The Normal Street corridor has long been the topic of ideas in Hillcrest a lot of which hinder on the approval of not only the community but The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).
The one thing that can be agreed upon is that the corridor, the site of huge events including Nightmare on Normal Street, The Hillcrest Farmer’s Market and other civic festivities is in need of a facelift.
Councilmember Chris Ward recently wrote an article for Uptown News in which he expresses his interest to redevelop the area which would include a protected bike lane. In fact, the whole project would be built around alternative forms of transit.
“The city will close the west side traffic lanes to accommodate the new bike lanes as well as create a public promenade and pedestrian thoroughfare for the community — becoming the first transit-oriented pedestrian promenade in San Diego,” Ward writes.
Proposals and other ideas have been pitched for the last couple of years in various phases. Some ideas included using café-style tables, light canopies, movable bollards to create a “flex-space” that could be used for parking by day and a gathering space by night, movable planters to create green space, and the use of textured pavement to denote multiple use areas.
Ward says at his insistence the city has signed on to create this new public space as a part of the Phase 3 Uptown Bikeways Project. Community outreach will begin in early 2019.
Called the Normal Street Promenade, the project would be a “community-driven concept derived from early ideas from both the Uptown Planners and the Hillcrest Business Association, as well as early visioning completed by local landscape architects KTU+A to turn underutilized public right-of-way on Normal Street into public gathering space.”
The project would continue to be a hub for large community events such as the ever-increasing San Diego Pride. There is also an upside as the project may ease some of Hillcrest’s parking concerns.
“The promenade, which will span Normal Street from University to Lincoln avenues, also includes a proposal for more than 70 additional parking space realignments on Normal Street from Lincoln Avenue to Washington Street.”
Ward says the “Uptown Community Parking District has allocated $1.8 million to fund improvements to the right-of-way for additional parking and mobility.”
They are expecting to break ground on the project in 2020.
If you have any questions related to this upcoming project — or any city-related issues for that matter — please reach out to my community liaison for Uptown, Brittany Bailey. Reach her at 619-236-6633 or [email protected].