Since California fully reopened, San Diegans are noticing more drivers and less street parking.
The Padres have been playing in town for the last several days, restaurants are back to full capacity and people feel more comfortable going out. Downtown isn’t the only area seeing the impact of more drivers.
In North Park, parklets and newly painted red zones for a bike lane project along 30th Street have eliminated 449 street parking spots.
Jen Arreaga is a server at Encontro North Park. Like several other restaurants in the area, they’re noticing the impact of fewer parking options.
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“Every single one of my tables, the first thing they talk about is how parking is dismal,” Arreaga said. “I know that the business owners in the area are upset about it because they’re losing out on potential customers, but I also understand it encourages more people to, you know, take more public transit or maybe Uber or Lyft so it’s a double-edged sword.”
In response to parking in North Park, the city of San Diego points out that there's a six-story garage on 30th Street that's currently being underused. There's more than 250 available spots and a maximum $5 daily fee.
Other restaurant managers said their regulars don’t want to pay for parking and aren’t coming out as often. When they do, they have to park several blocks away in front someone’s house, which can take away spaces from homeowners.
“I’m lucky. I have a parking spot right there so it hasn’t affected my ability to park,” resident Randolph Boppe said. “There is like a ton of traffic through here and I’m sure people who don’t necessarily have a driveway or have more than two cars; that it would make it hard to park and they would have to park several blocks away.”
In the Gaslamp Quarter, where street signs read, “normal is easy parking,” Water Grill restaurant manager Andrea Daoust said Monday she’s encouraging people to use rideshare services.
“Parking has been definitely a challenge now that we have all the parklets out on the streets. We haven’t seen as many parking spots open, so the parking garages are overwhelmed with parking,” Daoust said.
NBC 7 reached out Ace Parking, which is headquartered in San Diego and the largest privately-owned parking company in the U.S., about garage capacity and we’re waiting to hear back.
San Diego native Mike Logan said he noticed full garages created more traffic earlier this week during a Padres game.
“I’ve never seen you know, the garages have no parking before like over here, right by Petco,” Logan said.
Others think the parking issue will be short-lived.
“It’s just getting used to it again and being able to find parking,” Padres fan Alejandro Jarcia said.
“Whenever there’s an event, sporting event or concert, there’s gonna be more traffic than not. If that bothers you, I suggest you check the news or Petco Park events,” East Village resident Stu said.