Monday, June 25, 2012

Status update and download the flyer.

Share the flyer with your family and neighbors.  

This post is to address 2 things: a status update and to let you know there is a flyer you can download and share with friends.

1.  Status 6/25:

  • Funding: as of today, there is funding for our project thru the San Diego Master Bicycle Plan.    A very good map of SANDAG's proposed network is included.   The budget for the entire project is $249 million, and this is to cover the entire network over a period of 10 years.
  • Location: the portion we are addressing in Mission Hills is roughly from the Trolley stop at Washington,  to about 3rd Street/University area.  It also includes a small part of San Diego Ave over to California Street.  But again, this is all open for discussion, and depends on priorities, and feature requests, etc.  
  • Design:  Currently the only 'design' that exists is the proposed bicylce network.  Actual features have not yet been developed.  Requests for features of the bicycle portion are being handled through Bikely.  Instructions are clear enough, but it's unclear if the general public knows to submit them.  We'll have to do some outreach and see.  All other features can be submitted here through the blog.  
  • Schedule: Roughly there will be a year of design and study, and then a little over a year of implementation.  This is a very broad time-frame, as things are obviously just getting started.  
  • Scope: SANDAG is really supportive of taking a holistic approach, which means if we can implement important connectors like public transport, and add features like pedestrian walkways, and add some green features, it is a win for everyone.  

2.  Share the flyer:

We now have a flyer you can download, and share with your friends and neighbors. If you are a resident of the area, please post it on your refrigerator so that your family and neighbors know about it.  If you are a business, and you have a spot to post it like a bulletin board or a bathroom door, please do so.  Thank you!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mission Hills BID votes to support our project!

Great little meeting this week at the Mission Hills BID.  After a short presentation, and some Q and A, the board voted to support our project.  Thank you Mission Hills BID! 

A few of the questions that came up:
- Can we save the parking at the bottom of the canyon?  The businesses on India Street do not have enough.  (The businesses did just start offering valet service.  $6.00 gets your car parked!)
- Is there any opportunity for more parking?
- Can we see the budget for this project?
- Can we see a map for the proposed site?

These questions keep coming up, so I will try to post the answers in an overview of the project in the coming weeks. 

Personally, I think the parking issue will be handled in few ways once the project is complete:
- people will end up walking or biking down Washington from Mission Hills instead of driving because now it will be safe to do so.  This means more parking will open up. 
- if we can connect the bike lane and better pedestrian walkwasy to the Washington Street Trolley, this is one more way people can patronize the businesses on India.
- if we create parking in some of the empty lots down by the trolley station, it would be helpful for the businesses, and anyone using the trolley.  

The budget for the entire SANDAG bicycle plan is $249 million.  I will try to find a copy of it and post it here.

The map is in the Bicycle Master Plan.  It is the proposed map of where the planners think the lanes should be.  Because we are early in the planning process, there is time to consider what makes the most sense for our community, so talking about what our needs are is really important. 

If you had to create more parking for the businesses at the bottom of Washington and India, where would you put it? 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Presentation at Mission Hills BID committee mtg tonite

Beth from SANDAG and I will be at this afternoon's Mission Hills BID mtg at the Frame Maker on Reynard  Way.  Meeting starts at 3:15.

Each of us will give a short summary overview and then take notes on feedback from the committee.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Presentation tonight for Mission Hills BID Economic Development Committee

A simple curb cut allows stormwater to flow into plant area.  This is FREE water and cuts down on irrigation costs, stormwater flooding and maintenance, recharges groundwater supplies, and keeps our oceans cleaner for a healthy tourist experience.  Water flows in from road through little channel cuts. Photo provided courtesy of  Zach Beaulieu's blog.

We have our first presentation of Walk The Wash tonight to the committee that works on Economic Development for the Mission Hills Business Improvement District.

How would Walk The Wash improve business and economics in Mission Hills?

  • Easier access via pedestrian walk-ways, and bike lanes mean increased patronage of businesses at the bottom and the top of the hill, especially India and Goldfinch Streets, and beyond.
  • If more people are able to walk and bike to these businesses from the local area, there will increased parking availability allowing for new patrons to park and utilize the shops and businesses.  
  • Safer streets are more inviting, and mean more people get out to patronize the businesses.
  • If the project incorporates the Trolley station and/or includes parking near it, folks could take the train in from other areas in the County, and then walk to India Street businesses or walk/take the bus up the hill to Mission Hills, Hillcrest, and Normal Heights.     
  • Increased access to the Washington Street public trolley means reduced traffic all over our community.
  • Decreased urban runoff means cleaner beaches for our tourist economy.
  • Decreased stormwater flooding reduces maintenance costs in our community.
  • Managing the local stormwater via curb cuts into planted areas instead of down stormwater drains means trees and plants get free water, and produce more shade and cooling effects in a hot urban area.
  • Less impact to sewer flows is more economical, and has less maintenance costs and project ‘downtime’ to the community. 
  • Groundwater recharge keeps plants and habitat supported, conserves water, and keeps the environment healthy.
  • Revitalization of a very urban/traffic-centric corridor gives a stronger feeling of community, which means a stronger value for homes and businesses.
  • Native and low-water use plants thrive on stormwater-based irrigation, and allows Mission Hills to have a unique sense of place that gives our community a distinctive look.
  • The Arbor Day Foundation has proven that homes and neighborhoods with trees have higher property values.
Washington Street is a major gateway to our community and sets the tone for its look and feel and how we view our community.  Do you think Walk The Wash can have more business impacts not listed here?  Please feel to add your comments.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rubberized Asphalt Concrete Reduces Noise Pollution

Photo courtesy of eHow, "Types of Joints in Concrete".

I was talking to a friend who is a professional surveyor.  We were speaking about urban planning, Mission Hills, Walk The Wash etc etc, and then he mentioned how much noise pollution is created by the thump, thump, thump of the cars driving up and down Washington Street.  I agreed wholeheartedly with him, and asked what causes that?  He explained that on that part of the street in the canyon the road is concrete, not asphalt.  While concrete is long-lasting, it's not very absorbent to noise, and any kind of joint or cracks in it seem to create a small barrier in the road so as tires hit it, the noise sounds like a big THUMP!  With multiple cars driving up and down, this thumping becomes an on-going loud vibration disturbing everyone living, working, and visiting around the canyon.

One option would be to consider repaving it with rubberized asphalt concrete.  RAC is made partly with recycled tires, so it's considered green.  RAC can reduce traffic noise by 5 decibels!   And because between 2000-8000 tires are used in a typical 4-lane mile-long road, California reduces it's tire waste.  There is a great fact sheet online about it.  It's also green in that it reduces a huge amount of noise pollution!  If we wanted to use this amazing recycled material on Washington Street, we could apply for one of several grants to help fund the upgrades.

I'm not sure if RAC is standard use for San Diego yet, but wouldn't it be nice to get the benefits of this type of material in the canyon on Washington Street?  Do you think it might increase property values surrounding the area?  Would more people sit outside the cafes and restaurants on India and Washington?  Would their experiences at these businesses be better?  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Walk The Wash to be presented at Uptown Community Planners meeting.

Tonight, Mission Hills Town Council President, Lara Gates will be presenting Walk The Wash at the Uptown Planners meeting.

She will be giving some background on the issue, and requesting support for the project. 
We are hoping for a good turn-out as a broad show of support is always helpful.  While everyone knows this would be a good project for our community to make it safer and ultimately more valuable, decision- makers still like to see that the community is behind it.  This is the complete agenda.

Meeting information as per the Uptown Planners website: 

Meeting Date/Time/Location/Agenda:

June 5, 2012
6:00 PM at the  Joyce Beers Community Center, Uptown Shopping District, 3900 Vermont St., San Diego, CA, 92103 

If you cannot attend, you can always submit a public comment in support of the project.  

Hope to see everyone there in support of Walk The Wash!