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For years planners at the City have been pushing for a more pedestrian, bike, and transit friendly city. During that time, North Park's busiest thoroughfare, University Avenue, became the number one target to make that happen.

In early 2010, City planners held meetings on the University Avenue Mobility Plan, a proposal to reduce traffic on University Avenue, from Florida Avenue east to Boundary Street, in order to accommodate more bicyclists and pedestrians.

The mobility plan proposed landscaped medians, turn pockets, and dedicating two lanes for transit and cyclists.

Residents were concerned then. They voiced those concerns at a March 2010 meeting (see March 2010 article in the Reader).

Now, two years later, weeks after construction began, those concerns seem to have caused the new Mayor to act. Today, during an afternoon press conference, Mayor Bob Filner called for an end of construction to give more time to find out why residents and business owners were not notified before work began on the street.

And while Filner's decision may have made some local residents happy, not everyone was satisfied

"Newly elected Mayor Bob Filner, in an early test of leadership, quickly caved to complaints after CBS 8 Television broadcast a video of residents complaining about construction at University Avenue and Alabama Street," reads a post on the website, Great Streets San Diego. "The construction is part of an overall plan to remake University Avenue in North Park into a pedestrian friendly, bicycle friendly, transit oriented street.

"What’s next? Will Mayor Filner find his backbone and work to transform San Diego streets into walkable, bike-friend, neighborhood oriented places as he promised during the campaign?"

Here's another article on the 2010 meetings:

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Comments

Visduh Dec. 20, 2012 @ 6:02 p.m.

Dueling NIMBYs? One group wants one thing, the other wants the other. Sigh!

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Javajoe25 Dec. 20, 2012 @ 9:06 p.m.

Mr. Filner needs to be careful not to make the typical newbie mistake of appeasing the first contingent of screaming ninnies he encounters. He should have dug deeper into the issue on this one before making a decision.

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nostalgic Dec. 21, 2012 @ 12:06 a.m.

Please note - the city has NO policy to inform adjacent property owners or business owners about these "street improvement" projects. The first clue is when somebody shows up and starts digging up the street. These projects are not required to go through any required notification process similar to that for development services-approved projects. In Golden Hill, the "Public Outreach" consisted of walking up and down the two block (a $2.5 MILLION project) and telling whoever was behind the counter.

Sigh. Sigh over how much money is being spent to paint sharrows on the pavement and change the parking scheme. And how much went to consultants to plan it.

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Dennis Dec. 21, 2012 @ 10:24 a.m.

So residents were concerned in 2010 and nobody listened to them so now Filner is "caving" because he wants to respond to residents concerns? Dorian, maybe you need to get over the fact that DeMaio lost!

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Dorian Hargrove Dec. 21, 2012 @ 11:02 a.m.

Dennis, I never said the Mayor caved. I said some accused him of caving. I also wrote that people expressed issues during a 2010 meeting that I attended. On a personal note: you're completely off base with that last sentence. Regardless, thanks for the comment!

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cjmc92103 Dec. 22, 2012 @ 12:13 p.m.

Filner’s involvement has absolutely nothing to do with the “University Avenue Mobility Plan,” resident concern about the plan in 2010, the plan or project’s implementation, or what Walter Chambers, former architect, founder, and “Acting Director” of “Great Streets San Diego,” (whatever that is and whatever it supposedly does) thinks about what Filner is doing.

It’s entirely about why whatever entity is responsible for the commencement of major construction failed to inform residents and business owners who were directly affected by the construction, as was previously required wherever and whenever major construction occurs in a highly populated area like University Avenue and Alabama Street in North Park.

It is not a "David and Goliath" battle. In fact, this guy Chambers also wrote, “in what is admittedly a blunder by The City (sic), residents, businesses, and public figures were not notified about the commencement of construction on this small section of the UAMP. Understandably, those affected were upset about the construction mess and traffic congestion created by the poorly implemented construction. Many complained to Filner and Councilmember Gloria. Why no notice? In order to receive funding for the project, the project had to begin in 2012, or funding would have been lost. Hence the rush to construction.”

Why no notice? The City no longer requires notice. And, a “rush to construction” is a lame excuse for not sending out a letter or a flyer or some sort of notification about major construction directly affecting businesses and residents, not to mention people who go to North Park to frequent the restaurants and shops – is going to take place.

This tempest in a teapot was created about a project that will provide pedestrian friendly, bicycle friendly, transit oriented streets, which North Park business owners and residents support and what the University Avenue Mobility Plan (UAMP) is supposed to create.

Get your facts straight before you start casting aspersions. The Mayor is on your side. He simply wants the folks directly affected by the commencement of construction to learn about it before they run into it (or it runs into them).

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Dorian Hargrove Dec. 22, 2012 @ 12:24 p.m.

Thanks for the comment CJMC92103. Just for the record, no aspersions were cast. I wrote Filner stopped construction to give more time to find out why more residents were not notified. I did not comment on the plan, or the merits of the plan. I wrote that some people were concerned in 2010. I wrote that some are concerned now. These are facts. No one is bashing Mayor Filner. Thanks!

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Visduh Dec. 22, 2012 @ 7:56 p.m.

My take is that you have done your homework and have a clear and cogent set of facts. The city has done, over the years, many things that overrode local concerns, and this comes across as just another one of those. So glad I deserted "America's Finest City" almost thirty years ago. (My current municipality has plenty of messes, but at least voters do have some effect from time to time.)

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nostalgic Dec. 23, 2012 @ 9:45 a.m.

Just to summarize, the city of San Diego has in the past stated that it has no responsibility to notify adjacent property owners or business owners of pending street construction. Sometimes the contractors will notify for reasons of their own. This is not a city requirement. 25th Street in Golden Hil, coming your way soon.

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Burwell Dec. 23, 2012 @ 6:54 p.m.

All the storefront properties lining University Avenue and El Cajon Blvd. have been bought up by the economic cognoscenti (doctors, lawyers, corporate officials, etc.) , individuals with large incomes who spend every waking minute thinking of ways to accumulate and make money. These investors are going to tear those storefronts down, combine their properties, and line University Avenue and El Cajon Blvd. with high rise apartments and condos. Why do you think investors pay $1 million or more for a storefront property that rents for $1,000 per month, if it rents at all? Investors want the city to make University Avenue pedestrian and bicycle friendly to support increased density. Filner should terminate this project without delay.

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Founder Jan. 5, 2013 @ 3:44 p.m.

GREAT NEWS FOR ALL THOSE THAT LIVE NEAR University Ave. that would have only encouraged all the frustrated drivers use residential side streets instead of University Ave because of this boondoggle supported by a majority of NP NIMBY's that live nowhere near University Ave.

Promoted as making NP more 'Walkable", in fact it was to make it more walkable for customers of NP's Business District (aka North Park Mainstreet) while at the same time encouraging even more use of residential streets as Business Overflow Parking for both customers and business employees that don't want to use the NP Parking Structure, despite the tiny daily rates they now charge!

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Founder Jan. 6, 2013 @ 11:23 a.m.

All City-wide traffic changes should be approved by the voters of San Diego, not local Planning Districts with rubber stamps from the City Council. That would eliminate favoritism and encourage the City to fix the worst roads first before doing any cosmetic repairs!

Repairing roads should also include adding streetlights where the illumination is not up to current City standards!

Its time for all of San Diego to be upgraded, not just the wealthy portions of San Diego as has been the case for far, far too long!

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