On August 6, at about 3:30 p.m., Nancy parked her car at the Massachusetts Avenue trolley stop because the other parking lot at the 62nd Street trolley stop was closed down for construction.
“We are going to the Metallica concert,” said Eli, her son.
Nancy, 39, was one of the only concertgoers at the orange line terminal, teaching her son the art of music and economics — simultaneously.
“We are going to Petco Park and its definitely cheaper than to park [in downtown because] its between $20-$30, and right here for the both of us; we are just paying $5 together and $5 to come back.
“That’s only $10,” Elli said, as he straightened out his crumpled Metallica shirt and got up — because he heard the trolley blaring its horns en route from Lemon Grove.
“It’s the same amount of time it would take if I take the trolley [as opposed to driving] — which is an hour — but I don’t have to deal with the waiting for parking, and the stress and anxiety.”
Geraldo Velazquez, also a Metallica fanatic, has been taking the trolley since the 1980s “before they (Metallica) went all ballad and shit.” He lives a mile in between both of the 62nd Street and the Massachusetts Avenue stops — so the choice of which station to walk or drive to and board; was a coin toss for him — until recently.
“[Some of] the people that were taking the trolley [from 62nd Street] are pissed because they lost their parking,” he said, “[and sometimes] they gotta park in the red [painted curves] and they get tickets or get towed. It pisses people off that live there because people park in front of their houses [or apartments] and that's been going on since construction has started.”
Since around the beginning of November, the 62nd Street trolley station lost its 206 parking spots. Some commuters consequently started using the Akins Avenue and 63rd Street neighborhood parking.
On the San Diego MTS (Metropolitan Transit System) website, it encourages the trolley riders who wish to park in the now closed lot; to drive about two miles east on Imperial Avenue, and park at the parking lot at the Massachusetts Avenue trolley station.
The website also states that AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc. is developing a 98,600-square-foot mixed-use building containing 66 affordable housing apartment units and one manager unit (total 67 units) and 1,000 square feet of commercial, over a one-level subterranean parking garage, and a 100-parking-space surface MTS parking lot. The new “Encanto/62nd Street Transit Oriented Development” when built, will lose 106 parking spots to its previous setup.
“The people need somewhere to park if you want them to use mass transit and not drive,” said Steve Haisha, “they need to have a convenient place to leave their car.”
Haisha and his family have owned the Big Value Market on the corner of 69th Street and Imperial Avenue since 1972.
“Its gonna be nice for people that use the trolley,” he said, “but its going to cause a commotion with the people that live there.”
“Yeah, I park my car like this (leaves about an eight-feet space before or after a driveway) so that when my wife comes in [after work], I move up or back up, and then she’s got space for her car,” said an Encanto resident. He lives behind the new 62nd Street and Akins Avenue construction site.
Velazquez remembers when the station on 62nd Street was built (1988) and he listened to his walkman playing Metallica’s (new at the time) Justice for All album. “I’ve seen fights go down,” he said, “but now the trolley is safer — I would think.”
On Sunday, there were a few people in black Metallica shirts loading at both the Massachusetts Avenue and 62nd Street trolley stations.
All three adults agreed that the new program is good for the economy; but Haisha sees more into it.
“Why are they doing it here, and to take away a parking lot that is needed to put up a structure?” asked Haisha, “the city doesn’t want the tourist to see the hood [and] they want everything to look nice in front of the trolley [route].”