New Gaslamp parking restrictions go into effect Friday - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

New Gaslamp parking restrictions go into effect Friday

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Weekend parking restrictions along Fifth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego are scheduled to go into effect Friday night.

Curbside parking on the roadway between Broadway and Harbor Drive will be prohibited between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Instead, the area will become a 3-minute passenger loading zone.

The two-year experiment is designed to unclog traffic and improve safety in a neighborhood full of restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

"The removal of parking along Fifth Avenue during weekend evenings is going to significantly increase pedestrian safety and improve emergency vehicle access in the Gaslamp Quarter," said Councilman Todd Gloria, who represents the area.

"Anyone who has been in the Gaslamp on a Saturday night knows that the current configuration of backed-up traffic and patrons being dropped off is untenable, so I applaud the community for working on this creative solution to improve access to San Diego's premier entertainment district," Gloria said.

The City Council approved the new rules, backed by community groups and the San Diego Police Department, in June. Signs were installed this week.

According to Gloria's office, violators will be issued warnings the first three weekends. Beginning Sept. 30, offenders will receive citations and could have their vehicle towed.

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