Mobility for Summer and Beyond – A Word from our President

Mobility for Summer and Beyond

By J. Daniel Geddis, President, Mission Hills Business Improvement District

REALTOR, Team D&B at One Mission Realty 

I was saddened to learn YouTube personality Emily Hartridge was involved in a fatal crash in London involving a truck and the electric scooter she was riding. At 35 she was a creator with weekly videos entitled “10 Reasons Why.” My hope is her popularity and untimely death will bring safety to fashionable micro mobility devices around the world. 

With summer in full gear, the BID will be meeting in August on the 14th and 21st, beginning at 3:00 at the new library. Hot topics will be 1) the proposed Washington Street Bikeway, 2) the City Ordinance regarding Alternative Transportation – Shared Mobility Devices that became law on July 1, 2019, 3) AB516 which is making its way through the State’s legislative process and if passed will make it tougher to tow vehicles with outdated registrations, or with outstanding violations, or are parked for more than 72 hours in one spot, and 4) ongoing progress on the No on Permanent Supportive Housing at the Old Library site efforts.

If you were unable to make it to Rubicon Deli for the July 16 pop-up hosted by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to learn more about the proposed Washington Street Bikeway, no worries. The BID has invited the project team of our regional transportation planning authority to attend a BID meeting in August to share more about what our Mission Hills Community may anticipate. 

So far, what we have learned is the Washington Street Bikeway project is one of five segments planned as part of the Uptown Bikeways. It will enhance neighborhood connectivity between Downtown, Bankers Hill, Balboa Park, Mission Hills, Hillcrest, Old Town, Mission Valley, and North Park. The Washington Street Bikeway is a 1.1-mile bikeway that will provide a vital connection for people to walk and bike between the Mission Hills’ International Restaurant Row (IRR) neighborhood and points north, south, and east.

We have seen glimpses of project features including protected bikeways, buffered bike lanes, high-visibility crosswalks, curb extensions, bus stops, hillside reinforcements, additional parking in the residential area above IRR, traffic signal enhancements, and other traffic calming measures designed to make the streets more pleasant for people who walk, bike, drive cars, visit, work, and live here. 

Beginning July 1, the new law in the City of San Diego governing operators of electric scooter and bikecompanies, and those who rent them, has received lots of news coverage. I am hearing errant electric scooter and bikes are being reported to the City through its “Get It Done” app and these micro mobility devices are moved or impounded within a couple of hours. All indications are the City is serious about keeping the public right-of-way clear and keeping the owners responsible for properly corralling their inventory of vehicles. As someone who has both enjoyed the use of e-scooters in San Diego, and has also been annoyed by scooters parked carelessly in inappropriate areas, I applaud the City efforts.

On behalf of the Mission Hills BID I want to thank the hundreds of you who have signed petitions opposing the Mayor’s proposal to replace the old Mission Hills Library with a low barrier Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) structure with private units for 28 chronically homeless individuals and on-site wrap around social, psychiatric, and medical services. The BID has remained steadfast as it has learned Permanent Supportive Housing’s (PSH) admissions policies are designed to “screen-in” rather than “screen-out” applicants with the greatest barriers to housing, such as having no or very low income, poor rental history and past evictions, or criminal histories including felony convictions. [Source: US Department of Housing and Urban Development]. Our businesses are overwhelming telling us PSH at this site is incongruent with enhancing a small business community. If you have not yet signed a petition and wish to do so, please contact us at MissionHillsBID@gmail.com and we will direct you to a nearby location which has petitions. You may also sign online at: MissionHillsBID.com/old-library.

If you enjoy hearing about the work we are doing, please consider becoming a BID volunteer. The BID’s committee structure is a great way to impact neighborhood decision making in the areas of Promotions, Economic Development, Design and Parking. To learn more, get involved, and support the Mission Hills Business Improvement District, please contact us at MissionHillsBID@gmail.com.

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