Faulconer's infrastructure tour centers on improvement plans for District 1
Published - 10/15/14 - 08:16 AM | 6740 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Oct. 6 fielded questions from Council District 1 residents talking infrastructure, potholes, utilities undergrounding and the Regents Road bridge at a public meeting at UTC Forum Hall.

“Infrastructure improvements are important to people in all corners of San Diego,” Faulconer said. “I want to take the conversation to community leaders and everyday San Diegans where they live so I can make sure that everyone has the opportunity to be heard.”

District 1 includes the communities of La Jolla, University City, Carmel Valley, Del Mar Mesa, Del Mar Heights, Pacific Highlands Ranch, Torrey Hills and Torrey Pines.

Faulconer intends to take his infrastructure tour to all of the city’s nine council districts.

In UTC on Oct. 6, fully half the questions and comments were centered on the controversial Regents Road Bridge project. Faulconer and District 1 Council President Pro Tem Sherri Lightner recently jointly supported a proposal to study the removal of the project from the general University Community Plan. The process to amend the plan will include a new analysis of traffic and emergency response times.

Whether or not to build the Regents Road Bridge through the canyon that separates north and south University City has prompted considerable controversy and environmental concerns over the last two decades. The bridge proposal has been the subject of litigation, numerous City Council hearings and public debates. (See our in-depth story on the issue on page 6.)

“I’m here to talk about what the city’s been doing — and hasn’t been doing — about streets, sidewalks, libraries, rec centers and the inner workings of how you run the city’s sewer, water and stormwater systems,” Faulconer said. “The goal is to talk about some of the priorities for the different (city) areas, the things you are concerned about and what are some of the changes you’d like to see.”

Faulconer promised that the city has abandoned its policy of piecemeal replacement of pipes and other infrastructure underground, wherein crews come back again and again to replace failing underground pipes, cables and other accouterments. The remark drew applause from the crowd.

Faulconer referred to a new policy in place as “one dig.”

“My promise,” he said, “is that 50 percent of all new revenues will go for infrastructure,” he said, adding the city intends to do a “condition assessment,” evaluating the condition of every city street and sidewalk.

Regarding construction of another fire station in UTC, Faulconer said, “We need fire stations to keep up with growth and development, and it’s my job to put that in the budget. You can hold me accountable to that.”

Asked about his stance on encourage bicycling, Faulconer replied, “I’m a cyclist myself, and it’s important to encourage people to use them. Providing a safe way to do that is one of the things just unveiled, a bike master plan. We’ve never had one for the city of San Diego.”

“Next month,” he said, “we’ll be unveiling our bikeshare program, where you can rent a bike and do it in an urban environment.”

Not all of the questions/comments Faulconer received were from happy campers.

One audience member questioned the need for constructing the planned trolley extension to UTC.

“I don’t think anybody in this room can honestly say the trolley, as it is right now, is useful and a good use of taxpayer money — it’s not,” the audience member contended.

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