billion, which sounds a little high compared to the more extensive $4Billion system being constructed at LAX, but then we know about SANDAG and money, so there’s that. Improvements to the bus system, including the 992 and the 923, would cost pennies, in comparison.

An aside: back when I worked for the airport, SANDAG came to use with an urgent request to install new stops and equipment at the airport to allow the use of their new system that would tell riders when the next bus would arrive. We kind of bent the rules a little to expedite the project in response to their request and got environmental clearances and entitlements to allow the installation. Guess what? They were installed, but never activated, and ultimately the equipment was removed. Great use of money.

Finally, I take issue with your comment that commercial aviation is profitable in most times. Historically, that has not been true, witness the airlines that no longer exist (PanAm, TWA, Western, Eastern, Republic, etc., etc.). They’ve mostly only been profitable in recent years because of ancillary fees, like fees for checked bags, seat assignments, meals, etc. Ryan Air’s CEO once joked(?) that he thought about putting on a one euro charge for the use of the lavs. Southwest airlines is the outlier, in that it has been historically profitable over the long haul and does not charge all the ticky-tacky fees of other airlines.


Chris July 18, 2022 at 9:47 am

I’ve never used the 923 so I’m not familiar with its route. Not sure where you live but if you’re pretty far from the airport it seems maybe take it to a destination closer to the airport and then lyft/uber from there.


Paul Webb July 18, 2022 at 9:53 am

Chris, I actually have taken the 923 to the airport, and while it’s not easy (no luggage racks, walk to the terminals, etc.) it is doable.

I have actually seen many people park near my OB home, get out of their cars, take luggage out of their trunk and get picked up by a ride share service. While I applaud their frugal inventiveness in avoiding an expensive taxi ride or parking fee, as a resident I am more than a little resentful of their leaving their cars parked in my parking deficient neighborhood for long periods of time.


Chris July 18, 2022 at 10:28 am

Well I wasn’t thinking in terms of anyone taking their cars and leaving them. I was assuming Will was catching the 923 somewhere close to wherever he lives. So in other words, not taking a personal vehicle at all.
If people are really doing that near your home, have any cars been given a “subtle” hint not to do that?


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