Concerns mount over historic Spruce Street Bridge in Bankers Hil - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Concerns mount over historic Spruce Street Bridge in Bankers Hill

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Residents living in Bankers Hill near a historic suspension bridge voiced their concerns Monday night about the illicit activity taking place on the bridge.

On Monday night during a question and answer group meeting, residents said the destruction and curfew violations started when the suspension bridge became a popular tourist stop on social media.

Councilman Chris Ward said the police calls do not show the number of people who report to have called about the sex and partying taking place on the Spruce Street suspension bridge.

Residents said they have gone as far as hiring their own private neighborhood patrol.

"People are having sex on it. There are drugs paraphernalia in the morning when I walk my dog. We call and our calls are at the bottom of the list, so it can't be the police," said Lester Machado.

Councilman Chris Ward told residents he has actively reached out to police officers, but said they are limited and stretched thin with the workforce.

"When I heard about this in January, we asked police to give us a report. In all of January there were three calls in the whole month. This is what the data is telling us. I need to know that we are getting a lot more neighbors calling in," he said.

Machado argues he made more than three calls himself over the same time period.

Councilman Ward said it's about changing behaviors. "We can be creative in some other solutions that are out there, but are limited in dollars that we have at the city."

Area residents said while this is a nuisance, their biggest concern is preserving the historical landmark, creating community awareness, and receiving the city's help.

"It has been there for 105 years and it has to be in the next 105 years, and it won't if we leave things alone," said Machado.

Neighbors suggested a gate to keep trespassers from crossing the bridge after curfew. Councilman Ward said he is open to explore the idea, but it would be more long-term as it could be a while and face historic landmark challenges.

To back up neighbors' concerns about the Spruce Street suspension bridge, Councilman Ward needs to show the data to the mayor and city leaders.

If you have concerns you can contact his office at: 619-236-6633 or email his office at: christopherward@sandiego.gov.

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