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Hillcrest Town Council update: sexy streets and cool signage

By Mary M. McKenzie

Gerrie Trussell, the new Uptown Community Parking District executive director, and Marc Marconi, the Hillcrest project manager, updated the Hillcrest Town Council on Nov. 14 about various efforts underway to make Hillcrest a lot easier to navigate. Although there are several mobility issues in Hillcrest, one of the most volatile is the balance between cars and bicycles.

As Marconi explained, there are two separate plans dealing with bicycle mobility. The “Mayor’s Plan,” approved and going forward, involves University Avenue, from Fifth Avenue to Park Boulevard, and Fifth Avenue, between Robinson Avenue and Washington Street. These are unprotected bake lanes marked by painted bike lanes known as sharrows.

Although some existing parking spaces will be lost, there will be an overall gain of parking spaces by creating over 19 additional diagonal parking spaces on Eighth Avenue, Tenth Avenue and Essex Street.

The proposed Uptown Bikeways Project by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) includes Fourth, Fifth and part of Third avenues. These lanes will be reinforced by physical buffers, and the plan’s effect on parking is “still being evaluated.” Let the parking district or SANDAG know what you think.

Two Hillcrest residents comment on dead or destroyed trees in the Hillcrest business district. (Photo by William Pontius)

The second major project for the parking district is wayfinding signage. The new signage will include parking identification and directional signs as well as pedestrian informational kiosks at central locations in Hillcrest. There are plans for more directional signage, and feedback is welcome. The San Diego LGBT Community Center, the farmers market, the Hillcrest sign and Pride Plaza are among the items of note. If you have suggestions, contact Gerrie or Marc at the Uptown Parking District. No for-profit businesses can be signed.

For drivers, Trussell alerted the audience to the public valet services offered every Friday, Saturday and Sunday located on Fifth Avenue between University Avenue and Washington Street, and on University Avenue between Vermont and Richmond streets. The California Department of Motor Vehicles office in Hillcrest also opens up for free parking Friday nights and Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. For more information, go to accesshillcrest.com.

The community also heard about efforts to combat the hepatitis A outbreak on the state level from Assemblymember Todd Gloria’s office, and locally by the UCSD Medical Center, Scripps Mercy Hospital and The Center.

Town Council member Robert Bettinger was acknowledged for his recent induction to the Benjamin F. Dillingham III and Bridget Wilson LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor at The Center.

The Uptown Community Parking District is proposing to install wayfinding signs in Hillcrest to help people locate landmarks such as parking, the Hillcrest sign, the Pride Flag and The Center. (Photo by William Pontius)

Eddie Reynosa, with the Hillcrest Business Association and the LGBT Visitors Center, announced the upcoming Taste ‘n’ Tinis fundraiser on Dec. 14 and well as “Out on Ice,” a Pride celebration with the San Diego Gulls on Jan. 20. The community was encouraged to use “Get it Done” (at sandiego.gov) for dangerous sidewalk, curb or street conditions.

The Town Council invites all neighbors to join us at our holiday party on Dec. 8, from 6-8 p.m. at Gossip Grill in Hillcrest. Hors d’oeuvres and an extra happy hour included. Thanks to David Meir of UCSD Medical Center and Monica Montano from Scripps Mercy Hospital for offering to co-sponsor the party!

For more information on the bike plans, contact Brittany Bailey (BNBailey@sandiego.gov) in Councilmember Chris Ward’s office or, for the SANDAG plan, go to bit.ly/2AX3V8.

— Mary M. McKenzie is secretary of the Hillcrest Town Council.

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