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More parking meters may be coming to areas of Hillcrest, Mission Hills

The 1000 and 1700 blocks of University Avenue may get metered parking.
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The Uptown Community Parking District (UCPD) may be installing new parking meters in and around Hillcrest as early as spring 2017.

There are six parking districts overseen by the UCPD: Hillcrest, Downtown/Centre City, La Jolla, Mid-City, Old Town, and Pacific Beach.

Chief Operating Officer of UCPD, Elizabeth Hannon told the San Diego Reader that having meters installed in business areas will bring with them higher turnover rates.

The Reader reports that there are 18 meters planned for the “1000 and 1700 blocks of University Avenue — nine on each block, fronting the Hub and the LGBT Center, respectively; and eight at 422–510 West Washington Street in Mission Hills (across from Vons).”

Hannon and the mayor still need to discuss his proposal of a bike lane on one of the sections she would like to see tolled.  

Currently Hillcrest parking enforcement hours are from 8 am to 6 pm, but the UCPD would like to see that change to 10 am to 8 pm.  

Mat Wahlstrom, of Uptown Planners is not in full agreement with the proposed new hours. 

“I've heard they're using the argument that this change will benefit residents because they’ll be able to stay parked from 8 pm to 10 am,” he told The Reader. “This is a cynical attempt to distract from the fact that this change will punish residents, most all of whom work from 8 am to 5 pm, and will now be forced to move their vehicles and/or risk feeding the meter six nights a week. Even if there were any proof that changing these hours would benefit businesses, that still wouldn’t excuse forcing residents to have to pay to subsidize them.”

Hourly rates for metered parking remains at $1.25 an hour. The time limit for each new meter will be two hours.

Hannon doesn’t like the idea of posted signage. She feels they are not as effective at enforcing the time limit than meters using technology. 

“We did a duration study and found that people were parking on average four hours on each of the blocks we’re proposing to install meters. The smart meters have [red] flashing lights making it easier for parking enforcement to know when a car is in violation,” she said.

She continues to say that the results of a parking study show that 85-percent of parking spots are occupied between 4 pm and 10 pm.

“What we do know is that people are parking between 4 pm and 6 pm at a meter and then staying until 11 pm. for free. We need to open those spaces for patrons that need to access Hillcrest shops and restaurants every two hours.”

City policy does allow metered parking between 7 am to 11 pm.

Hillcrest resident Chuck Mitchell says it’s awful to make people pay for parking in front of their own homes, he supports residential parking permits.

“They want to make money off the few businesses we have but most are closing,” said Mitchell. “A lot has to do with parking. With other areas becoming more dense, more people are staying in their own neighborhoods. They’ve all they need there. Little Italy has really taken off — now they can eat there. Before, they had to drive to downtown or to Hillcrest. That’s what is really hurting Hillcrest.”

There is a January 9 meeting scheduled to discuss the meters and will give the public a chance to weigh in on the project.