Filner Caves to NIMBYs

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.  The construction is part of an overall plan to remake University Avenue in North Park into a pedestrian friendly, bicycle friendly, transit oriented street. At media press conference, called by Filner at the construction site, Filner shut the project down. 

Mayor Filner at Construction Site Press Conference

From his actions, it is clear that Filner is no Michael Bloomberg or Rahm Emmanuel, both who have stood up to tough criticism of their progressive bicycle and pedestrian plans. Those plans, by the way, are now being hailed as great successes in both cities. Other cities are emulating NYC and Chicago in a rush to catch up. San Diego does not appear to be in any hurry.

As mentioned above, the construction is part of an overall plan called the University Avenue Mobility Plan (UAMP) and is intended to remake University Avenue in North Park into a pedestrian friendly, bicycle friendly, transit oriented street.  UAMP has been in the design phase since 2004, and has been undergoing public review since 2010. The EIR was opened for public comment in July of 2012. Still, some residents claim they had never heard of the UAMP. 

In what is admittedly a blunder by The City, 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 Councilmemeber 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.

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?  I’ll be keeping track and reporting back on both progress and setbacks.

Walter Chambers
GSSD

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6 Responses to Filner Caves to NIMBYs

  1. Ray Ramage says:

    Wrong word error: “Affected not “effected.” Please, have someone proofread your work before publishing it.

    Has the project merely been delayed, or is the transformation of University Avenue off the table for good?

  2. Mike says:

    This is really sad and frustrating. Even if the public outreach was not effective, this is exactly the type of project the mayor campaigned on supporting! What the hell, Bob?!

  3. Pingback: Spreading the News | Great Streets San Diego

  4. Pedestrian-friendly North Park 92104 says:

    So what does this mean in the short and long term? Are they going to fill in the holes already created in this construction and return University to its former state? Does this derail the entire project indefinitely>

    • walter says:

      From what I understand, the hole will be filled and repaved, returning University to it’s former state. This does not derail the entire UAMP, which has been through design, public review and EIR already. However, I hope this will spur those residents and business owners who claimed not to know about the UAMP to become more involved in the process and in the community. In the end, the UAMP will be good for businesses, residents, and a better quality of life for the neighborhood.

  5. Pingback: Filner, Gloria Make Nice Recovery | Great Streets San Diego

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