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A rocky road for Clairemont residents who look to the city for road repairs

Neighbors along Kesling Street in Clairemont say they have submitted numerous requests but have been told there's no funding available.

SAN DIEGO — Neighbors living along Kesling Street in Clairemont have pleaded with the city of San Diego to fix their rough roads. Children are unable to ride bikes or scooters on the streets because if they fall the sandpaper-like surface tear up their skin and loose pebbles become embedded in their legs and arms. 

Editor's note: The digital story has been updated to include responses from the City of San Diego regarding Kesling Street road conditions.

Evan Gutenberg won't let his 5-year-old son ride on the streets outside of their home after his son fell off his bike and had to get stitches from the rock-filled road. But he says that doesn't seem to matter to the city.

"We're not a tourist attraction in San Diego and so this area just gets completely neglected," said Gutenberg. "The neglect of the street has real-life consequences to it.“

Neighbor Turath Dhont says she has to take her kids to a local park to play because of the dangerous conditions of the street. 

“It’s really unfortunate because they want to ride their bikes around here but they can't," said Dhont. "The street is literally falling apart. There are big stones and crumbling pavement. It's slippery, there's lots of loose gravel. Our kids have gotten hurt enough times that we go elsewhere to take them to ride bikes. It is pretty frustrating, especially with the cost of living in San Diego.”

Over the course of several years, Gutenberg and Dhont have submitted numerous reports on the city's Get It Done app and have also reached out to councilmember Chris Cate. Neighbors tell CBS 8 that both have the same answer.

“It just falls on deaf ears," said Gutenberg. “The street has been evaluated and placed on the resurfacing backlog, pending funding.” 

Gutenberg and the neighbors on Kesling are not alone. 

In recent months, as first reported by CBS 8, the city has shelled out millions of dollars to end lawsuits over the city's hazardous sidewalks and streets.

Meanwhile, Mayor Todd Gloria has said fixing San Diego's failing infrastructure is one of his top priorities. In his Ready to Rebuild Budget for this fiscal year, Gloria allocated $77 million to repave San Diego's rocky roads.

A spokesperson for the City of San Diego told CBS 8 that they don't currently have any projects planned on Kesling Street but they do have a number of other streets getting overlay and slurry in the Clairemont area. The City will continue to evaluate incoming requests to prioritize projects as needed. 

Under Gloria's Strategic Plan residents can track infrastructure repairs while injecting city departments with a "culture of yes” in dealing with residents.

CBS 8 reached out to District 5 councilmember Chris Cate's Office to find out what it is doing to get the roads resurfaced. A spokesperson for Cate says the councilmember can only recommend which streets get repaved. The rest is up to the mayor.

"The Councilmember is not involved in the selection process; however, he does advocate for specific streets based on constituent input as seen in his last several budget priority memos," said the spokesperson. "This has been communicated to the Mayor's office for years, and they ultimately make the final decision. Councilmember Cate has secured the most miles to repair and resurface in all of San Diego and will continue to advocate for these important infrastructure repairs."

Jose Ysea, the Public Safety Media Services Manager for the City of San Diego shared this information regarding the current conditions of the street and what the next steps are:

"The street sweeping route is scheduled for sweeping every fourth Thursday of every “even” month. Most recently, on August 25th it was not swept due to a sweeper breaking down while sweeping the route. On June 23rd, this location was swept. On April 28th, the route was missed because of insufficient staff. We have not stopped sweeping due to the pavement condition. 

Staff with Transportation Department and Stormwater Department will be coordinating to determine if there are any near-term options that can be implemented for this street. Meanwhile, our crews are continuing with unprecedented levels of street repairs throughout the city of San Diego."

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