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'Sexy Streets' initiative hopes to tidy up San Diego roads

In the next 6 to 18 months, Mayor Todd Gloria said there are plans to repave roughly 54 miles of the San Diego city roads.

SAN DIEGO — When Eduardo Sanchez opened his little coffee shop, Seis Grados Café on Reo Drive in Paradise Hills ten months ago, he noticed the street, which is lined with Mom-and-Pop businesses looked pretty run down.

"When I first moved in this year, I said it look's like it doesn't have potential," he says "It seems a little abandoned. Pretty much a ghost town." 

And when you drive down Reo, you can certainly notice it. Sticky asphalt covering cracks, steel plates embedded in the road and some overall shabbiness on a street that should be welcoming for people looking to spend time and money at the shops. 

According to the county’s website, Reo Drive hasn’t been worked on by crews since 2009 and some parts haven't seen a fresh layer of asphalt since their original construction in the 60’s.

"How did we address these [roads] in the past? Not very well." 

Stephen Whitburn, San Diego City council member for District 3, reviewed another street in disrepair on Park and Robinson. It’s one of several streets in his district that will be getting a layer of fresh asphalt, under Mayor Todd Gloria’s 'Sexy Streets' initiative. "How did we address these [roads] in the past?" he asked? "Not very well."

"If you look at the streets right around here, it's unacceptable." said Whitburn. "Many of the streets in our city need more than just a coating of slurry seal, they need to be repaved."

The $40 million project will be used to pave roughly 54 miles of road throughout the city. The plan chose specific streets based on pavement conditions, maintenance history and areas that have historically been underserved.

During a news conference on Friday, Gloria said, "Because of our outdated method of funding infrastructure projects, some of our communities are being left behind,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “Build Better SD will break down barriers to get more things done in our communities by allowing us to prioritize investments in areas where the needs are greatest. At the same time, it will help us achieve our bold climate goals, create more equity across our city and spur economic activity in the communities that need it most.”

Credit: City of San Diego

Each district submitted which roads they would live to be repaved. District 1, which encompasses La Jolla and UTC will have only two miles repaved, while District 6 which includes Mira Mesa and Kearny Mesa will have the most at 12 miles. 

District 4, where Eduardo runs his coffee shop will have 9 miles repaved- including Reo Drive just outside his store.

"The streets are clean, the streets are nicely paved...that makes it more comfortable for people to come into the neighborhood and bring in more business," says Sanchez "I think that is awesome for this area, for Paradise Hills that has been forgotten in a way."


WATCH RELATED: Mayor Gloria releases strategic plan focused on housing, infrastructure 


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