A plan for hundreds of new apartments and condos could make traffic even worse, critics worry.
The strip of Friar's Road near Hazard Center is already a very busy stretch of Mission Valley. On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council approved a new project that will certainly impact traffic on Friar's and adjoining streets.
The plan would give Hazard Center a new look. Currently, the 20-year-old shopping center has an office tower and hotel. The plan approved by the City Council would add a row of town homes and two high-rise buildings -- with hundreds of condos and apartments -- as well as a small park, three public plazas and open space. Plus, there will be 450 more parking spaces.
Developers say the new Hazard Center will not make traffic worse because the freeway interchange at Friars Road and state Route 163 will be improved, and Friars and Frazee roads will be widened.
Still, some commuters who regularly travel through the area are concerned.
"In December it is just a nightmare down here," Gayle Richardson said. "Then you add the weekends -- when people are shopping and Charger games -- and it's pretty crazy."
Business owner Travis Gilley, though, supported the plan.
"I think it's really going to help alleviate some of the congestion, the improvements they're making on Friars Road," Gilley said. "This area really needs it."
The developers said new residents would be encouraged to use the trolley, which is right across the street and that they would even pay a portion of the trolley fare.
New residents who move in will be able to walk to the supermarket, restaurants and shops, all of which will be just a block or two away.