Bustling Little Italy stands to lose more than 50 parking spots under a transportation plan in the works for the city of San Diego.
Members of the Little Italy Association of San Diego filled a room to protest Civic San Diego’s downtown mobility plan that aims to install a series of bike lanes, widened sidewalks and shortened street crossings on urban streets.
"To take away any parking in the area is devastating to the community," one business owner said during public comment.
Community members came together Wednesday evening to speak at the Downtown Community Planning Council meeting, voicing their thoughts on the plan aimed at making the entire downtown area more bicycle, pedestrian and public transit friendly.
"As far as parking goes, everyone in Little Italy can testify, we're in a daily episode of Survivor," a resident said.
In a letter to Little Italy residents, Chris Gomez, district manager of the Little Italy Association, said the proposed plan means that 50 parking spaces would be eliminated on State and West Beech Streets.
"We recommended all our North/South streets in Little Italy would be converted to diagonal parking and all our East/West streets would be converted to headed parking," Gomez said.
He said protected bike lanes would be implemented “that are not safe or viable for our community or cyclists.”
Andy Handshaw with Bike Coalition San Diego County supports the Mobility Plan, saying its goal is to accommodate future growth.
"You reduce parking demand when you have a mobility plan like this," he said. "When you give them the option to come by walk, by bike by transit."
Officials said there is still a ways to go until the fate of the plan is determined.