SAN DIEGO - A plan for a short roadway to connect Mission Valley and Serra Mesa was passed by the San Diego City Council Monday, despite fierce opposition by some residents in the affected area.
The plan will result in construction of a 460-foot-long connector between Phyllis Place in Serra Mesa and the intersection of Via Alta and Franklin Ridge Road at the north end of Mission Valley, near Interstate 805. Via Alta and Franklin Ridge run through the Civita residential development, which has been built over the last several years north of Friars Road and east of Mission Center Road.
"At the end of the day, we need this road connectivity," said Councilman Scott Sherman, who represents the area. "It's going to be paid for by the developer -- it should have been done a long time ago."
Project proponents contend a four-lane roadway would provide drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians from Serra Mesa a more direct route into Mission Valley, thereby reducing traffic congestion. They also said it would improve police and fire response times, and serve as emergency evacuation route.
"Mission Valley has traffic problems and it's going to continue to have traffic problems," Sherman said. "There's a lot of development coming to Mission Valley because of the trolley, and the transit and the connectivity. We need more connectivity to make this thing work."
Opponents in the two-hour hearing contended that traffic in the area would be worsened, not improved.
Over nearly 15 years, the proposal was twice rejected by the city's Planning Commission and once by the City Council. A community group in Serra Mesa also opposed the plan, while a similar entity in Mission Valley took no action.
More recently, however, the proposal received unanimous backing from the City Council's Smart Growth and Land Use Committee.
The council members, on an 8-1 vote, certified an environmental review of the project and approved an amendment to the Serra Mesa Community Plan. They rejected an alternative to build a connecting roadway for use only by emergency vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians -- but not private vehicles.
Councilwoman Barbara Bry cast the dissenting vote.