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SAN DIEGO – Residents from a Rancho Peñasquitos apartment complex on Tuesday got the chance to voice concerns to the city about newly painted bike lanes.

The City of San Diego Transportation Department met with people living in the Cantabria Apartments virtually Tuesday to discuss controversial bike lanes along Azuaga Street after residents claim the city painted bike lanes in the middle of the night without notice.

“We want to preface this meeting by again stating our apologies as far as the outreach,” said Jorge Riveros, Director of Transportation for the city of San Diego. “It’s going to take some time for people to adjust and get used to the fact that it’s there.”

Despite the meeting, many residents say they were left feeling frustrated and hopeless that the current situation will not change. 

“I feel more angry today than the last time we spoke,” said Jennifer Riley, a resident at Cantabria Apartments. “I feel it was a placated meeting. I feel that they were just trying to satisfy our concerns and give us a voice, but at the end of the day, there is no intention to truly listen to us to make any compromise or any changes.”

We spoke to Jennifer Riley in early April just after the bike lanes were painted. At the same time that the bike lanes were created, no-parking signs on the north side of the street were put up, without notice. Since then, posts have been permanently installed — only adding to parking frustrations in the area.

“[City workers] surveyed the area and gave us the amount of parking that was on the street, the amount of parking that was used on the street and they did it during the daytime. Who’s parking not on the street during the daytime? It was pre-pandemic so we were all working so they need to come and do that during nighttime when there is overflow,” Riley said.

“We’re being displaced up the road where there is no lighting and it feels less safe,” said Graham Mickle, another resident.

The city is working to support other modes of transportation with the 2013 city council-approved bicycle plan, but some say this project missed the mark.

“The bike lane that runs along the 56 is on the opposite side of the street so those bicycle riders are still riding in the road because they have to get over to the other side of the road. They are not using the bike lanes, so if this was done for safety for the bike riders it’s an absolute fail,” another resident said.

Cyclists who ride in the area raised support for the project and the safety it brings.

“I do want to express that I am very much in support of this project and hope the city will continue to build projects like this,” said a cyclist at the meeting.

In a statement, Councilwoman Marni von Wilpert who serves Rancho Penasquitos said her office is “encouraging the transportation department to reevaluate the parking impacts for the area to determine if there are modifications that will address the concerns of the community while also allowing for the connection of the multi-mobil transit system.”

Residents are pushing to have an in-person meeting with city leaders to see if they put the pressure on them to change the placement of the bike lanes, but if that doesn’t happen, they plan to take legal action.