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Balloons fill Hillcrest to show opposition to proposed parking losses

Art instillation shows how many customers could be lost if SANDAG removes Hillcrest parking spots.
Photo credit:
Jim Winsor

The Hillcrest neighborhood was filled with balloons today as a part of an art installation used as a visual reminder of potential customer loss per day if SANDAG gets its way and removes parking spots to make way for more bike lanes.

One-hundred and twenty red and white balloons dappled the corner of University and Fifth where Hillcrest Business Association Executive Director Benjamin Nicholls gave a presentation of the impact losing 40 or more parking spots could have.

In counter, SANDAG says they recognize the parking concerns and the net loss of spaces in Hillcrest would be 23. 

SANDAG would like to use allocated parking meter funds to maintain and improve bike lanes rather than build a parking structure according to a release from the HBA.  

But SANDAG says it, "has not proposed that funds for a proposed Hillcrest parking structure be diverted nor have we requested that funds be used to pay for the bikeway project."

Members of the Uptown Community Parking District (UCPD), with business owners and Hillcrest residents, including San Diego Gay and Lesbian News and SDPIX’s own Jim Winsor where at hand to address their concerns over the SANDAG proposal. 

The HBA has said they advocate for sensible bike lanes which include parking compromises done by the City of San Diego, but they don't want to sacrifice revenue. 

They note that there is a buffered bike lane that runs through Hillcrest along Fourth and Fifth Avenue, which when made, didn't affect parking in the neighborhood.

This story has been updated to show SANDAG's response to HBA's concerns.