By Chris Ward | D3 Update
Every neighborhood in San Diego is unique, with qualities that make them wonderful places to call home. Every neighborhood also has its issues — issues that my office has been working together with residents to solve.
Uptown is no different. The combination of small business shops, family homes, and walkable neighborhoods that prioritize a welcoming atmosphere has made this community one that values inclusivity, acceptance and diversity.
However, there is one issue that every community is having to deal with — the inconvenience and cost of living in a city that is in dire need of addressing its inadequate infrastructure.
My staff and I are committed to tackling that issue. We are working round-the-clock to ensure that long-awaited community projects are moved forward efficiently and on budget.
One upcoming project that I’m particularly excited for is the Normal Street Promenade.
At my insistence, the city has signed onto creating a new public space, in collaboration with SANDAG, as part of the Phase 3 Uptown Bikeways Project.
This will be part of the new protected bike lane planned for Normal Street. The city will close the west side traffic lanes to accommodate the new bike lanes as well as create a public promenade and pedestrian thoroughfare for the community — becoming the first transit-oriented pedestrian promenade in San Diego.
The Normal Street Promenade is a community-driven concept derived from early ideas from both the Uptown Planners and the Hillcrest Business Association, as well as early visioning completed by local landscape architects KTU+A to turn underutilized public right-of-way on Normal Street into public gathering space.
The Normal Street Promenade will accommodate the weekly Hillcrest Farmers Market as well as other treasured events, such as Pride. There will be opportunity for new community events such as movies or concerts in the promenade, art events, and additional space for street fairs.
This will be a collaboration between the city and SANDAG, with support from Uptown Planners, Uptown Community Parking District and Hillcrest Business Association.
The Uptown Community Parking District has allocated $1.8 million to fund improvements to the right-of-way for additional parking and mobility. The promenade, which will span Normal Street from University to Lincoln avenues, also includes a proposal for approximately 40 additional parking space realignments on Normal Street from Lincoln Avenue to Washington Street.
Community outreach for this project will begin in early 2019 with expected construction to start in 2020.
If you have any questions related to this upcoming project — or any city-related issues for that matter — please reach out to my community liaison for Uptown, Brittany Bailey. Reach her at 619-236-6633 or BNBailey@sandiego.gov.
[Editor’s note: This article was updated on Nov. 30, as the promenade’s proposal for parking space realignments changed from 70 to 40.]
—Councilmember Chris Ward serves the 13 communities in District 3, which include the Uptown neighborhoods of Old Town, Mission Hills, Hillcrest, University Heights, North Park, South Park, Normal Heights, Bankers Hill and others.