Missing the point on parking in Hillcrest

The Union-Tribune reports today that the Uptown Partnership, a “community group” that manages the Uptown Community Parking District for the City of San Diego is considering two options for increasing the amount of available parking in Hillcrest, including investing in a parking garage structure under the Mission Hills-Hillcrest public library branch; or purchasing or leasing part of the AT&T lot on Robinson Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets.

There are significant problems with both locations, but neither the Union-Tribune, nor the Uptown Partnership seems especially concerned with the main issue of sustainability. Each project would add only about 90 parking spaces in the neighborhood, certainly not enough to significantly alleviate the parking situation, but enough to bring in more cars hunting for spaces.

As an entity that subsists on parking revenues, the Uptown Partnership is concerned primarily with increasing parking spaces, not decreasing the need for those spaces by promoting walkable, bikeable, or transit-friendly neighborhoods. If the Uptown Partnership or the City of San Diego cared to notice, they would see that Hillcrest is already a pedestrian- and bicycle-heavy neighborhood, but certainly not a friendly one. Adding more parking spaces, and thus more cars, will only make Hillcrest less friendly to everyone who doesn’t travel by automobile. It’s a step in the wrong direction if we want San Diego to be a more bikeable, and a more sustainable city.