California Construction News staff writer
The City of San Diego is moving forward with a major road repair project on Park Boulevard that will repave the road and include new transit-only lanes and bikeways designed to improve safety.
The bikeway and transit priority lanes will link to recently completed bike lanes and transit investments in the communities of Uptown, University Heights, Downtown and North Park and expand access to Balboa Park.
The project design team incorporated feedback from the public and stakeholders, such as the Balboa Park Committee, park institutions and residents in neighboring communities, into the final design.
“Park Boulevard is a major thoroughfare in our city and I’m excited that the city is finally going to fix the road and make improvements for all types of transportation – driving, biking, and transit,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “This is part of our continued efforts to fix our streets and give San Diegans more choices on how to get around our city – choices that are safe, feasible, and good for the environment.”
The Park Boulevard project will overlay the street with new asphalt following a water pipeline replacement. The street will be reconfigured with one lane going each way reserved for transit and separated bikeways will be costructed on both sides of the street from Morley Field Drive to Presidents Way through Balboa Park.
Taking a “complete streets” approach to street design, staff worked with MTS to
improve access for public transit.
According to the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), ridership has increased on bus routes throughout the City. MTS route 215 and route 7, the busiest route on the network, serve the neighborhoods adjacent to Balboa Park, providing daily rides between Downtown and stops near SDSU and La Mesa.
Once construction on the street is completed, a majority of Park Boulevard will have three travel lanes on each side of the street. Turn lanes and turning pockets will also remain at intersections to keep ingress and egress into the park flowing.
Also, the city is planning to add approximately 100 parking spaces during an upcoming repair of Balboa Park Drive.
“I thank everyone who weighed in during months of community discussions on the striping of new lanes on Park Blvd,” said Council member Stephen Whitburn. “That input is reflected in the final design and in plans for upcoming improvements to Balboa Park”