Council kills 2 controversial road projects in University City

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SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego City Council Monday killed two major projects in University City that have drawn criticism over the years -- a bridge on Regents Road over Rose Canyon that would connect the neighborhood with Clairemont, and the widening Genesee Avenue from four to six lanes.

The projects have been seen by supporters as a way to ease north-south traffic congestion in the so-called "Golden Triangle,'' especially during commute times.

However, many residents argued the improvements -- far from easing traffic -- would attract even more drivers seeking alternatives to nearby clogged freeways.

According to staff reports, the projects would not actually improve "failing levels of service'' in traffic circulation, while the widening of Genesee Avenue would result in the removal of 40 mature Torrey Pines trees from medians.

The bridge and road-widening were included in a 1987 community planning document for University City.

The council members voted 6-2 in favor of an amendment that removes mention of the projects. Council members Chris Cate and Lorie Zapf dissented, in part because they wanted more input from their districts, which are adjacent to the affected area.

"A traffic study showed that traffic would not be significantly improved as a result of building either the Regents Road bridge or widening Genesee,'' said council President Sherri Lightner, who represents the Golden Triangle.

"New solutions are needed such as adaptive traffic signals along Genesee,'' Lightner said.

"Similarly, the modeling of emergency response has demonstrated that response times for public safety will not improve in the southern portion of University City by building the bridge or widening Genesee.''

Only building a new fire station in the area will improve response times, she said.

Barbara Bry, who will succeed Lightner as UC's representative next week, said she agreed with the council action.

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