Anonymous donor has so far matched $9,000 in donations

Dear Supporters,

Thank you to all who have donated to our fundraising efforts, and a special thank you to our anonymous donor who has so far matched $9,000 in donations of $100 or more. Matching funds are still available for donations of $100 or more. Of course, donations of any size are always welcome.

Please continue to spread the word. Tell your neighbors, friends, and co-workers about our efforts to keep the Regents Road bridge in the community plan and get it built. Ask them to spread the word as well.

Remember, there are two ways to donate: online or mail a check payable to “Citizens for the Regents Road Bridge” or “CFTRRB” to 4079 Governor Dr. #165, San Diego, CA 92122.

Austin Speed
President, Citizens for the Regents Road Bridge

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EMERGENCY CALL TO ACTION!

There is a poll being conducted on NextDoor about the Regents Road Bridge and whether it should be built or not.

We want to bring this to your attention so you can make your voice heard and vote in favor of the bridge.

If you don’t have a NextDoor account, please create one so you can participate in this poll, it’s free and easy to setup.

Clicking on the link below will take you to the poll.

If you use the NextDoor app you might have to search for “bridge poll”.

Poll: Regents Road bridge poll, September 2017

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Top 10 Traffic Related Reasons Why North San Diego Needs Regents Road To Be Completed (Part 1 of 3)

You probably already know this, but just to establish a common understanding, Regents Road has been planned (but not yet completed) as a key north/south arterial route in the University City area since early conceptual drawings during the Eisenhower Administration in the late 1950’s.

Just what is standing in the way of completing Regents Road? That’s the big question.

By the way, The City is planning 50 major construction projects in North UC.  They want to have it both ways.   The City and the UC Planning Group (UCPG) think this is great stuff.  They act like they don’t realize that an already intolerable traffic situation will only get worse in spite of what our District 1 City Council member says about “changing traffic patterns.”  http://www.lajollalight.com/news/sd-city-launches-shift-san-diego-platform-20170801-story.html.  More traffic capacity is needed.   Don’t worry though.  They’re giving you a website to help you understand the reasons for your inconvenience — http://www.shiftsandiego.com/.   They’re not giving you any additional roadway routes or capacity, but you’ll get a website!

Why is a completed Regents Road needed?  It is needed because traffic is at or near capacity during at least three peak hour periods during the day on the only other north/south surface arterial in University City – Genesee Avenue.   The City’s own traffic studies in support of the current Environmental Impact Report (EIR) (much of which is extraordinarily one-sided, and deficient) bear this out.  The conclusions contained in the EIR ignore the traffic crisis on Genesee and the adverse environmental impacts from idling vehicle emissions.

However, the City can’t totally hide from their own data.   The EIR traffic data shows numerous failed intersections on Genesee during peak hours in the morning, evening and during the noon hour.  The study also shows that a combination of efforts to make Genesee more efficient (smart traffic lights, perhaps) and the completion of the planned Regents Road will result in most of Genesee’s failing intersections to begin operating at acceptable levels.    A completed Regents Road won’t perform miracles, but it will:

  • Improve the traffic situation on Genesee
  • Improve the environment in the UC area by reducing emissions from idling vehicles
  • Reduce the mileage driven by people who currently have to circumnavigate the gap in Regents Road
  • Provide true multi-modal connectivity for bicyclists, pedestrians, and the disabled who are traveling between South and North UC
  • Provide an additional route for emergency vehicles

I’ll write more about the EIR in later posts, but for now let’s address the Top 10 new construction projects that will further exaggerate the already existing traffic related reasons why North and South San Diego must complete Regents Road.  Here’s the quick list:

  1. Westfield UTC Expansion
  2. Scripps Hospital Campus Expansion
  3. The New Illumina Facilities – 400 new parking spaces and 170,000 square feet
  4. Costa Verde High Rise Residential Facility Expansion – xxxx residential homes
  5. UTC Residential Facility Construction – 500 housing units
  6. UCSD East Campus Expansion
  7. Campus Point Drive Campus Renovation and Expansion
  8. The Trolley Arrival at UTC – millions of commuters
  9. Condominium and Apartment Projects in the UTC Vicinity – 1,400 housing units
  10. Other Office and Research Space Projects

I will provide details of each of these over the next three week’s posts.

This post will address the Top 3 – Westfield UTC Expansion, Scripps Hospital Campus Expansion, and the new Illumina Headquarters Building.

Number 1. Westfield UTC Expansion:  The University Town Center complex is undergoing a massive expansion, at a cost of $1M a day, and a total cost of $600M. They are growing by almost 35% in adding more square footage.  Westfield’s transformation on the west  side facing Genesee Avenue will present an imposing, right-up-to-the-sidewalk, sky blocking, 5 story, pay parking mega structure. The parking garage is planned in anticipation of a lot of in and out traffic for the new center.

UTC Expansion

Figure 1.  Construction Abounds at Westfield UTC

Number 2. Scripps Hospital Campus Expansion:  New and wonderful buildings are going on up on the Scripps Hospital campus.  In 2010 Scripps unveiled plans to invest $2 Billion in upgrading and expanding the La Jolla campus at the north end of Genesee Avenue.  

How we will all get to these new buildings and medical resources and how much time it will take are the big questions.    They will eventually replace the hospital with three new towers.  Scripps recently opened the Prebys Cardiovascular Center on the campus.  They really want to be your complete healthcare provider. 

Prebys Cardiovascular centerThe Prebys Cardiovascular Institute

However, they have been notably silent about the increasing north/south roadway capacity requirements in the University City area so people can travel to where they are situated.  Why?   It is very challenging to transport patients to and from South UC to the hospital at Scripps when a patient is in distress. 

Number 3: The New Illumina Headquarters.    This building provides over 170,000 square feet of headquarters space for the relocation of Illumina’s HQ operations; with lease options on more space in the area.   The genome technology mega business (over $2 Billion last year) will have an HQ building with parking for approximately 400 vehicles.  We need what they do and we want them to be successful.  We also want the employees to be successful and timely in their commute to and from work between North and South San Diego; complete Regents Road.

Illumina

Figure 3.  Construction of the New Illumina Headquarters in North UC

Next week’s post will address the UTC and Costa Verde high-rise residential projects and the UCSD campus expansion.

I’ll leave you with this thought: at a recent UC Planning Group (UCPG) meeting where everyone was praising the City Council’s decision not to complete Regents Road (essentially not to build the bridge) I was told by an attendee that the reason he opposed the bridge was that he opposed “development”.  Yet, the UCPG is the very body that has given the green light to many of these projects in North UC.  There are over 50 major construction projects planned in this area in the next five years.

In my opinion, improving roadway capacity isn’t development.  It is building the infrastructure needed to support development which has clearly been recommended by the UC Planning Group and approved by the City.

It should be one way or the other.  We either step up to completing the planned roadway infrastructure to support the growing North UC economic engine or we shut down all of the new construction projects.  

Until next week.

 

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Our GoFundMe Effort is Trending Well, But We Still Need Help!

First of all, we all share a sense of overwhelming sympathy for people who have been and are being seriously impacted by three major Hurricanes — Harvey, Irma, and potentially Jose.  People in Texas and Florida and other areas will need help for some time to come.  Our thoughts go out to you and any friends or loved ones who live in the flooding or hurricane damaged areas.   We truly hope that everyone remains as safe as possible.

OUR LEGAL FUND – As we continue our efforts to keep the Regents Road Bridge in the community plan, we want to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to all who have contributed to our Go Fund Me Page for our legal expenses.   We realize this is asking a lot, however, a contribution of any size during this challenging time is very helpful and appreciated.  If circumstances permit you to make a contribution of $100 or more, there is still an opportunity for your contribution to be doubled thanks to a very generous, anonymous supporter who has agreed to match contributions up to a total of $10,000.  

As a reminder, if the Regents Road Bridge is truly eliminated from the community plan, it will be nearly impossible to insert it back in the plan.   In the next five years, over 50 major construction projects in the North UC area will make an already unacceptable traffic situation much worse, particularly on Genesee Avenue. 

SAFETY AND EVACUATION There is a very real scenario (see the illustration below) that was almost fully realized in the Cedar Fire in 2003.  805 and state route 52 could be closed in the case of a major fire in San Clemente Canyon west of 805.   

Cedar Fire 2003

Freeway Closure During Cedar Fire, 2003

In that case, the only northerly evacuation route from South UC in particular would involve Genesee Avenue.  There is no alternate route.  Shutting down 52 would stop people in the west end of South UC from accessing I-5.   Genesee Avenue simply doesn’t have the capacity for a major evacuation.   

FireEvac

EMERGENCY EVACUATION ROUTES –

A REAL REQUIREMENT FOR ANY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY

This fire evacuation requirement is essential.   All of the elements of our community plan should be completed to make the area safer.  Earthquake evacuation routes may also be needed someday. It is important to have alternative routes and added roadway capacity.  It is simply not safe to put off completing Regents Road any longer.

Please consider helping this cause and other worthy causes in these challenging times.

Sincerely,

Austin Speed

President, Citizens for the Regents Road Bridge

 

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FUNDRAISING BREAKTHROUGH!

We have received some exciting news that we want to share with you.  A generous anonymous donor has come forward and pledged to match all donations of $100 or more up to a total of $10,000.

This incredible opportunity means that your donation has double the impact to our fundraising campaign. In other words, $10,000 in donations becomes $20,000!

Please consider donating to our campaign today!

Click on the GoFundMe button on this page or mail a check payable to:
“Citizens For The Regents Road Bridge” or “CFTRRB” to:
4079 Governor Dr. #165, San Diego CA 92122.

Thank you,

Austin Speed
President, Citizens for the Regents Road Bridge

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San Diego Union Tribune Article about Our Lawsuit

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

By Austin Speed

Today our lawsuit with the City was featured in an article by David Garrick in the San Diego Union Tribune.  Check it out at:

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/politics/sd-me-regents-bridge-20170905-story.html

David did a nice job, in my opinion, of summarizing our position in his article and why we need to raise funds for our legal effort.   Thanks to David and the SDUT for a fair treatment.

GoFundMe:  https://www.gofundme.com/cftrrb

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The Regents Road Bridge is GOOD for the Environment

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

By Katie Nelson Rodolico

There has been a lot of misinformation about how building the Regents Road Bridge is bad for the environment.  This is FALSE as born out in the city’s own data in their Final Program Environmental Impact Report  (PEIR).  In fact, the bridge solves several environmental problems.

Removing the bridge will make the air quality worse according to the city’s PEIR.  Again the PEIR refers to the Air Quality degradation with the current roadway configuration as significant and unmitigated.  The air quality issues associated with NOT building the bridge were so severe as to be a “violation of air quality standards”.   (Page 509 of the PEIR)

genessee traffic

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Idling Vehicles on Genesee Avenue

Removing the bridge from the plan would INCREASE greenhouse gas emissions.  This puts the removal of the bridge in direct conflict with the city’s Climate Action Plan and the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy.   (Page 509 of the PEIR)

The Regents Road Bridge is part of the City’s Master Bicycle Plan.  In fact the Regents Road Bridge completion is shown as a ‘high priority project’ for the Master Bicycle Plan (page 106 and 107 of the Master Bike Plan.)  Removing the bridge was considered a significant and unmitigated environmental impact in PEIR.  (See page 508 of the PEIR)

One of the mitigation strategies proposed included creating a “grade separation” under Governor Drive at Genesee.   This would involve digging adjacent to four gas stations.  Two of the gas stations are in active “Leaking Underground Storage Tank” status (LUST), and the other two stations were formerly in LUST status.   Obviously this would involve disturbing/stirring up this toxic dirt adjacent to homes and schools and extensive bioremediation.   This grade separation concept was proposed because the traffic, it’s associated greenhouse gas emissions, and public safety all were completely unacceptable without the bridge.  (Page 909 of the PEIR)

A bridge spanning over the canyon will not permanently disturb the canyon.  It will not pave the canyon.  It will not stop the bikers from biking, the runners from running, the hikers from hiking, or the explorers from exploring.   It provides a bike and pedestrian path for multi-modal transportation options.  We all breathe the air and we all are effected by greenhouse gas emissions – including the wildlife in the canyon.

Let’s build the bridge!

https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/ucp_amendment_final_peir_0.pdf

https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/final_july_2016_cap.pdf

http://www.sdforward.com/pdfs/RP_final/The%20Plan%20-%20combined.pdf

https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/legacy/planning/programs/transportation/mobility/pdf/bicycle_master_plan_final_dec_2013.pdf

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URGENT NEED FOR FUNDS FOR LEGAL REPRESENTATION

Following the City Council’s 6-2 decision to remove the Regents Road Bridge (RRB) from the Community Plan, Citizens for the Regents Road Bridge (CFTRRB) filed a lawsuit against the City of San Diego citing inadequacies in the Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) and violations of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Note:  The City Council ignored the City Planning Commission’s 6-0 vote RECOMMENDING the Council  KEEP the Regents Road Bridge in the plan and BUILD it.

The Regents Road Bridge has been in the community plan for over 40 years.   It is the MISSING PIECE IN THE MULTIMODAL TRANSPORTATION REGIONAL NETWORK. Most, if not all, of the development in the area north of Rose Canyon was based upon the bridge being built as part of the necessary infrastructure.

Nearly 50 major public and private projects approved by the City and UCSD are or will be under construction in the Golden Triangle area in the next 5 years!  Per SANDAG, almost 57,000 people commute to and from or within the Golden Triangle EVERY DAY! (Cited in the La Jolla Light article dated August 2, 2017, ‘San Diego’s Go-To Transportation Solution’: City launches SHIFT platform eyeing 50 Golden Triangle/La Jolla construction projects” and “Getting There: The Golden Triangle” in the San Diego Business Journal Aug. 17th edition.)

Our region needs the REGENTS ROAD BRIDGE to improve public safety, alleviate traffic congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, shorten emergency response times, and provide a critical second north/south arterial route.  Also, in order to comply with San Diego’s Climate Action Plan, Master Traffic Plan, and Master Bike Plan, the City MUST build the Regents Road Bridge.  

PLEASE DONATE NOW!

You can click the Donate button on our website or you can visit our GoFundMe site:

https://www.gofundme.com/CFTRRB

You can also mail a check made payable to:
“Citizens For The Regents Road Bridge” or “CFTRRB” to:
4079 Governor Dr. #165, San Diego CA 92122

Note: The money raised IS PRIMARILY for Legal representation and filing fees. Your contributions will be tax deductible as we have now filed as a 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation. According to the IRS, while an application is pending, the organization can treat itself as exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) and donations would be tax deductible for income tax purposes. We must tell you that in the unlikely case that the application is rejected, those donations under our pending 501 (c) (3) application would lose their tax deductibility.

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The Regents Road Bridge Is Not Dead!

Citizens for the Regents Road Bridge needs your help in our legal battle to keep the bridge in the community plan.

Our region needs the bridge for public safety, reduction in traffic congestion, reduction in greenhouse emissions, and to provide an additional north/south route.

In order to comply with the San Diego’s Climate Action Plan, Master Traffic Plan, and Master Bike Plan, the City must complete the Regents Road Bridge.

Please visit our GoFundMe page: https://gofundme.com/CFTRRB

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