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Mira Mesa looks to pedestrian-friendly future with new development plan

City of San Diego road crew paints a diagonal path on Montezuma Road to help bikes cross a fast-moving turn lane near the corner of Collwood.
Neiko Will
City of San Diego road crew paints a diagonal path on Montezuma Road to help bikes cross a fast-moving turn lane near the corner of Collwood.

One of San Diego’s most car-dependent neighborhoods could one day be a beacon of pedestrian-friendly urban design. That’s according to a recently unveiled plan for San Diego’s Mira Mesa neighborhood.

The changes are set to be considered by the city council this fall, and could drastically change the layout of an area that many say is a textbook example of outdated urban design, if passed. The boldness of the plan is raising questions about whether the changes are realistic.

Jeff Stevens, who lived in Mira Mesa for 40 years is chair of the Mira Mesa Community Planning Group. He joined Midday Edition to talk about the details of the draft plan.

"So the idea is to redevelop certain areas where there are shopping malls, where there's industrial businesses, and to make those pedestrian friendly. There are a few other pedestrian improvements along the major roads, but I think to say it's turning the whole community into a pedestrian-friendly area is a bit of an overstatement," Stevens said.

The draft plan includes the construction of an aerial skyway.

"There are a lot of transit improvements in it that will require either a bond issue or a tax increase. The Skyway is a good example, though I like the concept. It's not clear that the public is willing to pay for that," Stevens said.

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