30th Street businesses irked by removal of hundreds of parking spots for bike lanes

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SAN DIEGO – Work to add new bike lanes along 30th Street in North Park is causing a stir with neighbors and business.

The City of San Diego is repaving and restriping 30th Street in a project that city leaders say will create a safe new street for motorists and cyclists. New bike lanes will stretch from Polk Avenue to Juniper Street.

Some business owners say the removal of as many as 450 parking spots along 30th to add the bike lanes is already creating a parking nightmare.

Khawanta Osonai owns Thai restaurant Soi 30th located right in the heart of the repaving. She said half of her orders are from third party delivery services, such as Uber Eats or Post Mates.

“It’s hard for them to find the parking,” she said, adding that taking away parking will not benefit her business after an already tough year. “We don’t want to pay the commission for the third party, so we asked, ‘Are people going to come and dine at the restaurant?’ But right now, it is hard for them to find the parking.”

North Park homeowner Janine Rochelle Whitaker says she has seen the parking situation get progressively worse over the years.  

“I could park anywhere 20 years ago, 10 years ago plus or minus, and five years ago they started teasing me, I should start charging to park in my driveway,” Whitaker said.

Bike advocates with BIKESD say 30th Street hasn’t been bike-friendly.

“I have been honked at, yelled at, all sorts of things and all I really want to do is get a beer with my friend or go out to lunch with my girlfriend,” said Nevo Magnezi, secretary with BIKESD.

The new bike lanes will be installed on both sides of the street and physical barriers will separate cyclists from traffic. 

“I think as an architect, and as a member of the community, I think this is going to be a great thing for the neighborhood,” Brer Marsh, vice president for BIKESD, said.

Magnezi said one solution for drivers around the neighborhood trying to find parking is the parking structure on University and 30th Street.

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