SAN DIEGO — Mission Bay parking lots could soon be locked up at night in an effort to cut back on crime in the area.
The City of San Diego is planning to post more signs announcing overnight parking lot closures and install gates that would close up at night.
Pacific Beach Town Council’s president supports the plan. Marcella Bothwell said gates are proposed at at least five nearby parking lots, including a lot near Belmont Park that has seen a string of nighttime shootings over the last few months.
“What we have seen recently is those short-term parking closures do not stop the crime,” Bothwell said.
She hopes the closures will reduce crime, gang activity, overnight parties, litter and illegal camping.
“I think of it as a proactive solution,” she said.
The city reports each gate would cost around $6,000 to manage each year. Security would lock the gates either between 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. or midnight to 6 a.m.
But not everyone is convinced it will do the trick to keep out crime.
“Is that going to do the job?” said Martin Ropp, a nearby biker. “Maybe. I mean, they’re still going to come, I think. They’ll find a way.”
For retiree Brenda Giron, who lives in her van, the overnight closures would leave her in a tough spot.
“I think that’s terrible,” Giron said. “It’s going to be hard.”
She said it’s not just her but many other retirees in the area who will have to find a new place to park.
“To make everybody suffer for something that just a few people do, I just don’t think that’s right,” she said.
The plan must be approved by the California Coastal Commission. It’s not yet clear when that could happen.