SAN DIEGO — On any given day, Grape Street from Harbor Drive to Interstate 5 is very busy as cars speed up the one-way street from the San Diego International Airport through Little Italy. And during rush hour, traffic comes to a standstill.
Plans to redesign the busy artery, adopted by the San Diego City Council in 2016, hope to address what is expected to be even more traffic with the completion of the Terminal 1 Airport expansion.
The design calls for the removal of parking on both sides of the street and increase the number of lanes from three to four. A bike lane would also be installed on the north side of the street.
For businesses in Little Italy, the concern is worsening traffic congestion and parking.
Tyler Cervenka, manager of the family-owned Filippi’s Pizza Grotto, told FOX 5, “sometimes it gets a little chaotic down here.”
Filippi’s is in heart of Little Italy on India Street and now owns its own parking lot. But even with that, it can be tough to accommodate the crowds.
“It gets really busy here on Saturdays and Sundays, so there are a lot of people to come down. Everyone’s out and about,” Cervenka said.
FOX 5 reached out to the Little Italy Association, which says they oppose the redesign because they say the removal of parking on Grape Street would turn the street into a highway inviting more noise, traffic and unsafe driving.
A subcommittee of the San Diego City Council’s Community Planning group will take up the issue again on Wednesday.