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Bike Center to Salvage Abandoned Building on Closed Military Base—Not So Fast

The bicycle community in San Diego came up with a win-win-win: an innovative bike center in an abandoned building on a closed military base next to downtown and a major biking route. Then came the real world of unreal bureaucratic concerns.
September 23, 2017, 5am PDT | wadams92101
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Liberty Station in San Diego is a massive redevelopment of a closed naval training center. Despite its location under the departure flight path of San Diego International Airport, it is dense with housing, retail, restaurants, and community space. Nevertheless, a small portion of it that remains unutilized, including a particular building identified mainly as Building 191.

A coalition of community bicycling organizations got behind the idea of restoring and occupying the building as a community bicycling center, writes local bicycle community activist and environmental attorney Richard Opper (ironically specializing in brown fields). The building is centrally located, near a major bike path, and unused. It would provide meeting space for non-profit bicycling organizations, educational events, and museum and display space. It could provide bicycle repair facilities, storage and changing facilities for bicycling commuters. It would serve as a hub for the bicycling community that would help promote the activity, thereby propelling San Diego toward achieving its health, transportation, and climate change goals. It would restore an abandoned building. All this in a publicly owned building on publicly owned land, which had no meaningful alternative use—all funded by the bicycling community.  

The plan seemed like a winner. The building is close to a popular restaurant on the converted base, and across the street from a hardware store. Nevertheless, because it is located within an area designated as impacted by the airport's departing flights (as are the other businesses and residences nearby), FAA approval was required. A quick decision? Not so fast...Perhaps the city's mayor will help? Opper explains the history of the project, its status, and his plea for help—with words and imagery. See the source article for details and renderings. 

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Published on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 in UrbDeZine
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