City touts new bike lanes, but local shops say they’re bad for business

SAN DIEGO -- The city of San Diego is receiving national recognition for being ranked among the Top 10 U.S. cities for riding bikes -- but making the city more bike-friendly comes at a cost.

“This ranking shows we’re making progress. There is still a lot more we can and will be doing to make San Diego a bike-friendly and bike-safe city," said Mayor Kevin Faulconer at a news conference along University Avenue in Hillcrest - where newly-paved roads and dedicated bike lanes stretch through the business corridor.

“The big focus has been on re-paving our streets which is going to benefit not only folks in cars, but folks who cycle to work," Faulconer said.

But new bike lanes mean fewer parking spaces in the area.

“We’re getting multiple phone calls a day from people who are like, ‘Where did your parking go? Where are we supposed to park now?'” said Brianna Fanelli, owner of Wonderful and Wild.

Fanelli says several parking spaces that were in front of her shop are now gone -- and it’s taking a toll.

“We have found our sales are down 60 percent over the past two weeks and that’s really unfortunate. For a small business owner to have that dramatic of a decrease is really painful," said Fanelli.

To make up for the lost parking along University Avenue, the city added parking along some side streets.

“When people drive past on University, they believe there’s no parking anymore. We’re not getting the people who think ‘that place looks cute, let’s stop by.' If you don’t know the neighborhood, you don’t see the parking out front -- you don’t know they put parking on side streets," said Fanelli.