San Diego Continues to Widen Roads Despite Pledge to Reduce Car Dependence

Transit advocates say that outdated road widening plans contradict the city's Climate Action Plan.

September 14, 2021, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


San Diego Trolley

Pazut Wutigornsombatkul / Shutterstock

Despite the city's stated commitment "to cut back on car dependence by making streets safer and more oriented towards pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit" San Diego continues to widen roads based on outdated plans, reports Andrew Bowen

One of the city's deadliest streets, El Cajon Boulevard, is slated to receive a new right-turn lane that would also shrink the footprint of the adjacent [email protected] pedestrian plaza. Meanwhile, the permit for a trolley extension on Morena Boulevard required the re-widening of the street, creating dangerous conditions for pedestrians trying to reach the trolley station. Pedestrian and transit advocates say these and similar projects go against the city's 2015 Climate Action Plan, "which legally binds the city to cut back on driving by prioritizing less polluting modes of transportation." 

"A lot of cities, including San Diego, haven't caught up to the value statements that their elected officials have signed onto," says Colin Parent, executive director of the nonprofit think tank Circulate San Diego. "Parent added that the city had to find a balance between redoing its old plans while not letting that work delay important projects like the trolley extension through Bay Park or the affordable housing project on El Cajon Boulevard."

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