On Wednesday, December 15, representatives from SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments) held an informational meeting on the Mid-City Rapid bus project at Cathedral Towers, a senior living facility near the corner of Park Boulevard and University Avenue. The Mid-City Rapid, a ten-mile bus line from San Diego State to Downtown, will pass by Cathedral Towers on a dedicated bus lane on Park Boulevard. The bus will stop at an enhanced transit station on the corner of Park and University.
During a September 29 meeting of the Land Use and Housing Committee, councilmembers listened to concerns from residents that the project will bring traffic, noise, and vandalism, as well as eliminate parking along Park Boulevard. Councilmembers then requested that SANDAG hold additional public meetings in Uptown. On December 15, representatives from SANDAG hosted the first of those meetings.
The meeting, however, was not open to the public, residents say. It was intended for seniors living in the three towers along Park Boulevard and no one else.
"How would you like to have [SANDAG] invite itself to your place of residence and prohibit you from inviting guests in what appears to me to be an effort at reprogramming? Why else must this "informational" meeting be conducted behind closed doors?" Asked one resident in a December 15 email to Uptown residents.
According to David Hicks, Senior Public Information Officer for SANDAG, the agency was following up on requests from the Land Use and Housing Committee to inform the residents living in Cathedral Towers, Grace Towers, and Trinity Manor.
"We held an informational meeting for those residents," said Hicks during a December 21 phone interview. "We didn't have permission to invite the general public to their facility. We are hoping to plan to do another meeting or two in that general area."
When asked if public input during meetings can result in changes to the project, Hicks responded: "Well, yes. How much it can change or whether the route can change? I don't know. The reason why [SANDAG] is doing this it to try and address the concerns from the residents.