Convoy District

Bike lanes open on Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa, creating new parking challenges

The area remains as hot a spot as ever, even during this parking adjustment

NBC Universal, Inc.

Many neighborhoods are bustling as people are out and about enjoying the Fourth of July weekend, including along Convoy Street in San Diego's Kearny Mesa neighborhood.

That area, officially known as the Convoy Asian Cultural District, has historically been crowded with cars and a difficult place to find parking even when there's not a holiday.

But now, there are even fewer parking spaces since the city has completed one phase of a plan to install bike lanes.

At a time when parking is a premium, Angela Ablahad is about to open a Crispy Burger restaurant in the heart of the Convoy District.

“A lot of foodies flock to it when they feel like a good delicious meal. We wanted to join the club,” Ablahad said.

Ablahad says at the time the family made the decision, she didn’t know curb parking would no longer be available on Convoy Street from the State Route 52 on-ramp to Kearny Mesa Road.

“Had we been aware of that, it wouldn’t have stopped us. We’re willing to take the risk to see our business grow,“ Ablahad said.

That stretch of Convoy Street is jampacked with restaurants and shops. It is very popular. Parking was limited before the bike lanes.

Some business owners are taking the parking problem into their own hands by displaying boards in front of their businesses, showing you where you are, the parking lot in front and additional parking in the back.

There are also some signs promoting complimentary parking for the first two hours, but after that, you’ll have to pay.

The city of San Diego changed the parking scheme on a number of side streets to an angled formation to create more spaces.

According to the city’s parking redistribution plan for the area, the Convoy District Partnership is currently working with the city to create a community parking district. It could implement "shared parking agreements with nearby businesses" and privately-operated shuttle services during peak times of the day. 

“Find like a side street, and it all sort of works out as long as you are willing to walk,“ visitor Joshua Levy said.

Levy and partner Camila Kofman aren’t fans of fewer parking spaces.

“Today, we came here. We thought it would be a really random time, and we had trouble finding parking,“ Kofman said.

Before the bike lanes were installed, some business owners warned that taking curb parking away would cut into their customer base.

The bike lanes themselves aren’t exactly the utility some had hoped. Visitors are reporting very little bike traffic. NBC 7 saw three riders in three hours.

The area, though, remains as hot a spot as ever, even during this parking adjustment.

The Convoy District is the home of nearly a half million members of the Asian and Pacific Islander community.

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