For Hillcrest density
I’ve lived in Hillcrest for almost two decades and I’ve seen our neighborhood lag behind in development as other neighborhoods in the city, such as Little Italy, East Village and North Park, have become more vibrant and livable, and more inviting.
Hillcrest is a great neighborhood in a city of 3 million people. It is not a village. Perhaps the development of denser, higher structures along busy traffic corridors, like Fourth and Fifth avenues, and University Avenue and Washington Street, can lead to new businesses and growth. Having more people living and working above street-level shops can create more viable businesses for them to access.
The taller structures already built in Hillcrest — the Village Hillcrest complex, the apartments and condos on Park Boulevard and Fifth and Sixth — are not negatively impacting the character of the neighborhood. In fact, the Atlas complex on Fifth Avenue has enlivened and renewed businesses and restaurants in the 3500 block of Fifth Avenue — and this was the only major construction project in two decades in central Hillcrest!
Now, a proposed building, on a parking lot, is looked upon as a negative to Hillcrest. I don’t understand.
I did get a good chuckle from Ann Garwood’s remark. She opposed the project because “if a resident spits off the balcony, someone might get hurt!” She must walk around with trepidation in her neighborhood of Bankers Hill in fear that someone will spit on her from one of those balconies on the towering apartments and condos on Fifth and Sixth avenues!
Oh well, I hope the silent majority will encourage new construction in Hillcrest. It was, still is, and yet can still be, a great neighborhood.
—Thomas Hemlock of Hillcrest, via email to email@example.com
All of this infighting is really becoming an embarrassment for the Uptown community. Why is it that it is the same people over and again objecting to any development in Uptown? Nancy Moors, Ann Garwood, Tom Mullaney and Mat Wahlstrom, etc.? These obstructionists are the minority here and are making any hope for growth and development a nightmare for property owners.
No wonder Hillcrest looks like a shanty and any smart business person is moving setting their sights on North Park and Little Italy. I hope Ken Williams continues to cover the “volunteer advisory board and their cronies.” By the way, “advisory board” is just that; the City Council will move forward because they are looking at the big picture. These trolls will fight and fight and waste taxpayers money dragging this out and keeping Hillcrest in limbo. I would recommend some young stakeholders in the community to join the Uptown Planners board.
—Calvin Van Winkle via our website, sduptownnews.com
How about an express bus?
The Pershing Bikeway proposal is a fantastic addition to connecting the North Park neighborhood and surrounding communities to Downtown, facilitating and encouraging alternative modes of transportation beyond automobiles.
In support of the “complete-streets” concept advocated by SANDAG, there should be a strong consideration of adding MTA buses to this route. Getting to Downtown from North Park via bus right now includes a long, slow trip down 30th Street through South Park and Golden Hill, or an equally slow slog down University Avenue to Park Boulevard in Hillcrest.
An express bus that stops at key intersections along 30th Street (perhaps at Adams Avenue, El Cajon Boulevard, University Avenue and Upas Street) with a direct link via Pershing Drive down to City College and other Downtown transit spokes could easily shave 20 minutes off of a key connection between two vibrant and growing parts of the city.
—Christopher Dye, North Park resident, via email
Sara is the editor of San Diego Uptown News.