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Neighbors concerned about Park Blvd traffic spilling into residential areas

Earlier this year, the city reduced vehicle traffic from two lanes in each direction to one and created a second lane for buses only.

SAN DIEGO — People living near Park Boulevard by Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo said they’re fed up with the traffic congestion that is spilling into residential areas.

Fred Knight lives in Hillcrest and says this past Memorial Day weekend he became stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on his way home.

“They got rid of over 300 plus parking spaces which has now funneled people into residential areas for parking,” said Knight.

Earlier this year, the City of San Diego eliminated an estimated 300 parking spots along Park Boulevard between Presidents Way and Morley Field Drive. 

The city reduced vehicle traffic from two lanes in each direction to one lane. A second lane was created for busses and also added a separated bikeway.

Knight, who rides his bike regularly, says he’s not against the addition of bike lanes. His biggest frustration is the traffic spilling into residential neighborhoods. 

“The biggest issue we run into is not necessarily the parking on the street is that they take over the allies," he added.

Online, people took to a neighborhood app to voice their frustration. 

One person posted, “I am a bicyclist, but I do not understand why the city felt it had to dedicate a full lane to just busses on Park.” 

Another added “It’s horrible right now… it’s going to be crazy scary starting next month.” 

Knight believes the holiday weekend is a sign of what’s to come this summer when more people visit the park.

“The parking, not only for the residents in the residential areas, but also the illegal parking that takes place and the potential hazards," he continued.

The city recommends people visiting Balboa Park park their vehicles at Inspiration Point, which offers free tram services. The tram runs every 15 minutes.

“I get what they’re trying to do, but I just think that the infrastructure as far as the transit system to accommodate everybody is just not there," said Knight.

Ryan Falomir, who also lives in the area, agrees that the infrastructure is not yet there.

“You have to change a lot infrastructure wise, you can’t just pop in bike lanes, you can’t just make this a bus lane. There has to be a lot more changes to have that fully integrated," said Falomir.

However, Falomir says the city does need more protected bike lanes and thinks residents will just have to adapt to the new transit changes.

"I'm not saying all the changes were great, you know, because I'm not the city planner. I don't know the answers. I just know a lot of the complaints aren't as valid as people may think," he added.

Earlier this year, Mayor Todd Gloria said the changes were necessary for transit improvement.

WATCH RELATED: Residents and business owners protest new bike lanes along Park Boulevard (July 2022)


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