More Free Parking

Following a catered dinner at the Joyce Beers Community Center, the June 8 Hillcrest Town Council Meeting got under way.

A panel of three voiced their opinions and answered questions pertaining to the issue of parking challenges facing the community. The parking panel consisted of: Carol Schultz (director of the Uptown Partnership), Nick Moede, (Hillcrest Business Association VP and a local business owner), and Leo Wilson (chair of the Uptown Planners and Banker’s Hill/Park West Community Association).

Two motions regarding the parking issue were proposed. The first issue involved the removal of parking meters from Hillcrest; the second involved more free parking and fewer meters.

“If we’re talking about parking meters,” said Wilson, “I think we need to either, A, have a policy where they’re spread throughout the city; or, B, maybe we do need to revisit the issue of should we just have them in Uptown.”

Moede said, “We do have a parking problem here in Hillcrest, as I think everybody here knows. There’s a real scarcity of spaces and it’s a problem for business owners because people that are coming from outside the area that want to come to the businesses need to find parking and requiring people to pay for that parking is one way to control it.”

Though approximately 45 percent of funds generated from parking meters in Hillcrest are spent in the neighborhood, many residents are frustrated that areas of North Park, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla have no meters. Wilson referred to this as a “competitive disadvantage.”

Outcome: Hillcrest residents voted 15-13 in support of removing parking meters from Hillcrest; a second motion, for more free parking and fewer meters, passed 17-6.

For video of the meeting, click here.

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Parking does not appear like magic, it is planned for, funded and built as local businesses and (NIMBY) residents that are not immediately affected complain that the money would be much better spent elsewhere (on their pet projects)!

I experienced this first hand when North Park built it's garage (377 spaces), funded along with the renovation of the NP Theater by NP-PAC Redevelopment funds. Now it is only about 60% utilized because many of the local business owners will not use it themselves or validate for their employees and or Patrons. They chose to BLIGHT the local nearby neighborhood instead! This is exactly why local nearby residents have formed the NP-RID; the States first Residential Improvement District, to promote equitable treatment of "our" neighborhoods, similar to how the Business Improvement Districts promote for Businesses, except the RID does not charge any additional taxes or fees!!

Even if you have a driveway and or a garage for your own usage, put yourself in your neighbors situation that do not. Businesses that BLIGHT the local neighborhood with "their" Parking are not practicing the Golden Rule of treating others like they would like to be treated, they are just going for the Gold instead! If Residents parked in front of their business during the Holiday season all these same Businesses would scream "Foul" to their Council reps! Why should any Residents accept being "second class" citizens in their own Neighborhoods? BTW: We even have a local name for all these Parking Patrons, "NorthParkers"...

So to Businesses we say, "No more Business as Usual", fair is fair, plan for your Patrons parking or don't expect your Patrons to be able to Park... Neighborhood Residential Parking districts are coming if only to protect "our" Housing investments...

Good Luck!

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