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Politics

San Diego Mayor Shows Off Latest Street Repairs, Promises More With New Budget

Megan Burks
Marnell Gibson, assistant director of San Diego's public works department, addresses a crowd at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Holly Street in Lincoln Park, May 4, 2015.
Everything you need to follow the news and understand what's in the city of San Diego's fiscal 2016 budget.
San Diego Mayor Shows Off Latest Street Repairs, Promises More With New Budget
A $2 million project transformed Holly Street in Lincoln Park from a dirt road to a paved street with sidewalks, speed bumps and trees.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer started off the week of budget hearings with a pair of ceremonial scissors in Lincoln Park. He cut the ribbon on a freshly paved street — just one in the 300 miles of streets he plans to improve with his new budget.

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Faulconer told a crowd on Holly Street near Lincoln High School his budget would more equally distribute street funds across San Diego neighborhoods.

Rev. Terrell Fletcher, who leads City of Hope International, a church on the street, said community members have been asking for street improvements there for more than a decade.

"We don't fight for streets just for the sake of streets," Fletcher said. "We fight for streets to be fixed, because the people who live on these streets are worth it."

Rev. Deb Mitchell of Southeast Presbyterian Church, also on Holly Street, said the street was a dirt road when crews broke ground last year.

"There were discarded mattresses," Mitchell said. "It looked like not this country. Really."

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Megan Burks
The Rev. Terrell Fletcher, Councilwoman Myrtle Cole and Mayor Kevin Faulconer cut a ribbon to celebrate improvements to Holly Street in Lincoln Park, May 4, 2015.

But with the snip of oversized scissors, a blue ribbon fell to a fresh layer of asphalt. Speed bumps, sidewalks and trees round out the $2 million project between Willie James Jones Avenue and Euclid Avenue.

"As soon as the street was completed, everybody started walking around our church and seeing the other things that needed to get done," Mitchell said. "It's like when you put a fresh coat of paint on, everything else looks shabby. We've just really worked hard to start cleaning up those places."

Faulconer said residents in southeastern San Diego can expect more help improving their neighborhood. His budget calls for $40 million in deferred maintenance on infrastructure.

The city's independent budget analyst, however, has warned the city needs a more aggressive plan to work through a $2 billion repair backlog.