SANDAG Bicycle Corridors – Finished Before They Even Started

Chicago transportation priorities

By John P. Anderson

Two and a half years ago SANDAG announced $200 million for bike projects to create a regional network. The first of these projects is a $40 million project in Uptown. It would create a critical connection both East to West and North to South in the heart of San Diego’s most densely populated neighborhoods.

Since the original announcement SANDAG has repeatedly trumpeted these funds as a sign of commitment to healthy transport in the form of bicycles. During the time since Uptown was selected for the first SANDAG bicycle project what has changed in the area? Population, businesses, traffic, and roadways all remain the same. There remain only two real options for an East to West connection – University and Washington.   [Read more…]

Speak Up for Safe Bike Facilities on University Avenue

bike

By Bike San Diego / Bike San Diego Blog

After more than two and a half years worth of community meetings on how to make Uptown a safe place to walk, bike, take transit and drive, SANDAG staff has decided to stop the entire process and gut any sort of safe bike infrastructure for University Avenue. SANDAG staff is recommending sharrows (or, no changes) for University Avenue (as you can see from the visual above).

This Friday – you have a final chance to speak up for a safe Uptown and a safe place to ride on University Avenue.

SANDAG, our regional metropolitan agency, will have their Transportation Committee meet this Friday at 9AM. There is only one item on the agenda: Uptown Bikeways.   [Read more…]

The Uptown Battle for Safer Bike Routes

By Doug Porter

There’s a special meeting of the Uptown Planners next Tuesday (March 24) to discuss overriding the SANDAG Regional Bike Plan in Mission Hills and Hillcrest. Cycling advocates are expected to face off against various organizations and people opposed to proposed traffic changes in the area.

This meeting is, I think, symbolic of a larger battle going on over the future of transportation in the city. While all the organizations involved give lip service to the Climate Action Plan’s goal of 18% bike mode share in Uptown by 2035, there are individuals who come across as negative about actually doing anything to achieve the goal.

Despite a growing body of evidence contradicting what some small businesspeople assume about the negative impact of bike lanes, parking spaces and traffic calming measures, when it gets down to an actual plan, all they can say is “no.” (Kinda like the GOP on their alternative to Obamacare, I think.)    [Read more…]

National Bicycle Tourism Conference Kicked Off in San Diego

By Dave Rice

The four-day-long National Bicycle Tourism Conference kicked off in San Diego on Wednesday, November 5, with conference organizers hoping to highlight the region as an increasingly bike-friendly locale for residents and visitors alike. This is the first in the conference’s 25 years of operation that San Diego was selected to host.

Prior to the start of the conference, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition staged a five-mile tour encompassing portions of downtown and Coronado, meant to highlight the nearly-complete Bayshore Bikeway, a 24-mile loop around the bay that’s been under development since 1976, as well as various other improvements that resulted in Coronado being named in 2013 to a nationwide list of certified “bike friendly” city.

The tour kicked off in front of the county administration building, where Supervisor Greg Cox greeted a handful of cycling activists, local media, and national cycling press, offering encouragement for completion of the Bikeway and adoption of more cyclist-friendly policies countywide.   [Read more…]

SDFP Street Beat: North Park Jack in the Box, South Park Target, Uptown Regional Bike Corridor Update

By Anna Daniels

Renovation, Rebuild or Turducken?

The North Park Preservation lawsuit against Jack in the Box/City of San Diego is moving forward, with a Summary Judgment hearing before Judge Prager on Friday, November 21.

The group filed the suit when Jack in the Box underwent renovations and a rebuild that the community maintains are violations of city zoning and the community plan. Also at issue is that the city did not correctly permit the project.
  [Read more…]

Who Runs San Diego? Co-opting an Icon in Hillcrest

It’s a Gay Thing

By Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

As you may have noticed, October has not been a happy month for the San Diego LGBT community.

Earlier this month the Harvey Milk American Diner in Hillcrest closed abruptly, bouncing checks to workers and simply failing to pay others, including the Harvey Milk Foundation.

At an October 8 press conference an LA Times reporter began asking questions about allegations of sexual harassment against Republican Carl de Maio.  He is an openly gay candidate for the 52nd congressional district.

Both stories have grown into full-fledged embarrassments for the LGBT community.  Both stories reflect badly on the judgment and motivations of some of our community’s better known members.  Both stories are, and may become more, damaging to our community.  But most importantly, and possibly least apparently, both stories are part of a much larger and more corrosive identity crisis in the LGBT community.   [Read more…]

SDFP Street Beat: 4th & 5th Avenue Bike Lanes – A Win for All

By John P. Anderson

On Tuesday evening, October 20th, the Bankers Hill Community Group gathered for a meeting featuring a presentation by Brian Genovese on the extension of the 4th and 5th Avenue bike lanes in Uptown that were created earlier this year. Mr. Genovese is a Senior Engineer with the Transportation Department of San Diego. He referred to the City’s 4th & 5th Avenue bike plans as an ‘interim bike plan” since it may be replaced or enhanced in a few years by a SANDAG bicycle corridor project in the Uptown area that is currently in the planning stages.

The 4th and 5th Avenue bike lanes are part of the City’s Master Bicycle Plan that was created in late 2013. This plan calls for San Diego to double the size of its bike system. To make timely progress toward this goal, Mr. Genovese noted the city is focusing on ‘immediate action treatments’ – 4th and 5th Avenues fall into this category. These are projects that can be implemented quickly and with a low amount of cost.   [Read more…]

“Not Far From Normal”: Book Release and Party, Friday September 19th

A compelling history of everyday life on the wild side of San Diego

By Jim Miller

This year’s San Diego City Works Press release is Tamara Johnson’s Not Far From Normal, a book that takes a unique look at our city. Just steps away from sponsored fun runs, endurance challenges, and ultra-marathons, in Johnson’s book San Diego’s hidden residents play games of survival side-by-side with official city events. However one feels about the rise of dark tourism, it has never been necessary to travel far to experience either the dangerous or the exotic.

Part poetry, part photo essay by Rachael Wenban, part field guide, Not Far From Normal relates the secret history of San Diego’s parks and missions as told by their current inhabitants. From the crash of PSA Flight#182 to the “I don’t like Mondays” school shooting and other dark episodes that don’t make it into San Diego’s official story, this book is a compelling history of everyday life on the wild side of Southern California.   [Read more…]

Battle Lines Are Drawn in Hillcrest

By Doug Porter

The leadership of the Hillcrest Business Improvement Association has come under fire following the dismissal of executive director Sonya Stauffer earlier this month.

At the heart of this unrest is HBIA President Jonathan Hale. Depending on who you talk to, he’s either a power-mad incompetent who’s leading the group towards disaster or the victim of a political witch-hunt based on his relationship as the significant other of ‘new Republican’ congressional candidate Carl DeMaio.

On one level the question is whether the event-centric HBIA, the driving force behind  the Hillcrest Farmers Market, Hillcrest Hoedown, CityFest, the Pride Block Party, and Mardi Gras, is really acting in the best interests of the estimated 1,300 businesses in the area. Critics of the  city-sanctioned group are calling for the resignation of Hale and asking for an audit of HBIA  finances

On a deeper level the controversy reflects divisions within the LGBTQ movement, which has historically been centered in Hillcrest.   [Read more…]

San Diego Doctors, California’s Nurses Announce Support of Propositions B & C

June 3 ballot measure saves Barrio Logan’s community plan, improves community health

By Mia Bolton

Yesterday at the UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest, a group of doctors, nurses and healthcare advocates announced their endorsement of the Yes on B & C campaign to protect children’s health in San Diego.

California Nurses Association members were there to support Yes on B & C that, if approved, will uphold the community and business supported, City Council approved Barrio Logan Community Plan Update.

In the first public media appearance by the campaign, the healthcare professionals reflected on Earth Day and the environmental health effects of polluting businesses next to schools, playgrounds and residences.

“Environmental health and justice in San Diego is being threatened,” said Georgette Gomez, of Environmental Health Coalition. “Kids in Barrio Logan have the same right to clean air and healthy neighborhoods as every other community in San Diego and the entire city should support Propositions B & C to protect all of our children’s health.”   [Read more…]

Saving San Diego from “The Paper Bag Tax” and Other Political Misnomers

By Doug Porter

Paper, Plastic or Save The Planet? It’s about time we had that discussion in San Diego.

Apparently the approved strategy for the right wing in opposing just about anything these days is to call the thing that you’re opposing a “tax”. And, as is the case with the Neighborhood Market Association’s opposition to a proposed ban on plastic bags, any time the word “tax” is used is a good time to manifest a sudden concern for working class families.

It was this deep concern for the lives of “taxpayers, mothers, fathers, brothers and working class San Diegans” that prompted “community leaders, including Mark Arabo, president of the Neighborhood Market Association” to call a press conference yesterday in front of Rainbow Market in the Chollas Creek neighborhood.   [Read more…]

San Diego Pride Parade 2013: Freedom to Love and Marry

By Doug Porter

This year’s San Diego Pride celebration was extra special for many of its participants.  After years of political organizing, lawsuits and personal angst, the door are open once again in California for same sex couples to celebrate their love through the institution of marriage, following rulings by the Supreme Court last month.

Nearly 200 individuals, community groups, churches and corporations participated in this year’s Pride Parade.  Celebrities Brad and George Takei, along with LaToya Jackson did the honors as Grand Marshals. The theme for 2013 was “Freedom to Love and Marry”.

Photos by Haley Joy Porter   [Read more…]

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Congressman Scott Peters Faces a Tough Reelection Battle

By Doug Porter

It’s hard to imagine why anybody would want the job of Congressman these days, let alone mount an early balls-to-the wall campaign for the job, but Republican Carl DeMaio is taking no chances. After all, the legislative body is less popular than cockroaches, having passed a mere 15 pieces of legislation so far this year.

This week the former City Councilman and failed Mayoral candidate spent a day trumpeting the fact he’d raised nearly half a million dollars for his campaign in one month.   [Read more…]

History is Made: Supreme Court Strikes Down Federal, California Laws Limiting Same Sex Marriage

5-4 Ruling Says Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional, California Decision Limited to in-State Unions

By Doug Porter

The opinion on DOMA was by Justice Kennedy, joined by the four liberal Justices — Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.

“DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty.”

Here’s a  copy of the opinion. The impact of the case is the federal govt will have to re-work all their regulations to make benefits available to same sex couples. Note that Section 2 of DOMA was not struck down, meaning this ruling has no direct impact on State that ban same sex unions.

Politicians react on Twitter:

Great to hear #DOMA is ruled unconstitutional. Federal recognition of equal rights.

Carl DeMaio ‏@carldemaio2m
I’m very pleased with the decision to strike down DOMA. All Americans deserve equal protection under the law.

Barack Obama  @BarackObama: Today’s DOMA ruling is a historic step forward for #MarriageEquality. #LoveIsLove

Right wing reaction:

Supreme Court overrules God…. Won’t be long before they outlaw the Bible as hate speech… How long before federal agents haul pastors out of the pulpit?   [Read more…]

University Avenue: The Best Opportunity to Show What Cycling in San Diego Can Be

North Park – Mid-City Bicycle Meeting – Tues., June 25 6pm

SANDAG seeks community input for selection of route and infrastructure to make East-West bicycle connections

By John P. Anderson

Tuesday evening SANDAG (San Diego Associations of Governments) will host the 3rd Community Advisory Group Meeting to discuss the North Park – Mid-City (NPMC) Bicycle Corridors Project.  Members of the public are invited to attend and voice their opinion on which routes would be best and which type of infrastructure is preferred (sharrows, bicycle lanes, cycle tracks, etc.).  The meeting will be held from 6:00 PM to 8:30pm at 5450 Lea Street, San Diego, CA 92105 (Teen Challenge Center).   [Read more…]

Downtown Doublecross Foiled– Mayor Filner Calls Out Hoteliers Attempt to Sabotage Tourism Deal -UPDATED

‘The City of San Diego will not be held hostage”

By Doug Porter

Once again we’re seeing headlines proclaiming Mayor Filner to be responsible for causing the San Diego Tourism Authority to close down. 

We’re hearing about how people’s jobs will be affected by a “squabble”.

We’re being told via the Daily Fishwrap editorial about a “crippling blow to a major pillar of the San Diego economy.”

Hogwash.

Mayor Filner has demanded that the tourism agency live up to its end of a bargain struck back in April that, among other things, directed 5 percent of Tourism Marketing District (TMD) revenue to the upcoming celebration of Balboa Park’s centennial. That deal came after several months of very public and ugly struggle.

UPDATE: TMD agreed to fund Balboa Park celebration; Mayor agreed to release funds. I’m not sure whether Balboa Park got the funding they expected. TMD officials claimed revenue shortfall. (I predict a One Exclamation Point! press release from Filner shortly)   [Read more…]

The Starting Line – Death by Street Planning on El Cajon Boulevard

By Doug Porter

It was late Wednesday night on the 2800 block of El Cajon Boulevard. A 53 year old man jaywalked as he walked out from a Wendy’s fast food restaurant and was struck by a white Nissan sedan. Despite attempts by EMTs called to the scene, the man died. Police say alcohol was not a factor in the accident and that charges are unlikely to be filed against the driver of the vehicle.

This might seem like a straightforward argument against jaywalking, but it is actually indicative of a much larger problem. El Cajon Boulevard is one of the most pedestrian-unfriendly streets in San Diego.

The place where the jaywalker died lacks pedestrian crossings at nearby intersections. It’s unsafe at any speed for pedestrians and, at 40 miles per hour (the speed most people, including me, drive on EC Blvd), a pedestrian has only a 15% chance of surviving an accident.

Inside: Cindy Marten’s Laptop Stolen, Burning Down Kansas, Gun Control and Hollyweirdness   [Read more…]

The Starting Line – Score One for the Taxpayers; Hoteliers Reach Agreement with Mayor Filner

Oh, the sweet, sweet irony. Mayor Bob Filner’s refusal to sign off on an operating agreement for the San Diego Tourism Marketing District has led to a firestorm of criticism over the past two months. He’s been vilified at the UT-San Diego, which just this week ran an editorial cartoon depicting the Mayor as The Joker, a villain from the Batman comic/TV/Movie series.

Letters to editor have claimed Filner hates the tourism industry, that he’s purposely tried to cause job loss and even demanded a recall election.

Yesterday, after much posturing and pressure, the City Council endorsed an agreement that protected San Diego taxpayers, created more transparency and encouraged funding for the Balboa Park Exposition Centennial. It wasn’t everything Filner asked for, but his point was made. Business as it used to be conducted downtown will be operating under a different set of rules during his administration.

Credit goes to City Councilman David Alvarez, whose intervention led to the settlement. The “Joker” just saved San Diego taxpayers $30 million should the TMD scheme be ruled illegal.   [Read more…]

Restaurant Review: Origano

Origano
3650 5th Ave., Suite 103 
San Diego, CA 
619-295-9590

Headed out today to do a review of “Carnitas Snack Shack” in North Park with a new acquaintance but the line was so long that we decided to go somewhere else and I will do the review on a weekday, not a Sunday.

Phil knew of a few places near where he lives – Balboa Park area – so we took a drive to the Hillcrest area looking for a place to eat.  Several of the places he wanted to try were closed, and we settled at “Origano”. The inside was very crowded – and very noisy – so we elected to eat outside instead.

The menu started out with Breakfast specials; salads and soups; lunch specials; pizza’s; Panini; pasta; small plates and large plates.  Additionally there was a list of daily specials on the table. The special for Sunday was “bottomless Mimosa’s” for $10.  The special soup du jour was Pasta e Fagioli   [Read more…]

The Starting Line – We’re Number Three! San Diego’s Homeless Population Soars

A report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development documents San County’s homeless population as the third largest and among the fastest growing in the United States.

While the number of homeless fell by nearly 6% nationally, San Diego’s increased by 6.1% over the past year. The report indicated that there were 10,013 homeless people living in our region. Only New York and Los Angeles had more people living on the streets. And LA showed the largest decrease nationally.

Come inside for more of today’s daily news digest…   [Read more…]

Sex In San Diego: It Happened in Hillcrest

In June 2011, I received a telephone call. The source of the call was as unexpected as the call itself. The caller identified himself as a deputy prosecutor from a small northern Colorado town and he asked me to confirm I was indeed who I was. Hesitant, I asked why before I said, “I am.” I had not been to Colorado since I was thirteen on a family vacation, and I am certain anything I did there was past the statute of limitation. I am still, however, very wary of prosecutors from anywhere. What he related to me was nearly unbelievable.

Seems the authorities had arrested a fella for rape. As abhorrent as that is, it did not really shake me, until he told me the name: Stephen Morehouse. I actually said the last name in unison with prosecutor, as the memory came flooding back. He did not need to ask if I recalled my encounter with Morehouse. He did ask, however, whether or not I would be willing to fly back to Colorado to testify against Morehouse. Here’s why.   [Read more…]

The Starting Line – Grover Norquist, Pink Unicorns and A Ray of Hope

As (largely untrue) reports fly through the blogosphere and interwebs about reports of movement between the Congressional political blocs on various aspects of the impending ‘fiscal cliff’ crisis, the man at the center of it all, Grover Norquist is certainly having his moments in the spotlight.

Steve Inskeep of NPR gave Norquist air time this morning to prattle on about how it really isn’t true that Republicans are lining up to jump ship and break their pledges not to raise taxes. He likened talk of accepting tax increases in exchange for spending cuts by Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to believing in a pink unicorn.   [Read more…]

San Diego Women Occupy Lead Prop 37 Rally and Bannering on 163 Overpass

Hillcrest Banners Favor Prop 37 On Robinson Street Overpass

By Nadin Abbott and Frank Gormlie

It was close to 4pm on the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street – Monday, September 17th – and the mood at the Canvas for a Cause headquarters in Hillcrest was expectant. As people started to arrive for the programed rally in favor of Proposition 37, Nadine Abbott had a chance to talk to Doctor Norrie Robbins of Women Occupy San Diego and a member of the singers Occapellas. Robbins is also Adjunct Professor at the SDSU Dept of Geological Sciences, and is retired from the United States Geological Service, DC office.

Robbins said: “I am worried about my food. I’m beginning to get weird allergies that do not run in my family.”

  [Read more…]

The Starting Line – ‘Occupy’ Anniversary Protests in New York, San Diego & Around the World

3:30 PM (PDT) As the press reports that OWS is all over for the day, here’s a picture taken a moment ago in Liberty Square

(For info on what’s happening in San Diego, come inside

3pm- Word from New York is that the late day actions were peaceful with few arrests. Thousands of people remain in Liberty Park. We’re headed out shortly to cover San Diego Occupy events. Check out our live feed from NYC below.
1 Pm This next hour will probably be the most dramatic part of the day for Occupy Wall Street. The activists gathered in Liberty Park are getting ready to march on Wall Street; the cops are massed and blocking the way.

Also It would appear that Anonymous has taken the Monsanto website down for the afternoon. Occupy groups in California have been targeting Monsanto for demonstrations as part of a campaign to support a ballot initiative that would require labeling of GMO foods.

NYPD reports 143 arrests as of 12:30 PDT.

  [Read more…]

The Starting Line — Occupy goes after Monsanto, GMOs; San Diego demonstration slated for Monday

Yesterday a dozen activists calling themselves the Genetic Crimes Unit (GCU) shut down shipping and receiving access points at Monsanto’s Oxnard, California seed distribution center. Although nine members of the group were arrested in the non-violent protest, the protesters effectively shut down the distribution of genetically engineered (GMO) seeds for a day.

The group blocked all three shipping and receiving entrances to the Monsanto facility, using flashy theatrics including a car with a giant “fish-corn” on top of it and a 6-foot high jail cell holding an individual dressed as Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant.

Monsanto is the largest producer of GMO seeds and is being called out for their genetic crimes by a network called Occupy Monsanto. Wednesday’s protest, according to a statement released by the group, is the beginning of a series of over 65 different autonomous actions that officially start on September 17, commemorating the anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Supporters of Proposition 37, led by Women of Occupy San Diego, have announced a rally and demonstration in support of the initiative, which would require that labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). The group will meet up at the offices of Canvass for a Cause, located at 3705 10th Avenue, at 4 pm on Monday, September 17th   [Read more…]